1. What is a PowerPoint Template


In this lesson, we'll create our first simple template, which includes a new title bar and our company logo. We'll also save our template so that it can be used in future presentations.

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  1. Lesson Goal (00:04)

    The goal of this lesson is to learn about templates and create our own custom template.

  2. Understanding Templates (00:09)

    A template is a set of pre-formatted layouts that is applied to every slide in PowerPoint. Every presentation we create in PowerPoint has an associated template. We can see the current template in the Themes section of the Design tab. This section also provides various pre-defined templates that we can apply to our presentation. We can view any of these templates by mousing over them, and apply them by clicking them.

    For business purposes, it’s better to create a custom template than to use PowerPoint’s pre-defined ones. Custom built templates look more professional, they ensure consistency of design across your organization, and they save time when developing presentations.

  3. Creating a Custom Template (01:27)

    A template consists of a series of layouts that can be used when creating a slide. For example, these layouts include a layout for a title slide, a layout for a slide containing a title and content, a layout for a blank slide and so on. Each of these layouts can include text placeholders, image placeholders, and so on. A template also contains a series of theme colors, which should be modified to suit your company’s colors.

    We can modify any of the layouts or color palettes in a template by selecting Slide Master from the View tab. At the top of the navigation pane in this view is the master slide. Any changes made to this slide are replicated in every layout of the current template. For example, if we add a company logo to the top right corner of the master slide, then this logo will appear in the top right corner of every slide that uses this presentation. Below the master slide in the navigation pane are slides representing each individual layout in the template. Changes made to these layouts only affect the layout in question.

  4. Saving a Template (03:53)

    After we create a template, we can save it for use in future presentations. To do this, we open the Save As menu, and save the template as a PowerPoint template. This file uses the extension “.potx”.

    To use a previously saved template in a presentation, we select the dropdown in the Themes section of the Design tab, and select Browse for Themes. We then select the relevant PowerPoint template file, which applies the template to the current presentation.


Templates are one of the least understood but most important aspects of PowerPoint. Although you may not know it, every presentation you create, even this blank sheet has an associated template. If we go to the design tab of the ribbon, you can see that our current template is called Office Theme.

This particular theme comes with a plain white background and is probably very familiar because it would be the default on most PCs. Other templates that Microsoft provide out of the box include Adjacency, Angles, and Apex.

But in truth, none of these are particularly attractive and often must be manipulated to suit your own needs. Particularly if you're building a template for your own company. In this course, we're going to show you how to build a PowerPoint template from scratch for a fictional company called Zippy Airways. When we're finished, the template will look something like this. Custom built templates hold two big advantages over pre-made templates. First of all, they look much more professional and second, they ensure a high degree of consistency and font color and design across your organization. Once a custom built template is finished, a user must go out of her way to break with the pre-formatted design conventions. Before we begin building our custom template, let's explore what a template actually is. A template is simply a set of pre-formatted layouts that a user can access when creating a new slide. If we go to the home tab and click on the new slide drop-down button, you can see that the Office template has nine of these pre-formatted layouts. Pre-formatted layouts can include text placeholders with pre-defined fonts and sizes, image placeholders, chart placeholders, and much more. These pre-formatted layouts are what ensure consistency across presentations. In addition to the pre-formatted layouts, each template comes with theme colors which can be found in the fill drop-down in the quick access toolbar. These colors can be changed to suit your company's logo and existing designs. PowerPoint then creates a list of related colors that you can use on your slides. So where do we create these layouts and color pallettes? In a place called the slide master, which can be found in the view tab in the master view section. Our first task will be to add our logo automatically to every slide. To do this, we'll go the master slide at the top of the navigation pane and we'll select it. To insert our logo, I'll go to insert picture.

I'll select the relevant file and click insert. As you can see, when we make a change to the slide master, the change is replicated in all of the other slide layouts below the master. I'd like to put the logo in the top right-hand corner, so I'll first resize it, and then move it to the top right-hand corner. I'll then select the title placeholder. We'll reduce the width so the text doesn't overlap with the logo.

We'll reduce the font size of the title placeholder to 32, and we'll align it left and at the top of the placeholder.

When we now scroll through our layouts, you'll see that these changes have been added to each page.

We'll now close the slide master.

You can also see the changes have been added to the slides in our presentation. We'll wrap up this lesson by saving this template so it can be used in other presentations. I'll press f12 to go save as, and we'll save as type PowerPoint template.

I'll simply call this Zippy Template.

If you now wanted to apply the Zipply template to a presentation in the future, simply go to the design tab, go to the themes drop-down, browse for themes and select the Zippy template. Then click apply, which will add the Zippy template to the new presentation.

PowerPoint Essentials
Custom Templates for Your Business


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