Add a placeholder to a layout

Placeholders are boxes with dotted borders that contain content and reside within a slide layout. All built-in slide layouts contain content placeholders.

The following is an example of a built-in slide layout that contains a title text placeholder, two subtitle text placeholders, and two placeholders to which you can add body text, a table, chart, SmartArt graphic, picture, or a movie or sound clip.

Placeholders on a layout

You can add placeholders to non-standard areas of a blank slide layout and add custom prompt text to prompt your users to enter a certain type of content. For instructions on how to add custom prompt text, see Add custom prompt text to your templates.

Important: If you apply a layout to one or more slides in your presentation, and then go back and edit that layout by adding a placeholder, custom prompt text, or some other layout-altering action, you must reapply the layout to the slides so that the slides adhere to the updated layout. For more information see Edit and reapply a slide layout.

  1. On the View tab, in the Presentation Views group, click Slide Master.

  2. In the pane that contains the slide masters and layouts, click the layout that you want to add one or more placeholders to.

  3. On the Slide Master tab, in the Master Layout group, click Insert Placeholder, and then click the type of placeholder that you want.

    Insert a placeholder

  4. Click a location on the layout, and then drag to draw the placeholder.

  5. To add more placeholders to a layout, repeat steps 2 through 4.

    Note: When you add placeholders to a layout, if the content in those placeholders changes the layout's purpose, you may also want to rename the layout. To do so, right-click the slide layout thumbnail, click Rename Layout, type a new name, and then click Rename.

  6. On the Slide Master tab, in the Close group, click Close Master View to return to Normal view.

  7. In the slide thumbnail list, select the slide that you want to re-apply the layout with the newly-added placeholders to.

  8. On the Home tab, in the Slides group, click Layout, and then click the revised layout.


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