Color Scheming

Color Scheming

Now that George has a good grip on which colors work well in which situation, he is ready to take the idea even further

Now that I know how to set up my presentation with my own set of colors, is there an easy way to save the color schemes? Since I don't know whether I will be presenting my plan to the whole group at once or via email to each member, I would really like to set up the presentation so I can switch between the two.

What George needs to set up are PowerPoint's Color Schemes. With Color Schemes, you can have several different schemes for each presentation created. What's more, after the schemes are created, the colors for a whole presentation can be changed.

Every presentation created in PowerPoint has one or more color schemes associated with it. These schemes can be viewed by right clicking on a slide and selecting Slide Color Scheme in PowerPoint 2000 and earlier versions. This opens the Color Scheme window, which has two tabs. The Standard tab shows miniature slides with the various color schemes already set for the current design. The Custom tab shows the color categories and the current scheme color for each category.

In PowerPoint 2002, the color schemes are accessed by right clicking on a slide and selecting Slide Design. A new pane appears on the right side of the screen. At the top of the pane are three options. Color Schemes brings up the available color schemes for this design. At the bottom of the pane is a link to Edit Color Schemes. Clicking this brings up the Edit Color Scheme box, which offers the same basic options as the same as the Color Scheme window described above.

Each color element in the color scheme defines the color for a number of elements within the PowerPoint presentation, as shown in the following table.

Color Category

Base or Default Application


  • Base background color for a slide. However, if a background fill or image has been applied to the slide, you probably won't see this color

  • Background color for charts and graphs

Text and Lines

  • All text entered in placeholders, autoshapes and text boxes

  • Borders on autoshapes

  • Text and lines on charts and graphs


  • Autoshape shadows

  • Selected text

  • Fifth series on charts and graphs

Title Text

  • All title text on slides, charts and graphs

  • Sixth series on charts and graphs


  • Fill used for autoshapes

  • Fill for first series on charts or graphs


  • Fill for second series on charts or graphs

  • Unfollowed hyperlinks

  • Third series on charts or graphs


  • Followed hyperlinks

  • Fill for fourth series on charts or graphs

To change a color scheme item, click on the color swatch and press change color. It brings up a color picker window. Once the new color is chosen , click Preview to check the look. When satisfied, click either Apply to change only the current slide or Apply All to change the entire presentation. Clicking either option saves this scheme with the template/presentation. A maximum of 16 different color schemes are saved with any single PowerPoint file.

What if the slide background is not just a single color? If automatic is selected for the chart background, the chart is created with the background color, not with the background picture or fill. If the actual background is expected to show through the chart, select a chart background of None.

Besides providing quick and easy access to groupings of colors, color schemes have another use. If a presentation is going to be changed into a template, the users of the template may not want to use the colors originally defined. By offering several color schemes with the template, the users are provided options for their use. Good options to build into a group of color schemes include schemes for viewing in a lighted room, schemes for viewing in a darkened room and a white background scheme for printing.

When bringing up any screen providing default color choices, the colors used in the color scheme will show up as the first eight choices. The color choices are grouped as follows :

  • Automatic

  • A large block of color swatches

  • A row of eight swatches matching the color scheme

  • A row of the last eight color swatches used that were not in the color scheme

Choosing Automatic leaves the background of the chart the same as the background color in the color scheme. If Automatic is chosen and the color scheme changes, the background color for the chart changes. If using anything other than Automatic, the fill color will remain the same when the color scheme is changed.

When a different color scheme is chosen, the color choices in the next to the last row change, but items already colored do not change. If custom color has been selected for any object, the new color replaces a color in the last row, but objects that have already had the replaced color applied do not change colors.

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Tip 23: The black and white color scheme

If the presentation has a bright colors and graphics and is being printing to a black and white printer, the results may not be as expected.

In this case, set up and use a white background scheme specifically for printing. When ready to print the presentation, change to the black and white color scheme and verify all automatic items will show when the presentation is printed.

In PowerPoint 2000 and earlier, use View Black and White to do the verification. In PowerPoint 2002 and later, use View Color/Grayscale and choose pure black and white or grayscale.

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How To Delete A Color Scheme

If there is a color scheme to which others should not have access to, or if there is a color scheme you decide you really don't like, it can be deleted.

  • Bring up the Standard tab of the Color Scheme window

  • Click once on the scheme to be deleted

  • Click once on the Delete Scheme button at the bottom of the window

Kathy Jacobs On PowerPoint
Kathy Jacobs On PowerPoint
ISBN: 972425861
Year: 2003
Pages: 166 © 2008-2017.
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