Slide Master View

In PowerPoint Slide Master view lets you edit all slides at once. Use the Slide Master PowerPoint feature to ensure a consistent look.

Introduction

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010

Slide Master view is a special mode in PowerPoint that allows you to modify slides and slide layouts in your presentation.

In this lesson, you will learn how to use Slide Master view to make changes to every slide in your presentation. You will also learn how to modify individual slide layouts, create new layouts, and save custom layouts.

Slide Master view

You may have noticed that when you select a different theme in PowerPoint, it rearranges the text on your slides and adds shapes to the background. This is because each theme has built-in slide layouts and background graphics. You can edit these layouts with a feature called Slide Master view. Once you learn how to use Slide Master view, you'll be able to customize your entire slide show with a few clicks.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

What is Slide Master view?

Slide Master view is a special feature in PowerPoint that allows you to quickly modify the slides and slide layouts in your presentation. From here, you can edit the slide master, which will affect every slide in the presentation. You can also modify individual slide layouts, which will change any slides using these layouts.

Let's say you find a theme you like but don't like the slide layouts. You could use Slide Master view to customize the layouts exactly the way you want.

In Slide Master view, the Slide Master tab will appear first on the Ribbon, but you'll still be able to access commands on different tabs as normal.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Slide Master view

Using Slide Master view

Whether you're making significant changes to your slides or just a few small tweaks, Slide Master view can help you create a consistent and professional presentation without a lot of effort. You can use Slide Master view to change just about anything in your presentation, but here are some of its most common uses:

Some overall presentation changes, such as customizing the theme fonts and theme colors, can be made quickly from the Design tab. Review our lesson on Modifying Themes to learn more.

To make changes to all slides:

If you want to change something on all slides of your presentation, you can edit the slide master. In our example, we'll add a logo to every slide.

  1. Select the View tab, then click the Slide Master command.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Clicking the Slide Master command
  2. The presentation will switch to Slide Master view, and the Slide Master tab will be selected on the Ribbon.
  3. In the left navigation pane, scroll up and select the first slide. This is the slide master.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Selecting the slide master
  4. Use the desired tabs on the Ribbon to make changes to the slide master. In our example, we'll insert a picture in the upper-left corner of the slide.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Inserting a picture
  5. Move, resize, or delete other slide objects as needed. In our example, we'll resize the title placeholder to fit below our newly inserted logo.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Resizing a placeholder
  6. When you're finished, click the Close Master View command on the Slide Master tab.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Closing Slide Master view
  7. The change will appear on all slides of the presentation.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010The changes applied to all slides in the presentation

When you make a change to the slide master, it's a good idea to review your presentation to see how it affects each slide. You may find that some of your slides don't look exactly right. On the next page, we'll show you how to fix this by customizing individual slide layouts.

If you're inserting a background graphic, you may want to send it behind all other objects on the slide. Right-click the object, select Send to Back, then click Send to Back. Review our lesson on Arranging Objects to learn more.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Sending a shape to the back

Now it's your turn! Try adding or moving a shape on the slide master and see how it affects the rest of your slides.

Customizing slide layouts

You can use Slide Master view to modify any slide layout in your presentation. It's easy to make small tweaks like adjusting background graphics and significant changes like rearranging or deleting placeholders. Unlike with slide master, changes to a slide layout will only be applied to slides using that layout in your presentation.

To customize an existing slide layout:

In our example, our newly added logo overlaps a background graphic in the Content with Caption Layout. We'll customize this layout to make room for the logo.

