About color schemes

A color scheme consists of the eight colors used in the design of the slide — colors for background, text and lines, shadows, title text, fills, accents, and hyperlinks. A presentation's color scheme is determined by the design template (design template: A file that contains the styles in a presentation, including the type and size of bullets and fonts; placeholder sizes and positions; background design and fill color schemes; and a slide master and optional title master.) that's applied.

An example of a color scheme that you can select and apply to a slide

Callout 1 Colors used for title text and body text

Callout 2 Colors used for background, fills, and shadows

Callout 3 Colors used for hyperlinks, fills, and accents such as bullets

You can view a slide's color scheme by selecting the slide and then displaying the Slide Design-Color Schemes task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.). The color scheme of the selected slide appears selected in the task pane.

The design template includes a default color scheme plus additional schemes you can choose from, all designed for that template. The default or "blank" presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint also contains color schemes.

You can apply a color scheme to one slide, selected slides, or all slides, as well as to notes (notes pages: Printed pages that display author notes beneath the slide that the notes accompany.) and handouts (handout: A printed version of a presentation that can include multiple slides per page and space for audience notes.).

Modifying color schemes

You can modify a color scheme. Say, for example, you frequently use the same design template and you want to make it look a little different by changing the accent color or the background color. Or, maybe you want to match your presentation's colors to the theme colors of an event, such as a trade show.

A list showing the eight color scheme colors and what they are used for

You can change the color for any or all elements on the slide.

When you modify a color scheme, the result is a new scheme, which becomes part of your presentation file so that you can easily apply it again.

When you change a color, you can choose from a full range of color options.

Using non-color scheme colors

If you introduce new colors to the presentation that aren't part of the color scheme — say, by changing the color of a font in one place or making one object a unique color — the new color is added to all color menus, and appears below the eight colors of the color scheme. Seeing all the colors you're currently using helps you keep colors consistent throughout the presentation.

Color menu showing the eight colors of the color scheme plus a new color that was added

Callout 1 Colors in the color scheme

Callout 2 New colors added to the presentation

You can add and display up to eight new colors. Colors you add that aren't in the color scheme will not change or update if you reapply the scheme or make changes to the design template.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003