PowerPoint Master Slide

Every PowerPoint 2007 presentation uses master slides.

Slide master, notes master, handout master - they are all master slides.

People often confuse master slides with slide masters. A slide master is just one type of master slide and there are two others: handout masters and notes masters. They control how each slide in your presentation looks and define things like themes and layouts

Slide Master

The slide master stores information about the theme and slide layouts of a presentation. Therefore, the slide master controls the background, colour, fonts, effects, placeholder sizes, and positioning used in each of your slides.

Every PowerPoint presentation uses slide masters by default, and their use offers the following benefits:

  • If you decide to change the way your presentation looks, you don't have to change each slide individually. You can make the change in one place - the slide master - and this will affect all other slides that use that slide master.
  • The theme and layouts defined for the slide master affect all new slides you add, so you don't need to keep making the changes.

Slide Master View

To create or edit a slide master, you need to work in slide master view. We get there by clicking View > Presentation Views > Slide Master. You'll notice that you now see different tabs in the ribbon, all containing commands relevant to editing slide masters.

Slide Master View

When you change any of the layouts displayed beneath the slide master, you are still changing the slide master. Each slide layout is set up differently and corresponds to the different types of slide you can add when you click New Slide (Title Slide, Title and Content etc). However, all layouts that are associated with a given slide master contain the same theme (color scheme, fonts, and effects).

If you want your presentation to contain two or more different styles or themes, you should insert a slide master for each different theme. Inserting a new slide master is easy: click Slide Master > Edit Master > Insert Slide Master. The new slide master appears after the last slide layout of the original slide master. If you do intend to use more than one slide master, always create them before you start creating your presentation. If you create a slide master after you build individual slides, some of the items on the slides may not conform to the slide master design.

Although theme and layouts are defined in the slide master, you can override some of the slide master customisations on individual slides by using the background and text formatting features. Others, however, (such as footers and logos) can be modified only in Slide Master view.

Applying A Theme To A Slide Master

In the slide master view there is a tab called Slide Master. If you click on the Themes button in the Edit Themes group, you can see thumbnail images of each of the themes available to you. Hovering over a thumbnail will temporarily display a live preview of the theme. Clicking on what you'd like to use applies the theme to all slides under the slide master.