PowerPoint 2013 - Format Background


I'm learning PowerPoint and have run into a simple formatting issue. I have a slide with two panes (Content with Caption) and wish to add a colored background (e.g. blue) to the lefthand pane.

I tried Googling this topic, and one or two sites told me to right click on the pane and then click on FORMAT BACKGROUND.  Problem is that FORMAT TEXT EFFECTS and FORMAT SHAPE are the only choices involving formatting.

What am I doing wrong/missing?

Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAsked:
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Format Shape

In the right pop up pane choose FILL > Solid and set your chosen color.

Format Background colors the whole slide.

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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Yep, that worked! Many thanks for the quick response.

Can you clarify what you mean by "pane"?

When you're working on a slide based on a layout such as Content with Caption, you'll have two objects known as placeholders. Placeholders are those pre-formatted areas where you can add your content. They have text in them that says, "Click to add text," or "Click icon to add picture," and like that.

Those are considered shapes, in a manner of speaking so if  you right-click on the placeholder and choose Format Shape, then you can give the placeholder a fill color in the Format Shape taskpane that opens on the right of the screen. (This is why I'm a little confused -- we call those things where the options for the formatting tools open "panes" or "task panes," and there's a slide thumbnail pane on the left of your screen, for example.)

To add a fill color to the shape, click on the paintbucket in the taskpane.

Format Background is for the slide background as a whole. If you right-click in an empty area on the slide itself -- without actually right-clicking on an object -- you'll open a Format Background taskpane. This refers to the slide background as a whole, and you can choose from the options in the Format Background taskpane on the right just as you would in the Format Shape taskpane.

Does that help explain it?

By the way, if you plan to use this type of slide often and want to have that placeholder or slide background either one use a fill color every time, then you can make that formatting change on the slide layout in View | Slide Master. Slide layouts are the default formatting for that particular slide type. You can format the placeholders there so you don't have to do it manually every time you create a slide based on that layout. But that's probably a little more advanced than you're looking for at this point.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Echo. By PANE (and maybe i was using the wrong terminology), I meant (in basic terms) the leftmost of two boxes on the screen. This one, in fact was broken up into two sub-boxes, and I just realized that I had to follow JSRWilson's suggestion steps for both of the sub-boxes.

I'll keep your comments in mind. At this point, I'm just taking baby steps, but I"m sure that it will be useful to refer to them as I advance my skills.

Ah, yeah, those are placeholders.
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Please stay tuned...I'm about to post another newbie question. :)
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