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The Evolution of Office Themes

Learn about Office Themes, and how they work, specifically in PowerPoint. We will cover much more about Office Themes, or Themes, in the rest of this series.

Evolution is an interesting concept because it's the change that's natural, logical, and involved. And although Themes (Office Themes) did not exist in their present form before Office 2007 for Windows, they did evolve from the humble PowerPoint template, which continues to co-exist and thrive.

As we explore deeper into how Themes work, you'll find that PowerPoint uses these Themes in amazing ways, and shares them with Word and Excel. That's the reason they are called Office Themes rather than PowerPoint Themes.

In this series of articles on Office Themes, we'll essentially look at three aspects:

  1. What comprises a Theme?
  2. How you can create a Theme.
  3. Refining and fine-tuning Themes.

Since tens of pages discuss these topics, you should look at the Themes index page for a detailed listing of these pages.

Before that, let us understand what Office Themes are.



What's an Office Theme?

Office Themes are special files that are denoted by their THMX file extensions. These THMX files contain important information on document backgrounds, effects, fills, lines, colors, and fonts. When placed in a designated folder, these THMX Theme files show up as thumbnails within the Theme Gallery of Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as shown in Figure 1, below.


Figure 1: The Themes gallery in PowerPoint 2007

Click on the thumbnail, and the related Theme gets applied to the entire document or selected parts.

In some ways, this application of Themes seems to work like magic, but it really doesn't appear out of thin air. Behind this magical metamorphosis of document looks lie deep secrets rooted within the very THMX files, and this series of pages and tutorials will make you aware of what happens behind the scenes.

In the next page on this series, we explore where Office Themes and templates are located.


Related Links: Gates, Sinofsky Tout Office-As-Platform | Themes in Microsoft Office


Theme Basics: The Evolution of Office Themes (Glossary Page)