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PowerPoint Graphics Complete 2020 Guide (PPT Presentation Design)


Warning: this tutorial may contain graphic content! But don't worry, it's all family friendly. We're talking about PowerPoint graphics and how you can use them to create your best presentation yet.

PowerPoint graphic design is an art. Ultimately, the goal of a presentation is to share information with your audience. Choosing the right PowerPoint graphics is all about supporting your message with the proper illustration or infographic.

PowerPoint Graphics
Outstanding PowerPoint graphics help you transform boring slides into visually engaging content.

You don't have to build PowerPoint presentation graphics from scratch! One thing you'll see in this tutorial is a source for unlimited PPT graphics included inside of templates. Plus, get graphics for presentations that you can source one-by-one with the help of GraphicRiver.

What Are PowerPoint Graphics?

The term PowerPoint graphics is a bit broad. There are many types of graphics that pro presenters use. Here are three types of popular PowerPoint presentation graphics and how you can use them:

  • SmartArt. These flexible graphics are great if you aren't a graphic designer. You can create graphics that adapt to your content like org charts and flowcharts.
  • Infographics. At the intersection of information and graphics are these helpful explanatory visuals. These PowerPoint presentation graphics can help drive understanding with the audience.
  • Shapes. You might be surprised by how much a few simple shapes add to your slide. Try out shapes like arrows to add a bit of annotation, for example.

In this tutorial, we'll explore all three of these popular types of PPT graphics. For a complete deep dive on infographics, we've got an excellent resource for you:

How to Access Unlimited PowerPoint Graphics Templates

At the end of this tutorial, you'll be a master of working with PPT graphics. Best of all, you won't have to learn how to design all those graphics for presentations from the ground up. With the help of templates, talented designers have already created all you need.

You might have seen a few built-in templates in Microsoft PowerPoint. They're certainly an upgrade from a pure, blank slate in PowerPoint. But the bottom line is that they're simple combinations of color schemes and layouts.

There's another type of template that offers so much more. With premium templates, you'll find that powerful PPT graphics are built into the presentation file. And thanks to Envato Elements, you can download them easily.

Envato Elements PPT Graphics template
PowerPoint graphics are built into the best templates available with the fantastic all-you-can-download Envato Elements library.

Don't think that Elements will break the bank. For a single flat rate, you unlock unlimited downloads of the top PowerPoint presentation graphics templates. 

As a bonus, the all-you-can-download subscription includes so many extras that enhance your PowerPoint presentation. That provides access to assets like:

  • Stock photos. Need to spice up a slide? Just jump to the well-organized stock photography library and download a high-resolution image for your slide.
  • Graphics and illustrations. Some templates will benefit from supplementary graphics. Download those from Elements too and add them to any PowerPoint presentation.
  • Background music. Add some looping background music for an engaging presentation that you could leave on loop in a conference room, for example.

For three outstanding examples of the best graphics for PowerPoint presentations (packaged inside of PPT graphics templates), here are our three top picks in the Envato Elements library. Remember, they're all included!

1. The X Note

The X Note PPT Graphics template

Consistently topping our list of the best PowerPoint templates, The X Note is a stunning design. This template's got many PPT graphics that are to add so much to your next presentation. You'll be impressed by how easy it is to customize the included graphics. Use more than 40 unique slides in multiple color schemes to create a PPT graphics focused presentation.

2. Beauty | PowerPoint Template

Beauty PowerPoint Template with Graphics

Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder. But some PPT graphics templates capture it perfectly. That's certainly the case for the appropriately named "Beauty" PowerPoint template. It's one of the best PowerPoint presentation graphics options thanks to its inclusion of graphics across 30 unique slides.

3. Groningen - PowerPoint Template

Groningen PPT Graphics Template

Remember, there are many types of PowerPoint presentation graphics. The best PPT graphics templates have a range of infographics, shapes, and more. This PowerPoint presentation graphics-focused template's got all the above. Plus, it's easy to edit these cool presentation graphics thanks to smartly constructed slides.

These three templates are just the start of graphics for presentations included on Elements. For infographic-focused templates and professional designs, make sure to check out these articles:

Find More PowerPoint Presentation Graphics on GraphicRiver

PowerPoint graphics templates come in all shapes and sizes. You can use Envato Elements for unlimited access to the entire library. 

But sometimes, you know exactly what you're looking for. in that case, the cost-effective GraphicRiver library might be perfect for you. It's a pay-as-you-go option to source single PPT graphics templates.

GraphicRiver PowerPoint Presentation Graphics
Use the best PowerPoint graphic templates from GraphicRiver. Source single designs that are ready for your content.

With the help of a template, you're on your way to the best graphics for PowerPoint presentations. Best of all, you're getting ready to see that it's easy to edit those background graphics for your presentation.

How to Use and Edit Graphics in PowerPoint

Sure, templates are great. But you might be wondering how to edit background graphics in PowerPoint along with other visuals. Are templates adjustable?

The answer is: yes, PowerPoint graphic design is easy to master with templates. Cool presentation graphics are easy to edit. So, use templates for practically any purpose!

In this section, I'm going to use one of the outstanding templates that we highlighted in the section above. We're going to use The X Note, which includes some of the best PPT graphics. 

The X Note PowerPoint Graphics
Let's learn how to edit background graphics and more with help from The X Note.

The X Note is part of Envato Elements, the best source for unlimited downloads with the best PowerPoint presentation graphics. Most of the templates are built by PowerPoint graphic design experts.

