PowerPoint 2003: Create Custom Design Templates and Master Slides

PowerPoint has a number of design templates containing a variety of layouts, formatting, and colors to assist you in creating eye-catching presentations.

You may wish, however, to create your own template so that certain features, such as a preset background, your organization’s logo or company colors are always present when the template is opened; these templates are called Master Slides.

There Are Four Different Master Slides

  • Slide Master is for all slides in the presentation other than the Title Master.
  • Title Slide Master is the master for the Title page only.
  • Notes Master is the master for creating the Notes pages.
  • Handout Master is the master for creating Handout pages.

The steps below apply to PowerPoint 2003 only. However, you can do the same in MS PowerPoint 2010 by following specific steps for that program, and similar directions apply to using Slide Master layouts in PowerPoint 2007.

01
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How to View the Slide Master in PowerPoint

Screenshot showing how to view the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher

To see the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2003, open a new document and navigate to the View menu.

  1. Go to File > New to open a blank presentation.
  2. Select View > Master > Slide Master to open the Slide Master for editing.
02
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How to Change the Fonts and Background on the PowerPoint Slide Master

Screenshot showing how to change the Slide Master font in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher 

It's easy to change the font in your PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Click the text box that you wish to change in the Slide Master.
  2. Go to Format > Font.
  3. Choose your options from the dialog box.
  4. Click OK.

You can stop your PowerPoint presentation fonts from changing if you want to keep the font the same across any computer it's opened on.

You can also change the presentation's background via Format > Background.

03
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How to Add Pictures to the PowerPoint Slide Master

How to insert a picture into a PowerPoint 2003 presentation

Jon Fisher

Inserting a company logo or some other image to your Slide Master is possible from the Insert menu. To do that, go to Insert > Picture > From File... to open the Insert Picture dialog box. Then, select the photo you want to insert, and click Insert.

Click and drag the image to position it correctly, and use the corner circles on the picture to resize it if needed.

From the same Insert > Picture menu is how you can add clip art images to the Slide Master. Search for clip art in the sidebar and then click Go to find and select the image you want to insert.

04
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How to Move Text Boxes on the Slide Master

Screenshot showing how to move a text box in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher 

Text boxes might not be in the location that you like for all your slides. Moving the text boxes on the Slide Master makes the process a one-time event.

  1. Place your mouse over the border of the text area you want to move. The mouse pointer becomes a four-pointed arrow.
  2. Hold down the mouse button and drag the text area to its new location.

You can also resize a text box on the Slide Master.

  1. Click the border of the text box you want to resize and it will change to have a dotted border with resizing handles (white dots) on the corners and midpoints of each side.
  2. Place your mouse pointer over one of the resizing handles. The mouse pointer becomes a two-pointed arrow.
  3. Hold down the mouse button and drag to make the text box larger or smaller. When you drag inward, the box becomes smaller; drag outward away from the box to enlarge it.
05
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How to Make a PowerPoint Title Master

Screenshot showing how to insert a new title master in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher

The Title Master is different than the Slide Master. It's similar in style and color, but is usually used only once — at the beginning of the presentation.

Go to Insert > New Title Master. Now, the Title Master can be edited using the same steps as the Slide Master.

The Slide Master must be open for editing before you can access the Title Master.

06
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How to Change a Preset Slide Design Template

Screenshot showing how to Change a Preset Slide Design Template in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher

If creating a template from scratch seems daunting, you can use one of PowerPoint’s built in slide design templates as a starting point for your own template, and change only the parts you want.​

  1. Open a new, blank PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Go to View > Master > Slide Master.
  3. Go to Format > Slide Design or click on the Design button on the toolbar.
  4. From the Slide Design pane to the right of the screen, click on a design template that you like. This will apply this design to your new presentation.
  5. Edit the Slide design template using the same steps as shown previously for the Slide Master.
07
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How to Make a New Template From a Design Template in PowerPoint

Screenshot showing how to save a new PowerPoint template in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher

Here is the new template for the fictional ABC Shoe Company. This new template was modified from an existing PowerPoint design template.​

The most important step in designing your template is to save this file. Template files are different than other types of files that you save to your computer. They must be saved to the Templates folder that appears when you choose to save the template.

  1. Go to File > Save As.
  2. Enter a name for the template in the File name section of the dialog box.
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Save as type area and pick the sixth option: Design Template (*.pot).
    1. Choosing the option to save as a design template makes PowerPoint immediately switch the folder location to the Templates folder.
  4. Click Save.

You can now close the template file.

You can also save this template file to another location on your computer or to an external drive for ​safe keeping. However, it won't appear as an option to use for creating a new document based on this template unless it's saved in the Templates folder.

08
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How to Make a New Presentation With Your PowerPoint Design Template

Screenshot showing how to open a PowerPoint template in PowerPoint 2003

Jon Fisher

With a new design template ready to go, you can now create a new presentation based off of that template.

  1. Go to File > New.
  2. Select On my computer in the New Presentation task pane to the right side of the screen.
  3. Select the template from the list in the General tab.
  4. Click OK.

PowerPoint protects your template from being changed by opening a new presentation rather than opening the template itself. When you save the presentation, it will be saved with the PPT file extension which is the extension for presentations. This way, your template never changes and you only need to add content whenever you need to make a new presentation.

If you need to edit your template for any reason, go to File > Open and locate the template file on your computer.