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Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to apply pattern fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Patterns are small in size, and spread repeatedly over the entire expanse of a slide.

Pattern fills are the last of the various fill options for slide backgrounds we have explored to use in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Patterns in PowerPoint are two-color designs comprising lines, dots, dashes, checks, etc. PowerPoint includes 48 such patterns with names like Plaid, Weaves, Shingle, and Zigzag. This tutorial builds upon what you have already learned in the Format Slide Background tutorial, and shows how you can use pattern fills for your slide background. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. We assume you have created a new presentation, or you have opened one of your existing presentations and summoned the Format Background dialog box, as explained in our Format Slide Background tutorial. Alternatively, you can just right-click (or Ctrl + click) on an empty area of your slide and choose the Format Background option in the resultant contextual menu to bring up the same Format Background dialog box (see Figure 1, below).

  2. Figure 1: Pattern tab selected within the Format Background dialog box
  3. Within the Format Background dialog box, make sure that the Fill option is active in the sidebar. Then, select the Pattern tab, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, above.
  4. Within the Pattern tab, you can see that all options except the Pattern previews are grayed out, (see Figure 1, above). Just click on any pattern preview, and all hitherto grayed out options will be available within the Pattern tab, as you can see in Figure 2.

  5. Figure 2: Pattern options within the Format Background dialog box
  6. When you select a pattern preview within the Pattern tab, the active slide's background changes to the selected pattern fill. Your slide background will auto-update with any changes you make in the Format Background dialog box.
  7. The options within the Pattern tab of Format Background dialog box are explained below, as marked in Figure 2, above:
  8. A. Pattern

  9. This area shows all the two-color pattern fills that PowerPoint provides. Just click on any of these pattern previews to select it as your slide background fill. When you select any of these previews, you can see the name of the pattern fill above the previews (highlighted in blue within Figure 2).


  10. B. Foreground color

  11. Click this button to bring up PowerPoint's Color drop-down gallery. Options in this drop-down gallery are explained in our Solid Fills for Slide Background tutorial. Look between points 3A to 3E in that tutorial to learn how you can select a color. The color you finally choose will form the foreground color of your selected pattern. The dynamic preview on the slide will auto-update to the changed foreground color.
  12. C. Background color

  13. Opens the same Color drop-down gallery as the Foreground color option does, which has been explained above, in sub-point B. The color you finally choose here will form the background color of your selected pattern. The dynamic preview on the slide will auto-update to the changed background color.
  14. Set the pattern fill as required using the options available. Thereafter, apply the chosen pattern fill to your slides by selecting either of the following options:
  15. The Apply button to fill selected slides in the presentation with the pattern fill. If you don't have multiple slides selected, the pattern fill will be applied to the active slide only.
  16. The Apply to All button to fill all slides in the presentation with the pattern fill.
  17. More details about the Apply and Apply to All buttons can be found in our Format Slide Background tutorial.
  18. In Figure 3, below you can see that slide background is filled with a pattern.

  19. Figure 3: Slide with a pattern fill background
  20. Remember to save your presentation often.

See Also:

Fills for Slide Background: Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds (Glossary Page)

Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Pattern Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows