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Black Interface in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply the new Black interface to all your Office 2016 for Windows programs.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher






By default, the PowerPoint 2016 Ribbon area is placed against an orange backdrop, as shown in Figure 1, below. This orange color shows up because the default Office Theme named Colorful is applied to the interface. So why is the Theme named Colorful when it is just a plain orange backdrop? That's because any Theme you apply to an interface of an Office 2016 program influences all other programs. For instance, Word 2016 sports a blue backdrop while Excel uses green.

PowerPoint 2016 interface with the default Colorful Office Theme applied
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2016 interface with the default Colorful Office Theme applied

In addition to the color interface options previously available for all Office programs, Office 2016 has introduced a new Office Theme named Black for the interface color. The Black Theme provides highest contrast for the interface elements. In this tutorial, let's explore how you can apply this new Black Theme within PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. Follow these steps:

  1. Open an existing presentation or create a new one in PowerPoint 2016. Click the File tab of the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2.

    File tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: File tab of the Ribbon
  2. This brings up the Backstage View, as shown in Figure 3. Select Options, (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

    Options within the Backstage View
    Figure 3: Options within the Backstage View
  3. This brings up the PowerPoint Options dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Make sure that the General option is selected within the sidebar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4. Now locate and click the Office Theme selection box as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4.

    PowerPoint Options dialog box
    Figure 4: PowerPoint Options dialog box
  4. This opens the Office Theme drop-down menu as shown in Figure 5.

    Black option within the Office Theme drop-down menu
    Figure 5: Black option within the Office Theme drop-down menu

    There is another way to access the Office Theme drop-down menu -- first select the the Account option within the Backstage View as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 6, and then click the Office Theme selection box as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

    Office Theme menu accessed through Account option
    Figure 6: Office Theme menu accessed through Account option
  5. Within the the Office Theme drop-down menu, select the Black option (refer to Figures 5 and 6, above). This will change the interface color of PowerPoint 2016 to black as shown in Figure 7 -- compare with Figure 1, shown earlier on this page.

    PowerPoint 2016 interface color changed to black
    Figure 7: PowerPoint 2016 interface color changed to black
  6. Save your presentation often.

You can similarly change the interface color to Dark Gray and White as well, although the White option may not be too pleasant to your eyes!

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