About designing a presentation

PowerPoint gives you the flexibility to create a basic presentation or to customize your presentation by creating your own template. All you need for a basic presentation are the standard design elements included in PowerPoint. To create a presentation template, you create your own custom slide layouts, add common elements that will appear on each slide, and then save the file as a template so that others can use it as a starting point when creating their own presentations.

Design basics

To create a basic presentation, start with these design elements:

  • Themes    When you create a new presentation, the default theme is automatically applied to your presentation, but you can choose another theme at any time. Themes create a unified look for your presentation by using cohesive theme colors, theme fonts, theme effects, and slide backgrounds that complement each other. You can apply a variety different themes to a presentation, and you can also choose from a variety of color schemes and styles within each theme.

  • Slides and slide layouts    When you add a slide, you select from a variety of slide layouts available in PowerPoint. Slide layouts define the position and formatting for text and objects that appear on a slide.

  • Transitions and animations    Apply a transition between each slide to increase the visual interest of your slide show. Or, take it a step further by animating text and objects on a slide to illustrate your point.

Template basics

To create your own presentation template, you customize these design elements:

  • Slide master    Modify the slide master to add text or objects that you want to appear on every slide. The slide master defines the positioning and formatting for title placeholders, content placeholders, and footer elements on its associated slide layouts. Any change you make to the slide master is reflected on its associated slide layouts, which is then reflected in the slides of your presentation that use the slide layouts.

  • Slide layouts in slide master view    Change existing slide layouts or create a custom slide layout in slide master view that fits your needs. You can then add slides with the custom layouts to your presentation.

    For more information about creating templates, see Create your own presentation template in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.

See also

Create a basic presentation in four steps

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guide

Tutorial: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Basics

Using Templates in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Customize and save a theme in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

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