PowerPoint Slide Masters

Slide layout can be a difficult thing to control when you have many slides within your presentation. PowerPoint is a tool to help you get your message across effectively in a graphical manner, so the layout of slides is an important thing to consider before you even start your presentation. Your slides should be clear, contain all the information you need without being cluttered, and should all be of a similar layout and with similar fonts etc.

Imagine the scenario where you are creating a presentation that runs into many slides, maybe fifteen twenty, or even more. Creating each of these slides individually, and then maintaining common formats and themes across all the slides is obviously going to be a problem, and this is where the concept of ‘Master Slides’ comes into play.

A master slide, as the name suggests, is a slide that you never actually use, but it is a template upon which all new slides are made. So when you elect to create a new slide, PowerPoint will create a new blank slide that has the same layout, boxes, fonts, and even graphics as the master slide. This can be especially useful, for instance in a corporate environment, where all users who create presentations are expected to adhere to a common format for their work.

Creating a master slide

Before we start to design our master slide layout, we need to enter the Master Slide view by selecting the ‘View’ menu, then ‘Master’ and finally ‘Slide Master’ form the sub-menu.

You will now be presented with the slide layout master (looking similar to the one below) which you can edit to suit how you want your slides to look. The important thing to be aware of here is that you must not change the text in any of the major boxes, just their appearance.

For this tutorial, we will change the appearance of the title to be in bold blue text, and we will add a line under the title, and a graphic to right of the title.

To change the format of the title block, click once anywhere inside it to select. Now select ‘Format’ from the menu bar, click ‘Font’ and when the font dialog appears, select the properties you wish to change, and click ‘OK’

Next, use the drawing toolbar to draw a line under the title block, the whole width of the page.

Now, re-size the right side of the title block so that it is approximately two thirds the width of the page, this will leave us room to add our picture in.

Now select ‘Picture’ from the ‘Insert menu’ and select any graphic of your choice to put next to the title. Once imported you will probably need to move and re-size your graphic to fit the space next to the title block. Once this step is completed, your master slide could look something like the one below.

Now go to ‘Save As’ in the ‘File’ menu, when prompted with the dialog box give your master a name (‘My Master’?), and in the ‘Save as type’ drop down, make sure you select ‘Design Template’, click OK to save your template.



Title Slide Master

Now that you have created your slide master, you will also need to create a ‘Title Master’. A Title Master is the slide that appears first in a presentation and is usually of a different format to that used for the main body of the presentation. Title masters tend to be very sparse, with just the Title of the presentation, the date, maybe the name of the presenter, and possibly a company logo.


To create your Title master click on the ‘Insert New Title Master’ button as shown below.

You will now be presented with a slide that looks similar to your main slide, but with less text boxes on it for you to edit, the rules for this master are the same as for the main slide master. Once you have finished creating your Title Master save your template as above.


Using your Masters

To use your newly created masters when you create a presentation, all you need to do is Select ‘New’ from the file menu, then on the Task Pane click on the option ‘From Design Template’ and you will be presented with a thumbnail list of all the pre-installed templates, along with the one you have created. Scroll through until you find yours, double click it, and you’re presented with your Title slide all ready to go!