  1. Navigate to Slide Master view.
  2. Locate and select the desired layout in the left navigation pane. You can hover the mouse over each layout to see which slides are currently using this layout in the presentation.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Selecting the desired layout
  3. In some layouts, the background graphics may be hidden. To show the graphics, uncheck the box next to Hide Background Graphics.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Showing background graphics
  4. Add, move, or delete any objects you want. In our example, we'll move the purple rectangle to better show our new logo.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Moving an object and placeholder
  5. If you want to change the arrangement of the placeholders, you can move, resize, and delete any of them. In our example, we'll rearrange our placeholders to create more room for text on the slide.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Moving placeholders
  6. When you're finished, click the Close Master View command on the Slide Master tab.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Closing Slide Master view
  7. All slides using the layout will be updated.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010The modified slide layout

To add a new slide with the customized layout, click the bottom half of the New Slide command, then select the desired layout.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Adding a new slide with the customized layout

You can also move placeholders on the slide master, which will move the placeholders on multiple slide layouts at the same time. However, some slide layouts may still need to be adjusted manually.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Moving a placeholder on the slide master

Customizing text formatting

You can also customize the text formatting from Slide Master view, including the font, text size, color, and alignment. For example, if you want to change the font for every title placeholder in your presentation, you can modify the master title style on the slide master.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Changing the Master title style on the slide master

Every title placeholder is connected to the master title style on the slide master. As you can see in the example below, modifying the font on the slide master changes the title font on every slide.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010The old and new title fonts

Rather than customize individual placeholders, you can change the theme fonts for the presentation. From the Slide Master tab, click the Fonts command in the Edit Theme group, then select the desired fonts.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Changing the theme fonts from the Slide Master tab

Creating new slide layouts

One of the most powerful features of Slide Master view is the option to create new slide layouts. This is an easy way to add interesting and unique slide layouts to an existing theme. You can even use this feature to design an entirely new theme, as in the example below.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Creating a custom slide layout

To insert a new slide layout:

  1. Navigate to Slide Master view.
  2. From the Slide Master tab, click the Insert Layout command.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Clicking the Insert Layout command
  3. A new slide layout will appear.
  4. The layout will include Title and Footer placeholders by default. Click the Title and Footers boxes in the Master Layout group to toggle these placeholders on and off.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010The Title and Footer options
  5. Click the bottom half of the Insert Placeholder command, then select the desired placeholder type. We recommend using the Content placeholder most of the time because it can be used for any type of slide content.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Inserting a Content placeholder
  6. Click and drag to draw the placeholder on the slide. You can add more placeholders if you want.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Drawing a placeholder
  7. Using the other tabs on the Ribbon, you can add background graphics, shapes, and pictures to the slide layout.

To rename a custom layout:

You'll want to give your custom layout a unique name so it will be easy to find.

  1. Navigate to Slide Master view.
  2. Select the desired layout, then click the Rename command.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Clicking the Rename command
  3. A dialog box will appear. Type the desired name, then click Rename.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Renaming a layout

To use a custom layout:

Once you've created a custom slide layout, it's easy to add a new slide with this layout to your presentation.

  1. If you're currently in Slide Master view, click the Close Master View command on the Slide Master tab.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Closing Slide Master view
  2. From the Home tab, click the bottom half of the New Slide command, then select the custom layout from the menu that appears.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Inserting a new slide with a custom layout

PowerPoint also allows you to add new placeholders to an existing slide layout. In the example below, we're adding a Picture placeholder to the Title Slide layout.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Adding a placeholder to an existing slide layout

Using custom layouts in other presentations

When you modify the master or layouts in Slide Master view, you're actually creating a custom version of the current theme. If you want to apply the theme to other presentations, you'll need to save it.

To save a theme:

If you're not in Slide Master view, you can save the theme from the Design tab. Just click the drop-down arrow in the Themes group, then select Save Current Theme.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2010Saving a theme from the Design tab

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Navigate to Slide Master view.
  3. Insert a picture or shape on all slides.
  4. Customize an existing slide layout. If you are using the example, modify the Picture with Caption layout by moving the purple rectangle below the Mongibello logo.
  5. Change the font of the master title style on the slide master.
  6. Create a new slide layout, and add at least one placeholder.
  7. Review the presentation in Normal view to see the changes.
  8. Save the theme so you'll be able to use the custom layouts in other presentations.