How to Make Excel Use a PowerPoint Custom Color Scheme

Microsoft Office; PowerPoint, Excel, Work, etc. have many shared components. PowerPoint tends to be the most visual design app of the suite and a common request we receive is how to add the colors from a PowerPoint we developed into Excel. You will need to add the custom color scheme to your computer, see the previous post. The process is fairly easy, here is an example and the action steps:

1. In Excel, our example chart uses the standard Office color scheme (boring!)

2. In excel go to PAGE LAYOUT > COLORS

3. In the CUSTOM section, select the custom color scheme we saved from PowerPoint to the computer Office options. We are selecting the COLOR SCHEME NAME custom colors.

4. Now the excel file instantly updates charts to match the PowerPoint file!

Troy @ TLC


By |2020-05-20T11:46:50-07:00May 15th, 2020|Tutorial|

How to Apply a Saved Color Scheme to an Existing PowerPoint

Any PowerPoint slide deck can have any preset color scheme applied to it – and everything in that presentation that uses the color scheme for their colors will automatically update! This includes text, shapes, charts, tables and more. It is amazing when the slide content is setup to use color scheme colors – and frustrating when it does not…

Here is our example presentation, that uses a green color scheme – and the template was developed using the color scheme.

We want to update this presentation to the “blue” division. We can easily update the presentation to the “blue” color scheme (see previous blog post for how to add color schemes to PowerPoints CUSTOM list). To update the presentation to the needed color scheme, go to DESIGN > COLORS > select the desired color scheme.

As you rollover the different schemes, the color schemes preview. Ultimately we have selected the “blue” color scheme for this presentation.

Troy @ TLC


By |2021-05-17T13:02:57-07:00May 13th, 2020|Tutorial|

How to Save and Name a Custom Color Theme in PowerPoint

Any presentation can have any custom color scheme applied to it. This tutorial is how to save a custom color scheme from one presentation, or template, to your computer and then apply it to any other presentation.

1. Custom color schemes, for example from a custom PowerPoint template, is displayed in DESIGN > COLORS > CUSTOM. Note, custom color schemes that have been saved to your computer show up in this list.


3. To save the color scheme from any file/template, click CUSTOMIZE COLORS at the bottom of the list.

4. The CREATE NEW THEME COLORS dialog opens and displays all of the assigned colors. The only action you need is to give the color scheme a name (see previous post for tip on seeing the assigned name). 

5. Replace “Custom 1” with a descriptive name. For this tutorials we will use “Custom Color Scheme Name” and click SAVE

6. Now you will have access to the “Color Scheme Name” custom colors on your computer and can apply them to any presentation or template. 


Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-24T10:44:16-07:00May 11th, 2020|Tutorial|

What is the PowerPoint color scheme name of this file?

Every custom color scheme has a name. But when the CREATE NEW THEME COLORS dialog is opened, the color scheme name is a generic “custom 1” name. It is not intuitive on finding the color scheme name, so here is a tutorial on how to see the color scheme name currently being used by a file.

— Note: I am reposting what I put online back on April 29, 2016

Every template has a Custom Color Scheme. And every color scheme has a custom name. For example: Here is a custom PowerPoint template I am working on, and I named the template color scheme “The Future Is Now” which is the theme name of the event where it will be used.

Template Color Scheme -1

And when I look at the color schemes available on my computer, this theme is listed – because it was created on this computer:

Template Color Scheme -5

But on any other computer, with the template open, if I look at the color schemes, The Future Is Now is not listed:

Template Color Scheme -2

To find the Custom Color Scheme name, do this:

  • Go to VIEW > SLIDE MASTER > BACKGROUND > mouse over (do not click) COLORSTemplate Color Scheme -3
  • The pop up dialog shows the current template color scheme name
    Template Color Scheme -4

Now you can edit the existing color scheme and know what name to give it.

-Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-24T18:08:16-07:00May 8th, 2020|Tutorial|

Image Transparency in PowerPoint

From a recent conversation about how a slide design was created, I realize that it is difficult to keep up with the number of new features being added to PowerPoint. If you have a familiar workflow, you might not be looking for a new workflow. This blog post is about a new, but not really that new, feature in PowerPoint – setting the transparency level of an image.

Here is a slide design scenario (inspired by the conversation noted above) and how to use PowerPoint’s image transparency. Starting with this example slide and inserting an image onto it.

