A favorite feature added to PowerPoint 2007 is the design theme. This lets you quickly modify your slides by changing templates, color schemes, and fonts. It opens the doors to thousands of quick customizations.
Today, I’d like to share a free PowerPoint add-in that lets you expand your color scheme options. It’s built by Shyam Pillai, the same guy who gave away the free animation add-in I featured in the blog post, PowerPoint Animations Made Easy with This Free Tool.
Quick Look at Color Schemes
Starting in PowerPoint 2007, you get a bunch of built-in color themes. These are handy because with one click you can change multiple colors in your slides. In fact, I usually build my PowerPoint templates with the color themes in mind. I start with the default color scheme and then when I want, I can quickly apply a custom theme.
How to Get More Power Out of the Custom Color Schemes
One of the challenges with the custom color themes is that you’re limited to twelve colors. But what if you have a color scheme that requires more than twelve? Well that’s where this free PowerPoint add-in comes in handy.
PowerPoint MVP Shyam Pillai shares a simple add-in that lets you create your own custom color schemes. Basically, here’s how it works. I also included a tutorial below if you want to see it in action.
First, you create a swatch of colors based on the current color scheme. This produces a slide that contains all of the colors assigned to the current themes. It even gives you the RGB values. By itself this is a handy tool because you could print it out and save as a reference document.
The power of this add-in lies in the blank objects. You’ll notice that there are twelve additional swatches. This is where you can add your additional colors. Add your colors to the shapes; give them titles; and then click on the “Apply Swatch to Color Theme” button.
The color theme gets updated and the extra twelve colors are assigned to the custom color palette. This is a great way to add your organization’s brand to the color scheme, as well as any other colors that you may be able to use for accents or miscellaneous shapes.
This color theme add-in makes working with your themes easy. First, updating all of your colors with a single click is simple. And then being able to add a host of additional colors is a plus.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use the color scheme add-in.
I can see where this would be useful for custom color schemes around corporate branding. All you do is create a single color scheme that’s built into the template taking all of the guess work out of the process. Being able to add additional colors is nice because you can include accents to augment elements of the organization’s branded colors.
How would you use this is add-in? Feel free to share your thoughts by clicking on the comments link.
- San Francisco at Devlearn on November 3-5. I’m presenting on how to create instructional design templates and creating shared practice communities. I’ll also be facilitating a couple of Breakfast Byte sessions. In one of the sessions we can discuss some of what I learned from the Articulate Guru submissions.
- More from Devlearn. David’s doing a session where he deconstructs a course and shows how we built the Christian Aid course for LINGOs. Lots of good practical tips in that one.
- Philadelphia and New York City, here I come! Kineo’s sponsoring a couple of elearning workshops. I’m doing a 30 minute session at each. To learn more, check out Cammy’s blog.
- NYC Articulate Jam Session on November 11. Since I’m in town, I’m free to do an informal Articulate jam session. I like to use the time to answer questions and offer tips & tricks. Click here to get the details.