Guide: LibreOffice Impress Part 6: Adding Visual Polish

In this sixth part of our LibreOffice Impress guide, we show you different ways of improving the overall look of your presentation even further by adding visual polish. This goes beyond fonts and alignment.

In our previous guide, we showed you in-depth how to create and customize charts. At this point in time, you should have a pretty well rounded amount of knowledge with this program to get the basics done.

Of course, now you might be getting tired of that plain looking background throughout those slides. You might be wondering how you can do something with them. Well, that’s what this guide is for: adding that last extra bit of visual polish to make those presentations look complete.

Using a Template

The easiest way you can add some visual polish is to use a template that is available right on launch.

Just click on any of the pre-designed themes. You can always use the drop down menu on the upper right hand corner and further narrow down your choices if you wish. Once you found one you want to work with, click on it and click on the “Open” button.

If you add new slides, the theme will generate a slide for you with the necessary visuals to get you started.

Of course, this is just the down and dirty way of doing it. What if you want to do things your way?

Customizing Your Slides

So, the first thing we’re going to do is start a blank slide show without using a template like every other part of our guide. I went ahead and added a little text for illustrative purposes.

First, I’m going to want to adjust the slide background. With nothing in the slide selected, I’m going to click on the “Properties” button on the right hand side tray.

In this subsequent drawer, you’ll see a number of options available. You can adjust the size of your slides as well as choose the orientation while you are at it. For now, we’re just after adjusting the background of the slides, so let’s click on the background drop down menu (highlighted in screen shot).

There are a number of options I can choose from. In this case, I chose a gradient. You’ll notice I can toggle the two colours if I want. Alternatively, I could just choose a picture from the Bitmap menu. If you are after a quick effect, this is a good idea to use.

Now, let’s say I am really picky. I want to adjust, say, the angle of the gradient or simply the gradient style. This is definitely doable.

With the gradient selected in the tray, I can simply click on “Slide” in the menu bar. After that, I can just click on “Properties”.

This screen should look very familiar to you. You can further modify pictures, adjust gradients, and throw in some other stylized effects. I chose a different gradient and used the Square setting to see how it looks. From there, I can make a number of additional adjustments, but for now, I just went ahead and clicked on the “OK” button.

You’ll notice that the text colour changed as well. You can, of course, adjust the font colour after if you like, but Impress is able to detect the background and make adjustments accordingly to retain the legibility of your slides.

Setting Your Master Slide

With your slide set, you might notice that if you generate a new slide, you’ll run into the problem that the background is white still. There are a couple of possible solutions here. One solution is to just duplicate the slide. A second solution is to manually override the white in every slide. Then, there is what is probably the easiest way of handling it: setting a master slide.

A master slide is essentially a slide that Impress looks up when creating a new slide. If the master slide has a white background, then it will create a slide with a white background. However, we can adjust this master slide. This is actually a good point to adjust this because we’ve already generated a title slide. Having a unique title slide works great because it punctuates the fact that it’s the beginning nicely. Subsequent slides, however, can be slightly different to indicate that you are in the body of the slide show. So, let’s customize our master slide.

First, we want to click on the “Master View” button in our right hand tray to access the master slide.

Next, we are going to click on “Slide” in the menu bar just as before. After that, we are going to click on “Properties…” just like last time.

Now, I’m going to click on gradient and select the same gradient I chose for my title slide. Ideally, I’m going to want something similar to the first slide so that it looks like this background belongs in the slide show. In the “Type” drop down menu, I chose Axial instead of square to change things up a bit. I can make further adjustments if I like, but if I am happy with the style, I can click on the “OK” button.

With the background adjusted on the master slide, I can safely click on the “Close Master View” slide. This allows me to go back to my normal slide show view mode.

With the master slide set, I can just right click on the left side panel and click on “New Slide”.

There we go! Looks like the master slide did its job and gave me a slide with a cool new background. I didn’t have to reset anything or re-do any of the work. All I had to do was create a new slide and all the work is done for me! It’s a great way to save time and you can adjust a whole lot more with the master slide while you are at it. The background, of course, is a nice way to do that.

Congratulations! You can now adjust backgrounds and add some visual polish to your slide shows!

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