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!
“101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know” is for everyone who never took a course or read a book about PowerPoint! These tips will fill in the gaps, speed up your work, make presentations easier, and help you get better results. Now updated through PowerPoint 2016 and Office 365. Learn more at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/101-tips/
I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
This is an excellent piece of advice.
I had been struggling for 3 hrs before I had the sense to look on U-tube and then found this site.
Very many thanks indeed.
I am an independent contractor and my client has a theme going in three different ways and wants to create a slide master. I have been using PowerPoint for several years and never seen a slide master done this way. Is it possible to create a slide master using an image in three locations in a presentation?
I don’t understand the question. Do you mean that you want 3 different images, so that some slides use image 1, some use image 2 and some use image 3? If so, you can do that by using 3 different slide masters and assigning slides to the slide master with the image you want.
Thank you for this information. I have a related question. I’ve been asked to copy slides from one presentation (with one or more slide masters)into my existing presentation (already up to 3 slide masters). I attempted the first slide master I saw and pasted it into my presentation. Admittedly, I’m not sure if that’s the right one. I’m not sure how to determine that. But, when I paste the slides the graphics shift. What’s the best way to add slides from one presentation into your existing presentation and either keep the source formatting, in the case of graphics, or have… Read more »
Many thanks – I used he “better way”.
You saved me heaps of time !!
I am working within a PowerPoint 2010 document that has been tinkered with by multiple people for several years, without consistency or use of the Slide Master and Layout option for inserting slides. I have edited the Slide Master and its downstream layouts, but when I try to apply them to existing slides (through using the Layout option and picking the right layout), nothing happens to the current formatting of the slide. Instead, I get new text boxes on top of the current content. I really want this to be a clean document that can be used easily in future,… Read more »
Thanks!! The “Better way” worked like a charm 😀
Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent information being shared freely out there.
I received a design from a client that they want to use for a current PPP. I tried the above steps and can do one slide at a time (copy/paste, copy/paste) but was wondering if there was a quicker way to transfer the slides on the current PPP to the new design? I do have the design under Customized but nothing happens when I click on it while in the current presentation. I have listened to your 13 tips and it was very helpful, thank you.
Linda, you should be able to apply a theme on the Design tab. If you can’t, try clicking another theme. Does that work? If not, try opening a new presentation and applying that theme. If that works, copy and paste the slides to the new presentation and try again. Can you open the design you got from the customer? Is it a PPTX, POTX OR THMX file? If it’s a PPTX file, you can open it, duplicate it (for safety), and copy and paste slides into the duplicate. By default, they will take on the destination theme. Thanks for letting… Read more »
This all seems great but I am still having difficulty trying to relate it to my situation. Just as an intro, I have a large number of Power Point files, around 500 that contain the lyrics for hymns and songs that I prepare for our church services each week. I tried to standardize the format when I first start on this many years ago. So each file contains a Song Title slide of a standard layout and, that is followed by a number of slides all of the same format and layout that contain the lyrics for the song. Each… Read more »
Rod, there’s no automated way to convert text boxes on slides to existing layouts. I spend a lot of time doing this manually for clients. But you can start creating new slides using layouts from the Slide master. Some of that mess is probably because you started in PowerPoint 2003 and the conversion to the 2007 + later system isn’t seamless either. Creating the layouts you need is a start and I have a post on that at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/create-a-custom-layout/. Once you have them, you can start applying the layout to a few slides at a time (start with one to… Read more »
Powerpoint 2010: Why when I have my own model, I cannot update an old presentation with that new model? or maybe how can I do that?
I have tons of powerpoint presentations that we need to update with new logo and format….
What is the best way: use a model or a theme?
I’m not sure what you mean by a model. A template? A template can have content in it, like a logo, so if you want to include a logo on every slide with the Title Slide layout, use a template.
I’m also not sure exactly what you mean by format. Slide size? Background?
You can open a new presentation with a new template and copy all of the slides from the old presentation to the new one. It’s pretty quick.
I have powerpoint presentations made in Office 2008. I want to port them over to a new machine using Office 2016. The master slides no longer look right. Is there a way to import themes or masters from the old powerpoint to the new powerpoint?
I saved my new template, but when I click “more” on templates it doesn’t show up anywhere on the list. Why not? Very frustrating. Arrrggghhh!!!
I have a presentation from NL with there language in the slide masters, fx.: “Alleen beeld, zonder ondertitel” and I have the new theme/templates in language fx.: UK.
When I Copy or Reuse or change the theme to the new template (UK), the old slidemaster pages will appear in slidemasters.
Is there a way to override or take in the old slides into the new master, without the old slidesmasters?
Hope you can help
I haven’t used templates from another country, so I’m not sure. The text there, which translates, per Google, to Only Image without Subtitle, may have been put in manually, in which case PowerPoint won’t change it. I would probably try to copy a layout from the old master and paste it within the section that has the layouts for the new master and see what happens.
I am editing a bunch of presentations and want to make their appearance consistent. The master slides are the same in all the presentations (or they will be when I’m done), but different layouts are used for similar kinds of slides within presentations, and some of them don’t have master slides at all. How can I apply a master slide layout to a slide that has no master slide? when I apply a master slide layout, I get new placeholders with the correct bullets, formatting, etc., but I have to copy the content from the existing placeholders to the new… Read more »
I’m not totally sure I understand. There’s always a master slide. Have you tried Reset Slide? It’s right next to the Layout item on the ribbon and right-click menu.
Or, you could create new layouts that match the old ones and change the layouts of the slides to those new layouts.
I am working in hospital and we decide to create a default theme for all the employees in the department, so when they open the hospital devices and use the PowerPoint they see the formal theme we create .
is it by slide master then using the share folder ?
When I try this method I get a mix of both old and new master slides. I have tried this on various presentation and themes and the results are similar. Any other tips or underlying assumptions?
Sounds similar to the Linda Parker comments above.
Do you mean that both masters are available in View, Slide Master? Or that some slides use one master and some another?
Yes, There is weird mix of old and new. I would have hoped that when you when to design and browse and choose the new theme it would fully write over the old them but that is not happening in my case.
I had to use brute force to move past this issue but now I am having other issues with slide master, so I am seeking some in person support.
I do consulting so I have analysts all around who are wizards at this but they are even stumped at this point.
Ellen – You probably just saved me an hour of grunt work. Had a huge presentation all done and the corporate office changed the design. Followed your instructions and it worked a charm in less than a minute. Thank you!
Glad to help!
I tried to use the better way, but it actually did not work. The theme was created, but when I wanted to apply it to the old PPT only parts of it changed?
When using the wrong way, it worked a little bit better, but the font for example stayed black (old version), when it should be white (new version).
Any ideas what when wrong?