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Appropriate Background Colours

Challenge to Accessibility:

Without a good colour contrast between the text and background it is difficult for your audience to read your slides. The colours chosen for the text and slide background should provide good contrast without glare. For example, dark blue combined with a light cream colour has good legibility.

How to ensure accessible background colouring:

  • Aim for high colour contrast for readability. However, avoid pure black on pure white as this high contrast can cause glare and headaches for some.
  • To amend the background colour within the slide navigate to Design > Format BackgroundImage of the box containing the background colour option
  • From the dialogue box that opens select the 'fill' then 'fill colour' to view available colours.
  • Once an appropriate colour has been selected you can apply it in one of two ways. If you wish the background colour to be shown on all slides select Apply to All', if the background colour should only be applied to that specific slide select Apply'


Ensure that you have a high colour contrast bearing in mind that everyone may not perceive colours as clearly as you do.

Avoid:black on white - causes glare


    • green on red and vice versa. Some of your audience may be colour blind.


    • black on white, as this combination can cause glare for some members of your audience. To get a black on white effect without the glare you could choose an off white, cream background.



    Bad colour contrast examplegood colour contrast example

  • The environment in which the presentation is being delivered will also affect the readability of material. For example, if presenting in a light room, display dark coloured text on a light coloured background. Conversely, if presenting in a darkened room, ensure the background colour is dark and the text light. If using a dark background ensure the weight of text is increased (e.g. bold).

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Last updated 27 March 2018 by Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Email).