Would you like to save hours of work editing and customizing your PowerPoint presentations? Are you wasting time changing each slide individually to give your presentation a consistent look? The answer is to leverage the Slide Master, a critical feature unknown to most PowerPoint users.
If you’ve ever edited each of a presentation’s 100 slides to change the font size, color, or style, then you need to know about the Slide Master. If slide titles or the company logo shifts position from one slide to the next, you need to meet the Slide Master.
First, it may be helpful to know that every presentation has at least one slide master whether or not you work with it directly. The slide master is a blueprint for your presentation and helps you create a professional slide deck without a lot of effort. PowerPoint applies changes made to placeholders, background, color, effects, fonts, positioning, and graphics on a master which links to specific presentation slide layouts.
Have you ever played around with different PowerPoint themes? Pick one and the background and font color changes. Choose a different theme and the placement of text on a title slide updates. Each of these themes has a custom slide master.
When you make a change on your own slide masters, PowerPoint applies that change to every related slide in the presentation. This saves you time and gives your presentation a consistent look and feel. Because it affects the look and layout of your entire presentation, it’s a good idea to edit the slide master before you start to build individual slides.
To display the Slide Master View:
More complex presentations may contain two or more slide masters with different themes.
Note: Although they could be, many corporate PowerPoint templates aren’t designed from the Slide Master. Instead, you’re asked to copy slides to duplicate the look—each slide contains manual formatting. Explore the Slide Master of these templates to see if it makes sense for you to directly customize it for overall consistency and to save time.
Slide masters include a placeholder for footer information you want to include on every slide, such as your company or department name. You can also add a date or a slide number.
To add a footer:
There may be times when you intentionally want to change an individual slide. For example, the graphics on the Slide Master, such as a logo or background, might make some slides too busy or distracting. To hide the background graphics for selected slides in PowerPoint 2016 & 2013, you’ll find this option under Format Background in the Design tab. In PowerPoint 2010, choose Hide Background Graphics from the Background group on the Design tab of the Ribbon.
If most of the presentations you create and edit are versions of previous ones, you might be thinking that the Slide Master won’t work for you because you aren’t creating presentations from scratch. Instead you are given presentations with a lot of manual formatting that you are somehow supposed to magically “Make it look good!”
One reason editing PowerPoint slides can be such a time suck is because manual formatting overrides Slide Master formatting. But instead of individually reformatting each slide in a presentation, there is a trick to easily apply the Slide Master formatting to selected slides and remove inconsistent manual formatting.
To reset slide formatting to match the Slide Master:
This is one of my favorite time saving PowerPoint tips! With just a few clicks, the slides are formatted to match the slide master.
By Dawn Bjork, The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer, Technology Speaker, Software Consultant