5. Design Custom Slide Layouts

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PowerPoint provides 11 layouts by default in a template. However, you can create custom layouts to suit your own needs, that contain placeholders for text, images, charts and more


  1. Lesson Goal (00:06)

    The goal of this lesson is to create a custom slide layout and use it to add a slide to a presentation.

  2. Creating a Custom Layout (00:18)

    Every PowerPoint template consists of a series of layouts that can be useful in different situations. Each template contains 11 predefined layouts, but we can add more layouts by creating them ourselves. We create a new layout in the slide master view, by selecting Insert Layout in the ribbon. We can name the layout by right-clicking the layout in the navigation pane, selecting Rename Layout, and typing the name we want.

    After creating the layout, we can add placeholders to it. Placeholders serve as objects that can be used to store text, images, charts, or other content on a slide. To add a placeholder, we select the Insert Placeholder dropdown, then select the type of content we want the placeholder to contain. We then position the placeholder on the layout. We can also format these placeholders. For example, in a text placeholder, we can modify the text size and color.

    In addition to deciding what placeholders should be found on our layout, we must decide where to position them. The guides and gridlines tools, found on the View tab of the ribbon, can be helpful in ensuring all your placeholder objects are aligned and positioned correctly. Once the layout is created, we just have to close the slide master view to use it in a presentation.

  3. Using the Custom Layout (03:15)

    Using a custom layout is straightforward. When you select the New Slide dropdown on the Home menu, all the layouts in the current template are visible, including custom layouts. To use the custom layout, you simply select it, which creates a new slide following the custom layout.

    Our layout contains several image placeholders. When we add an image to these placeholders, the image is cropped to fit the available area. If you prefer to use the entire image on a slide, you should add the image to the slide manually, instead of using image placeholders.


In our slide master, PowerPoint has created 11 layouts below our master slide that we can use in our presentations. While some of these may be of use, why don't we create our own customized layouts, that we design ourselves. Customized layouts are particularly useful if we tend to use the same slide layout repeatedly in various presentations. They can also trigger some layout ideas if you are struggling to come up with a new slide design. To start, we'll go to insert layout in the ribbon, we'll then right click on the new layout and rename it.

And I'll call this four images.

And next, we'll add our placeholders. So, I'll go to the insert placeholder dropdown. And when I click this button, you can see that we have different options available. Let's start with the text placeholder.

And when we click this option you can see that we can draw a text placeholder to the size that we want.

I'm going to deviate from the default formatting by removing the bullets, changing the size to 30, and just having one line of text.

After adjusting the height and width, I then create another placeholder underneath by duplicating, giving this a smaller font size and coloring it a dark gray.

Next, I'll add my image placeholders. So, I go back to the slide master, insert placeholder, and select an image.

I'll want the image to be a square, so I'll hold shift when sizing the image. This ensures that the rectangle, will be in the shape of a square.

And then I'll duplicate for three more images. So, hold control and shift, and drag with the mouse, and I'll select both images and repeat. Control and shift and drag with the mouse.

I'll now use the guides and grid lines to position our place holders correctly on the slide. So, I'll go to view, guides, and grid lines.

I'd like my text boxes to be on one side of the slide, so I'll select them and move them over to the right hand side, and I'll align them with the last grid line before the edge. I'll then take my images and do the same.

As you can see the grid lines can be very helpful when positioning your placeholders on a page. Once you're happy with the positioning, we can now close the slide master, and actually create our slide. I'll also remove the grid lines and the guides.

So, I'll go to home, insert new slide, and I'll select four images.

Let's start by inserting our pictures, so I'll click on the insert picture icon, select the desired picture, and then press insert. And as you can see, PowerPoint inserts the image within our placeholder and crops it so that it fits neatly. If you're happy with the image to be cropped in this way, image placeholders can save you quite a lot of time. However, if you want the full image to be included on the slide, it's best to insert the image manually from the insert tab on the ribbon. Off camera, I'll now add the remaining images and some text to our slide.

Obviously, if we need to create a similar slide for another city such as Paris, we can simply go to insert new slide and select the placeholder again. For one-off slide designs, custom layouts don't make a lot of sense because it's normally quicker just to create the slides from a blank start, much like we did in the foundations courses. However, if you tend to create the same slide layouts often, and you'd like to maintain some consistency in formatting and position, it's definitely worth creating some customized templates. In the after file which you can download below this video, I've created a few more layouts that you can incorporate into your own custom templates. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to create more slide layouts, this time using chart placeholders.

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