I recently received this question.
“I have a power point presentation (created in 2007 and recently moved into 2010) that I want to change the master slide with a new one my designer gave me. It was given to me as a regular slide and I want to make it a master slide so all the slides will change using this new background.”
What do you receive from a designer?
The basic question is how to apply a slide master to an existing presentation.
When you receive a “regular slide” from a designer, you need to figure out where the design is.
If the design is actually on the slide itself, you need to make some changes — and your designer doesn’t know very much about PowerPoint. That’s because in order for you to easily apply the design to other presentations, the design should be on the slide master.
It’s easy to check. Follow these steps:
- Choose View tab, Slide Master.
- In the left-hand pane, scroll up to the first, larger thumbnail.
If the design is on the Slide Master, you’re in good shape. If not, you need to find some way to transfer the design from the slide itself to the slide master. Often all you need to do is to select all of the objects on the slide, cut to the Clipboard, and paste on the first, larger thumbnail (the “Master”) in Slide Master view. Then save the presentation.
The wrong way
You should keep the presentation you received unchanged, so save a copy to use as a basis. Then open both the designed copy and your original presentation — the one that you want to apply the design to.
In the original presentation, select all of the slides. You can click the first slide, press and hold the Shift key, and click the last slide. You can do this in the left-hand pane or in Slide Sorter view. Then copy them to the Clipboard.
Display the designed copy, click in the left-hand pane, and paste. By default, the slides will take on the destination design.
A better way
Ideally, you should create a theme file. This makes applying your design easy and you don’t have to worry about copying over your original presentation. Here are the steps:
- In Normal view, click the Design tab.
- At the right end of the Themes gallery, click the More button, as you see here.
- At the bottom of the themes gallery, click Save Current Theme.
- You’ll be in the default Themes folder. Don’t change the folder! Type a descriptive name for your theme and click Save.
To use your theme to an existing presentation, this is all you have to do:
- Click the Design tab.
- If you don’t see your theme, click the same More button at the right end of the Themes gallery and choose your theme from the Custom section, as you see here for a light-blue gradient theme that I created.
Do you have any questions about applying a design to a presentation? Leave a comment!