Export Powerpoint Theme Colours & Changing Default Color Palette

I’ll admit, I’ve created a fair amount of presentations in my time and although i love working with PowerPoint, I’m not what I would call a PowerPoint guru. Not when it comes to the more advanced settings of Microsoft PowerPoint, anyway.

That said, this week i was set the task of trying to help someone with exporting PowerPoint theme colours and I thought I would share my learnings as it turns out, sometimes its not the easiest thing to get your head round.

The particular issue in question here was that when the PowerPoint presentation was being sent over to someone else who was unable to see the theme colours that were present on the original person’s machine.

What follows, are my take aways from this particular occasion:

  • What Are PowerPoint Themes?
  • Where Can I find PowerPoint Themes?
  • How to Customise the Colour Palate in PowerPoint?
  • How to Export and Share PowerPoint Theme Colours?

What Are PowerPoint Themes?

PowerPoint themes are used to define the look and feel of your presentation. Themes extend beyond just colours, they allow you to customise font size, style, background, layout and the general look and feel of your presentation.

There are a number of built in themes in PowerPoint which are great if you want to put something together quickly or as a one off, but if you are a business, you want something a little more custom and particular to your needs and style. Enter custom Themes and Slide Masters.

Where can i find Power Point Themes?

To find the PowerPoint Themes, click on the “Design” tab and there you will be presented with a selection of the previously mention “built in” themes. Here you can select from a number of themes and apply these to your presentation for a nice, easy and quick solution.

If you want to go ahead and create something of your own though, the “Slide Master” section is where you need to be. This area of PowerPoint will allow you to create custom designs and layouts for your PowerPoint presentation slides.

How to Create Custom Colours in PowerPoint?

In order to change the colours that are available in default colour drop down boxes you need to change the Theme Colors section under the “Design” tab.

Go to:

Design > Colors > Create New Theme Colors

Powerpoint-Theme-ColoursHere you will be create and save your own theme of colours which when selected will not only adjust the style of your slides but also the colour in the colour swatch in PowerPoint.

Note, only 10 colours are avaiable in the default colour swatch dropdown. These include the “Text/Background” and “Accent” colours you define.

How to Export and Share PowerPoint Theme Colours

If you create a new template and then send it to someone else, they will see the colours of your theme and be able to use them but if they start messing around with the styles in the “Design” tab, these seem to get lost. Whats going on Microsoft?…

To get round this, you need to make sure that the machine you are working on has the Theme’s Color XML file. This will ensure that no matter what happens, you will always beable to revert to the custom Theme colours you have defined.

If you find yourself in this situation, then my advise is that you send the other user a copy of the presentation and the theme XML file and get them to install the themeXML in their theme colors  folder.

On a windows 7 machine, the theme colours XML file can be found in the following location:

Themes\Theme Colors

Note, the location may differ depending on the version of windows and particular set up of the machine being worked on.

Like i said, I’ not a PowerPoint expert. If you know of a better way of dealing this problem or theme colours i would love to hear it. Please leave a comment below.

Mozilla Bespin – aka Code in the Clouds

Mozilla Bespin – aka Code in the Clouds

Mozilla labs are currently experimenting with a new online code editor they are developing called Bespin.

Bespin, also know as ‘Code in the Clouds’, uses HTML 5 to provide an online code editor environment for developers to code, store and share projects they are working on. Put simply, the concept is code and access from any machine, similar to Google Documents I guess.

I’ve been having a little play around to see what all the fuss is about and i must admit i like the idea. However, there’s a LONG way to go until we can hangup our Notepad, Vim or Dreamweaver boots.

Bespin Video

Try out Bespin

Wanna give Bespin a try? Go to the Bespin site and try the demo for yourself. Note, you’ll need Firefox 3 or a HTML 5 processing Web Browser.

Tom’s Thoughts on Bespin

I love the concept of the whole thing, coding and accessing development projects from anywhere would be a great thing to have. The idea of open source and sharing code with developers also gives hope, however, we need better functionality and interface intellisense for lazy people like me! Full credit to Mozilla for the insight and effort of this project, keep it up guys!

Google Launches Chrome Browser

Google Chrome Browser

This evening Google released a BETA version of they’re open source browser ‘Chrome‘.

The browser has speed, security and a stable browsing experience as core features. I’ve only had a quick play but I must admit I like what I see so far and of course, most importantly, my site renders perfect in it! 🙂

The browser is based around Googles Webkit browser engine and powered by Google Gears. It also features there own JavaScript virtual machine ‘V8‘ to help handle todays more powerful web applications and make the development of them easier.

Like all modern browsers Chrome is based around tabbed browsing experience, however, Chrome runs its tabs under separate memory space which aims to make the browser more stable and less prone to crashing.

As an open source browser Chrome is clearly out there to compete with the likes of Firefox (Mozilla’s Browser) which currently has a 20% market share and is a big hit with the geeks and techsavies alike. With a brand like Google’s its going to be an interesting competition. My bet is, if Google can impress the geeks Firefox is in trouble.

My verdict so far:


  • The browser looks slick and makes the most of the screen.
  • Seems very fast
  • Straight forward to use
  • Search incorporated into the address bar
  • No problems with rendering sites so far
  • Good history features on homepage (when you can find it!)
  • Task Manager / the abiltiy to end processes
  • A developers section (basic at the moment but hopefully this will develop)


  • I’m not liking the flash you seem to get when navigating throguh  a website with a non-white background . Watch out epileptics!
  • Obviously no plugins at the moment so no contest with Firefox, yet….
  • Very bare bones browser options at the moment.
  • So far I haven’t been able to find a home button! (UPDATE –  found it under OPTIONS)

Google Comic for Chrome

Check out the comic they released to read a little more about Google’s take on Chrome.

Bandertron (Bandatron)

What is a Bandertron (Bandatron)?

A bandertron (also spelt bandatron) is a term used to describe someone or something that lacks skill or intelligence. If the subject is human it is highly likely this person suffers with severe galloping knob rot.

What does a Badertron look like?

Its hard to define exactly what a bandertron looks like but generally this person would have a rather extreme case of wonky face syndrome (see image below). Here are a few classic bandatron stereotypes:

Bandertron bandatron martin

Know of a bandertron?

What does a bandertron listen too?

Bandertrons are WELL into anything 80s and anything cheesey. The Top Gun soundtrack the ultimate banertron album of all time. A bandertron without Top Gun is like John Bon Jovi without a mullet…

The worlds biggest Bandertron

Currently there is no one person who holds the world title of ‘The Worlds Greatest Bandertron’, however, there are a couple of people that could be possible contenders for the title – Pete, Martin and myself.

The bandertron championships?

The ‘Ulitmate Bandertron’ is a serious title for those who contend at the bandertron championships. This years OBC (Official Banatron Championships) is going to be a hard battle and place  where we separate the bandertrons from the boys.

Whos your favourite bandertron?

Please vote for your favourite bandertron by sending the word ‘Pete’, ‘Tom’ or ‘Martin’ through the official bandertron voting form (Subject: Bandertron).

Are you mental? WTF is this post about?

Ok, you probably thinkin we’re mental (which your probably right) and thinking WTF are you talking about….

Just to clarify and set your mind at ease, this is a personal/work joke where a challenge has been set to see who can get the term ‘Bandatron’ indexed in Google first. If you’re familiar with the term ‘Google Wacking’ you’ll know what I’m talking about. If your not, please don’t be too scared.

I’d like to point out that the other guys featured in this post are actually quite normal, well, ish…