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Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to apply gradient fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8

Date Created: October 28th 2011
Last Updated: October 28th 2011






Like previous version of the program, PowerPoint 2010 continues to provide an amazing array of options to format your slide backgrounds. We started this series of tutorials by exploring how you can Format Slide Backgrounds. This tutorial builds upon what you have already learned, and show how you can add a gradient fill to your slide background. Gradient fills are typically blended fills between two or more colors that graduate from one color to another. Follow these steps to explore more:

  1. We assume you have a new presentation created, or you have opened any of your existing presentations. We also assume that you have summoned the Format Background dialog box, as explained in the aforementioned Format Slide Background tutorial. Alternatively, just right-click in an empty area of your slide and choose the Format Background option in the resultant contextual menu to bring up the same dialog box.

  2. Within the Format Backgrounddialog box, make sure that the Fill panel is active in the sidebar. Then, select the Gradient fill radio button, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 1.

    Gradient fill radio button selected within the Format Background dialog box
    Figure 1: Gradient fill radio button selected within the Format Background dialog box

    When you select the Gradient fill radio button, you can see a live preview of your active slide in the open presentation changes to a gradient fill – your slide background will auto-update with any changes you make in the Format Background dialog box. The options within the Format Background dialog box are marked in Figure 1 -- and explained below:

    Options A through E are explained in further detail in our More Gradients tutorial -- look at points 3A through 3E on that page. In addition, do note that the Preset colors (Option A) includes a gallery of several ready to use default gradients that you can select for your slide background. However, we recommend that you do not use any of these presets since they typically are too crowded and intense to work well as backgrounds.

    Note: When you are applying gradient fills to your slide backgrounds, within the Type drop-down list (Option B), you will find a new type -- Shade from title, other than the regular Linear, Radial, Rectangular, and Path types.

    The Shade from title gradient type is unique to slide backgrounds, and does not show up in any of the other slide objects that can be filled with gradients. That's because only slides have titles, and depending upon the layout you choose or customize, the title could be anywhere on the slide -- it could be on the top, middle, or bottom of the slide. Depending upon where your slide title is located, the Shade from title gradient type applies a gradient fill to the background that begins from the slide title and ends on the edges of the slide. Figure 2 below shows variations in the various layouts when we applied a gradient slide background with the Shade from title type selected.

    Variations in different slide layouts when Shade from title gradient style is selected
    Figure 2: Variations in different slide layouts when Shade from title gradient type is selected


    In addition, options F through I are related to Gradient stops -- this concept is explained within our Gradient Stops in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.

  3. Set the gradient fill as required using the options available -- thereafter apply the gradient fill to your slides by clicking either:

    1. The Close button to fill selected slides in the presentation with the gradient fill. If you don't have multiple slides selected, the gradient fill will be applied to the active slide only.

    2. The Apply to All button to fill all slides in the presentation with the gradient fill.

      More details about the Close and Apply to All buttons can be found in our Format Slide Background tutorial.
  4. In Figure 3 you can see the slide background of the entire presentation filled with a gradient.

    Presentation with a gradient fill color background
    Figure 3: Presentation with a gradient fill color background

  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

 

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Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

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