How to Use PowerPoint Slide Master Layouts

Save time and effort while giving your presentations a uniform look

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When you want all the slides in your PowerPoint presentation to have the same look, use the Slide Master to save time and effort. Apply fonts and styles, add multimedia, and insert footnotes. Changes to the Slide Master affect all the slides in the presentation.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003; PowerPoint for Office 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Access the PowerPoint Slide Master

The PowerPoint Slide Master is like a style sheet for your presentations. Changes made to the Slide Master are applied to the slides that are created after you format the Slide Master.

To access the Slide Master in a PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Select View.

  2. Select Slide Master. In PowerPoint 2003, select Master > Slide Master.

    A screenshot showing how to access Slide Sorter view in PowerPoint
  3. The Slide Master view appears and a Slide Master tab is added to PowerPoint.

Change the Layout in the Slide Master

The Slide Master view contains all the slide layouts used in PowerPoint. The Slides pane displays thumbnail images of the slide master (the top thumbnail image) and the related slide layouts (the smaller thumbnail images located below the slide master).

A screenshot showing the Slide Master view in PowerPoint

Changing the font on the slide master affects the text placeholders on all slides. However, due to the variety of layouts, not all placeholders are affected by changes made to the slide master. You may need to make additional changes to the different slide layouts.

Make changes to the Slide Master before you create a presentation. If you change the font style or color on a slide before you edit the slide master and slide layouts, the formatting is retained on those slides.

To make changes in the Slide Master:

  1. Select the slide master. It's the top thumbnail in the Slide pane. In PowerPoint 2003, select the Title Master.

    A screenshot showing the slide master in Slide Master view in PowerPoint
  2. Go to the Slide Master tab to change the theme, theme colors, fonts, and background for the entire presentation.

    A screenshot showing how to change the theme in the PowerPoint Slide Master
  3. In the Slides pane, select a slide layout thumbnail and make changes to the layout master, if needed.

Close the PowerPoint Slide Master

Once you've made all your changes to the slide master, select Slide Master > Close Master View to return to the presentation slides.

A screenshot showing how to close Slide Master view in PowerPoint

Each new slide you add to the presentation takes on the changes you made. You'll save time by not having to make edits to every individual slide. Your presentation will have a uniform and professional look.

How to Make a PowerPoint Title Master in PowerPoint 2003

In PowerPoint 2003, there are two slide masters. The Slide Master handles most of the presentation formatting. The Title Master is the master slide for the title page. Changes made to this slide only affect the first slide, the title page.

  1. Go to View > Master > Slide Master.

  2. On the left-hand side, the Slide Master pane is visible and displays two slide thumbnails. The first thumbnail is the Slide Master. the second is the Title Master.

  3. To edit the Title Master, select the second slide and format as you did for the Slide Master.