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In your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, you can change your slides’ background to a picture, solid color fill, gradient fill, texture fill, and even pattern fill. You can apply a custom background to all or select slides in your presentation. Here’s how.

RELATED: How to Use an Image as the Background in PowerPoint

Change the Background for Select Slides in PowerPoint

To use a custom background only for select slides, first, open your presentation with the Microsoft PowerPoint app.

When PowerPoint launches, in the ribbon at the top, click the “View” tab.

On the “View” tab, in the far left corner, click “Normal” to view your presentation in a normal mode.

Select "Normal" in the "View" tab.

From the slides list to the left of your screen, select the slides in which you want to use a custom background. To select multiple slides, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) while clicking slides.

Select slides in the presentation.

Once your slides are selected, in PowerPoint’s ribbon at the top, click the “Design” tab.

Access the "Design" tab at the top.

On the “Design” tab, from the “Customize” section, select “Format Background.”

To the right of PowerPoint’s interface, you will see a “Format Background” pane. Here, in the “Fill” section, you will select a custom background for your slides.

Your options are:

  • Solid Fill: To apply a single solid color fill to your slides, choose this option.
  • Gradient Fill: To use a gradient color fill, select this option.
  • Picture or Texture Fill: If you’d like to use an image or texture as your slides’ background, click this option. You can then select an image by clicking “Insert” or choose a texture by clicking “Texture.”
  • Pattern Fill: To use one of PowerPoint’s several textures as your background, select this option.

Choose a background.

Your changes will reflect on your slides in real-time. When you have finished configuring your custom background, close the “Format Background” pane by clicking “X” in the pane’s top-right corner.

And that’s it. Don’t forget to save your presentation to keep your changes.

In a similar way, you can also change the background in Google Slides.

RELATED: How to Change the Background in Google Slides

Add a Background for All Slides in PowerPoint

You can configure a single custom background and apply it to all the slides in your current presentation. This saves you a lot of time as you do not have to manually edit each slide’s background.

To do so, open your presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint. In the app’s ribbon at the top, click the “Design” tab.

Choose the "Design" tab at the top.

On the “Design” tab, in the “Customize” section, click “Format Background.”

On the right of your screen, a “Format Background” pane will open. In this pane, using the “Fill” section, you will specify a background for all your slides.

The options you can choose from are:

  • Solid Fill: Use this option to apply a solid color fill to all your slides.
  • Gradient Fill: Select this option to apply a gradient color fill to all your slides.
  • Picture or Texture Fill: To use an image or a texture as the background, click this option. You can then click “Insert” to add a picture to use as your background, or click “Texture” to use a texture as your slides’ background.
  • Pattern Fill: Click this option to view various patterns that you can use as the background for your presentation.

Specify a background.

Once you have configured your background, apply it to all your slides by clicking “Apply to All” at the bottom of the “Format Background” pane.

And instantly, all the slides in your presentation will start using the newly specified background. Happy presenting!


If you often use a specific style for your presentations, it is worth creating a custom PowerPoint template to then base all your presentations on it.

RELATED: How to Create a Custom Template in PowerPoint

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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