Use slide masters to customize a presentation

Customize the slide master

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It is ideal to customize the slide master and get all your design changes in place before you add any slide content. The changes you make to the slide master will apply to every slide in your presentation.

Make changes to the slide master

Every PowerPoint presentation contains a slide master with related slide layouts and a theme. You can make changes to the slide master and the related layouts to make them work with the text and other objects that you want to put on your slides.

  1. On the VIEW tab, click Slide Master.

  2. In the Slide Master View, the slide master appears at the top of the thumbnail pane with related layouts beneath it.

  3. Click to select the master slide, and then on the SLIDE MASTER tab, click Master Layout.

  4. To show or hide the title, text, date, slide numbers, or footer placeholders on the slide master, check the boxes to show, or uncheck the boxes to hide the placeholders.

  5. To change the background style, on the SLIDE MASTER tab, click Background Styles, and then choose a background style.

Want more?

What is a slide master?

Use multiple slide masters in one presentation

Though I have added a few slides here for demonstration purposes, it is really ideal to customize the slide master and get all your design changes in place, before you add any slide content.

You could start with any of the PowerPoint themes, but I like the Office theme because it has the least amount of design already applied.

That’s what PowerPoint uses for a blank presentation.

Let’s open the slide master. To get there, click the VIEWtab, and Slide Master.

Here is the slide master, this bigger thumbnail at the top, and these are the layouts that go with the master.

A feature of this view is the SLIDE MASTERtab; it supports all the editing of the slide master and layouts.

On the slide master thumbnail, a tip tells you the name of the master. Here, it is the Office Theme Slide Master, and which slides are using it.

Since this is the only master in the presentation, all the slides are using it.

On each layout, you get a similar tip: the name of the layout, which tells you its type, and whether any slides are using it.

To customize the slide master, first make sure it’s selected.

The changes I make to it, I want to apply to every slide.

I’ll start with a background design: Background Styles, on the SLIDE MASTER tab, Format Background.

There is a picture I want to use as a fill. So, I click Picture or texture fill, and then File, and select the picture file.

The background gets applied to the master and all the layouts.

Now, let’s find a color scheme that complements the background. Clicking Colors shows all the possible combinations.

The Office theme colors are currently applied.

Looking for a set that goes with the pale green background image, how about this group called Orange?

I’ll use this new color scheme for the slide text, starting with the titles.

On the slide master, I’ll select the title placeholder and click the HOMEtab.

Then Font Color, which shows the colors of the new scheme. How about one of these dark oranges?

That one change applies to every heading in the master layouts.

Now let’s change the body text color.

On the slide master, I select that placeholder, click Font Color, and choose a complimentary color, dark green.

That applies to body text in the layouts.

So, we have a custom background and font colors. How about using art for the list bullets?

To do that, select the body text placeholder, and click the Bullets menu.

There, click Bullets and Numbering at the bottom, then Picture, and Browse for a picture file.

I’ll zoom way in, so you can see the image. It is a little bird of paradise flower.

That’s what all the bullets will now look like.

For the last design change on the master, we’ll adjust the width of the body text placeholder and the text spacing in it.

A placeholder is a shape, so I’ll right-click it, and click Format Shape.

Then, under SHAPE OPTIONS, I’ll click Size & Properties.

And then, click SIZE. On the Width box, let’s reduce the width by a couple of inches.

We can center it on the slide in a minute.

To change text spacing, click TEXT BOX.

I want a little more space around the text, so I’ll bump up the margins for it in the placeholder.

To center the placeholder even more, let’s use the Aligncommands and click Align Center.

The body text is now more centered on the slide, which I like, given the wide-screen slide format.

These changes affect the layouts with body text placeholders, such as Title and Content and the two-column layouts.

It’s time to give our customized master its own name.

So, right-clicking it, we’ll choose Rename Master and call it Fabrikam theme.

Let’s see how these changes look on our slides. I’ll click Normal to open the normal view.

There’s the background; the two font colors are applied to title and body text.

The body text is more centered.

And there are the picture bullets.

Up Next: We’ll customize master layouts.

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