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Powerpoint: Create and save a color palette

You can customize the clickable color selections available in any Powerpoint file by building and saving a new color palette.

To do this, you will need the RGB values for each of your preferred colors. If they are set out in a style guide already, refer to that. If not, you will need to obtain them from an older presentation or a web site. If you have a presentation that uses the desired colors, you can obtain the RGB values using this method:

  1. Select a graphic element that uses one of these colors as a fill
  2. Click the down arrow on the paint bucket button, and click “More Colors”
  3. From the options at the top of the menu that opened, choose the icon showing two sliders
  4. Record the figures in each box next to the sliders for Red, Green and Blue.

If you must refer to a web site or a non-Office document for a desired color (or colors), call up that site or document and perform a screen capture when the color (or colors) you need is (or are) displayed. Then, paste from your clipboard into your presentation. Next, use the shape tool to draw a rectangle on the slide next to the screen cap. Select the rectangle and click on the small down-arrow next to the paint bucket tool. Select “More Colors.” You will see a magnifying glass on the resulting menu: Click it and move the cursor (now a magnifying glass with crosshairs) over the desired color and click. The sliders in the color window will have changed to reflect the color you just picked up from the screen cap. Record them and repeat this process for any additional colors you wish to use.

You now have the RGB values for a half-dozen colors or so, right? Then you are ready to save your color palette. Here’s how…

  • Under the “Themes” tab, choose “Theme Options,” then “Colors,” then click “Create Theme Colors”
  • You will see a menu displaying 12 colors
  • Customize any of these colors by clicking on the box next to the label and then clicking “Change Color”
  • In the resulting menu, you can punch in your RGB values and then click “OK” to lock them in
  • When you have altered as many of these colors as you wish, enter a unique title in the “Name” box and click “Apply to All.”

This will activate the palette in your presentation, making your custom colors available in the drop-down menu for fonts, fills, outlines, etc. It also saves the palette in the system files for use in future projects. If you save and send the presentation with your new palette activated, it will travel with the file and your recipient may save it on their hard drive as well.


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