Saving you time and frustration to put together an amazing PowerPoint effortlessly
Setting up a slide master properly is a vital part of creating any PowerPoint (PPT) presentation, helping you and your team to:
Keep consistency throughout all slides
Ensure everyone’s presentations look exactly the same with no variation from your brand.
Ensure that your company’s logo and fixed elements remain in the identical position on all of the slides.
Materials you need before setting up your slide master
Your design team / agency with be able to provide you with the following:
Font (this should ideally be a standard font in PPT so the format of your presentation remains consistent regardless of which computer it is opened on)
Colours (HEX codes are easiest to work on a Mac or RGB in Windows)
Logo pack (Use PNG logo's on transparent backgrounds as they have a small file size and can be placed anywhere on your slide. Make sure you have all colour combinations in your brand guidelines)
Graphic elements / Icon pack (some brands use graphical elements to increase brand awareness. These are great to add into PowerPoint templates as they maintain brand consistency. PNGs on transparent backgrounds are ideal here to, in case you need to overlap any elements)
Setting up your slide master
This section will help you set up, so you can steam through working on the rest of your PowerPoint.
Open slide master
Go to view, then click slide master.
The video above shows the process of opening slide master view
Start building your PowerPoint template at the top (parent slide)
Always start formatting the master layout slide (the large slide) first, as everything you do on this slide will be applied to the slides underneath.
This should include:
And may include (although these might be different on each slide)
Position on slide number, footer and date (if you want them included)
Set up of guides (This can also be done on the individual slides)
Set the font
This is critical to maintaining a standard font (type and size) throughout your PowerPoint.
A top tip is to change the font (in all boxes) on the parent slide of the slide master as this will set the font for your entire presentation. This can be done by:
Selecting the parent slide (larger slide/parent slide) – In the example below there is a text box with 5 layers of text
Highlight the text in the title box and then the main body text box and select your brand’s font or the font to be used throughout your presentation. This will now be fixed on all slides in your PPT.
The size of your font can also be altered in the same way to affect your full presentation. Top tip: If fonts are looking a bit inconsistent in your final presentation, go to the format tab, click on replace fonts. A pop-up box will then appear allowing you to replace any font within the deck with the new font.
The video shows the text you need to highlight and set font in order to set a font default throughout PPT.
The video above shows the process of replacing all fonts.
This is one of the best kept secrets when working with PowerPoint. Setting your colour palette will save you so much time in the future and will ensure absolute consistency of brand colours when creating new slide decks. This is done quite simply by following these steps:
Go to the colour’s menu, hit the drop-down bar and then click on customise colours.
Insert your brand colours in the colour boxes – e.g. Accent 1 (It is good to use HEX colours or RGB depending on if you are working with MAC or Windows respectively.)
Do not worry which boxes you place your colours in as they will appear along the top of the colour tab when saved so we recommend you place your primary colours at the top and then your secondary colours underneath)
Once complete assign your colour palette and name and save it i.e Podymos brand colours. Note: Your colours will appear as the top line on the colour dropdown options throughout the PPT.
The videos above show the process of setting a colour set using HEX codes and setting default colours for your PPT.
Adding in images/shapes/logos
Using the slide master is a great tool for inserting your company’s logo, as it ensures your logo remain in the same place throughout your slide deck with no jumping between slides.
Note: Use a PNG version of your logo (file type .png) if available as these are normally on a transparent background and have a small file size so can be placed anywhere and will keep the size of your template down.
Top Tip: If you are putting logos on different child slides (small slides in your template) set up guides so that when you insert your logo onto each slide the position remains consistent. Alternatively, place your logo on the first slide, position it correctly and then copy it. Move to each of the next slides and paste your logo onto the slide. The paste function will put your logo in the same position each time.
The slide master is where you should always (without exception) add your brand elements again to ensure they remain consistent on all slides.
You can do this by either updating the daughter slides visible or click on ‘Insert layout’ to add a new daughter slide. As you have already set the font and colours on the parent slide this new slide should appear with these parameters already set.
Once all your brand elements have been added to create your slide template and you have updated your text box sizes (if needed) you are ready to move onto and design the next slide.
If images are going to be used by everyone who is presenting, and do not need to be changed, it could make sense to also add these into the slide master.
Note: When adding images/shapes/designs to slides ensure that they are cropped to the slide, otherwise this can look really messy in normal view and mislead the person building a new deck where the edges of the slide actually are. This will become all too apparent in presentation mode which is not when you want an error to appear.
The video above show the impact of cropping your images and shapes to the slide when inserting brand elements to your slide.
Once your slide master is set up and you are about to click back into ‘Normal view’ mode, set guides up to mark the edges of each of your elements (such as text boxes etc). This will give you a reference point of where the elements should be when you build your new presentations, as things often get moved around in the normal building process.
