Create a Default Presentation Template in PowerPoint

Start each new PowerPoint presentation with your own custom template

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If you create presentations as part of your job, your presentations follow your company's style guide and use your company colors, fonts, and logo. You could edit a PowerPoint design template each time you create a new presentation. But, what if you must always be consistent? The answer is to create a new default design template. With your own template, each time you open PowerPoint, your customized formatting is front and center.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Office 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Save the Original Default Template

Before you make any changes, make a copy of the original default template.

For PowerPoint for Windows:

  1. Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation using the Blank Presentation template.

  2. Choose File > Save As.

  3. Select This PC.

    A screenshot showing how to backup the default PowerPoint presentation template
  4. Enter a new name for the original template.

  5. Select the Save as type down arrow and choose PowerPoint Template (*.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 Template (*.pot).

  6. Select Save.

For PowerPoint for Mac:

  1. Open PowerPoint.

  2. Choose File > Save as Template.

  3. In the File Format box, select PowerPoint Template (.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 (.pot).

  • The saving location changes to the folder where PowerPoint stores its templates. Do not change this location or PowerPoint will not know where to look for the file if you choose to use it again.
  • The original default design template is called blank presentation. Name the file old blank presentation, or something similar. PowerPoint adds the file¬†extension .POTX (.POT) to the file so it knows that this is a template file and not a presentation (.PPTX or .PPT) file.
  • Close the file.

Create Your New Default Presentation

When designing your new default template, make the changes on the slide master and the title master so that each new slide in your presentation takes on the new characteristics. Refer to this tutorial on Custom Design Templates and Master Slides.

  1. Open a new, blank PowerPoint presentation, or if you have a presentation already created that has most of the options already formatted to your liking, open that presentation.

  2. Before you make any edits, save the file with a different name and as a template. Choose File > Save As. On a Mac, select File > Save as Template.

  3. Change the file type to PowerPoint Template (*.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 Template (*.pot).

  4. In the Filename text box, type blank presentation.

  5. Make any changes you want to this new blank presentation template. For example:

  6. Save the file when you're finished.

The next time you open PowerPoint and select the Blank Presentation, you'll see your formatting in the new, blank design template. You're ready to start adding your content.

Return to the Original Default Template

At some future time, you may wish to return to using the plain, white default template in PowerPoint. When you installed PowerPoint, if you made no changes to file locations during the installation, the necessary files are located in the following locations depending on the operating system:

  • Windows 7: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. (Replace "username" in the file path with your own username.) The Application Data folder is a hidden folder; be sure that hidden files are visible.
  • Windows 10: C:\Users\username\Documents\Custom Office Templates.
  • Mac OS X 8 or newer: /Users/username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Templates.
  • Mac OS X 7: The Library folder is hidden by default. To show the Library folder, in the Finder, select the Go menu, and then hold down OPTION.
  1. Rename the new template that you created.

  2. Rename the original PowerPoint template to blank presentation.potx. (or .pot)