3. Choose a Custom Color Palette


Most companies have a color scheme associated with their brand. This lesson shows you how to include these colors in your PowerPoint template.

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  1. Lesson Goal (00:00)

    The goal of this lesson is to create a custom color palette in PowerPoint.

  2. Understanding Color Palettes (00:04)

    To view the color palette for a PowerPoint template, we go to the Slide Master view, then select the Colors dropdown in the ribbon. Here we can apply various pre-defined color palettes, or create our own palette by selecting Customize Colors. 

    Each color palette contains 12 colors. Four colors are used for text and backgrounds, six colors are accent colors, which are used for objects and general theming, and two colors are used for hyperlinks. The Customize Colors window lets us modify each of these colors individually. To modify a color, we select its dropdown and select the color we want. Selecting More colors lets us specify the exact color we want using an RGB value, which is a set of three numbers (Red, Green, and Blue) that define a specific color.

  3. Identifying Colors in an Image (01:14)

    When creating a custom color palette, you should generally set your company’s colors as the accent colors of the palette. If you don’t know the precise RGB values of these colors, you can identify them using a color picker tool. These tools can identify the RGB value of any color featured in an image, such as a company logo.

    In this lesson, we use Paint to identify the color from our company logo. We paste the logo in Paint, then select the Color Picker tool, and click the color we want to identify. If we then open the Edit Colors window, we can see the RGB value for the selected color. We can then enter this value for one of the colors in our PowerPoint template.

  4. Using the Color Palette (02:47)

    After we have modified the colors in our color palette, we should give the palette a name and save it. When we change the color of objects in the master slide or in presentations using the template, the color palette we created will appear in any color dropdown that we use.


When creating a color palette for our Powerpoint template, we go first to the Slide Master, and then to the Color dropdown in the Edit Theme part of the ribbon. From here, we can select a pre-made set of theme colors, or better yet, create our own with this option at the bottom.

Each set of theme colors has 12 different drop-downs. The first 4 theme colors are for the color of your text. The next 6 are accents, and here I'm going to add the colors from our company logo so that we have a consistent color palette throughout the presentation. The final two colors are for hyperlinks, which are like links on a webpage, and are not used very often in PowerPoint. To change a color, we can click on a drop-down, and select from one of these options, or we can go to More Colors. In More Colors, I have the Custom tab selected, and here we can enter 3 RGB numbers. RBG is a color model used by many software packages in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. To find the RGB numbers for the colors in our logo, you can use Microsoft Paint and open up our logo file. Next, we select the Color Picker tool, and then pick a color on the slide where we'd like to find the RGB number. Let's say this red. So then I would click, and then go to Edit Colors, and as you can see, this gives me the RGB numbers for this red color.

So now I'll return to PowerPoint and add these numbers to our custom color, which is 193, 39, and 44.

And now we have the correct red color selected from our logo. Let's do this one more time. So I'll return to Paint.

This time I'll select the light blue. So again, to the Color Picker, and then select the light blue. Then we will click Edit Colors to get the RGB number. And then we return to PowerPoint to add this color.

So More Colors, and then 0, 188, 228.

And then OK to complete.

Off-camera, I'll add the remaining colors from our logo, and some additional colors to the palette which I'm likely to use at some stage in the future. Once I'm finished, I'll simply give the color palette a name, say Zippy Airways, and then I can save.

We can now edit the banner in our Master Slide so that the blue matches the blue from our logo. So I'll simply go to Shape Fill and select the blue that I want. And that matches our logo much better. In the latest version of PowerPoint, the Colors dropdown in the Slide Master gives you the option to access RGB colors from within images directly, so you don't need to use MS Paint. However, for PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 users, a color picker tool such as Paint is needed to find the correct RGB colors from your logo.

PowerPoint Essentials
Custom Templates for Your Business


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