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Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Explore different options to format the slide background in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. Choosing the right background is an important design decision.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X




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PowerPoint provides twelve default Slide Background Styles. Apart from applying these default Styles, you can also change 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 Task 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 action effectively acts as a Reset option.

Follow these steps to change the background of your slides beyond the default Background Styles in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  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 blue within Figure 1.
  2. Format Background button within the Design tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 1: Format Background button within the Design tab of the Ribbon
  3. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl + click) anywhere on an empty area of the slide to bring up the contextual menu. Within this menu, select the Format Background option, as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Format Background option
    Figure 2: Format Background option
  5. This brings up the Format Background Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3.
  6. Format Background Task Pane
    Figure 3: Format Background Task Pane
  7. 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. Options listed below provide links to detailed tutorials:
  8. A. Solid fill

  9. This option 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 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  10. B. Gradient fill

  11. This option 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 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  12. C. Picture or Texture fill

  13. This option 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.
  14. D. Pattern fill

  15. Choose from 48 different patterns contained within PowerPoint. Learn more in our Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds tutorial.
  16. E. Hide Background Graphics

  17. 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.
  18. Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box deselected
    Figure 4: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box deselected
  19. Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box selected
    Figure 5: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box selected
  20. F. Apply to All

  21. Click this button if you want changes made to be applied to all slides within the active presentation.
  22. G. Reset Background

  23. 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.
  24. 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 learn how to access the Background Styles gallery, refer to our Slide Background Styles in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.
  25. Reset Slide Background option within the Background Styles gallery
    Figure 6: Reset Slide Background option within the Background Styles gallery
  26. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Fills for Slide Background: Format Slide Background (Glossary Page)

Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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