PowerPoint offers a healthy assortment of “design templates,” which give users a head start on slideshow formatting. They can either choose a template when they create a new presentation, or they can use the Apply Design command to change the appearance of an existing one.
But these out-of-the-box designs get a little threadbare after awhile. Like popular clip art, you’ll start recognizing PowerPoint’s prefab designs when you spot them in the slideshows you attend. Still, there’s no disputing the convenience of a ready-made design template.
Fortunately, you can have the best of both worlds—efficiency and originality. Here’s a sample walk-through that introduces the necessary steps.
To create a design template, start by opening a new presentation and inserting a slide. You can then apply the desired formatting to various slide elements using the Slide Master view.
- Launch PowerPoint and select Blank Presentation in the startup dialog box, as we’ve done below
- Click OK and then click OK again when the New Slide dialog box appears. This will insert a title slide.
- Choose Master from the View menu and select Slide Master. Then, simply apply the formats you want for presentations based on this design template. Table A shows a selection of sample formatting possibilities, and Figure B shows the sample slide with this formatting applied (prior to deleting the rectangle). Of course, your students may have their own design requests, which you can demonstrate instead.
- After making the desired formatting changes, choose Slide from the View menu to switch back to Slide view.
Table A: Sample formatting
|To add this format||Do this|
|White marble background||Choose Background from the Format menu, select Fill Effects from the drop-down list, and click the Textures tab. Then, choose White Marble, click OK, and click Apply.|
|Blue titles||Click the Click To Edit Master Title Style placeholder and choose Font from the Format menu. Select blue from the Color drop-down list and click OK.|
|Blue AutoShapes||Click the Rectangle button on the Drawing toolbar and draw a rectangle on the slide. Click the Fill Color button and choose blue. Right-click the rectangle and choose Set AutoShape Defaults from the shortcut menu. Delete the rectangle.|
Saving the template
To complete the process, you just need to save the presentation as a template in the Presentation Designs folder.
- Choose Save As from the File menu and select PowerPoint Template (*.pot) from the Save As Type drop-down list.
- When PowerPoint switches to the Templates folder, double-click Presentation Designs in the Save In list box to open that folder.
- Type a name—let’s use Company Design—in the File Name text box, as shown in Figure C.
- Click Save and then close the template.
Template test drive
Once you’ve saved the design template, you can show your students how to put it to work.
- Choose New from the File menu, click the Presentation Designs tab, and select Company Design.
- Click OK to create a new presentation based on the template. PowerPoint will automatically insert a preformatted title slide.
Right away, you will see that the presentation includes a white marble background and blue title placeholder. You can then insert an AutoShape to show that the presentation default for such objects includes a blue fill.
If you have time, you may also want to apply the custom template to an existing presentation. Just open a presentation that includes different formatting specifications and choose Apply Design from the Format menu. When PowerPoint opens the Apply Design dialog box, select the Company Design template and click Apply.