Getting More from PowerPoint Designer 

PowerPoint Designer should just be the start of making a great looking presentation.  A few manual adjustments will transform Microsoft’s automated suggestions into something awesome and unique. 

All the design helpers in PowerPoint and Office have the same problem. Everyone uses them and so a lot of slides or docs end up looking the same. 

Instead of just taking what Microsoft’s machine learning system gives you, use it as a major starter for a unique look. 

Many of the Designer templates are too flashy and prominent. The backgrounds catch the eye in a way that you DON’T really want in a presentation. Slide backgrounds shouldn’t distract from either the text content or your presentation. 

There are many ways to improve on the Design Ideas in PowerPoint Tricks to get more from PowerPoint Designer

Customising Designs to Your Taste 

Time to get artistic which is easy in Powerpoint even if you think you don’t have an artsy bone in your body.   

I’ve used the Designer to create this slide then we’ll see what’s possible from that ‘one click’ starter. 

In the slide, select the Background Image that the Design Ideas feature has inserted.  

Head back up to the Ribbon and click on Picture Format. This is where you get to make a Generic, Automagically generated Slide look unique 


Sharpen or Soften the Image or adjust the Brightness and Contrast to bring out the Light and Shadow 

Here the Brightness and Contrast have been dropped so the background isn’t as prominent. 

Colour Effects 

Make Tonal Changes to your Background Image, from the Color menu.  This is where you can either dull, increase or change the overall colors in the image. 

Perhaps to add in a flavour of your Corporate or Brand Colours using the little Flyout Menu at the bottom right giving you even more Colour Choices to work with.  

Artistic Effects 

Artistic Effects let you create different textures and feels for your image to further differentiate it from the generic default look.  

Many of the effects are quite extreme but there might be one to suit your image. 

Picture Styles 

With these options you can add in things like Picture Frames and Cropping. Clicking the little icon indicated by the Green Arrow will open the Picture Format Pane (more on that soon) and the Red Arrow will produce a dropdown Panel with more Picture Style Choices.  

Many of these are quite cheesy and very dated, best to avoid most of them. However, as with many of the features in Microsoft products that include older legacy options, there are a couple of them towards the bottom of the Dropdown that might be useful for changing a backgroundHave a look at Metal Rectangle and Metal Oval. 

Back to Square One 

If after all your tweaks you want a do-over, you can do it with a couple of clicks. Remember that Undo (Ctrl + Z ) is your friend.   Or if you’re not 100% sure, Duplicate the slide and change the duplicate. 

When all else fails and you really want to start over then use this to undo the picture changes. 

Click Reset Picture to return the Auto-generated Image back to its’ original, unedited form and remove any of the colour or textural changes you’ve made.  

If you’ve chosen an Icon for your Background then you’ll need to go to Home | Reset to reset the Slide’s Placeholders and Sizing and then click on the Icon itself in the Slide and just Delete it.  

Tricks to get more from PowerPoint Designer

Make PowerPoint Designer better, add some words

Using Designer for more eye-catching PowerPoint slides

Stop Designer in PowerPoint

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