I would like to replicate an existing PowerPoint presentation (.pptx) in Beamer. Since it's institutional, if I don't succeed, I'll have to go back to using the damn .pptx.

enter image description here

The presentation consists of a cover slide that is the same for the beginning of each section.

And this pattern is a background image made by marketing and we write on top, to be more precise, we write on the left side, almost centered.

So, I would like to know how to load this image in beamer to be the theme of the slide sections and the cover slide (initial)?

The slides with the specific subjects are like in the attached model. Which consists of this stripe in purple gradient at the footer, with 3 logos above it. Also having 3 dots above and the title on the left. In these textual slides, would you like help with this line, the dots and the images (logos)?

  • 2
    What is the purpose of the 4 dots? Are they just a static decoration, or some kind of indicator (if so: for what)? // You had answers for at least 2 similar questions. Why can‘t you use or adapt their concepts here? // So your solution shall be a background-image for certain slides, which hold all colorful parts, incl. logos, but not the Title?
    – MS-SPO
    Aug 28 at 1:18
  • Your question only points to beamer, so the other beamer-tags are misleading here. Will delete them.
    – MS-SPO
    Aug 28 at 7:03
  • 1
    The dots are an aesthetic, even if ugly, they are a pattern created by the company. Sep 3 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


Here is yet a different approach, following and adapting Trudy Fireston's "How to Make a Presentation in LaTeX"; you may also want to consult the beamer manual/documentation, e.g. ch 15.1 about the filenames cited.

Basic approach:

  • write a simple test-document, which holds some of your intended content
  • start with the default themes
  • fill your theme-files, one by one, named JM

1) main.tex, default themes

It may look like this:

enter image description here


\author{J. Mabulla}
\title{Demo ppt}
\institute{Some institute}

%\usetheme{JM}% <<< this will be yours


    This is just the start. Wait for more to come.

    Here we go, and won't stop until arrival.


2) Prepare the 4 .sty-files for your JM-theme

Uncomment \usetheme{JM}% <<< this will be yours in main.tex AND create these 4 empty files in the same directory, or elsewhere following the install standards:

  • beamercolorthemeJM.sty
  • beamerinnerthemeJM.sty
  • beamerouterthemeJM.sty
  • beamerthemeJM.sty

Now, if you compile again, the compile succeeds AND shows the same result as before: the JM-styles still are empty. So let's change that.

3) Contents of the 4 .sty - files

The nice thing about beamer: it's modular, allowing sparation of content (main.tex) and representation (the 4 .sty files). The only trouble you'll have is to decide which change to assign the which .sty file.

Here, I'm going to rebuild the title page and the footline, so just outer themes:

(beamer manual:)outer themes

3.1) beamerthemeJM.sty

I'm going to use Tikz for the dots and stripe, so this seems to be the place to put the packages. Usually a Require would stand here, but I wasn't sure about the tikzlibrary. So, this seems to work:

% ~~~ say what belongs to this theme ~~~



3.2) beamercolorthemeJM.sty

Holds the colordefinitions for Tikz for the dots and stripes, as well as some font sizes. Change them here to change them everywhere (concept of changing-in-one-place-only).

% ~~~ for the tikz stripe and dots ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    \definecolor{darkpurple}{rgb}{.125,.008,.211}%   32,   2,  54
    \definecolor{lightturk}{rgb}{.613,.852,.856}%   157, 218, 219
    \definecolor{prple}{rgb}{.473,.269,.836}%       121,  69, 214
    \definecolor{p1}{rgb}{.525,.498,.863}%          134, 127, 220           
    \definecolor{p2}{rgb}{.396,.212,.761}%          101,  54, 194       
    \definecolor{p3}{rgb}{.228,.067,.373}%           58,  17,  95           

% ~~~ beamer font-sizes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
3.3) beamerouterthemeJM.sty

Besides switching off the navigation icons, here I draw the dots and the stripe (in the footline), using the \pic statement in Tikz.

