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How to Quickly Change Theme Colors in PowerPoint

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It's simple to change theme colors in PowerPoint when you know where to look!

PowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colors
Your PPT theme colors can have a big impact on your presentation. Download and customize this PowerPoint template today on Envato Elements.

In this tutorial, we'll walk through how to change theme color in PowerPoint, quickly and easily. We'll also look at how you can create your own PPT theme colors and easily use them in your PowerPoint presentation.

What Are PowerPoint Theme Colors?

PowerPoint theme colors are like a color scheme that you can apply to your PowerPoint presentation. Different themes might have different color options (or variants) to choose from. You can reuse this color scheme, and even use your theme in other Microsoft applications, like Microsoft Word and Excel.

PowerPoint theme colors consist of the following:

  • Background Colors. These are the background colors defined for your theme. PowerPoint themes include two dark colors and two light colors.
  • Accent Colors. PowerPoint themes include six accent colors, which can be applied throughout your presentation. For example, design elements like charts will often draw upon these set colors.
  • Hyperlink Colors. These colors are used for hyperlinks. You can define a color for both active hyperlinks and visited hyperlinks.
PowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colors

PowerPoint comes with multiple themes included, so you can easily change theme colors in PowerPoint without installing or downloading anything special. Let's walk through that process now.

How to Change Theme Color in PowerPoint

Are you ready to learn how to change theme color in PowerPoint? Use this step-by-step guide:

Step 1

First, let's start with a new PowerPoint presentation. 

Instead of choosing a blank presentation, let's choose one of PowerPoint's default themes. This theme is called Madison and it's included with Microsoft PowerPoint.

Once you've selected your theme, just click Create to get started.

PowerPoint presentationPowerPoint presentationPowerPoint presentation

Step 2

So, here we are in our new PowerPoint presentation document. Let's click on the Design tab to look at our color options.

PowerPoint design tabPowerPoint design tabPowerPoint design tab

Step 3

This particular theme has four different color schemes we can choose from. We can find them over on the right hand side. These are our variants.

Click on one of the thumbnails to change the colors. In this example, I've changed the color scheme from the green variant to the blue one. 

PowerPoint variantsPowerPoint variantsPowerPoint variants

Step 4

Themes that come with variants make it really easy to change the color scheme. But what if you want to do something custom? 

Click on the arrow under our variants. This will give us three options:

  • Color. This is where we can change and customize our theme colors.
  • Fonts. This is where we can change the fonts used in our presentation.
  • Background Style. Here, we can change which background color we're using from our theme or open the Format Background panel.
PowerPoint variant choicesPowerPoint variant choicesPowerPoint variant choices

Step 5

Let's choose the Colors menu. You'll see that there's a whole host of reset colors we could choose from if we'd like to. Simply click on a preset from the list, if you'd like to use any of these options.

PowerPoint colorsPowerPoint colorsPowerPoint colors

Step 6

However, you'll want to do something custom. Let's choose Customize Colors from this list, instead.

PowerPoint custom colorsPowerPoint custom colorsPowerPoint custom colors

Step 7

Remember that list of the different parts of PowerPoint theme colors? Well, here's that list again! We can change the four preset background colors, six accent colors, and two hyperlink colors. 

So, for example, let's change Background Dark 2 to a different color. It's currently a dark blue. Click on the colored square to get started.

PowerPoint background color changePowerPoint background color changePowerPoint background color change

Step 8

Now, PowerPoint gives us a choice of color pickers we can use to select our new color. Choose between the options at the top of the Colors dialog box. You can choose between:

  • Color Wheel. A wheel of color with a value (light and dark) slider
  • Color Sliders. A variety of sliders (grayscale, RGB, CMYK, and HSB) use can use for selecting very precise colors. This is a good choice for specific colors, like working with hex codes or specific values.
  • Color Palettes. Choose colors from preset palettes. You can also import additional palettes if you'd like to.
  • Image Palettes. Import an image and use it to select specific colors from the image itself.
  • Pencils. A simple and straightforward color picker that looks like a box of colored pencils.

