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Choosing and applying the background

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Background can be applied to a number of elements in Impress: the page, a default text area, a graphic object and so on. The procedures to apply a background are always the same.

The following procedure is used to apply a background to the page.

  1. To begin, do one of the following:
    • Select Format > Page from the menu bar. On the Page Setup dialog box, choose the Background tab.
    • Make sure the Presentation Styles icon is selected in the Styles and Formatting window, right-click Background and select Modify from the pop-up menu. This opens the Background dialog box.
  2. Select the type of fill you want for your background from the five choices, as shown below: None, Color, Gradient, Hatching, or Bitmap.
  3. Background choices

    A list of choices for the selected fill type then appears (see figure below for an example).

    Background colors
  4. Select one of the items on the list and click OK. The fill you have chosen is added to the slide master, replacing any previously selected fill.
Tip.png You can make custom additions to each type of background, with the obvious exception of None. After you create new fills, they are listed in the Background dialog box along with the fills provided with OOo. For example, the last color in the figure above, Test Blue, is a custom color. See Chapter 6 for more information.


Adding background objects

This section describes how to add background objects and graphic elements (such as a logo, decorative lines, and so on). OOo supports a large number of picture formats.

Whenever you want the same graphic element to appear on every slide of your presentation, the easiest and quickest solution is to use the slide master. Not only it will save time while creating the presentation, but also when you decide to either modify the graphic element or reposition it on the slide. If the graphic element was added to each slide, the same operations would have to be performed on each individual slide of the presentation.

One of the most common activities when preparing a presentation is to add a picture to the slide master. To insert a picture already available on the hard disk, follow these steps:

  1. Choose View > Master > Slide Master from the menu bar.
  2. Select from the menu bar Insert > Picture > From File.
  3. Navigate to the directory where your picture is and select it. If you want to see a preview, select the corresponding checkbox in the file browser dialog box.
Documentation caution.png OOo offers the option to insert a picture as a link to the file rather than embedding it in the document. This can be useful when a presentation is not intended to be distributed elsewhere, and where it will remain in the same hierarchical directory structure. For example, it could be created on a notebook computer, from which the presentation will be given to, typically, a group of clients.

If the presentation file is to be distributed, however, the picture should be embedded to avoid the “missing picture” syndrome when the presentation is finally given on a different computer.


Once the picture is inserted, you may need to reposition it and modify its size. How to do that is explained in Chapter 4 (Adding and Formatting Pictures).

Tip.png If you want the image to blend with the background, you can set the background color of the picture as transparent. Select the picture, then chose Tools > Eyedropper from the menu bar. Check the first checkbox and then move the mouse on the picture and click on the color you would like to make transparent. This color appears next to the checkbox. Make sure that Replace with... is set to Transparent and click Replace.


In addition to pictures you can add a number of other background objects, for example decorative lines, text and shapes. Below is an example of a slide master with a custom background gradient, a background picture, another picture in the top right corner, some decorative lines and some customized presentation styles.

Example of a complex slide with several modifications


Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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