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What is a PowerPoint Template ?

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

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.

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