How to Make Text Overlays in Powerpoint or Keynote (or even Google Slides)

 

In a perfect world, everyone would have Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for free, and photo overlay graphics would be the easiest thing in the world for any business-owner to make. Unfortunately, those programs cost $$$ and if you're not a designer, it might not always be worth buying them. However, there are other easy ways to make BEAUTIFUL overlays (if you're willing to put in a tiny bit of work) and I'm guessing just about EVERYONE has these softwares. Also, if you don't have either of those - as a bonus, I showed how easy it is to copy the steps in Google Slides which is 100% free and can be accessed through your gmail account (if you don't have one you can make one for free). So let's get you on your way to gorgeous blog and social media graphics in softwares that anyone can understand!

Step 1: Choose your photo and make it your background (or if it doesn't fit - just upload it).

Step one is fairly straightforward. Either chose "background" or "insert" to upload your photo and make it the background for your graphic. Not only is this a good thing to practice for overlays, but here's a friendly reminder that photo backgrounds are always gorgeous, and can make even a basic slide deck amazing. Next time you're giving a presentation at work, try using an overlay as a slide! Note** if you are creating graphics for Instagram, don't forget to crop your image to a square first!

Step 2: Add your text.

It's okay if you can't really read it yet - that's where the next step comes into play. Make your text the color you want it. I typically go for something that contrasts well with the background photo in a bold fold. Sticking to black and white to start with makes it very simple for beginners and is always a good look! In Powerpoint and Keynote when you're trying to design blog graphics you can also mess around with the "Word Art" or "Title" choices, although I will warn that many are outdated and overly flashy. Keeping the text simple is always a good choice.

Step 3: Add a semi-transparent rectangle on top (and then move it behind the text)!

Next up, adding a color mask will make it easy to read your text. Now we're going to add some color behind the text so it's legible. Create a rectangle by using the "shape" function in all 3 programs, and chose a color that you think will contrast well with the text. Typically I keep these black or white, to avoid fundamentally changing the color of the photo. Then, you can move the rectangle behind the text using the "arrange" or "order" function depending on whether you're using Powerpoint or Keynote (or Google Slides where it's also "order"). The rectangle's opacity is what will make you able to see your photo and text, so you'll want to lower it to somewhere under 75% for best viewing. You can also add accent shapes or borders during this step if you want to get fancy.

Step 4: Save & export!

Time to save and export your work. It could be "save as" or "export" depending on the program and version but you always want to choose jpeg (and high-resolution if that's an option). In Google Slides you can simply use "download as" and select jpeg.

Woohoo! You're done! Beautiful graphics have been made! Share your overlays with us using the hashtag #brandingbabesdesign!

Have questions still? Join our community where you can ask us ANYTHING 24-7!

- Jo
How to Make Text Overlays in Powerpoint or Keynote (or even Google Slides) - Branding Babes Co