Themes, styles and templates in Word and Powerpoint

Microsoft Office is undoubtedly the most popular office suite. However, many users do not always use it efficiently. However, this suite has a number of ingredients that not only allow you to work faster, but also make your workpieces more beautiful and consistent. Ingredients such as themes, styles and templates in Word and Powerpoint, how do you get started?

Tip 01: Office theme

Many Office users are barely familiar with the concept of Office themes. Still, even if you're using multiple applications from the office suite, it's an ideal way to give your workpieces a consistent and professional look, with matching colors, fonts, and so on. The working method in the various applications (of Office 2016) is similar, but we mainly focus on PowerPoint because this strongly visually oriented application offers the most options.

To provide a presentation with a (different) theme, you only need the tab To design and click on the arrow at the bottom right of Themes clicking: a panel with more than 40 themes will appear. It suffices to hover the mouse pointer over the thumbnail of such a theme for a while to see a live preview. With a mouse click you actually apply the theme, but if necessary you can quickly undo this decision with Ctrl+Z.

An Office theme is an excellent method to quickly display your corporate identity

Tip 02: Color scheme

It will of course be even more fun and personal if you design your own Office theme, which, for example, fits well with the house style of yourself, your association or company. Since an Office theme always includes a color scheme, this seems like a logical starting point. As mentioned, we do that here in PowerPoint. Open an empty presentation, go to the tab To design and click on the arrow at the bottom right of the section Variants. A drop-down menu pops up, where you successively Colors and Adjust colors select โ€“ unless your house style happens to already match one of the standard suggested color combinations.

However, we assume here that you want to use the typical colors of your company or association and that you have the RGB values โ€‹โ€‹of those colors. You proceed as follows. Click the arrow next to one of the theme colors and choose More colors. Open the tab Amended and fill in Color model RGB the percentage share of the colours Red, Green and Blue in. Optionally you can also see the color model here HSL can be selected, which translates as hue (hue), intensity (saturation), and brightness (luminance). Confirm with OK, appropriately name your color scheme and save it with the button Save.

Color models

Suppose you do have the house colors of your association or company, but that you have received them in a color model that is not supported by Microsoft Office, such as hex, cmyk or ral. Don't worry, you can solve that with the help of free online conversion tools.

To transfer hex colors to the supported rgb color model, you can use this webpage. You enter the hexadecimal color code here (for example #B68CE0) and you will see the corresponding rgb colors appear, in a custom page color (for example 182,140,224).

To convert cmyk colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) go here and for a conversion table of the ral model you can go here for example.

And who only has the colors of his company on an image: on you can edit the image with the button Upload your image and Send image and then click on the desired color with the mouse pointer.

Tip 03: Fonts

A corporate identity is of course more than just a beautiful color palette. We can imagine that you also want to use specific fonts. That is of course also possible. To do this, open the drop-down menu again at Variants (see tip 2), where you are this time Fonts / Customize Fonts selects. A dialog box appears in which you select the desired font for both the header and body text. If you do not find what you are looking for among the selected fonts, know that there are countless other, often free fonts available online, such as at Installing such a downloaded font is usually no more difficult than extracting the file, right-clicking the ttf or otf file and to install to select it: it then pops up among your other fonts. Mind you, not all fonts are of the same quality; also check that it is not copyrighted.

Finally, give the theme fonts a suitable name and confirm with Save.

Tip 04: Background

A slide show may also have an appropriate background (color). You open the drop-down menu again at Variants (see tip 2) where you Background Styles / Background choose format. On the right the corresponding panel appears in which you select a suitable background under the option padding, as Gradient fill or Image or texture fill. This last option can be interesting if you want to use your own image, such as a logo, as a background. Under the designation Insert picturefrom then click on the button File or Online, after which you import the desired image. With the slider at Transparency you control the transparency and if you place a check at Pictures side by side as a bitmap pattern it is possible to make your image appear as a (bitmap) pattern in the background. Confirm your choices with the button Apply everywhere.

For the sake of completeness, we also mention the option Effects in the drop-down menu at Variants: you will find a collection of fifteen effects here, but the meaning of this escapes us a bit.

Tip 05: Slide model

If you also like to have some graphic element return in your slides, then you also adjust the 'slide master' function of PowerPoint. You do that as follows. Go to the tab Image and choose Slide Master in the section Model Views. The tab will become visible and the actual slide master will now appear in the left panel at the very top, with the related slide layouts below. You can now edit this slide master as you wish: you will notice that all adjustments will immediately be reflected in the underlying slides that are based on this master. In this way it is possible, for example, to place a company logo in the corner of all your slides. You do that through Insert / Pictures, after which you retrieve the desired image and position it in a suitable place. When you are done with your changes, confirm with Close model view, on the right of the toolbar.

More (English) explanation about the concept of slide masters can be found via this link (slide master is the English name of the slide master).

Tip 06: Use theme

You've now completed just about every possible part of your theme, so it's time to wrap your edits into one big theme. For that you open the menu To design, after which you click on the arrow at the bottom right of the category Themes clicks. At the very bottom you select Save current theme. Give the theme an appropriate name and save it as an Office theme with the file extension .thmx with the button Save. The default location for such a theme is C:\Users\[account name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes.

The theme is now ready to use. Let's test that first within PowerPoint itself. Open a new blank presentation at File / New and click just below the title New on Amended: the theme you just saved will appear here. Click on the theme thumbnail and then click To make to open it.

Tip 07: Transfer theme

We already mentioned it earlier in this article: such a theme can be used within the other applications of Microsoft Office. As an example, let's use our new PowerPoint theme in Word. Open a new, empty document in Word. Then go to the menu To design and click on the arrow below Themes, left in the section Document format. At the top of the drop-down menu at Amended you will now also find your own theme(s). When you then select the various parts of the tab To design When you look at it, you immediately notice that the color palette and fonts, among other things, are aligned with that theme.

It works much the same in Outlook: open a new message, go to the Options tab and select the desired theme within the group Themes. This story is similar with Excel, only you will find the themes here on the tab Page layout.

However, such an Office theme is not only transferable to other Office applications, you can also share it with others. You do that as follows. Navigate with Windows Explorer to the path we mentioned in tip 6. Your theme's thmx file will now be visible and all you have to do is copy this file and give it to the intended people. As soon as they have put this file in the same location on their own PC, they can immediately start working with it.

You can also easily share themes and templates with others

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