Try toggling between all of them, to see which color picker you prefer. For this example, I chose a green color to test it out.

PowerPoint color pickerPowerPoint color pickerPowerPoint color picker

Step 9

Once you've made your choice, you can close the Colors dialog box. 

Then, we'll need to save our customized theme colors. Give your custom theme colors a name, and then click Save

You'll notice that my background has turned from dark blue to green, now that my custom theme colors are applied. 

PowerPoint background color changePowerPoint background color changePowerPoint background color change

How to Use Your Own Custom Theme Colors in PowerPoint

Now that we've explored how to change theme colors in PowerPoint, let's talk about how to create and customize your own. The default themes are nice, but sometimes you might want really different PPT theme colors for your project.

Let's say you're working with a PowerPoint template that doesn't have variant color themes included. Are we stuck with what we've got? Nope, you can customize it! Let's test this out with this professional PowerPoint presentation design:

PowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colorsPowerPoint theme colors
This stylish PowerPoint design theme is available for download now on Envato Elements.

Step 1

This PowerPoint template actually comes with some variant color schemes installed. That makes things really simple. 

Just like before, select the Design tab. Then on the right hand side, we can choose between four color Variants here. Here's the PowerPoint theme by default:

PowerPoint template themePowerPoint template themePowerPoint template theme
Stock photography image from Envato Elements

And here's what it looks like with one of the alternate theme colors:

PowerPoint variant colorsPowerPoint variant colorsPowerPoint variant colors

Step 2

But let's say none of these colors are what you're looking for, or maybe your PowerPoint template doesn't come with variants. What do we do then?

Click on the arrow drop-down, on the color variants. 

Then choose Colors > Customize Colors to get started.

PowerPoint Customize ColorsPowerPoint Customize ColorsPowerPoint Customize Colors

Step 3

Remember these options from earlier in this walk-through? The same ideas apply.

Take note of the Preview on the right hand side of the Create Theme Colors dialog box. We can use this to help us guide our color choices.

So, in this theme there's two green colors used to create a gradient throughout the presentation. We can see that the theme designer assigned that to Accent 1 and Accent 2 in this color list.

PowerPoint Accent ColorsPowerPoint Accent ColorsPowerPoint Accent Colors

Step 4

We can click on the colors in the Create Theme Colors dialog box to customize them. In this case, I changed Accent 1 to a pink color and Accent 2 to a blue color. You could change these colors to anything you prefer.

Once you're happy with your selections, give your custom color scheme a name and click Save to keep and apply it.

PowerPoint change theme colorsPowerPoint change theme colorsPowerPoint change theme colors

Step 5

Check out the result! Now, my PowerPoint template has a custom theme color applied. You could take these ideas and apply them in any way that best suits your presentation.

PowerPoint custom color themePowerPoint custom color themePowerPoint custom color theme

How to Choose PPT Theme Colors for Your PowerPoint Presentation

Now that you know how to change theme color in PowerPoint, which colors should you choose for your presentation? You want to make sure your colors make sense for your goals and for your brand.

  • Do you have existing branding to reference? If so, it may be a good idea to use the colors that are part of your branding. For example, if your business has a logo that is green, consider using that same green, for consistency.
  • What do you want to visually communicate? Consider making a list of keywords. That can help you select colors if you don't already have a color scheme in mind. For example, a word like "exciting" might warrant more vibrant colors.

If you're looking for some extra ideas and insights, check out this article for some additional, PowerPoint design ideas:

Now, let's explore some tips you can consider when selecting your theme colors in PowerPoint:

1. Color Is Very Communicative

Check out this colorful PowerPoint theme. What does it visually communicate to you? While it's very cheerful and vibrant, it might not be the best choice for something like a bank or a law firm. That's because it looks a bit too informal and playful. These would be industries where we'd want to evoke emotions like trust, stability, and formality.

However, this could be a great choice for something like a clothing brand or even a portfolio. Your color choices can really speak volumes.

