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Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Explore different options to format the slide background in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Choosing the right background is an important design decision.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint 2013 provides twelve default Slide Background Styles, much like the previous two versions. Apart from these Styles, you can continue changing the default Slide Background to something else such as a solid color or gradient, a pattern or a texture, or, even a picture. In this tutorial, we'll explore these options that can be accessed within the Format Background pane.

Note: Any changes you make beyond the 12 Background Styles are changes that override the active Theme of your presentation. To get back to the defaults, just choose any one of the 12 Background Styles again, this effectively acts as a Reset option.

Follow these steps to change the background of your slides beyond the default Background Styles:

  1. Create a new presentation or open an existing presentation. Select the Design tab of the Ribbon, and click the Format Background button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.

    Format Background button within the Design tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 1: Format Background button within the Design tab of the Ribbon

    Alternatively, right-click anywhere on an empty area of the slide to get a contextual menu. Within this menu select Format Background option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    Format Background option to be selected
    Figure 2: Format Background option to be selected
  2. This brings up the Format Background Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3.

    Format Background Task Pane
    Figure 3: Format Background Task Pane

    Options within the Format Background task pane are explained below, as marked in Figure 3, you can use any of these options to change your Slide Background, these options listed below provide links to detailed tutorials:

    A. Solid Fill:

    Adds a solid color background to your slide, you can use any of the Theme colors, Standard colors, or any other color of your choice. To learn more about this option, read our Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

    B. Gradient Fill:

    Applies a gradient as a slide background, a gradient is a blend of two or more colors merging into each other. For more information on this option, refer to our Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

    C. Picture or Texture Fill:

    Allows you to use a picture or a texture as a background. More info can be found in our Picture Fills for Slide Backgrounds and Texture Fills for Slide Backgrounds tutorials.

    D. Pattern Fill:

    Choose from 48 different patterns contained within PowerPoint. Learn more in our Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds tutorial.

    E. Hide Background Graphics:

    If your Slide Background includes graphics which you want to hide for printing purposes, or another reason, you can select this check-box. Although the background graphics will remain part of your presentation, it will be hidden from view. Compare Figures 4 and 5 below to understand the difference this option makes to the visual look of your slides.

    Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box deselected
    Figure 4: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box deselected

    Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box selected
    Figure 5: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box selected

    F. Apply to All:

    Click this button if you want changes made to be applied to all slides within the active presentation.

    G. Reset Background:

    If you want to abandon all changes you made to the Slide Background, click the Reset Background button. Note that this button will be grayed out unless you make some changes to the Slide Background.

    You will also find this option within the Background Styles gallery with a different name - Reset Slide Background (highlighted in red within Figure 6). To access the Background Styles gallery, refer to our Slide Background Styles in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

    Reset Slide Background option within Background Styles gallery
    Figure 6: Reset Slide Background option within the Background Styles gallery

  3. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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