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Slide backgrounds with clipart

Give your PowerPoint slides impact by using edited clipart as a background

Nice-looking slides in Microsoft PowerPoint won't make or break your presentation - that comes down to the skill and preparedness of the speaker. But decent slides will make your presentation more slick, and show that your business is a professional operation.

It's easy to go over the top with imagery on slides, but if you're careful, a background can give your presentation a consistent feel to it. If you need an impressive background effect for a slide, try using an ordinary clip art image and apply the same colour gradient to every element of the picture.

It's a bit easier to demonstrate this effect than to describe it, but start with a completely blank slide. Use Insert | Picture | clip art to select a picture. Anything will do, but scenery (especially hills) seems to work particularly well. Click on the picture and resize it to fill most or all of the slide. Landscape pictures can generally take some distorted stretching, so try it and see how it looks.

Now use Draw | Ungroup.

If you're asked if you want to convert it to a Draw object, reply Yes. You may then have to use Draw | Ungroup again to separate the elements of the picture:

With all the picture elements selected, use Draw | Group. Now go to Format | Object (or right-click the picture and select Format Object). Select Colors And Lines, click the arrow beside the Fill Color entry box, select Fill Effects and go to the Gradient tab. Click on the Two Colors button and select two colours for the gradient - they generally have to be neutral to show any text you subsequently place on the slide, so white and light grey or light blue are pretty safe.

Click OK and exit the Format Object dialog. And there you have it...

... a pretty dramatic background for punchy slides.

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