Software

Use a small picture as a slide's background in PowerPoint

Learn how to use a small image file to fill a slide's background. The results are creative and unique!

PowerPoint provides a number of pre-defined backgrounds but you might want to use an image of your own. Fortunately, PowerPoint is accommodating; it's easy to repeat a custom image across a slide's background. For instance, the following image is a .png file created in Paint. PowerPoint will have no problem working with it. This file is relatively small at 182 by 282 pixels and 2881 bytes. Work with the smallest files possible.

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Once you have an image file, you're ready to insert it, as follows:

  1. Right-click a slide's background and choose Format Background.
  2. Click the Picture Or Texture Fill option.
  3. Click the File button (under Insert From).
  4. Use the Insert Picture dialog to locate the file. Select the file and click Insert.
  5. Click the Tile Picture As Texture option.
  6. Click Close to apply to the current slide. Click Apply to All and then click Close to apply to all the slides in the presentation.

It takes a few more clicks in PowerPoint 2003:

  1. Right-click a slide's background and choose Background.
  2. Click the dropdown under Background Fill and choose Fill Effects.
  3. Click the Texture tab and then click the Other Texture button.
  4. Use the Select Texture dialog to locate the file. Select the file and click Insert.
  5. Click OK and then click one of the Apply or Apply To All.

To save the background as a separate file, right-click the background and choose Save Background.

The image in this example is to busy to actually use as a background. The busy-ness of this example simply shows how easy it is to work with an abstract pattern. Insert the file as a texture and PowerPoint does all the rest. It couldn't be simpler!

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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