March 17, 2017

PowerPoint Slide Master: What’s the Point?

You probably know this scenario: you update a graphic and the whole layout changes on your PPT slide. Perhaps you try to use slides from another colleague but find that your font, text sizes, and color differ slightly. You just can’t seem to match their color because it’s not from the standard color palette in your PowerPoint. To top it off, your manager expects the final presentation to be in your corporate identity as per the “Holy Grail” – your brand book. We know the hurdles all too well. But there is an easier way – a master PowerPoint template.

The Framework of any Presentation

The slide master (go to View, Slide Master) is the foundation of any good presentation. Consider it your toolbox that is in the background of your presentation and encompasses all your basic set-up requirements and your most popular layouts. This helps you have consistency with all your slides and lets you quickly create a new slide, without having to worry about formatting.


The slide master defines the formatting and positioning of elements such as title, subtitle, content and picture placeholders, footers, headers, and logos on the corresponding slide layouts.

Elements defined in the slide master, such as a logo, are set in place and cannot be moved when you go to make a new slide. This is a great feature when working in a team because when your colleagues create a new slide, they will not be able to move around elements on the slides. You can be sure that your preferred layout remains with the correct spacing and the right font size and typeface. So, when you are in your normal PPT view and go to make a new slide, you or your colleagues won’t use a blank slide, but one of the predefined layouts.

Note that you can make global format changes on each slide of your presentation when you are in your master.


The Technicalities

The first slide in your PPT master (your master template) is where your fundamental formatting is placed. This appears on all your proceeding master slides (your layout master slides). It’s best to define the font and size of your title and subtitle on your primary master template, as well as any footer and logo that you may want to use on all slides.

The proceeding master layout slides can then be individually customized e.g. with a title slide, divider slide, various options of content layout slides, picture layout combinations, variations of lists etc. See the custom-made examples below.

Master_layout2 Master_layout1Master_layout4Master_layout3

This is a small excerpt of a custom master template. Notice that there are many more options than what PowerPoint gives you as a standard. Although PPT has predefined layout slides, they will most likely not fit your company’s exact needs, such as your logo or other design elements of your CI.

In a custom-made master template, you define what slides you and your team use and the overall look and feel of the presentation. Your master defines your standard.

Professional Uses

In your master, you can also display a precisely defined grid and determine the spacing of elements. A well-made master is not a set of different placeholders slapped on a slide, but a carefully planned layout with defined spacing. A set distance from the edges of your slide frames your content. The distance between various objects on the slide is just as important, so everything looks clean and professional.

When PresentationLoad creates a master, we also custom define the colors in your PowerPoint. That means whenever you change the color of a text or object, your theme color options will be in your corporate RGB color values.




A master layout lets you and your colleagues have more time to focus on the content of your presentation and avoid spending time on formatting. It means less mistakes when creating a presentation and a unified look across your whole company.

Your customers also benefit from your master! Afterall, a clean and unified design delivers a clear message. It is a pleasure to look at, and makes you look professional and trustworthy.

Need help with your master? Contact us and we would be happy to design your perfect layout.


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