The Evolution of Office Themes
Learn about Office Themes and how they work specifically in versions of PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007and 2010 for Windows,
and Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 and 2011 for Mac
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS X
September 12th 2008
December 23rd 2010
Evolution is an interesting concept because it's the change that's natural, logical, and involved. And although Themes (Office Themes) did not exist in their present form before Office 2007 for Windows, they did evolve from the humble PowerPoint template. And as you get more deeper into how Themes work, you'll find that PowerPoint uses these Themes in amazing ways, and shares them with Word and Excel. That's the reason they are called Office Themes rather than PowerPoint Themes.
In this series of articles on Office Themes, I'll essentially look at three aspects:
- What comprises a Theme?
- How you can create a Theme.
- Refining and Fine-tuning Themes.
Tens of pages discuss these topics -- look at the Themes index page for a detailed listing of pages.
Before that, let us understand what Office Themes are.
What's an Office Theme?
Office Themes are special files that are denoted by their THMX file extensions -- they contain important information on document backgrounds, effects, fills, lines, colors, and fonts. When placed in a designated folder, these THMX Theme files show up as thumbnails within the Theme Gallery of the last few Office (2007 and 2010 for Windows, and Office 2008 and 2011 for Mac) programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (see Figure 1). Click on the thumbnail, and the related Theme gets applied to the entire document or selected parts.
Figure 1: The Themes gallery in PowerPoint 2007
In some ways, this seems to work like magic -- but it really doesn't appear out of thin air. Behind this magical metamorphosis of document looks lie deep secrets rooted within the very THMX files -- and this series of pages and tutorials will make you aware of what happens behind the scenes.
Where are the Office Themes located?
Depending upon where you installed Microsoft Office, the Themes may be located in one of the subfolders. By default, this translates to this folder location:
Office 2013 on Windows 7 and 8: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\Document Themes 15
Office 2011 on Mac OS X: Macintosh HD:Applications:Microsoft Office:Office:Media:Templates:Office Themes
Office 2010 on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 14
Office 2008 on Mac OS X: Macintosh HD:Applications:Microsoft Office:Office:Media:Templates:Office Themes
Office 2007 on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 12
Note: These paths assume that you installed to your C drive (on Windows) or the Macintosh HD drive (on Mac OS X) -- if you installed to another drive, you will substitute the drive in your path. Also, you may have changed the name of your Microsoft Office folder to Microsoft Office 2007 or a similar name for other versions of Microsoft Office -- in that case, your paths may differ on account of different folder names.
Where are the Themes you create within PowerPoint (or Word and Excel) located?
Although these can be saved to any folder you want, it's best you save them to a folder that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 knows about:
Office 2013 on Windows 7 and 8: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes
Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows Vista, 7, and 8: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes
Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes
Office 2008 or 2011 on Mac OS X: The user's designated My Themes folder.
Note: Substitute <username> with a folder typically named after the user -- most of the time, this could be your name.
Next Topic: Themes in Microsoft Office
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