PowerPoint 2010: Applying a Theme


Themes in PowerPoint 2010 allow you to quickly customize the look and feel of your entire presentation. A theme is a set of coordinated fonts, colors, and effects that you can apply to give your presentation a polished, professional design.

Using a theme saves you time and effort compared to formatting each slide individually. When you apply a theme, PowerPoint automatically formats all of the slides and slide layouts to match that theme.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What’s included in a PowerPoint theme
  • How to view and apply built-in themes
  • How to customize a theme’s colors, fonts, and effects
  • How to save a custom theme to reuse later

What’s Included in a PowerPoint Theme

A PowerPoint theme includes the following elements that work together to create a coordinated look:


The theme colors define the color palette used, including colors for text, backgrounds, lines, fills, and accents. Theme colors are designed to work well together in both light and dark slide backgrounds.


The theme fonts determine the heading and body text fonts used throughout your presentation. Theme fonts are selected for readability and visual compatibility.


Theme effects apply pre-designed lines, fills, shadows, and other graphical effects to shapes, charts, SmartArt, and other design elements. This creates a unified look.

Background Styles

Background styles define the slide backgrounds, which can be a solid color, gradient, texture, or even a photo. The background style coordinates with the theme’s colors.

Viewing and Applying Themes

PowerPoint 2010 comes with a gallery of built-in themes that you can apply to your presentation. Here’s how:

  1. On the Design tab, locate the Themes section.
  2. Click the More button to expand the themes gallery.
  3. Scroll through the themes and hover over a theme to preview it on your slide.
  4. When you find one you like, click it to apply the theme.

All of the slide layouts and slides will update to match the new theme.

Customizing a Theme

Don’t see a theme you love? You can customize the built-in themes in PowerPoint 2010. Here’s how to edit a theme’s colors, fonts, and effects:

Customize Colors

  1. On the Design tab, click the Colors button.
  2. Choose one of the preset color variants, or click Create New Theme Colors at the bottom.
  3. Adjust colors as desired and click Save.

Customize Fonts

  1. On the Design tab, click the Fonts button.
  2. Select font types and sizes for headings and body text.
  3. Click Save.

Customize Effects

  1. On the Design tab, click Effects.
  2. Choose a set of lines, fills, and effects.
  3. Adjust effect variations and intensity as desired.

Saving a Custom Theme

Once you’ve customized a theme to your liking, you can save it to easily reuse it later:

  1. On the Design tab, click the Themes button.
  2. Choose Save Current Theme.
  3. Give your theme a descriptive name and click Save.

Your custom theme will now show up in the theme gallery for you to apply again whenever needed!


Themes in PowerPoint 2010 provide an easy way to make your presentations look polished and professional. Take advantage of the built-in themes to quickly format your slides, and customize or create your own themes to match your personal style or brand identity.

With themes, you no longer need to spend time hand-formatting individual slides and elements. The coordinated fonts, colors, and effects applied through themes saves you effort while making your presentation look cohesive.

So skip the slide-by-slide formatting next time – apply a theme for fast formatting!