Note that \defbeamertemplate*{title page}{JM} outputs title, author etc. via \nodes. Place as you like and rewrite the code to be more compact or reusable. Here it's simple and clear enough.

Remember, Latex is about typesetting, and you could have mixed Tikz-drawings with standard Latex placements (\vspace, \begin{center} etc.) as well.

Note that \defbeamertemplate*{footline}{JM} just outputs the stripe. I determined the scaling factor by trial and error, and this part can certainly be improved.

I leave placing the logos for you to do.

Finally, beamer uses these two templates whenever appropriate.

% ~~~ navigation icons ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\setbeamertemplate{navigation symbols}{}% off

% ~~~ title page redefined ~~~~~~~~~~~~
\defbeamertemplate*{title page}{JM}
    dots/.pic={ \draw[fill=lightturk,draw=none] (0,0)  circle [radius=2mm];
                \draw[fill=p1,draw=none] (1.5,0)  circle [radius=2mm];
                \draw[fill=p2,draw=none] (3,0)  circle [radius=2mm];
                \draw[fill=p3,draw=none] (4.5,0)  circle [radius=2mm];
    \node[anchor=west] at (0,0) 
    \node at (5.5,-3) {\insertauthor};
    \node at (5.5,-4) {\insertinstitute};
    \node at (5.5,-5) {\insertdate};
    \pic[scale=.6] at (4,-1) {dots};
    \pic[rotate=180,scale=.3] at (10,0) {dots};

% ~~~ footline redefined ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    stripe/.pic={\draw[right color=lightturk, 
                        left color=darkpurple,
                        middle color=prple] 
                    (0,0) -- (20,0) -- ++(0,.15) to[out=90,in=0] ++(-1,.35)
                          -- (0,.5) -- cycle;},
    \pic[scale=.63] at (0,0) {stripe};
3.4) beamerinnerthemesJM.sty

It's still empty, as lists etc. were no subject of consideration so far.

4) Result after compile

colorful result

5) Final remarks

You could work from here. As I complained, your target description is not very clear, so I used what PowerPoint usually would do.

E.g. the next thing to consider can be, how your presentation shall distinguish the \section visually, if at all. At the moment the JM-style doesn't care for it.

  • 1
    It was similar to what I want, thank you for your attention. Sep 3 at 20:27

Because it's not exactly clear on which pages the background shall or shall not be visible, here's a simple cheap solution á la PowderPoint, i.e. shown on every page:

  • saved your image as back.png (or .jpg), and deleted "Title" from it
  • \usebackgroundtemplate{\includegraphics[width=\paperwidth,height=\paperheight]{back}} (distortion may come from my system using A4)
  • now it's visible on every page AND
  • you control the headers content as always via the { } in the frame-environment, see below

In more sophisticated approaches you'd do things like these:

  • \addtobeamertemplate
  • \defbeamertemplate
  • \usebeamertemplate
  • etc.

P.S.: Here is a very nice example How to make a presentation in Latex, which should answer most of your questions raised:

  • it starts from scratch in creating your own theme
  • put a main.tex and the 4 .sty files mentioned into your directory
  • fill and compile the main.tex
  • add to the 4 .sty files as indicated AND understand what you add (in principle)
  • compile as you fill the 4 .sty files
  • very clearly presented and easy to follow

(Thank you Trudy Firestone, whatever your username may be here or elsewhere // +1)



% this approach RELIES on using NO or the DEFAULT theme

% ~~~ title, author, institute etc. here ~~~~~~~
\title{Your title}
\author{Your author}


% ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What are we going to see here?
      \item we won't know unless we watch
      \item when we're watching, it will be gone
      \item greetings from Heisenberg

% ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\section{Something new} 

 \begin{frame}{Here's something new}% or leave the second { } blank

    So, do we know better by now?
    \tikz{\draw[blue] (0,0) -- (45:2) -- ++(-90:2) -- ++(-70:3) -- cycle }


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