Using the Slide Master

When watching a PowerPoint presentation, one of those little irritations you can get is when a logo in the corner of a slide moves around. It doesn’t need to be much, but just enough to be distracting; or perhaps it’s the Slide heading that moves a little, or is slightly smaller or further to one side.

You know that this isn’t intentional, so how can you stop it happening to your presentations?

This is my standard PowerPoint template & none of the “Boilerplate” items (i.e. those items appearing on every slide) are “clickable. This means that I’m not going to catch them by accident & move or (worse) delete them

The Slide Master

In order to set these up, you need to view the Slide Master which is on the VIEW Tab

Once you’ve selected this, you’ll be presented with the Slide Master, a list of the available Slide Layouts with a red border
around the currently selected layout.

So, do I change the Slide Master or Slide Layout?

There are many Slide Layouts available to choose from –which are indented from the Slide Master; so, which one do you need to change?

It’s straightforward, really…

  • If you want it to apply to All slides & all Slide Layouts (so, for example, Fonts, logos, straplines, colour schemes), then you apply or add the image to the Slide Master (i.e. the one that’s at the top of the tree & not indented)
  • If you only want it to apply to, for example, the Two Content or Comparison Layouts (for example, you want backgrounds Green & Red to indicate “good & bad” options), then you do that on the individual Slide Layouts

Creating a new Layout

It may be that you need a Slide Layout that is different to the standard ones that are available. To do this, within the Slide Master, decide where you want this to be & select Insert Layout from the Slide Master Tab


The new layout will have the “boilerplate” images in place; you now need to decide what content you want to add.

So, selecting the layout, you need to select Insert Placeholder

With your mouse you then draw the shape that you want your placeholder to fill bu holding down your left mouse button & dragging it over the slide

What is the benefit of using the Slide Master?

The key is that it allows you to create a template (or two – I’ve done one for the standard 4:3 perspective & another for 16:9 widescreen to accommodate two styles of projectors if I’m having to use others’ kit) that has all of your “fixed stuff” in it – logos, company colour scheme, etc – leaving you to focus on creating impactful slides. This means that you become more productive when using PowerPoint as all of the “background stuff” (good word that: “Stuff” ) has been already done & is just reused… again & again

My business has different sectors; can I have different Slide Masters for each within the same presentation?

In simple terms: Yes, you can!

They’re simply added by clicking on the relevant button from the Slide Master Tab…