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In PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author David Rivers demonstrates how to create effective slideshows and dynamic presentations using the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011. The course provides in-depth instructions for changing the look of presentations: using built-in and custom themes, formatting text, inserting tables and charts, adding pictures and SmartArt drawings, and adding animation. It also shows how to proof presentations and ready them for viewing, and gives details on the different ways to share presentations. Exercise files are included with the course.
Using themes in a presentation can really add excitement to that presentation, but if you want to tone it down a little, and you don't see a theme that's applicable, you can actually work with the background on your own. And that's we're going to do right now, continuing to work with our NewHire presentation. The first thing we're going to do though is remove the theme. Well, in a way we're actually going to change the theme by clicking the Themes tab on the Ribbon. Next we'll just click the dropdown arrow, so we can see a list of all of our themes. And the very first one under the Built-In group is White, and that really is kind of like having no theme at all.
So that is the default when you create a new blank presentation. It is a white background, and there are no graphics. It's kind of like working from scratch. Now it's time to adjust the background. And you'll notice in the Theme Options group in the Ribbon with the Themes tab still selected, we have a Background button. And when we click this, we're going to see some presets, and you can choose from these if you like, or you can go directly to formatting the background. But if you want to get a head start, maybe you like one of the gradients that you see here, like this one in the bottom right-hand corner, Style 12, I'll just select it, and it's automatically applied to your presentation.
Now we can fiddle around with colors and the gradient effect, for example. So let's go to the Background button again. This time we will select Format Background, and instead of starting from scratch here with nothing, you can see your color is already selected. We have some options across the top with Fill selected, Solid, Gradient, Picture or Texture, as well as Pattern. So with Solid selected, let's change the color. Maybe we like a dark green so we'll go down to the very darkest olive green Accent 3, Darker 50%.
So you can see what that looks like on the first slide. You would have to select Apply to All to apply it to every slide in your presentation. Clicking Apply will apply to the slide you're looking at, in this case our first slide. We can adjust the transparency of this if we wanted to, if you're going to use any graphics in the background. Let's just leave it at zero. Another option would be to add a little excitement to that background, which is currently solid, by using a gradient. And we did see some presets earlier, but now we can create our own, starting with the style. Click the style. That's currently showing None because we chose a solid background.
We have a Linear, which will go from top to bottom, or left to right; Radial, which will radiate from the center out; same thing for Rectangular but in a rectangular shape; Path you can choose the radiation; and you can have it radiate out from the title in your presentation. I'll just go to Radial right now, and you can see we can adjust the angle, which is currently set to 0 degrees. So if you look at it, it's actually going from left to right here, and the Direction is Upper Left Corner. That's where it's all starting, but if you wanted it to be centered, for example, you could do that.
Automatically, a new color has been added. There is our default color. And in the Gradient window, we see, on the left-hand side, an arrow that's selected. There is another marker on the right- hand side, which is not selected. So we want to make changes like to the colors, for example. Well, here on the left, we have our color showing up as that dark green. If we click the marker on the right, you'll see it's white, and we can change that. Let's choose perhaps a light green. So it's going from a dark green to a light green. You can see it's going from the center.
If you'd rather it be light in the center and dark in the edges, you can just switch these markers around, and you can adjust these by dragging them to a desired location. You get more of an effect when they're closer together and a more gradual effect when you spread them out. So that's not a bad effect right there. You can even add additional colors. Click the Add Color button. A new marker appears, and now you could throw in a third color if you needed to. And you could add all kinds of markers if you wanted to, to create a super effect. So now you've got these three, and it's just a subtle change that allows you to really customize your background.
And that's not have it too light in the center. We'll just move that left marker over a little bit and the center one over there. We want to be able to read the text. So that's just an example of a gradient. If you wanted to choose a picture, maybe you've got your own picture you can use that in the background or Choose From Textures, which are kind of like pictures, let's choose the From Texture button dropdown by clicking the arrows, and you'll see all the way from Newsprint down to the bottom. There is an arrow that allows you to scroll down to some Wood options.
So in our case maybe something like a Canvas would be good, so we select Canvas. You can see what that looks like on the first slide. And if you want to adjust the transparency with that, you could turn the tiling off, and you can see it's really just a bitmap image that's tiled together to create that canvas effect, so it looks much better when it's tiled. Let's choose something that is more appropriate, something maybe like Green Marble. That's a cool effect. Now if you wanted to, you could also choose patterns instead. And a pattern, as the name implies, is a number of different patterns to choose from. You can see bricks.
You can see we've got all kinds of cool stripes, and so on. None of these really work for our presentation, but you can change the colors, and if you wanted to use some green options here, for example, you could do that. Well let's go back to Picture or Texture, and we'll turn it back to that Green Marble and choose Apply to All, and it's applied to all of the slides in our presentation. So you really have full control over your background by using the Background button, kind of creating your own look and feel for your presentation.
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