How to add a border to slides in PowerPoint, and give your slideshow a sleek design

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It only takes a few extra clicks to add borders to any PowerPoint slide. Maskot/Getty Images

  • While there isn’t a built-in option for adding borders to a slide in PowerPoint, there is a workaround.
  • You can add a border to a PowerPoint slide by adding a rectangle shape and removing the fill colour, which will give your slide the appearance of having a border.
  • You can duplicate your slide to give your entire PowerPoint slideshow the same border.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

While there’s an option for page borders in Microsoft Word, there’s unfortunately no such option for slide borders in Microsoft PowerPoint – though there is a workaround.

While you can’t add borders to slides, you can still add outlines to any shape or image. You can use a shape – likely a rectangle – to create slide borders by stretching it to fit the slide dimensions, giving it no fill colour, and finally customising a thick outline.

Borders are a great way to customise your presentation, in addition to changing fonts and backgrounds. And after you customise the border on one slide, you may find it helpful to copy or duplicate the slide so you can make a uniform slideshow.

Here’s how to do it using PowerPoint on your Mac or PC.

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How to add a border in PowerPoint using shapes

1. Open PowerPoint on your Mac or PC and open the slideshow you want to edit.

2. Navigate to the “Insert” tab at the top of the screen. Click the “Shapes” icon and choose the shape you’d like to insert. The best ones to choose for borders are found in the rectangle category.

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Choose which type of rectangle you’d like to use for your slide border. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

3. Click or click and drag to create your rectangle. Once you create your shape, PowerPoint will automatically open the temporary “Shape Format” tab at the top. Before you begin any formatting, stretch the rectangle to fill the dimensions of the slide.

4. After resizing, you’ll want to click the “Shape Fill” icon in the “Shape Format” tab that appeared. This is labelled with a large paint can icon. Choose “No Fill” instead of the default colour it picks.

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Select ‘Shape Fill’ and then ‘No Fill’ to remove its default colour. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

5. Next, you’ll want to change the shape outline. Click the small pencil icon next to “Shape Fill” and begin customising its colour, weight, and style. In each of these categories, you’ll find the option for “More Lines…” Click this to open the “Format Shape” window.

In addition, the same menu can be reached if you right-click on your shape and select “Format Shape” from the drop-down menu that appears.

6. Regardless of how you open the advanced formatting window, you can now continue adjusting your border in greater detail. Use the arrows or manually enter a width to make the border thicker or thinner. You can also specify the border’s colour here as well.

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Change the width of your shape outline to create a thicker slide border. Marissa Perino/Business Insider

7. Play around with adding multiple shapes and stacking them on top of, or inside, one another. You can further customise them by choosing different sketched styles. You can also choose different compound, dash, cap, and join types for each of them. Click each option to open its respective drop-down menu full of choices.

8. Once you’ve finalised your border, you might find it helpful to duplicate your slide. This will let you create more slides with the border, without having to set it up again. To duplicate a slide, right-click on the slide in the left sidebar and select “Duplicate Slide.”

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