Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Eby

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Preference, Visual Contrasts, PowerPoint Presentations


Cognition and Perception | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Human Factors Psychology | Psychology


The purpose of this research is to analyze the preference of color contrasts in Power Point Presentations. There has been little research produced specifically on the use of color contrast in PowerPoint presentations. Despite the lack of resources, people give recommendations on how to effectively use PowerPoint. Microsoft has PowerPoint templates to aid in creation of slides but there is no documented reasoning behind them. The current study used a 72-slide PowerPoint presentation, projected onto a screen, with different text-background colors (RGB value). Participants, 35 in a lightened room and 32 in a dimmed room, were asked to complete a survey based on preference for each individual slide. The most preferred slide was white text on dark blue background. The least preferred slide is dark red text on black background. The results show bright text on bright background is the most preferred contrast. Individual color preference overwhelmingly shows white as text or background as the most preferred. The findings of the current study are new and unique to the understanding of color contrasts in PowerPoint.