Wondering how to create PowerPoint master slides? In PowerPoint, Microsoft has set up an excellent variety of themes and color schemes for you to use. When you want to create a professional looking slideshow, why reinvent the wheel when just a few tweaks get what you want?
How to Create PowerPoint Master Slides Lesson
When you open PowerPoint or select “File>New within PowerPoint,” you will see a vast selection of formats to use for your presentation. Let’s pick one of the available samples; I’ll choose “Berlin” for this lesson. When I click on Berlin, PowerPoint gives me a selection of colors and several “More Images” to view this theme. With two clicks, select your favorite color variant and Create.
PowerPoint will create a title slide in the Berlin format, with a specific background, style and font. Think of your MS Office subscription as having a graphic design team on your staff. Let them do the visual work, while you produce the content. Click on the “Click to add title” box and type “Working with Slide Masters” and save your work with the same title. In the subtitle section, type your byline, “By…” with your name.
View Slide Master and Slide Master 1
How does the slide select its background color, fonts, and design? It looks to the “Slide Master.”
- From the View tab>Edit Master Views section>click on Slide Master
In Slide Master view, your title seems to have disappeared from the slide, and there is a huge selection of slides in the Navigation Pane. A new special menu tab has appeared, the Slide Master tab. Before you do anything, I want you to scroll up the Navigation window until you are on the very first slide, and click on that top slide. This slide will be marked #1 and be aligned slightly to the left of the other slides. I wish Microsoft would always take you to this Slide #1, but it doesn’t. Still, go to Slide #1 when working with Slide Masters.
The slides below Slide Master #1 are all the slides available when you pull down the:
- Home tab> New Slide button: Title Slide, Title, and Content, Picture with Content, etc
Those slides all look to Slide #1 for their color, design, and fonts. Working with only Slide Master #1 in the Slide Master view means that all your slides will follow one pattern, which makes your presentation look like a pro designed it!
Slide Master Colors
Slide Master #1 controls all the other slides, so let’s change it to a new color theme that wasn’t available from the variants.
- On the Slide Master tab>Background section>click the Colors drop-down arrow.
From this option, there are many new color variants to choose. Within each variant, PowerPoint has already picked a primary color, secondary color, and so on.
Pick your favorite. I’ll pick “Blue” today, and all my slides transform to the new color scheme.
There is even a Customize Color option if you want to start from scratch and select the 12 colors for your owned named theme.
- In the Slide Master tab>Background section>Colors drop-down
Slide Master Fonts
Let’s say your company always uses the “Times New Roman” font on all your documents. On Slide Master #1, select all your text boxes at once with Ctrl-A to “Select All” the boxes. Now click on:
- Slide Master tab>Background section>Fonts drop-down arrow
PowerPoint has set up the master slides with two fonts: one for the title, and one for the content. As you hover over each one, you will see a preview. PowerPoint thinks that using two complementary fonts will help hold your audience’s attention. Choose the combination of Arial-Times New Roman or the Times New Roman-Arial. Just like in Colors, you may also select only Times New Roman from the Customize Fonts option, but we’ll take their graphics departments advice combine these two favorite fonts.
Change Font Color
Even though we are viewing our Master Slides, our other menu tabs are still available for formatting the font or inserting a graphic. Just remember, everything you put on the master slides will appear on every slide in your presentation.
The words in our text boxes all show up in a white font, which is the secondary color in our Blue Berlin theme. Let’s use a light blue for our content instead. In the “Edit Master text styles” box, drag through from the top line to the fifth level. Click on:
- Home tab>Font section>click the Font Color drop-down arrow
The top row of colors is labeled “Theme Colors,” and it shows the primary, secondary, and so on, colors in our theme’s color scheme. Other colors are available but stick to the theme. Remember, you are paying Microsoft big bucks to use their graphics department. Select light blue which will now be assigned to everything in the content text boxes.
Slide to another master slide within the Navigation pane, and you will notice the title remains white, but the content text boxes are now light blue. That’s why we make the changes in Slide Master #1 so that one change affects everything, get it?
Have you ever been almost finished with a project, and the boss tells you to make some changes? For example, the owner of the company emails you and says blue is out and red is now the perfect color. Click on:
- Slide Master tab>Background section>Colors drop-down arrow, select the color scheme labeled “Red.”
PowerPoint will change the color scheme to its red variant, and change your secondary color light blue text into red’s secondary color, bright gold. If we had not used the scheme’s color choices, the font color would not have changed with the scheme and would still be light blue.
Slide Master Themes
Maybe after playing with the colors and fonts, you decide the Berlin theme may not be right for this presentation. In the Slide Master tab click on:
- Edit Theme section>click Themes
You may now change the theme to the one you prefer… however, all our changes will be lost, and you’ll need to change the colors and fonts all over. Just make your new changes to Slide Master #1, and you’ll be ready in a few clicks. Try it! Once, you’re an expert. You can even save your new theme as a PowerPoint theme that will show up on the menu.
Exit Slide Master Tab
When you are ready to return to working on the actual presentation, from the Slide Master tab, click the “Close Master View” on the right or click the Normal view icon at the bottom of the screen. You will return to your “Working with Slide Masters” title based on your new slide master.
- Home tab>Slides section>New Slide
See your options for the next slide in your preferred scheme and start creating your presentation.
Ready to Create PowerPoint Master Slides? Share your thoughts below in the comment section!
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