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Adjust Picture Used as Slide Background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Correct fills for slide backgrounds with the Adjust Picture option in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






There are plenty of options in PowerPoint to make your slide background look great. Other than the default slide background styles, you can also explore solid, gradient, picture fills, texture fills, and pattern fills for your slide backgrounds. Among these alternatives, picture fills can look the most spectacular, but they can end up looking the most distracting as well. Clearly, there has to be some careful thought before you decide on a picture that's suitable as a slide background. In Figure 1, the sample slide towards the left uses a picture fill that looks great as a slide background while the sample slide towards the right uses a much busier picture that is not very clear, note that both slides contain the same text, but it is hardly readable on the slide towards the right.

Slides using different pictures as slide background fill
Figure 1: Slides using different pictures as slide background fill

In situation like this, where you have to use a picture fill like the one that you see towards right in Figure 1, you can do some corrections to the picture to make it more useable as a background fill. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Adjust Picture option to make corrections to the picture used as a background fill. Follow these steps to explore more:

  1. We assume you have already applied a picture fill for your slide background. Now, summon the Format Background dialog box, as explained in our Format Slide Background tutorial. Alternatively, you can just right-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 in Figure 2, below).

  2. Within the sidebar of the Format Background dialog box, select the Adjust Picture option that has been highlighted in red within Figure 2. This brings up the Adjust Picture options for the picture used as the slide background fill, as you can see in Figure 2.

    Adjust Picture options within the Format Background dialog box
    Figure 2: Adjust Picture options within the Format Background dialog box

    These Adjust Picture options have been explained below, as marked in Figure 2:

    A. Transparency:

    This option won't work with the pictures used as a slide background. If you want to change the transparency level of the picture used as a slide background, first select the Fill option within the sidebar (highlighted in green within Figure 3). Thereafter, select the Picture or Texture tab as shown in Figure 3.

    Transparency slider within the Picture or Texture tab
    Figure 3: Transparency slider within the Picture or Texture tab

    Within this tab, you can adjust the transparency value of the picture used as a slide background, with the help of the Transparency slider, highlighted in red within Figure 3, above. If you do not want to use the slider, enter the values in the box next to the slider, or use the up and down arrows next to the box to increase or decrease the transparency percentage value as required, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above.

    B. Corrections:

    Make changes to the Brightness, Contrast, and Sharpen values for the picture fill for slide background, as required. You can either use the sliders or directly type in the values within the box next to the slider, or use the up and down arrows next to the box to increase or decrease the Corrections options percentage value as required.

    C. Color:

    Note that the Recolor option brings up a drop-down list, however, even if you click on any of the preset Recolor variations within the drop-down list, you will still see the No Recolor default option chosen, so, this Recolor option is either faulty or broken in PowerPoint 2011. The other options in this area do work though, you can make changes to the Saturation and Temperature values using sliders, or directly typing in the values within the box next to the slider, or use the up and down arrows next to the box to increase or decrease the Color options percentage value as required.

    D. Reset:

    If you have made some changes to the picture fill but not happy with the result and want to cancel the changes made, click the Reset button. This cancels the changes without closing the Format Background dialog box. Now can start making changes once again.

    Note that when you are making changes within the Format Background dialog box, your slide background will auto-update.
  3. Once you are happy with the output, apply the changes to the picture fill used as a slide background by clicking either:

    i. The Apply button so that the change will be applied to selected slides in the presentation with the picture fill. If you don't have multiple slides selected, the change will be applied to the active slide only.

    ii. The Apply to All button so that the change will be applied to all slides in the presentation with the picture fill.

    More details about the Apply and Apply to All buttons can be found in our Format Slide Background tutorial.
  4. In Figure 4, you can see the slide with corrected picture fill background. Compare it with the sample slide towards right within Figure 1, above.

    Slide with corrected picture fill background
    Figure 4: Slide with corrected picture fill background
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

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