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Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore different options to format the slide background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Choosing the right background is an important design decision.

Apart from selecting one of the twelve default slide Background Styles available in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, you can also change the default slide background to something else such as another solid color or gradient, a pattern or a texture, or, even a picture. In this tutorial, you will learn about these options, that can be accessed within the Format Background dialog box. All these options can be used to change the look of the slide background in PowerPoint.

Note: Any changes you make beyond the 12 Background Styles options are changes that override the active Theme of your presentation. To get back to the defaults, just choose any 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 styles:

  1. Create a new presentation or open an existing presentation. Select the Themes tab of the Ribbon, and click on the Background button that you can see highlighted in red within Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Background button within the Themes tab
  3. This opens the Background drop-down gallery with 12 Background Styles. For now, select the Format Background option as shown in Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Format Background option within the Background drop-down gallery
  5. This launches the Format Background dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.

  6. Figure 3: Format Background dialog box
  7. The options within the Format Background dialog box are explained below, as marked in Figure 3, above. You can use any of these options to change your slide background.
  8. A. Solid

  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. Learn more about solid fills for slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
  10. B. Gradient

  11. This option applies a gradients as slide background. A gradient is a blend of two or more colors merging into each other. Explore more in our Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial


  12. C. Picture or Texture

  13. This option allows you to use a picture or a texture as a slide background. To learn more, read our Picture Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac and Texture Fills for Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorials.
  14. D. Pattern

  15. Choose from 48 two-colored patterns contained within PowerPoint. In our Add Pattern Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial you can explore more about this option.
  16. E. Hide Background Graphics

  17. If your slide background includes graphics that you want to hide for printing purposes, or for some other reason, you can select the Hide Background Graphics check-box. Although the background graphics will remain as 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. Figure 4: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box not selected

  19. Figure 5: Slide background with Hide Background Graphics check-box selected
  20. Note: The Hide Background Graphics option can also be found within the Background drop-down gallery as you can see in Figure 6. However, if this option is already selected, you will see the Show Background Graphics option in the place of Hide Background Graphics option.

  21. Figure 6: Hide Background Graphics option within the Background drop-down gallery
  22. F. Cancel

  23. If you want to abandon all changes you made to the slide background, click the Cancel button.
  24. G. Apply to All

  25. Make changes as required, and click this button if you want the changes to be applied to all slides within the active presentation.
  26. H. Apply

  27. Click this button to apply the changes made only to the active slide (or selected slides).
  28. I. Background Picture Editing Options

  29. If you have used a picture as a slide background (or as a part of the slide background), you can make adjustments to that picture with the help of the Adjust Picture option that you can see in the sidebar of the Format Background dialog box (highlighted in green within Figure 3, shown previously on this page). To learn more about this option, refer to our Adjust Picture used as Slide Background in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.
  30. 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 2016 for Mac
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows