Although there’s not a specific command to add a border to a whole slide, there are a couple of ways you can make it happen. One way is to create a border using the outline of a shape. The second is to use the Bing Image Search feature built into PowerPoint to search for and insert a border. Let’s see how it’s done.

Adding a Border to a Slide Using a Shape Outline

Open up your presentation and select the slide to which you want to add a border.

Switch to the “Insert” tab and then click the “Shapes” button. Select a shape from the Rectangles category. In this example, we’re using a basic rectangle with squared edges.

A crosshair symbol displays. Using your mouse, position the crosshair symbol on the upper-left corner of your slide.

Press and drag your mouse to draw a rectangle shape to encompass your whole slide. Release your mouse to finish drawing. If you don’t get the positioning right on the first try, you can grab any of the handles on the shape and drag them to resize.

Now that you’ve got the size of the border right, you’ll want to eliminate the background color from the shape. On the “Format” tab, click the “Shape Fill” button and then click the “No Fill” command from the drop-down menu.

By default, your rectangle shape has a thin border, but you can make it thicker if you want. On the Format tab, click the “Shape Outline” button. On the drop-down menu that appears, point to the “Weight” option and then select a thickness for your border. In this example, we’re going with a 6 pt thickness. The result is a thick border around your slide.

Want an even thicker border? On that “Shape Outline” drop-down menu, click the “More Lines” command to open the Format Shape pane. In the “Line” section of that pane, you can adjust the adjust the “Width” setting to whatever you like either by entering a point size or clicking on the up and down arrows. In this example, we increased the width to 20 pt.

To add the border to additional slides, select your shape and then click the “Copy” button on the “Home” tab (or just hit Ctrl+C). Switch to a different slide and then click the “Paste” button (or press Ctrl+V).

Searching for a Border via Bing Image Search

Rather than adding a simple shape outline for a border, you can also search for a fancier border image. Select the slide where you want to add a border, switch to the “Insert” tab, and then click the “Online Pictures” button.

Enter a search phrase, such as “line borders” or “flower borders” in the Bing Image Search box, and then click “Search” (or press Enter).

Click on a border you like and then click “Insert” to add it to your slide.

That’s all there is to it!

We do have another little bonus tip for you. If you’re using a background image on your slide and all you want is a white border around it, you don’t even need to add a border. You can resize your background image so that it’s slightly smaller than your slide. Doing so gives the illusion that’s there’s a white border around your slides. Take a look:

Pretty neat!

Profile Photo for Amelia Griggs Amelia Griggs
Amelia Griggs is a Learning Design and Development specialist, Instructional Designer, Writer, and "Authorpeneuer." She enjoys researching, designing, and developing all kinds of educational materials, problem-solving, helping and training others to understand technology better, writing instructional articles, blogging, and composing fictional short stories.
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