Category Archives: PowerPoint 2010

Pixelated PowerPoint Backgrounds

Pixelated Green PowerPoint Background1 Pixelated Orange PowerPoint Background1 Pixelated Pink PowerPoint Background1
Pixelated Pink PowerPoint Background 2 Pixelated Purple PowerPoint Background 1 Pixelated Red PowerPoint Background 1
Pixelated Red PowerPoint Background 2 Pixelated PowerPoint Background Pixelated Black PowerPoint Background
Pixelated Blue PowerPoint Background 1 Pixelated Blue PowerPoint Background 2 Pixelated Blue PowerPoint Background 3
Pixelated Blue PowerPoint Background 4 Pixelated GreenPowerPoint Background 2 Pixelated GreenPowerPoint Background 3

We’ve gone pixelated crazy to create these free PowerPoint backgrounds! Check out the gallery and click on an image you like. A presentation  with that image as a background will open in PowerPoint, and you can then amend it to suit your needs, or save it to your computer for future use.

Alternatively, right click on an image and choose “save as” to save the presentation directly to your PC.

We’ve published a few collections of PowerPoint backgrounds so far, in these posts: PowerPoint Backgrounds – FreeAwesome Backgrounds and Free PowerPoint Backgrounds – and they went down so well that we felt compelled to get our designers on the case to make some more. This time with a weird pixelated effect!

PowerPoint Backgrounds – Free

More Free PowerPoint Backgrounds

PowerPoint Background 1 PowerPoint Background 2 PowerPoint Background 3
 PowerPoint Background 4  PowerPoint Background 5  PowerPoint Background 6
 PowerPoint Background 7  PowerPoint Background 8  PowerPoint Background 9
 PowerPoint Background 10  PowerPoint Background 11  PowerPoint Background 12
 PowerPoint Background 13  PowerPoint Background 14  PowerPoint Background 15

Yes siree, it’s free PowerPoint Background time again. Our awesome background post was met with such a fanfare that we had to make some more free backgrounds for you! They’ve got that “abstract” feel that many PowerPoint users like, too.

For this batch, our designers dusted off their 3D programs and cranked out 9 15 backgrounds, all on a theme of… er … buttons on the floor. All different colours, all different angles, some with photo-realistic depth of field (that’s where the objects that are in focus are clear, whereas objects further away are blurry). We’ve got all the colours of the rainbow covered, juat like a big packet of fruit pastilles.

Free PowerPoint Backgrounds

Following on from our previous Awesome Backgrounds post, we’ve got a plethora (a large cornucopia) of free PowerPoint Backgrounds, right here. Using PowerPoint backgrounds is a fantastic way to spice up otherwise dreary presentations. And our backgrounds are so easy to use – all you have to do is save them to your computer and then insert them as a picture onto the slides that need them. If you are a more advanced PowerPoint user, you might like to insert them onto the slide master so that they appear on every slide. You can either insert them directly onto the slide or format the background as an image. The choice is yours.

Here are your free PowerPoint backgrounds:


Bokeh Background 1 Bokeh Background 2 Bokeh Background 3
Bokeh Background 4 Bokeh Background 5 Bokeh Background 6
Bokeh Background 7 Bokeh Background 8 Bokeh Background 9
Bokeh Background 10 Bokeh Background 11 Bokeh Background 12
Bokeh Background 13 Bokeh Background 14 Bokeh Background 15

Each background measures an impressive 1500px wide by 1200px high. Distortions in the image due to stretching it to fit the whole PowerPoint slide won’t be an issue, as these images are just the right size.

Stay tuned for complete PowerPoint templates, too. These templates will include flashy backgrounds, like you see above, and also other elements like tables and charts that use the same colour scheme.

Awesome Backgrounds

Download These Awesome PowerPoint Backgrounds

Abstract Background 1

Awesome Background 1

Abstract Background 2

Awesome Background 2

Aurora Borealis Background

Awesome Background 3

Chrome Bar Background

Awesome Background 4

Weird Sunset BackgroundAwesome Background 5

Wavy Lines Background

Awesome Background 6

If you use PowerPoint, then you’ll love these awesome backgrounds for your presentations. Beautifully designed by our team of talented artists, these PowerPoint backgrounds will stun your audience into silence!

To download these free backgrounds, simply click on a thumbnail to open up the full size image – a whopping 1500px wide by 1200px high – and then click File > Save as in your internet browser. Save the image somewhere handy on your hard drive.

When the time comes to use one in a PowerPoint presentation, go to the Insert tab and click Picture (in the Images group). Locate your background and double click on it to insert it. You may have to resize it to fit your slide, and you can do that by dragging on the resize handles at the corners of the image (while it’s selected) and along each side.

