You know the struggle: you have to create a visually engaging presentation using PowerPoint. Yet, the look and feel of the presentation simply aren’t professional enough. Enter Adobe Photoshop. Traditionally a tool associated with image manipulation and editing, Photoshop might not be at the top of your list when it comes to tools for creating refreshing presentations. However, the vast variety of graphic design tools the software offers makes it an incredible complement to software like Powerpoint and Slides. Unsure about where to start? Keep reading this article for ten top tips on using Adobe Photoshop for your presentations.

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Graphic Design on Photoshop_©

1: Make Sure Your Scale is Consistent

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The key issue when creating graphics for Powerpoints in Photoshop is the scaling of the graphics themselves. If one is formatted differently than the other, then transferring your graphics from one platform to another goes from being a success to a disaster. Before you begin, make sure to match your Photoshop canvas size to the Powerpoint slide size. And remember – Photoshop uses pixels while Powerpoint uses inches, so make sure to convert the dimensions when you’re adjusting your Photoshop canvas!

2: Less is More!

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If you are designing graphics for a text-based presentation, make sure to not let your graphics stand out. While graphic design is vital to a great presentation, it is only meant to focus a viewer’s eye on the points being made – not take away from the point by being overtly eye-catching. 

3: Still… Don’t be Afraid to be Bold!

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An Example of Maximalist Graphic Design_©

Even though your focus should be to allow the text on your slides to speak to a viewer, don’t be afraid to use the graphic design tools of photoshop to take your presentation to the next level. After all, you wouldn’t be using Photoshop for your presentation if you simply wanted a run-of-the-mill presentation!

4: Use Adobe Colour

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One of the first steps in building beautiful graphics for a presentation is finding a colour palette that suits the tone and graphics of the presentation that is visually appealing. To help you in this quest, use another tool in the Adobe suite of products – Adobe Colour – to help you create the colour palette that will truly match your presentation. Adobe Colour has a contrast checker that helps you make sure your text colour will be readable against your background colour for maximum impact. It also helps you make sure your colour choices adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) so that your presentation is truly accessible to everyone on the internet. 

5: Make the Best of Both Worlds

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While Adobe Photoshop remains the premier tool for graphic design, it lacks movement-based effects that can also be incredibly important to a powerful presentation. However, even the less advanced tools of Powerpoint can be a blessing on this front! Use Photoshop to create graphic objects to layer above your background graphics, and use Powerpoint to animate them in your presentation to add a new dimension to your slides (both literally and metaphorically).

6: Use Photoshop’s In-house PDF Slideshow Feature for High Quality Renders You Can Easily Share

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When sharing your graphics with clients, don’t hesitate to use Photoshop’s in-house high-quality rendering capabilities. By using the software’s PDF download function (rather than downloading your PowerPoint as a PDF or PPT) you enable the viewer to gain the best possible viewing experience across multiple kinds of devices.

7: Use Adobe Cloud Sharing for Easy Collaboration

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Adobe Creative Cloud_©

No matter how confident we are in our skills, we sometimes need some help. For assistance from your colleagues, use Adobe’s cloud sharing capabilities to share your graphics with other people. This prevents you from constantly saving high-memory renders of your graphics to send to your colleagues and allows them to add suggestions and make changes to your document directly, saving all of your important time. 

8: Use Adobe’s Cross-device Synchronisation of Platforms to Your Advantage

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An iPad Using Photoshop_©

As convenient as a trackpad or mouse can be for a skilled graphic designer, sometimes a pen and paper are simply best. In these moments, use Adobe Photoshop’s unique ability to save designs across devices to access graphic designs you created on your computer on a tablet, where you can use a stylus to make the adjustments that take your graphics to the next level. 

9: College Students – Use Your College Student Discount or Your School’s Photoshop Licence

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The tips in this article apply to presentations in the workplace – but why not get started earlier in your career? If you are a student struggling to make interesting presentations for your classes and are looking for a way to upskill yourself, try and learn photoshop! This is made even easier by most colleges buying licences for use of photoshop that you can access for free. Don’t hesitate in getting started!

10: The Devil is in the Details

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Women at Work_©

At the end of the day, Powerpoint already has its own graphic design capabilities – so make sure your use of Photoshop is worth it. Take the effort to make every small detail in your graphics valuable, and it will clearly show in the quality of your presentation. 


Childress, A., 2019. How to Make PowerPoint Slide Backgrounds In Photoshop (PPT Size/Format?). [online] Envato Tuts+. Available at: <–cms-34122> [Accessed 7 August 2022]. n.d. Adobe Color. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 7 August 2022].


Aaditya Bhasker he is an undergraduate student of Architecture and Urban-Studies at Haverford College. He hopes to channel his passion for architecture into social justice work surrounding housing reform in India. Outside academia, they also enjoy watching movies, reading, and hiking with their dog in Hong Kong, where they currently lives