How to Add Image and Video Backgrounds to Your Presentations

Nayomi Chibana

Written by:
Nayomi Chibana


If you've ever created a presentation before, you're probably all too familiar with the typical PowerPoint template: gradient backgrounds, blue and green corporate colors and decorative geometric shapes to add a little flair to your presentation.

But is this really what's going to make audience members sit up in their chairs and pay attention to your slides? Probably not.

Besides honing your public speaking skills, one way to grab your audience's attention is to complement your oral presentation with visual slides--not blocks of text and bullet points, but large, eye-catching images that speak louder than words.

Visme, an online presentation and infographic tool, recently rolled out a new feature which allows you to add image and video backgrounds to any slide deck, which can go a long way in turning a snooze-fest into an enlightening talk.

In this short tutorial, we'll show you how to make the most of this new feature.


1 Image Backgrounds

bg image

The first step to creating a custom background is inserting your own full-width image.

To do this in Visme, simply click on the Background icon on the toolbar on the left side of your screen, then choose the first tile with the plus sign on the docked panel. Once the pop-up window appears, you can insert an image by clicking on the Image tab.

You can either upload a new image by clicking on the plus sign in the middle of the window or insert a previously used image by clicking on the My Library option at the bottom of the pop up.

After choosing the desired image, it will be automatically re-sized to fit your slide and locked into place so that it can't be accidentally moved while selecting and moving other elements on your canvas area.

Tip: Using the Background tool to insert an image as a background will save you the time of manually cropping and re-sizing your image to fit the slide and locking it into place.


2 Tiled Backgrounds

tiled bg

As a departure from the commonly used solid or gradient backgrounds, you can also apply a tiled background using an image that repeats itself. The easiest way to do this is to use the Background tool to insert an image and then activate the Tile Background option.

You can then decrease the size of the image by adjusting the slider. The smaller the scale, the the more images you'll be able to insert in your background.

Tip: You can use the tiled background option to create patterns such as in the example above.


3 Solid Color BackgroundsBG3

For certain slides, you will also want to apply a solid color (this is okay, as long as you have some image slides in your presentation to add variation).

For example, if you want you want to emphasize a point with a highlighted quote over a solid-color slide, click on the Solid Color tab found in the Background tool and then choose one of the color swatches.

Tip: You can insert your own custom color scheme by inserting its hex color code, as seen above.


4 Pre-Designed Backgrounds


If you don't have the time or patience to add an image background or apply a custom color scheme to your presentation, you can also choose one of the dozens of background templates, which are found on the docked panel on the left side of your screen, after clicking on the Background tool.

Tip: Previously used backgrounds are saved in your background library, so they can be reused in future presentations as many times as needed.


5 Gradient Backgrounds


For die-hard fans of gradient effects, there's also a new feature that allows you to create your own gradient backgrounds.

Simply click on the Background tool and then select the thumbnail with the plus sign to add a new background. Click on the Gradient tab and either choose one of the predesigned gradient options or create your own by adjusting the position of the swatches at the bottom of the preview box, as seen above.

You can also create your own gradient by clicking on the swatches and choosing your own colors, including any of Visme's 50 color combination presets (you can read more about that here).

Tip: Design-wise, it's advisable to stick with subtle gradients if you're not too sure about what colors to combine.


6 Transparent Backgrounds


Although not obvious at first, transparent backgrounds can have many uses for a content creator.

For example, if you want to create an image or short animation with the same background as your website or blog, you can easily do that with this option. All you have to do is click on the No Background option found on the docked panel on the left side. Then, download it as a PNG file, as JPG does not reflect the transparency.

You can see this for yourself by downloading the image seen below to your desktop, opening it locally and inserting it into Photoshop or any other visual content creation tool. (Click here to download.) See below how it adopts the background of the page, no matter the color?

insert transparent

Tip: If you want to create a design or logo in Visme and import it into Photoshop as an element of another project, you can apply a transparent background and download it as PNG to conserve the transparency.


7 Video Backgrounds

video background gif

Finally, there will also be cases where you want to insert a video to your background. You can easily do this by clicking on the Video icon on the left toolbar and pasting the link to either a YouTube or Vimeo video.

To fit it to the size of your slide, simply click on the resize handles and drag and drop them until you reach the desired height and length.

Tip: Adjust the settings found within the Video tool to mute the sound, set the video to play automatically or loop, or start and stop at a specific time.


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    About the Author

    Nayomi Chibana is a journalist and writer for Visme’s Visual Learning Center. Besides researching trends in visual communication and next-generation storytelling, she’s passionate about data-driven content.

    5 responses to “How to Add Image and Video Backgrounds to Your Presentations”

    1. […] of the ways you can use GIFs include a short step-by-step descriptions of processes (useful for tutorials), a visual story of the evolution of anything and a funny or quirky display of your brand’s […]

    2. Alison says:

      Looks an awesome tool – thanks for the article.

    3. […] Read here how to add image and video background to your presentations. […]

    4. Jodie says:

      So if I want to use a picture from my photo file and use it as backdrop for a video, this will show me how?

      • Payman Taei says:

        Hi Jodie. Yes, this post can show you how to use images and videos as backgrounds for your presentations. Just let us know if you have any more questions.

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