Creating a Custom Background Image with PowerPoint

Today, I received a PPT question from a friend I met back in college. Her question was a good one and since I don’t have an email address for her and since some of you might be wondering the same thing I decided to share my answer with you here. Her note is below.

“I am working on powerpoint slides for work using MS Office 2007. It is rather difficult to design templates with boxes of color, etc. Do you have any tips for creating your own templates solely using powerpoint? I know there’s a way to design a template and then imprint it into the back of the slide, but I can never seem to figure it out.

“Hope that makes sense, and hope you can help.”

The answer involves simply taking advantage of two capabilities of PowerPoint: 1) Saving slides as an image, and then 2) Adding a custom background image. My reply is below.

“It sounds to me like what you are trying to do is to customize your background by uploading an image, but you want to create that image in PPT. I hope that defines your problem accurately.

“If so, I think you’re in luck. What you’ll need to do is start by creating the slide normally by adding whatever lines, boxes, etc. you want. Once you have the background looking just the way you want, click “Save As…” and choose JPEG for your file format. This will save every slide in your presentation (hopefully only one in your case)as a JPEG (picture) file. Save the picture wherever you like, but don’t forget where you saved it.

“Next, you just need to upload that image you just created as the background of the slides in your presentation. You can do this just as you would with any image. Open a new presentation and follow the steps at the following link to help you make that image the background of all of your slides.”

Add a background to your presentation

“Also, if you’d like some pointers on how best to design your background or template, you might pick up Nancy Duarte’s book, Slide:logy. If you don’t want to buy it you can probably find it at the library or almost certainly just sit with it in Barnes and Noble for a few minutes. Chapter ten is all about templates and should give you lots of pointers.”

Hopefully that helped her, and if you’re in a similar situation, will help you, too.

  • Meredith Qualls

    thanks for your help, nick! exactly what i needed.

  • Nick Smith

    Great! Glad you found it here and glad it helped.