If you are a more advanced Power Point user you know that your presentation is only limited by the size of the screen. Using header graphics on each slide or small images and clip art can actually limit your creative abilities. Don't take this the wrong way, however. There are many presentations that work best with header titles, bullet points and small graphics, but if you want to break out of the confines of the typical Power Point style, don't be afraid to utilize the entire screen. This quick article will show you a few ways to do that.

One way to use the whole screen is to select images relevent to your topic and let them fill the entire screen. When making your image selection find on that provides natural copy space. Many photographers selling royalty free images will intentionally leave an area free of clutter, such as sky or grass or a blank wall. Find an image that has an area that is not filled with activity. These images are perfect for copy space.

But not all images come with convenient copy space. Let's ay you've found the perfect image that conveys the concept you are discussing. But, it's a busy picture filled with contrast, light areas mixed with dark shadows. You try using a light color for text but parts of it gets lost in the highlights of the background image. The same happens with dark text, it gets lost in the shadows. There is an easy way around this problem and that is to create a backdrop for your text.

Select a portion of your image where you want to place your text. If there are faces in your image, you want to make sure you don't place your text on top of someone's face, especially their eyes. Next, make a simple rectangle shape with the following options.

  • Transparency - The transparency should be set at 35% to 50%. Your goal is to make it blend into the background but allow enough contrast to show off your text.
  • Fill color - Select either black or white depending on your image. You can also use the color select tool and click on a portion of the background. This will make a great fill color for your rectangle.
  • Shape Outline - Make sure there is no outline to your shape
  • Shape Effects - to make your text background blend into your image, soften the edges of your shape. Power Point offers softness settings from 1% all the way up to 50%. Good settings are usually 10% ro 25%. Experiment with the edges to get the softness you like best.

Another good design tip when creating your background shape is to let one or two edges of the rectangle to bleed over the edge of your slide.

Now you're ready to add text. Creat a text box and place it over the rectangle you just created. Use the align tools to center your text.

  • Select the rectangle then shift/click to select the text box so that you have both elements selected
  • In the Align Settings select align/center and align/middle

Once you have them aligned properly with each other you can use the group option to group the two elements together. This will make it easier to work with your shape and text as one element. Now you've created a way to let your text stand out against your background image.