If you’re a PowerPoint guru, you’ll probably want to add the background to the Slide Master instead. Performing this one action makes the background appear on all slides. To add an background to the slide master, go to the View tab and click on Slide Master (in the Master Views group). Select the top slide on the left (the Slide Master for the current PowerPoint theme), and then insert the background on the slide, as explained above. When finished, close the Master View, by clicking on the big red ‘X’ over to the right of the ribbon. Now every slide that you add to your presentation will have the background image on it.

Transparent Text In PowerPoint

Transparent text in your PowerPoint presentation lets objects in the background (for example, pictures, SmartArt etc) show through. You can make text have verying degrees of transparency, from completely solid, to 50% transparent (you can see the background but you can also see the shape of the text clearly), to completely transparent (you can’t see the text at all). But you’re not limited to 100%, 50% and 0 – you can have any percentage of transparency you want between 0 and 100.

To make your text transparent, first of all select it by clicking on the border of the text box it’s in, or by dragging your cursor over it. The advantage of dragging your cursor over the text is that you can select only a portion of the text – that is, precisely the text you want to make transparent – whereas clicking on the text box selects all the text inside. Use whichever method gives you what you want.

When your text is selected, you should see the Drawing Tools tab appear in the ribbon, with the Format tab within that. Go to the Format tab and click Text Fill in the WordArt Styles group. When the menu opens, click Gradient > More Gradients.

More Gradients In PowerPoint

When the Format Text Effects window opens, make sure that Text Fill is selected on the left and select Solid Fill on the right. You should see a Transparency slider at the bottom of the window – drag that to the right to make your text more transparent and to the left to make it more solid.

Format Text Effects For Transparent Text

Here is an example of some transparent text in a PowerPoint presentation:

Transparent Text In PowerPoint

In the example above, the text is clearly marked out by the border on it (use the Text Outline button to put a border on text). If you have this kind of a border on your text, you could actually make the Text Fill “No Fill” and you would still be able to read it. Using a semi-transparent colour for the text adds something extra, though.

Playing A PowerPoint Presentation

In the last lesson, we had a look at how to add transitions to a presentation. We’ve done a whole lot of work on our presentation so far, but we’ve not actually seen how it will appear to our audience when we run it. As you work on your presentation and keep adding slides, you can think of being in “edit mode”. When you play the presentation, it helps to think of the presentation as being in “view mode”. These are just terms that we’ll use here to help you understand what’s going on.

Edit mode looks a bit different to view mode. When the presentation is running, you won’t see the ribbon, or any of the controls that you can see when you are editing the presentation.

The quickest way to run a presentation is to press F5 on the keyboard. Pressing F5 will play the entire presentation, or Slide Show, from the first slide. To move to the next slide, press Enter on your keyboard or left click the mouse button. You can end the presentation at any point by pressing escape on the keyboard. To go back to the previous slide, press the backspace key.

Alternatively, you can play the slide show from the current slide onwards by clicking Slide Show > Start Slide Show > From Current Slide Show.

Play Slide Show From Current Slide

If you hover over that button, you’ll see a tooltip telling you that the shortcut is shift-F5. This is a good tip for discovering shortcuts for other commands too: simply hover over the button.

Adding Transitions To A PowerPoint Presentation

In the last lesson, we learnt how to format the text on our slides. In this lesson, we’re going to explore the use of transitions.

A PowerPoint presentation wouldn’t be the same without transitions. Slide transitions are motion effects that occur in Slide Show view when you move from one slide to the next during a presentation. You can control the speed, add sound, and even customise the properties of transition effects. Transitions will really spice your presentation up and will give it a slick professional look.

PowerPoint 2010 has got loads of transitions, and here is a demo of them all:

To add a transition to your presentation, first of all select the slide that you want to add the transition to. The transition will be displayed between the previous slide and the selected one. Now click the Transitions tab and and select a transition in the Transitions to This Slide group. There is a selection of transitions displayed in the ribbon, but if you want to see the whole set, click on the more button in the bottom right of the group.

More Transitions In PowerPoint 2010Clicking on the more button reveals a huge collection of transitions that you can use.

All Transitions In PowerPoint 2010

Click to enlarge

To add a transition, just click on its image. When you add a transition, you get to see it played once.

The very first thumbnail image in the transitions gallery is for “None“, so you can probably guess that clicking on this will remove the transition. Similarly, to change the transition you just click on the new one you want to apply. There is nothing presenting us from using a different transition on each slide.

Any slide that has a transition will have a whooshing star displayed in the top left of the slide in the Slides panel.

