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Change Background Styles for Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to apply Background Styles to individual Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






When you change the Background Style of the Slide Master, the Background Style for all dependent Slide Layouts will also change. However, it is not necessary for all your Slide Layouts to possess the same Background Style as the Slide Master. Each Slide Layout can overrule the Slide Master and have its own independent Background Style, as you will learn in the rest of this tutorial. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Open a presentation in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. Access the View tab of the Ribbon and click the Slide Master button, shown highlighted in blue within Figure 1.

    Slide Master button within the View tab
    Figure 1: Slide Master button within the View tab
  2. This opens the Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 2. In Slide Master view, you'll see that the left pane contains two distinctly different elements: a larger thumbnail representing the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 2) and several smaller slide thumbnails below representing individual Slide Layouts (highlighted in blue within Figure 2).

    Slide Master view within PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Slide Master and Slide Layouts within PowerPoint

    Note: In hierarchy terms, Slide Layouts are dependent for their appearance on the Slide Master although you can individually override these dependencies.
  3. Now, select any of the Slide Layout(s) for which you want to change the Background Style. For this tutorial we have selected the Title and Content Slide Layout, as shown in Figure 3. The orange highlight around the layout thumbnail indicates that it has been selected, as shown in Figure 3. Next, click the Background Styles button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

    Background Styles button within Slide Master view
    Figure 3: Background Styles button within Slide Master view
  4. This brings up the Background Styles drop-down gallery with 12 default slide background styles (highlighted in red within Figure 4). Click on the style of your choice to apply it to the selected Slide Layout. In Figure 4, you can see Style 8 being selected.

    Background Styles drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: Background Styles drop-down gallery

    Note: These 12 default styles change when you apply a different Theme to your presentation. Also, do you see the Format Background and Reset Slide Background options (highlighted in blue within Figure 4, above) below the Background Style thumbnails? These options are explained in our Custom Backgrounds in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial. In the same tutorial, we also explain the Reset Slide Background option, which is used to reset the slide background to it original status, on a particular slide layout.
  5. This will apply the selected background style to the selected Slide Layout, as shown in Figure 5 (compare Figures 3 and 5). Note that any changes you made to the Slide Layout do not influence the Slide Master or even any other Slide Layout. However, if you change the Background Style of the Slide Master now, that will reset the Background Styles of all Slide Layouts irrespective of any changes you may have made to them individually.

    Background Style applied to the Title and Content Slide Layout
    Figure 5: Background Style applied to the Title and Content Slide Layout
  6. Click either the Close Master View button (highlighted in blue within Figure 5, above). This will get you back to Normal view, where you can see the new Background Style applied to your slide, as shown in Figure 6. Note that for this tutorial we selected the Title and Content Layout within the Slide Master view. Now within the Normal view, you can see the changed background slide since the first slide of a presentation typically uses the Title and Content Layout (highlighted in blue within Figure 6).

    Slides in Normal View reflecting the changes made in Master View
    Figure 6: Slides in Normal View reflecting the changes made in Master View
  7. Save your presentation often.
Note: Do you want to use a background for your Slide Master that's not part of Background Styles (maybe something you created, or even a picture)? You can learn how to do that in our Custom Backgrounds in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial.

See Also:

Change Background Styles for Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Change Background Styles for Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Background Styles for Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Change Background Styles for Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Jigsaw Graphics for PowerPoint

Here are 10 jigsaw graphics containing different shapes. These graphics are available in both black and white and are contained within separate sample presentations that you download. Additionally, these jigsaw graphics are vector shapes, so you can easily edit them within your Microsoft Office program by changing fills, lines, and effects or even applying Shape Styles.

Download and use these Jigsaw Graphics in your slides for just $4.99+


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