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The Evolution of Office Themes

Learn about Office Themes and how they work specifically in versions of PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007 and higher for Windows, and PowerPoint 2008 and higher for Mac
OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher, or Apple Mac OS X

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. And as you get 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.

Tens of pages discuss these topics -- look at the Themes index page for a detailed listing of 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 -- they 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 the last few Office (2007 and 2010 for Windows, and Office 2008 and 2011 for Mac) programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (see Figure 1). Click on the thumbnail, and the related Theme gets applied to the entire document or selected parts.

The Themes gallery in PowerPoint 2007
Figure 1: The Themes gallery in PowerPoint 2007

In some ways, this 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.

Where are the Office Themes located?

Depending upon where you installed Microsoft Office, the Themes may be located in one of the subfolders. By default, this translates to these folder locations:

Office 2016 on Windows 7, 8, and 10: Multiple locations may contain the Themes installed with the program:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\Document Themes 16
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 16
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Document Themes 16
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 16
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ 16\Managed\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ 16\User\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ 16\Managed\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
List of LocaleIDs

Office 2013 on Windows 7, 8, and 10: Multiple locations may contain the Themes installed with the program:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Root\Document Themes 15
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 15
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Document Themes 15
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 15
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ 15\User\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ Managed\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
  • C:\Users\˂Username˃\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Templates\LiveContent\ 15\Managed\Document Themes\˂LocaleID˃
List of LocaleIDs

Office 2011 on Mac OS X:
Macintosh HD:Applications:Microsoft Office:Office:Media:Templates:Office Themes

Office 2010 on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 14

Office 2008 on Mac OS X:
Macintosh HD:Applications:Microsoft Office:Office:Media:Templates:Office Themes

Office 2007 on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 12

Note: These paths assume that you installed to your C drive (on Windows) or the Macintosh HD drive (on Mac OS X) -- if you installed to another drive, you will substitute the drive in your path. Also, you may have changed the name of your Microsoft Office folder to Microsoft Office 2007 or a similar name for other versions of Microsoft Office -- in that case, your paths may differ on account of different folder names.

Where are the Themes you create within PowerPoint (or Word and Excel) located?

Although these can be saved to any folder you want, it's best you save them to a folder that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint knows about:

Office 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016 on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10:
C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes

Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

Office 2008 or 2011 on Mac OS X:
The user's designated My Themes folder.

Note: Substitute <Username> with a folder typically named after the user -- most of the time, this could be your name.

In addition to Themes (THMX files), you can also save POTX (PowerPoint templates) in some locations so that they show up as options, based on which you can create new presentations in PowerPoint.

Office 2007 or 2010 on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10:

Next Topic: Themes in Microsoft Office

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Online for Windows and Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.

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©2000-2018, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

since November 02, 2000