Maybe you're wondering how to edit background graphics in PowerPoint. Or, you need some help inserting graphics in PowerPoint. Let's tackle all those topics (and more) in our guide to creating better PowerPoint graphics below.

How to Use SmartArt PowerPoint Graphics

The first type of PPT graphic that we'll cover in our guide is SmartArt. This feature is built into Microsoft PowerPoint and helps you create graphics for presentations with fewer clicks. You don't have to open a separate graphic design app.

To start working with SmartArt, click Insert on the ribbon. Then, click on the SmartArt menu option. The new window gives you many options to begin building SmartArt graphics for PowerPoint.

As you'll see in this window, SmartArt starters are divided into multiple categories. The goal here is to choose a preset that's as close as possible to what you need. For our quick example, let's work with a cycle chart. Specifically, I'm going to edit the SmartArt graphic for PowerPoint called segmented cycle.

Segmented cycle SmartArt PowerPoint
Use the text box adjacent to your chart to update your SmartArt graphic for PowerPoint easily.

After you choose a preset and click OK, you'll see the graphic added to your slide. Also, you'll see an accompanying text box to the side that's got bullet points. These correspond to the text on the slide.

Think of this menu as the way to edit SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint. Type in the text box. The chart will update with your details. 

Press return to add a new bullet point. The chart will update automatically.

PowerPoint SmartArt chart edit
As you add more bullet points, the SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint updates seamlessly.

Here's why I love SmartArt graphics for PowerPoint: they're flexible. When you want to update a PPT graphic with a new bullet point or detail, you won't have to jump back to a design app like Illustrator or Photoshop. 

Instead, type inside the edit window. Your PowerPoint SmartArt will update automatically.

Want to learn more about SmartArt? We've just scratched the surface with an introduction in this section. read the complete guide to master the feature in our article below: 

How to Edit PowerPoint Infographics

The best way to work with PowerPoint infographics is to use ones that are already built. That's why we recommend templates as the proper starting point for PowerPoint infographics.

Take slide 21 in The X NoteThis beautiful, arctic scene is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can do with better PowerPoint graphics. It looks great from the outset. But with a few tweaks you can make it all your own.

Right-click the graphic and choose Group > Ungroup. Now, the individual shapes are easy to select and edit.

Starting point
Right-click on PowerPoint graphics and choose Group > Ungroup to separate a graphic into separate parts.

The best graphics for PowerPoint presentations help you explain your ideas more easily. After you ungroup the components, you can create business graphics for PowerPoint that explain a case study or concept.

From this point forward, editing this slide is easy. You've got all the controls you usually would to reposition, resize, and update the components of the chart. Some example tweaks I made in the finished product below include:

  • Clicking on the water area of the chart and using the fill color to change the water to blue.
  • Clicking and dragging the arrows to change the annotation on crucial items.
  • Updating the text boxes with helpful text that serves the purpose I've got in mind for the slide.
  • Removing one unused iceberg part by clicking on it and tapping "delete" on my keyboard.
Update slide
When you use cool presentation graphics in templates, you can easily adjust the components with the typical controls in PowerPoint.

When you're busy creating a presentation, you won't have time to create business graphics from the ground up. Instead, start with a pre-built option like the one you see above.

This is just one example of working with PowerPoint graphics in templates. Templates are flexible enough to help you create practically any presentation! Check out our guide below to learn more.

How to Use Shapes as Illustrative PowerPoint Graphics

For our third look at PowerPoint presentation graphics, let's check out a straightforward option. Shapes are PowerPoint graphics that are easy to add and can draw attention.

To add a shape, jump to the Insert tab on the ribbon. Then, click on the Shapes dropdown. You'll see an incredible variety of shapes that are easy to add to your slide. 

Insert Shape
Use the Insert > Shape menu to draw vector shapes on your PowerPoint slide.

Just choose your shape, then click and drag to draw it on your slide. These vector graphic shapes are scalable. So, you never have to worry about the shape's quality becoming pixelated or distorted.

One of my favorite PowerPoint shape examples is a simple arrow. It's the perfect way to point to a specific slide fact.

The X Note Arrow PowerPoint Graphics
Click and drag to draw a shape to your desired size on the PowerPoint slide.

After you add a shape, style it with the Drawing Tools > Format menu. Click on a shape, then check out options like Shape Fill, for example. Select a new color to transform the shape on your slide.

Shape fill update
Choose a new color from the Shape Fill dropdown, for example, to re-style your newly added PowerPoint graphics.

That's it! The only thing left to do is to try out many PowerPoint graphics with a deep set of shape options.

Learn More About Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint graphics are just the beginning of the learning journey. With the help of more learning resources, you're on your way to feeling like a confident presenter every time you speak.

That's why we've invested time in building out the most in-depth library of PowerPoint tutorials. With the help of our resource, How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide,) you're sure to conquer PowerPoint's learning curve.

Here are three tutorials from the guide that you can use to power up your learning:

Create a Presentation with PowerPoint Graphics Today

PowerPoint graphics aren't a "nice to have" in 2020 and beyond. They're a must that every audience expects. But if you're still learning how to edit background graphics and infographics in PowerPoint, you owe it to yourself to start with a pre-built template. 

Whether you use one of the PowerPoint graphics templates from Elements' unlimited library or a single graphics presentation for PowerPoint from GraphicRiver, you've got options!

Download a template, design today, and present with confidence. No matter what option you choose, cool PowerPoint presentation graphics are sure to wow the audience.

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