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Using the Variants on the Design tab, you can create a PowerPoint theme with your own style. Save the theme and reuse it for future presentations to build your brand with a consistent appearance.

Do you often find yourself tweaking the cosmetic elements of your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to get a consistent look throughout? Rather than change each element on your slide individually, you can save time by making and applying your own theme.

What Is a Theme in PowerPoint?

Different than a template (which includes slide layouts), a PowerPoint theme is a collection of colors, fonts, and backgrounds. The collection is saved in PowerPoint so you can retrieve and reuse the theme again and again across PPTX files.

While PowerPoint offers premade themes you can use, it’s also possible to preload the exact colors and fonts you want by creating a custom theme for a consistent appearance throughout. Whether you want your school colors or those that compliment your company logo, we’ll show you how to make a PowerPoint theme of your own.

How to Create a PowerPoint Theme

To get started, you can select one of the premade themes. If there’s one that has a color or design you want to use, this is ideal. But if not, don’t worry because you can change each element of the theme to your liking.

PowerPoint Themes

Choose the Colors

Open your slideshow in PowerPoint and go to the Design tab. You can use the Themes box to select a premade theme as the base for your custom theme if you like. Otherwise, select the arrow on the bottom right of the Variants box.

RELATED: How to Change the Background in Microsoft PowerPoint

Variants box arrow

Move to Colors. If you’d like to start with a particular color scheme you see, beside the default Office scheme, select it. Choose “Customize Colors” at the bottom of the drop-down box.

Customize Colors in the Colors menu

Use the Create New Theme Colors box that opens to pick your colors for each of the options. You can select a color for the text and background, various accents, and hyperlinks (followed and unfollowed). As you choose your colors, you’ll see the previews on the right side.

Create New Theme Colors box

If you want to use a custom color for an option, pick “More Colors” at the bottom of the palette. Then, use the Standard or Custom tab to choose the color. If you want to use a hex code or specific RGB or HSL settings, use the Custom tab. Click “OK” to save your color.

Custom color boxes

When you finish, enter a title for the customized color scheme in the Name box at the bottom. Then, click “Save.” If you decide to start over, simply select “Reset” on the bottom left to begin again.

Name and save the custom colors

Select the Fonts

Next, you can choose the heading and body fonts for your theme. On the Design tab, select the Variants arrow like you did for the colors. Move to Fonts and pick “Customize Fonts” at the bottom.

RELATED: How to Change the Default Font in PowerPoint

Customize Fonts in the Fonts menu

Use the Create New Theme Fonts box to pick the Heading Font and Body Font on the left. You’ll see a preview with your choices to the right.

Then, give the custom font set a title in the Name box and click “Save.”

Choose, name, and save custom fonts

Pick the Effects

If you want to add a set of effects to your theme, other than the default Office effects, you can do this as well. Effects include shadows, lines, fills, and reflections.

Open the Variants drop-down menu and select Effects. Then, choose one from the list of options. You can’t currently customize the effects like you can colors and fonts.

Effects for a theme

Save Your Theme

Once you have everything set up for your theme, it’s time to save it in the Slide Master settings. This lets you use it in future PowerPoint slideshows as well as the current one.

RELATED: How to Create a Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint

Go to the View tab and select “Slide Master” in the Master Views section of the ribbon.

Slide Master on the View tab

Click the Themes drop-down box in the Edit Theme section of the ribbon. Choose “Save Current Theme” at the bottom of the list.

Save Current Theme in the Themes menu

You should see the default location as Microsoft > Templates > Document Themes. Give the theme a name in the File Name section and confirm the Save As Type as Office Theme. Click “Save.”

Save Current Theme dialog box

When you return to the presentation, click “Close Master View” in the ribbon.

Reuse a Custom Theme

Once you save your theme, you can use it in your next presentation if you like.

Head to the Design tab and open the Themes drop-down box. You should see your theme near the top in the Custom section. You can hover your cursor over it to confirm the name. Select it to apply it to your presentation.

Custom theme in the Themes menu

When you create custom PowerPoint themes, you can pick the exact colors, fonts, and backgrounds you want. Then, reuse the theme so that all of your presentations have a consistent appearance.

For more, look at how to set a custom template as the default in PowerPoint.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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