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PowerPoint – How To Link Color Swatches To Vector Objects

Have you ever worked with a PowerPoint file where you wanted to assign a color to multiple objects and then have the option to change the color for all of those objects in one fell swoop? In the old days, you had to do this manually – click the object, then change the color. Then click on the next object and change the color and so on and so on – rinse and repeat – rinse and repeat. If you have a lot of objects, this could take a while. It’s as much fun as watching paint dry.

Fortunately, those days are long gone and it’s actually very easy to set up an efficient way to administer color across your document using Color Themes and Accent color swatches. Here’s how to set this up…

First, a new Color Theme and Accent swatch have to be created.

In the Ribbon menu, click Design > Variants > Colors > Customize Colors. This opens the Create New Theme Colors window. It has 12 editable swatches. Go to Accent 1 and click the drop-down to open the Theme Colors palette. Pick an existing color from the available swatches or choose More Colors to open the Colors window and enter your own RGB or HSB values in the Custom tab. Click Ok to close Colors. Down at the bottom of the CNTC window, enter a name for this new theme and click Save.

Now Accent 1 needs to be linked to an object.

Find the first object and click on it to make it active. Open the Shape Format tab in the Ribbon. Look for the Shape Styles group and click the Shape Fill drop-down menu. Under Theme Colors, choose the 5th swatch from the left, which will be the Accent 1 color you set up in Create New Theme Colors. The object’s color is now linked to this swatch. Repeat these steps for every object that needs to be linked to this swatch. (These steps also work if you want to link an accent swatch to a Shape Outline).

Once the objects are linked to the accent swatch, open up Design > Variants > Colors and right-click on the name of the name you gave your custom Theme Color. This opens a fly-out menu. Click Edit to open the Edit Theme Colors window. Click the swatch for Accent 1. Choose a different color from the available swatches or More Colors to manually enter in RGB or HSB values. When finished, click Save to update the Theme Colors. All objects that were linked to Accent 1 will now display with the new color you assigned to the Accent 1 swatch.