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Changing Master Slide Backgrounds

The most common reason to change a master slide background is if you have a graphic or photo that doesn't work well with the theme's regular background. That's why, in fact, most themes have a Blank slide master, which you can use as an empty canvas for your content.

Another good reason to change a master slide's background is so that you can use that changed background for a group of related slides in your presentation. For example, let's say that you're doing a presentation about three different local sports teams, and you'll have several slides per team. For each team, you can use a different background, perhaps keyed to the team's colors. You could change the slide background for each individual slide, but that's more work than necessary. Just create a master slide with a different background for each team.

To change a master slide background:

  1. Choose View > Show Master Slides to display the Master Slides Organizer.
  2. Click the Inspector button in the Toolbar to display the Inspector window, then click the Slide button in the Inspector toolbar.
  3. Select the master slide that you wish to change. The Inspector window changes to the Master Slide Inspector.
  4. Click the Appearance tab.
  5. (Optional) If you want to work with a duplicate of the original master slide, rather than modify the original, choose Slide > New Master Slide. Keynote then duplicates the master slide, allowing you to modify the duplicate ( Figure 3.8 ).

    Figure 3.8 Rather than modifying one of your existing master slides, it's often more useful to duplicate the master slide. Then you can make changes to the duplicate. Here, "Master #12" is the just-created duplicate.

  6. To change the background of the master slide, choose from the pop-up menu in the Background section of the Master Slide Inspector ( Figure 3.9 ). You can choose between Color Fill (applies a solid color to the slide), Gradient Fill (applies a gradient pattern), Image Fill (uses a graphic image for the background), Tinted Image Fill (uses a tinted graphic image, such as a sepia tint, for the background), or None.

    Figure 3.9 Use the Background section of the Master Slide Inspector to set your color, gradient, or image fill.

  7. Add any other elements you wish to the background, including text, graphics, charts, or tables.
  8. If desired, select the Title, Body, or Slide Number check boxes in the Master Slide Inspector.
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