How to Use Color in a PowerPoint Slide to Highlight Information

Using color effectively in a PowerPoint presentation can help draw attention to key points, make your slides more visually appealing, and improve information retention for your audience. Here are some best practices for incorporating color to highlight important content in your slides.

Choose High Contrast Colors

When selecting colors to highlight text or other elements, opt for color combinations that have strong visual contrast. Dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background makes the text easy to see and read. Some examples of high contrast color pairings:

  • Black text on a white or yellow background
  • White or yellow text on a black or dark blue background
  • Dark blue text on a light yellow background

Avoid using colors with low contrast, like red text on a green background, as these are harder to clearly see.

Use Color Sparingly

Resist the urge to highlight everything on your slide. Use color selectively to call attention to the 2-3 most important points. Overusing highlighting diminishes its impact.

Be Consistent

Pick 1-2 highlight colors and use them consistently on all slides. This creates a unified visual theme. Some good highlight color choices are bright yellow, light blue, or green.

Try Different Techniques

Experiment with different options for adding color, like:

  • Highlighted text – Use a bright text color or text highlight color
  • Colored shapes behind text
  • Animated color transitions on text (fade in/out)
  • Colored borders around key text or image boxes

Combining techniques creates visual interest while still effectively highlighting key information.

How to Highlight Text

Highlighting text in PowerPoint is easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the text you want to highlight
  2. On the Home tab, click the Text Highlight Color button
  3. Choose a highlight color from the palette

The selected text will now have a colored highlight behind it.

Highlight text gif

To remove a text highlight, select the text and click the Text Highlight Color button again. Then choose the No Color option.

How to Use Shapes to Highlight

Another highlighting technique is placing colored shapes behind text to make it stand out. Here is the process:

  1. Insert a shape from the Insert tab
  2. Size and position the shape behind the text
  3. Select the shape and use shape fill options to color it
  4. Send the shape behind the text

Experiment with different shapes and colors. Having the edges of the shape slightly peeking out from behind the text adds a nice border effect.

Animating Highlight Transitions

For a more dynamic highlighting effect, use PowerPoint’s animation feature. This makes text highlights fade in and out:

  1. Select the text and open the Animations tab
  2. Click More animation effects > Emphasis
  3. Choose either Brush Color or Font Color
  4. Pick a color and preview the animation

The color will subtly wash over the text, directing attention without being distracting.

By creatively incorporating color to spotlight important information, your PowerPoint slides will be more visually compelling and communicate key messages more effectively. Use these highlighting techniques selectively, be consistent with your choice of colors, and explore different types of color effects. Well-executed use of color can take your PowerPoint presentations to the next level.