This will prevent titles or text boxes (elements) from jumping around between slides allowing you make sure all formatting is perfect every time (a great trick to know).
Guides can be added to the master layout slide (large one) or the individual child slides (smaller ones). If they are placed on the master slide they will appear on all child slides, however, if they are placed on a child slide they will only appear on that slide. To set up Guides:
Right click on the slide you want to add a guide to (parent or child slide)
Click on ‘guides’ and then ‘guides’ again to show the guides on the slide
To add additional guides click on ‘horizonal’ or ‘vertical’ guide in the same ‘guides’ menu.
Align the guides (1 horizontal and 1 vertical) to the left and bottom of your box to mark out its boarders.
If you want to remove a guide pull it off the slide into the black boarder and it will vanish.
Top tip: You can change the colour of guides; this can help organise guides for titles or images so that you know what throughout the deck is.
To set guides, select view and then click 'guides'
The video above shows the process of inserting more guides. To do this right click the guide. From here you can select to add more guides or alter the colour.
Top tip: Use the Snap to Grid tool - this will ensure your text-boxes/images/graphics will always be perfectly aligned to the gridline. To set up snap to grid see below:
Right click on your slide
Hover your mouse over ‘Guides’
Click and select ‘Snap to Grid’
The video above shows how to set up snap to grid in PowerPoint in Mac.
Select View on the ribbon, select the dialog-box launcher.
To position shapes or objects to the closest intersection of the grid, under Snap to, check the Snap objects to grid box.
The screenshots above shows how to set up snap to grid in PowerPoint in Windows.
Some extra bits to help you make the most of creating your wonderful Powerpoint.
Ensure you standardised your text box. Even if you have set you font in your slide master these can still remain as standard which can be very frustrating. Do this by following these steps.
In any of the newly designed slides, insert a text box.
Change the font in that text box to the brand font and standardised size
Then, right click on the text box and click ‘set as default text box’. This ensures that when any text boxes are added in the future the font style and font size are the same throughout the master template.
The video above show the process of setting the text-box as a default
Charts and graphs can be quite tricky to set a standard in a PowerPoint template but here is a really cool work around to make sure your charts remain beautifully formatted:
Insert each chart type you want to use in the future in to a slide in normal view. This will already have the colours set, however, the font will not be, or any other style preferences, like axis formatting or leader lines etc.
Format each chart until they are perfect.
Save each as a chart template.
When you then come to inserting new charts, all you need to do is right click on the graph and select templates and then the chart that you have previously saved.
NB: This will need to be done on each computer, as such it could be useful to add instructions in your master template of how to do this. It is a bit of a workaround but when everyone get used to it is works fantastically well.
The video above show the process of setting the graph format as a template
You have now created a beautiful template and you will most likely want to transfer it to many of your old presentations. This could be very painful and time consuming. But maybe not???
Saving your PPT as a theme on your computer will allow you to quickly assign this theme to any presentation without copy and pasting one item. You do this through the following steps:
Click on themes
Then at the bottom it clicks save current theme. This exports the theme and saves it into your ‘Designs’ folder.
Open up an older presentation, go to ‘design’ and click on your newly saved theme. Your old presentation will now be on your new theme.
These videos show various ways you can save your slide master.
Alternatively, you can save your PowerPoint as a template. You do this by:
Going to File>Save as Template
Then to save your finished PowerPoint. Go to File>Save as
Your template can then be found through a normal file search.
To ensure consistency throughout your PowerPoint presentation it is very sensible to use a checklist. We do this at Podymos for all our projects as it stops anything from being missed. Our check list includes:
Font size (for different levels of text)-
Sentence or title case – Spelling, UK or U.S Brand colours are set up in the master theme
Brand guidelines have been adhered to
Save graph templates to computer
Set a default text box
Make sure that all texts boxes are set to “Do not auto fit”
Set up guides so that everything is aligned throughout.
Remember, everything you do on the parent slide (first slide), takes place in every slide you insert outside of your slide master.
Once everything is inserted, crop your slide master slides so that everything fits to the size of the slide perfectly.
Put as much into your slide master as possible- this will help you with a consistent PowerPoint presentation throughout and prevents accidental movement of text/text boxes/shapes/images within the slide.
Save your graph templates to your computer.
Have we missed anything that would be useful?
If you would like anything else included in this guide please get in contact as we would love to hear feedback and continue to improve our guides. Link to contact us page
About Podymos At Podymos, we understand the value of knowledge. We dedicate time each week to learning something new, to keep us sharp, and ensure we always produce our best work. Over the years we’ve learned a lot, so why not share it?
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