One of the ways you can make your presentation look more interesting is to add a background to your slides. We’ve already seen how we can apply a gradient background, so now let’s have a look at using a picture fill background in PowerPoint 2013.
First of all right click on a blank area of a slide and select Format Background. The Format Background panel will open up to the right of the workspace. Select Picture or texture fill and some new options will be displayed.
There are two choices:
- Picture fill – you choose a picture to display in the background. The picture is either on your computer, or online.
- Texture fill – there is a small selection of textures that come with PowerPoint 2013. They look like pictures, but they can repeat seamlessly in the background.
Picture Fill Background
If you decide to use a picture fill for your background, click on the File button and navigate to where your picture is on your computer’s hard drive.
Select it and then click Open. The picture will appear as a background to the currently selected slide. If you want it to appear on every slide, click the Apply to All button at the bottom.
Alternatively, if the picture you want to use is online and not on your computer, click the Online button.
The Insert Pictures window will be displayed. If you are signed in to PowerPoint, you will see the following options for searching for an image:
If you are not signed in, however, you won’t see the SkyDrive, Facebook and Flickr options. Use one of the search engines to find a suitable image and, once found, select it and then click Insert. The image will be downloaded and then appear as your currently selected slide’s background.
If at any time you mess up, you can always click Reset Background to return the background to how it was before the “mess up”.
Once you have a picture as your background, you have several options you can use to manipulate it:
- Transparency – drag the slider right to increase transparency and to the left to decrease it. Transparency is simply how “see through” the picture is.
- Tile picture as texture – if you want the picture to repeat as many times as it takes to cover the background, check this box. If uncheckd, the picture will expand to fill the whole background.
- Offset left/right/top/bottom – increasing the offset values makes the edge of the image move further away from the edge of the slide. For example, if you wanted a margin of whitespace around your picture, you could put a value of 5 in all the offset values and then there would be a 5% margin all the way around the picture.
Texture Fill Background
Textures are images really, but they tile seamlessly. When you select a texture, the Tile picture as texture box is automatically checked, and you can see the texture repeating perfectly. The same offset values that were seen for pictures are available to modify.
When using a texture for the background, you get these extra options:
- Alignment – use this option to tell PowerPoint where the texture starts and tiles from: top left, top etc.
- Mirror type – this option ensures that the background is symmetrical about the axis you choose: vertical or horizontal.
If you have an image that you know will tile seamlessly like textures do, you could always insert it as a picture and then check the Tile picture as texture box.