Today, we are getting into a powerful PowerPoint feature that can save you and your co-workers lots of time. Maybe you are already using them, but since almost 70% of PowerPoint users do not, and if you are one of them you are about to learn some important things. Whether you already know about templates or you’ve never heard of them – we are going to teach you everything you need to know and show you the steps to create your own one.
What is a template and why should I use it?
- A PowerPoint template is a kind of pattern that is predefined for a presentation. It gives a frame for the content and the design of your slides.
- Elements like background, colours, titles, etc. are set beforehand.
- You can save the template separately and reuse it for as many presentations as you need.
- As all the designs and slides have already been defined, you only need to add your custom text and pictures. That saves a lot of time.
- Templates are especially perfect for companies. Make one template that fits the corporate design and any employee can use them from now on, saving time and giving your business a consistent and professional appearance.
Now, learn how to create a template by watching our video or reading the steps below.
The Slide Master
The Slide Master is the most important tool for creating templates. You can find it by clicking View in the PowerPoint menu (and then clicking on Slide Master). In the window on the left you will find a couple of slides that do not (yet) have a design. Also, you will see one slide on top that is slightly larger and connected to the other slides with dashed lines. That one is your Slide Master, your “main slide”. Everything you change there will directly affect all the other slides. You can try it out by setting a different background colour for the Slide Master. The other slides will immediately change colours, too.
We use the main slide to pre-set all our important elements. Once we like how it looks, we can go ahead and adjust each individual slide-template. Here’s a list of things you can/should change:
- Colours: Go to Colours and choose either one of PowerPoint’s predefined palettes or create your own one.
- Fonts: Click Fonts and then Customise Fonts and choose styles for your titles and regular text.
- Background: Go as crazy-creative or minimalistic as you want. Change the background colour, maybe add some shapes, or look for a nice image online that works behind your text. (To do so, right click on your main slide and go to “Format Background”)
- Title: Change the size, style and placement of the title, simply by editing it as you would usually do.
- Text Style: Do the same for your regular text boxes. Define what the bullet points should look like.
- Footer: You can switch the footer elements around, replace them and change them like any regular text.
Individual Templates for each Slide-Layout
Once you are finished with your main slide, you can go ahead and adjust the other slide layouts. You may find that some look perfect already – you can leave them as they are. For those who don’t, or if you would just like some different slide designs in your template, here are some useful tips on what you can change:
- Background: You may not want the same background on each slide layout. To turn off the background that has been given to the slide (by setting it in the main slide), just tick off the box Hide background graphics in the top Slide Master menu. You are then free to design the background from scratch.
- Footers: On some slides you might not want the footer to show. Disable the Footers checkbox in the task line to make it disappear.
- Title: The same thing works with the title (the checkbox is right there with the Footers)
- Placeholder: Click on Insert Placeholder. You can choose from a variety of placeholders. They can be very helpful because they predefine where a certain element (e.g. image, video,...) should be placed in the presentation.
- Other elements: Of course, you can move, remove and add any other element or object you might need.
TIP: You might need another predefined layout (e.g. for slides that give an overview, for “Contact us” slides, …)
You can easily create a template for that as well by right clicking in the grey box on the left with all your layouts and then clicking
Insert Layout. By right clicking on that new layout you can go to Rename Layout and call it some name that makes sense.
You can treat it like the rest of the layouts and simply adjust it to your needs.
Save your masterpiece and use it for a presentation
When you’re satisfied with how all your layouts look, you can save it by going to File then Save as. Choose the folder you want to save it to and then, instead of saving it as a presentation, save it as PowerPoint Template (*.potx). Close and reopen PowerPoint, click New on the left orange sidebar and then switch from Office to Personal. Your Template should be visible here. Click on it and you’ll be able to create a new presentation with your predefined layouts. Alternatively, if for some reason your template didn’t show up in the start menu OR if you already created a template-less presentation before that you now want to fit into the template, you can open that presentation, go to Design, press the lower arrow at Themes and click Browse for Themes on the bottom. Go to the folder where your template is stored and open it. Your presentation should now adjust to the template.