Unsplash is a website offering hundreds of thousands of high-quality photos from photographers all around the world. The photos are provided for free under a “do whatever you want” license, allowing you to use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes without the need to provide credit. This makes Unsplash a great source for material for a PowerPoint presentation.
In this post, I will show how to quickly create a nice-looking presentation with Unsplash photos as background images. See the screenshot below for the end result (and more):
The first step is to search the Unsplash website for a photo to use, ideally one in landscape orientation matching the format of your slides.
Once you have found a photo you like, select it and click the Download free button to download the image in JPEG format.
In PowerPoint, go to View → Slide Master and select the master slide. Now insert the downloaded image via Insert → Pictures.
Enlarge the image to cover the entire slide. If the aspect ratio of the image doesn’t match the size of the slide, select the image and click on Format → Crop to activate the Crop tool. You can now use the black crop handles to remove unnecessary areas of the image.
Go to Format → Compress Pictures, choose Web (150 ppi), and click on OK to compress the image. This step will significantly reduce the file size of the presentation, without sacrificing much picture quality.
Add a rectangle shape to the slide (Insert → Shapes → Rectangle) and change its size to cover the entire slide.
Remove the rectangles outline via Shape Outline → No Outline.
Choose a nice, dark fill color for the rectangle (Shape Fill → Color).
Perform a right-click on the rectangle and select Format Shape from the context menu. Now change the rectangle’s transparency value to 10% (under Fill).
Do another right-click on the rectangle and select Send to Back from the context menu.
Select the image, do a right-click, and select Send to Back from the context menu.
Select Slide Master → Background Styles and select Style 4 (black background) from the menu. This will change the presentation’s text color to white.
Click on Close Master View and enjoy your new PowerPoint template!