Learn to recolor clip art using theme colors so it is not only the color that you want it to be but it also matches the theme and it changes color when the theme changes.

This works with pretty much all versions of Office and all apps including Word 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Excel 2013, Publisher 2013 and older versions of Office including 2010, 2007, 2003 and earlier.


Hello, I’m Helen Bradley.

Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can easily recolor clipart in Microsoft Office and how you can use theme colors so that your clipart changes when your theme changes.

Before we get started with this tutorial let’s have a look and see what it is that we are trying to achieve. This is the same piece of clipart and I just made a duplicate of that clipart image and I recolored it in the way that I’m going to show you how you can recolor your clipart. But let’s have a look and see the impact of the recoloring.

I’m going to choose the Colors tool here and watch as I arrow over all of these colors in turn. And you’ll see that the clipart image that I have recolored I have recolored this time with theme colors. And the beauty of this is that the clipart image is going to change colors in accordance with the theme that is in use.

The only thing that hasn’t been recolored is the black and the little yellow light in the candle. Everything else is a theme color and it’s going to change color using the new theme colors whenever the theme or the design of this PowerPoint presentation changes. So this is the concept that we’re going for here.

Now I have a slightly simpler image here. All I did to find these images was I chose Insert and then Online Pictures and I went looking for cake. And I particularly wanted wmf files as that’s Windows metafile and that is an illustrative file most of which can be recolored inside of PowerPoint or Word or Excel or any of the Microsoft applications.

And you don’t have to be using Microsoft Office 2013. You can choose any version of Microsoft Office. I’ve been doing this for years in Microsoft Office. It’s just that the way that you add images is a little bit different in this new version. Now before I start let’s just take a copy of this image and let’s paste it so that we’re working on a duplicate.

We can see then how far we’ve come later on. I’m just going to get rid of these images. Now with the image that I’m working on selected I’m going to choose Picture Tools, Format tab and I’m going to choose Group and then Ungroup.

Now you’ll see that the group option sometimes is not available from this dropdown menu but it will always be available from the Picture Tools, Format tab if the image is able to be ungrouped. You’ll get a message showing that this is an imported picture and not a group and asking you if you want to convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing object.

The answer to that is yes. And then you’ll go and repeat the process. You’ll right click and choose Group, Ungroup or from the Drawing Tools, Format tab you’ll choose the Group button here and choose Ungroup.

That ungroups the object so it’s now a whole lot of smaller objects. I’m just going to click outside it and then we’re going to start selecting individual pieces of this object. And I suggest that you start with a nice color scheme. So I’m just going to go to the color schemes and let’s choose something relatively colorful.

I found slip stream was a good option to use but any of these such as red violet that is fairly colorful is a good choice. Drawing Tools, Format tab and now from the shape filled dropdown list we’re going to make sure that we recolor all of the shapes using the fill colors that are theme colors.

So, again, I’m going to select here, this is on this sort of turquoise bit, and I’m going to color it a darker version of that same blue. I’m going to click on the candle light and see if I’ve got something I can use for candle light. I think I’m going to choose one of these colors because I would really like my candle light this time to be a theme color.

To select multiple colors or multiple shapes at a time I’m just selecting the first and then Ctrl clicking on the last. And again, I want these to be colored the same color as the candle light. Now I’m going to click here. There’s a shape here.

If you ever want to see what the shape is that you’re working on just press the Delete key and it will disappear and then you can undo it to be able to work on it. Or of course you can just fill it and see what it is that you are actually filling.

So I’m going to select that color. And now we’re going for this shape over here and I want a slightly darker or lighter version here. I think I’m going for a darker version. And here we have the shadows. Again, I’ll want a darker color for the shadow. I think I’ll go back for these blues. I’m going to stick to the turquoises and this sort of purple color.

So I’m going to now select these smaller items here and when I’ve got them selected I’m going to fill them as well. And when I’m pretty happy with my shape that has been recolored I’m going to select over the entire shape because now what I want to do is to stick it all back together again because I don’t want lots of little pieces.

Drawing Tools, Format tab, Group and this time I want to Regroup. And I’ll just test this by moving the object and it should all move as one. And now let’s look and see that this object is going to recolor unlike the original object if we change the color of this particular design that we’re using in PowerPoint.

So I’m going to choose the colors dropdown list here and as I choose a different color scheme you can see that my clipart shape is changing color. And as I said this works exactly the same way in any of the Office applications and in pretty near any version of these. You can do this in Word 2003.

You can do it in PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, any of the applications and you can create clipart so that it not only matches the current theme but also looks the colors that you want it to look but which will change colors as the theme colors change.

I’m Helen Bradley.

Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. Look out for more of my PowerPoint and Microsoft Office tutorials on this YouTube channel.

And visit my website at projectwoman.com for more tips, tricks and tutorials on a range of Microsoft Office applications as well as Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and a whole lot more.


Helen Bradley