How to Install Color Themes XML Files in PowerPoint?

Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful tool for making slides with the default options. However. In many situations, it is not possible for normal users to spend endless time in customizing the slides. The best way is to purchase a custom presentation slides with templates, infographics and icons and reuse them on your PPT. Most commercial templates offer custom color themes that you have to install before creating presentations. In this article, we will explain how to install color themes XML files in PowerPoint with different operating systems.

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Choosing Color Themes in PowerPoint

The color theme option in PowerPoint will decide the design style of your slides. For example, color theme will decide the colors of background, paragraph text, headlines and hyperlinks. You can change the color theme of your presentation using the below steps. New presentations will adopt the chosen style while modifying existing PPT will change the entire color theme.

Windows 10:

  • Open your PPT and go to “Design” tab.
  • The ribbon will show three groups – Themes, Variants and Customize.
  • You can click on the down arrow at the right end of “Themes” group and choose your theme base for slides.
  • Similarly, click on the “Variants” dropdown and choose the variations for the selected theme.
  • Customize section allows you to change the slide size and background if required.
Color Themes in PowerPoint
Color Themes in PowerPoint

Mac Office 365:

You can follow the same process in Mac PowerPoint to change the color theme.

Change Theme Color in Mac PowerPoint
Change Theme Color in Mac PowerPoint

Color Themes for Commercial Presentations

When you purchase commercial presentation slides, it comes with PPT / PPTX slides with default theme templates. However, the variations will come as separate XML file that you need to upload on your PC or Mac to customize the slides.

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Remember to use the slides you have purchased or downloaded and choose the variant. Using color theme variants on different templates may result in unpleasing experience.

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Install Color Theme XML Files Variants in PowerPoint

Actually, it is not installation like app or software program. You simply need to copy and paste the XML files under designated folder. However, the folder will change based on your operating system. Here, we will explain where to paste on Windows and Mac.

Windows 10 and Windows 8

Copy all XML files and paste in the following folder. It is the same process for Windows 10 and Windows 8.

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes\Theme Colors

Remember to change the username with your Windows user account name. It should look like below:

Paste Color Theme XML in Windows 10
Paste Color Theme XML in Windows 10

After pasting the files, the color themes will automatically appear in PowerPoint with the file name. You can view it under “Variants” dropdown under “Design” tab as explained above.

Change Variant
Change Variant

Below is an example of the default theme and after applying custom “Light Skyblue” variant that we have uploaded.

Default Theme Style
Default Theme Style
Slide with New Color Theme Variation
Slide with New Color Theme Variation

Note that “AppData” is a hidden folder in Windows. You have to unhide the hidden folders to view the content.

Windows 7

If you are using Windows 7, paste the XML files under the following folder.

C:\Program Files or Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Document Themes 15\Theme Colors

If that does not work, then try to paste under the following folder.

C:\Program Files or Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\Document Themes 15

Office 365 in Mac and 2016 Version

Microsoft discarded the updates for Office 2011/2016 in Mac. You can paste XML files under the following folder if you are using Office 365 and 2016 version.

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Macintosh HD\Users\Username\Library\Application Support\Microsoft\Office\User Templates\My Themes\Theme Colors

Note that “Library” is a hidden folder in Mac that you cannot see in Finder menu. Press, the Option or alt key and click “Go” menu to see “Library” option.

Paste XML in Mac
Paste XML in Mac

Office 2011 in Mac

If you are still using 2011 version, paste the XML files under the following folder.

Macintosh HD\Users\Username\Library\Group Containers\\User Content\Themes\Theme Colors

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