Here is the image, positioned and cropped to fit the open right side of the slide.

The goal is to make the right side have a stylized background element (this photo) with content on top. Open the “Format Picture” pane on the right side.

Go to the PICTURE section and expand the PICTURE TRANSPARENCY options.

Use the presets to quickly change the opacity/transparency of the image.

Or use the Transparency slider, or select the number field and enter an exact percentage. The image on this slide was set to 90%.

All within PowerPoint we have placed an image. Sized, positioned and cropped an image. And adjusted the image transparency – no Photoshop needed. This faint image over the white background can now be the stylized background for the slide content.

Going one styling further, a golden gradient image was placed under the image, making this slide layout quick to update to any color accent (and the content text was updated to white to provide adequate contrast for legibility).

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-16T23:13:24-07:00April 17th, 2020|Tutorial|

An Animated GIF Created in PowerPoint

To create this animated .gif we created a small slide size PowerPoint deck. The page size is 1.25″ x 1.5″

From an image from Adobe Stock (TLC Creative has a Teams account to Adobe Stock for project art), we cropped and added the image sequence to 19 slides. No PowerPoint animation and even slide transitions – just multiple slides and a fast auto advance timing.

Troy @ TLC


By |2020-02-27T13:56:20-07:00March 2nd, 2020|Tutorial|

How To Create Animated .GIFs in PowerPoint!

Exporting slides as a self contained animated .gif is easy (see previous post). Here is an example of creating PowerPoint slides to be exported as an animated .gif.

Adjust page size if needed. For this example the goal is an online add ready square and the PowerPoint slides page size is 4″ x 4″.

1 Insert the photos, 1 per slide.

In this example, for the scenic photos, each was sized, positioned and cropped to fit full frame on the square area.

2. Preset the slide transition effects for each slide. Note: do not set the Auto Transition timing, we will set this in the export step.


4. There are 4 size options:

     Small (240p at 15fps)

     Medium (480p at 15fps)

     Large (720p at 24fps)

     Extra Large (HD quality 1080p at 24fps)

5. Add the delay between each slide in the SECONDS SPEND ON EACH SLIDE dialog


TIP: For this scenic imagery, we can successfully use the lower FPS (frames per second) of 15fps. For animated gifs with more complex animation, the higher 24fps is going to be better, even if you do not need the larger pixel size. With PowerPoint the pixel size and frame rate (fps) are connected and cannot be selected independently.

Troy @ TLC (thanks Jake for creating the sample file!)

By |2020-02-26T18:54:57-07:00February 28th, 2020|Tutorial|

Create Animated .GIFs in PowerPoint!

Microsoft has added a feature to PowerPoint, export as .GIF. 

Export a single slide, or a series of slides as an animated .gif. Our tests have done a good job with capturing animations, slide transitions and timing – all with good size files.

The Export as Animated GIF is very similar to the Export as Video.

  • Go to FILE > select EXPORT
  • Select a size and quality option




By |2020-02-26T18:31:23-07:00February 26th, 2020|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Cut Out PowerPoint Text

An example, and tutorial, of using PowerPoint for text styling. Here is the simple, all caps, text:

I am updating the text to a white fill, on a white background, with a light grey outline 

To create the cut out effect, an inner shadow is applied.

Done. A text styling effect, created in PowerPoint and text remains editable.

– Troy @ TLC

By |2020-02-07T08:11:22-07:00February 14th, 2020|Tutorial|

Overlapping PowerPoint Text

Typography: The art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed.

PowerPoint is a flexible design app. Sometimes it is not easy to accomplish design ideas as in other apps. As example, text kerning. PowerPoint does not use the design industry term “kerning” and the feature is not easily accessed.

For example, here is some simple, all caps, text on a slide.

To add some visual design, letter colors are updated to the TLC color scheme (RGB).

In preparation for the next effect, the opacity is lowered to

Now the actual kerning, what PowerPoint labels CHARACTER SPACING. Select the text, open the FONT dialog, view the CHARACTER SPACING tab. Change the spacing option to CONDENSED, which essentially is negative spacing (so the 20 pt used is really -20 pt).

The result is the text slightly overlaps and the transparency overlap creates a dynamic visual.

Done. Custom typography styling created all within PowerPoint and remains editable text.

Download the editable slide HERE.


– Troy @ TLC

By |2020-02-07T07:55:00-07:00February 12th, 2020|Portfolio, Tutorial|
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