Clever Clogs tip # 682
26 November 2021

Make your transparent circles the default in all new files (Microsoft PowerPoint) *

Do you ever use transparent shapes such as circles or a rectangle in a presentation to draw attention to a particular part on the slide? Perhaps you even animate it to make it more noticeable?

If so, you might know that you can "save" the settings so that you don't have to format the shape every single time. But I put double quotes around the word save as the Set as Default Shape option only works during the time you're logged on.

I'm pretty sure that some time ago it kept it for every presentation, but nowadays there are a few extra steps you have to do - once.

Here's how:

  1. Apply a transparent fill colour and preferred shape outline, as normal. (Or open a presentation that contains one of your formatted shapes.)
  2. Right-click the shape and select Set As Default Shape.
  3. Press F12 (or File, Save As if you prefer).
  4. Type Default theme.
  5. Press TAB.
  6. Type the letter O or select the ninth option labelled Office Theme from the Save as type drop-down list.
  7. Press ENTER or click Save.

Next time you add a shape (any shape!) it'll be using the formatting you applied in step 1. Happiness is.

By the way, following a recent PowerPoint Hints and Tips webinar one of my delegates asked me to highlight the fact that approximately one in ten men are red/green colour-blind. (Apparently it's only around 1 in 200 women.) He told me that, for example, red against a green background can cause great issues for people with colour vision difficulties. So please keep this in mind! That said, he told me that a red circle around a menu item is going to be clearly visible; people might not see it as red, but they will see the shape.

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* Unless stated otherwise this tip is written for Microsoft 365 desktop apps and Windows 10 users, but might also be useful in Office 2010, 2013 and 2016.