For many businesses, PowerPoint is the go-to tool for creating and executing presentations, reports, and summaries. But, creating a new PowerPoint for every presentation can be time-consuming and draining.
There’s a simple solution: A Master Template.
If your team isn’t already using a Master Template for all your PowerPoints, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to halve the time it takes to make a presentation and to standardize a look and feel for your brand.
So, what is a Master Template, and how do you create one? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.
What Is a Master Template?
A Master Template in PowerPoint is a presentation that you can save to be used as a model for future presentations. When you open up a Master Template, all of the formatting—including font, text size, color schemes, and logo placement—will already be set up.
You simply have to add text and images, without fussing over details of the design. In fact, we have a few free PowerPoint templates that you can download to use as Master Templates for your own presentations—just add text and images!
Master Templates can be shared within your team so that everyone is working off the same guide and all of your brand’s presentations have unity. The obvious benefit of a Master Template is that it saves your business time.
Instead of having to copy, paste, and modify each new slide, a Master Template automatically creates every new slide with your predetermined settings.
This doesn’t mean your whole presentation will look exactly the same slide to slide. You can create various slide formats so that there’s a selection of designs for different purposes, like title pages, data visualization, and text slides.
There are other hidden benefits of using a Master Template for all your businesses’ presentations. When everyone uses the same Master Template, you end up with tight control of your branding.
Presentations that are all formatted the same way enforce visual identity, which shows customers that you have a legitimate, cohesive brand.
How to Create a Master Template in PowerPoint
1. Open a New or Existing PowerPoint presentation
The first step in creating a Master Template in PowerPoint is to open up a new or existing PowerPoint presentation.
From here, navigate to “View” in the menu bar, then select “Slide Master.” Clicking this will give you the ability to see the master layouts of the slides.
The slide master is the largest slide image at the top of the left-hand slide list. All associated slide layouts are positioned beneath the slide master.
2. Edit the Cover Slide
Perhaps, the most important slide in your presentation is the cover slide, or the first slide of your presentation. This slide will introduce your business and give your audience an idea of what the following slides will contain.
To edit the cover slide, click on the “Master title style” slide in the left-hand sidebar. Clicking on it will make it appear in the center of your PowerPoint workspace, ready for you to edit.
From here, any changes in background color, font size/color, etc. will be applied to all other slides.
There are a few formatting options in the Master toolbar, but to access advanced design elements of the slide, click on Home in the top toolbar. This will take you back to the home menu, which contains font options and more.
To get back to the Master Template view, click on Slide Master on the same top toolbar.
After you’ve set up your cover slide, click on “Close Master” in the right-hand corner. After closing the master editor, you’ll be able to edit your slide. Fill it with whatever title you want it to have that’s specific to the presentation you’re giving.
3. Edit the Basic Slides
After creating the cover slide, you can now create basic (or content) slides that present your information with text.
Just like before, to edit the content slides, navigate to “View” in the menu bar. Then select “Slide Master.”
From there, click on whatever type of content layout you want to use for your presentation in the left-hand sidebar. There are a variety of options for basic slides, including Title and Content Layout, Two Content Layout, Comparison Layout, etc.
Choose the layouts that you think most accurately delivers your presentation’s information in a concise and easy-to-understand way—you can create a template for as many slide types as you want.
Note: There are also layout options for if your presentation will contain a graph, chart, or picture.
Once you’ve selected a basic slide layout you like, click on it and make it appear to the center of your PowerPoint workspace. Like before, you can now make any changes in background color, font size/color, and so on.
Your changes will become the template basic slide for any future presentations. When you’re satisfied with your basic slide, navigate to the upper-right-hand corner and click on “Close Master.”
4. Save Your New Master Template
Once you’re satisfied with your master template, new branded cover slides, and basic slides, it’s time to save your template for future use.
First, click on the “File” tab, then select “Save As.” When the “Saves As” box opens, in the “File format” list, choose “PowerPoint Template (.pptx).”
Make sure to enter in a file name in the “Save as” file name box so that you can easily find your template in the future.
Choose where you want your template to be saved, and lastly, hit “Save.”
How to Use a Master Template in PowerPoint
To open up a Master Template you’ve already created, launch PowerPoint and click “File > New from Template” and “My Templates.”
Inside “My Templates,” you’ll be able to find your pre-branded template or search for its name. Simply open it up and start working.
You can select the slide template you want to work from by clicking into the New Slide drop-down in the Home toolbar. From there, just fill in the text and add any pictures or diagrams to support your content.
You now have all the information you need in order to create a visually cohesive and branded Master Template for all your business’ future presentations.
Try Shutterstock Create for Another Option
As is true with everything, different platforms serve different people. If you’re seeking something similar but different, we suggest giving Shutterstock Create a try, too.
Our intuitive editing tool comes set with artist-crafted presentation templates, or assets to customize your own blank canvas.
Here’s How to Use It
Click File > Create new > Blank Canvas or Templates depending on what you prefer. If starting with a blank canvas, scroll or search (CTRL or Command + F) “Presentation” to find the 1920 x 1080 px option.
Click to open.
If you choose the template option, you’ll be taken straight into the tool. From here, type Presentation into the search bar and select your favorite layout.
Click to open.
Once you select your presentation as we did here, you’ll see it opens to numerous slides. Click Add all 3 pages to drop them onto the canvas. Or, click one individually to just take one.
Begin customizing as you desire using the following tips:
- Add or swap text, font, and font options by clicking each text box. Otherwise, select the Text tab.
- Adjust color schemes by selecting a layer, then clicking Change color. Use solids, gradients, preset colors, or custom colors with the Eyedropper Tool.
- Add graphics from the Graphics tab. Drag-and-drop to place onto the canvas, adjust size, and change colors.
- When you’re ready to download, click Download, select your preferred file format, then click Download again. Easy!
No matter whether you choose a blank canvas or template, your customization options remain the same.
If you find yourself wanting to duplicate a slide, simply open up the Layers panel using the stacked pancakes icon from the bottom-right corner. Highlight the slide you wish to duplicate, then right-click > Duplicate layer.
If you want a new blank slide, click the + Pages button just to the left of the pancakes, then customize away!
We’re huge fans of Create, of course, but truly wish for you to feel empowered with whatever tool suits your needs. For a quick compare-and-contrast assessment, hop into Create to give it a go!
Know that Creative Flow+ premium users have access to incredible assets like the one-click Background Remover, Smart Resizer, and advanced effects. Weigh your options wisely, then rock it out.
Looking for more on making a successful presentation? Check out these articles:
License this cover image mockup via Krakenimages.com and briddy.