Colorful PowerPoint themeColorful PowerPoint themeColorful PowerPoint theme
This PowerPoint theme template is lighthearted and playful, because of its colorful design choices.

2. Consider the Atmosphere You're Creating

PowerPoint presentations contain multiple slides. They should be visually related. Your theme needs to be consistent. In this consistency, we have the ability to create atmosphere. Check out this example. The color scheme is in black and white, and it makes for a classy, sophisticated look. The photography looks even more glamorous, and the theme color plays an important role in that. 

Black and White PowerPoint themeBlack and White PowerPoint themeBlack and White PowerPoint theme
This high contrast PowerPoint design theme has a sophisticated, classy look and feel.

3. Contrast Can Make a Big Impact

In this example, we've got a black and white theme with just a pop of light blue. Notice that the saturation this one is lower. This means that instead of white against black (which would be high contrast), we have white against a soft gray. The blue is also a soft, muted blue. Instead of a dramatic look, like the previous example, we've left with something softer and more relaxing. 

Peaceful PowerPoint themePeaceful PowerPoint themePeaceful PowerPoint theme
This PowerPoint theme template has a relaxing, welcoming aesthetic.

4. Saturation Can Bring a Lot of Energy

This next example also has a single, spot color, but notice how vibrant and saturated it is. It's a saturated purple that blends into magenta. It's really bright and it has high contrast against the white background. This is a much different feeling, isn't it? It has high energy. The gradient also brings a sleek, stylish look. 

Vibrant PowerPoint themeVibrant PowerPoint themeVibrant PowerPoint theme
Saturation gives this PowerPoint template design a high energy, sleek look.

5. Hue Can Also Make a Big Impact

This example is also vibrant but notice how the hue makes a big difference. Hue refers to the color or shade. Orange is potentially warmer and sunnier than the purple example. Notice how playful this presentation is. While both this presentation and the previous one have vibrant PPT theme colors, the atmosphere is certainly different. Shape plays a big role here too. It might be easy to associate these shapes with oranges, for example. 

Orange PowerPoint themeOrange PowerPoint themeOrange PowerPoint theme
This sunny PowerPoint template has a very friendly look and feel.

Check Out More PowerPoint Theme Design Inspiration

Looking for even more PowerPoint design inspiration? Check out these collections from Envato Tuts+. There are many of designs to check out to help inspire your project. You can even download some of them for free!

The Best Source for PowerPoint Templates (With Unlimited Use)

If you're looking for PowerPoint templates, Envato Elements is an amazing resource to have on your side. One, low monthly price gets you access to thousands of PowerPoint templates. They're all included, all for one price. 

PowerPoint templatesPowerPoint templatesPowerPoint templates
Check out the library of PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements. Download as many as you want for one, low price with unlimited access.

There are thousands of PowerPoint design templates included, all with unlimited access. This means you can download, use, and customize any theme you'd like with no limits. In addition, you get access to a huge library assets, including everything from fonts, stock photos, graphics, and much more. It's all included.

Envato ElementsEnvato ElementsEnvato Elements
Get unlimited access to thousands of professionally designed PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements.

So, if you're looking to jump start your project, consider checking out Envato Elements. It's an awesome resource and a cost effective way to get your project finished quickly.

Learn More About Microsoft PowerPoint

Looking to learn more about working with Microsoft PowerPoint? Make sure to check out the collection of free PowerPoint tutorials, here at Envato Tuts+. There's no better time than today to dig and learn more. Why not check out a PowerPoint tutorial today?

Which Theme Colors in PowerPoint Will You Choose?

So, which PPT theme colors are perfect for your project? It can take some time and experimentation to figure out just the right theme to work for your presentation. Now that you know how to change theme color in PowerPoint, consider trying a few different ones out!

Remember, if you need some design help, consider checking out the library of PowerPoint presentation templates on Envato Elements. It's a quick and easy way to get your project done and done well. Keep in mind that all of the templates are customizable too. You can change up the PPT theme colors in any way you like.

Good luck with your PowerPoint presentation!

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