Create an effective color scheme

There's more to modifying a color scheme than just knowing you can click Edit Color Schemes and Change Color. You also need to know which colors to choose, so that the colors in the scheme complement each other effectively.

Here are the rules for creating a balanced, effective color scheme:

  • Background: should be the background color or close to the background color if you're using a picture for the background.

    Don't change the background color using the Format → Background command. Use that command only if you want to set the background to a non-single-color effect (gradient, texture, picture). Then set the background color in the color scheme to something close to the background you configured.

  • Text and lines should contrast highly with background.
  • Shadows should be, contrast-wise, between text and background.
  • Title text should contrast with background.
  • Fills should contrast with both background and text – text should be able to show up well on the fill color, and the fill should look good against the background.
  • Use fills color for graphic element fills, table headers, etc. This should be your color-of-choice for graphic content.

  • Accent should be treated like fills – contrasting with background and text
  • Accent & hyperlink and Accent and followed hyperlink – depends on whether you use hyperlinks in your presentation. If so, treat like text – contrast against background for sure and preferably against fills and accent. If any hyperlinks will be shadowed, be sure shadow color works with these two colors. If you won't be using hyperlinks, treat like the other accent colors – preferably looking good against background and ideally against text.
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