Transition Symbol

You can click on this whooshing star to see the transition again. Another way to see transitions in action is to actually run the presentation. You can do this by pressing F5 on the keyboard or by clicking the Slide Show tab and clicking the most appropriate command in the Start Slide Show group.

In the next lesson, you’ll find out all the options available to you when running your slide show.

Formatting The Text On Your Slide

In the last lesson we looked at adding new slides to our presentation, and we’ve already seen how we can add text to those slides. In this lesson, we’ll learn how to format the text on our slides.

The text formatting options in PowerPoint 2010 are very similar to those in other Office programs like Word. To format your text, first of all select it and then navigate to the Home tab > Font group. Here, you have all the standard formatting commands like bold, italic, underline, font size, font family, colour etc.

Font Group In PowerPoint
Applying the formatting is a simple case of clicking on the appropriate command button in this group. Let’s look at an example. On the following slide, we want to highlight the key words like subjects and times.

Apply Formatting To Text In PowerPoint 2010

Click to enlarge

TIP: to select a whole word, double click on it. In the example above, we bolded the text, made it italic and underlined it. The formatting tools we need to accomplish this are all in the font group.

Simple Formatting

In fact, if you really want to speed up the process of applying these formatting effects, you can use the following shortcuts:

  • Bold – ctrl-b
  • Italic – ctrl-i
  • Underline – ctrl-u

In addition to the basic formatting you can apply using the Font group on the Home tab, you can also apply more advanced formatting using the Format tab within the Drawing Tools tab.

Format Tab In PowerPoint

Let’s format the title slide. On the left hand side of the workspace in the Slides pane, click on the Title slide. This should be the very first slide in your presentation. Select the whole of the subtitle, as shown below:

Select Text In PowerPoint 2010

TIP: a quick way to select a whole line of text is to triple click on one word in the sentence. We’re going to add a reflection to the subtitle, just because we can.

With the text selected, click on the Format tab within the Drawing Tools tab > WordArt Styles > Text Effects > Reflection, and select one of the options. We don’t want an exagerrated reflection, so let’s choose Tight Reflection, touching (the first option).

Tight Reflection, Touching

Now, that looks good!

Reflection On Subtitle

We’re really moving now! Let’s see how we can spice up our presentation by adding some transitions.

Adding New Slides To A PowerPoint Presentation

Our “How To Study” presentation is looking good. We’ve created it, saved it and have applied a snazzy looking theme. In the last lesson, we added some text to our slide and gave our presentation a title. Now we’re going to add some new slides to give our students some handy hints on studying effectively.

There are nine different layouts that a slide can have:

  1. Title Slide
  2. Title and Content
  3. Section Header
  4. Two Content
  5. Comparison
  6. Title Only
  7. Blank
  8. Content with Caption
  9. Picture with Caption

When you create a brand new blank presentation, it always comes with a blank title slide. To be honest many people only use the default title slide and Title and Content slides to create their presentations.

To add a new slide to your presentation, click Home > Slides > New Slide. If you hover over teh New Slide button, you’ll see that the button is split in two.

Add New Slides To A Presentation

If you click the bottom half of the button, you get a choice of all the different slide layouts to add.

Slide Layouts

Slide Layouts

Click on the slide layout you want to add. If, however, you click on the top half of the New Slide button a slide is added that has the same layout as the last one you added.

Let’s keep things simple and add a Title and Content slide. We can then add some text to our slide. An example of the kind of content you might add is shown below:

Organise Your Studying

Click to enlarge

And, of course, you can keep adding more slides as you need them. You’ll notice in the image above that the text we added is bullet pointed. By default, bullet points are added to all text that you add.

WARNING! Keep saving the changes you make to your presentation by pressing ctrl-s.

Now that we know how to add new slides and then add text to those slides, let’s look at how we can format the text on those slides.

Adding Text To A Slide

We’ve created a blank PowerPoint presentation, saved it and applied a theme to it. Our new presentation has one blank slide in it. Now we are going to add some text to it.

Each slide that you add to a presentation has placeholders that you can add text to. The blank slide that each new blank presentation has includes placeholders for a title and subtitle. The image below shows one such slide with only the default Office theme applied. Don’t forget, in the previous lesson, we applied the Clarity theme.

Placeholders In PowerPoint

Click to enlarge

To add text to a placeholder, all you have to do is click in it and start typing. Since this is a presentation about how to study, and it’s aimed at students, guess what we typed for our title and subtitle?

Title Slide

Click to enlarge

The above slide has the Clarity theme applied. See how even a simple colour scheme with minimal styling makes the presentation look so much better? In a later lesson, we will look at styling text.

The one blank slide that always appears in a blank presentation is a Title Slide. Now that we have the title sorted out for our presentation, we need to add some information to help our students with their studying. So let’s now add more slides to our presentation.