How to Use The Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint


The Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint is the top slide that controls all information about the background, layout, theme, fonts, color, and positioning of all slides. Using the Slide Master provides an easier and more convenient way of adjusting the look of an existing theme or making changes to all slides in a presentation.

Slide Master Makes Formatting Easier

Slide Masters are like special templates, but they’re just more overarching. As the names imply, it is the topmost slide on the deck that includes all the details about the style, layouts, colors, and fonts that you want to use in all the slides.

You may use several slide masters in a single presentation. Each of them would be responsible for a group of slides and their unique layout.

Now that you have an understanding of slide masters, let’s dig deeper into them. The foregoing instructions apply to the Microsoft PowerPoint 2016, 2019, and Microsoft 365 slide masters.

How to Open Slide Master in PowerPoint


The Slide Master has its own tab on the Ribbon. To see the Slide Master, go to View > Slide Master.

The PowerPoint Slide Master tab has all the resources you need to manage the formatting process.

The left pane shows the slide layout for your presentation. The Slide Master is the topmost slide in the hierarchy and looks like the blank slide you get before you open a new presentation.

Controls are grouped into unique classes with clear functions:

Edit Master: Use this category to edit the Slide Master. You can add another master slide to the Insert Slide Master button, or you can use the Insert Layout button to add a new layout to the original Master.

The Preserve button guarantees the PowerPoint does not remove the Slide Master if it is not in use. Pick the slide, then press the Preserve button. The pushpin icon next to the master slide indicates that it has now been preserved.

Master Layout: Use this category to incorporate or delete elements such as titles and footers. Add or delete placeholders, titles, and PowerPoint footers.

Edit Theme: Controls in this category let you add a pre-built theme or use a custom theme with a master slide.

Background: Set the background to the Slide Masters or the Layout Masters.

Size: Pick the size of the slide and the orientation according to the specifications of the presentation.

In the subsequent sections, we’ll see how to make adjustments to the slide master that will automatically impact the slides that accompany it.


Layout Masters

Of course, certain slides can differ from one another in their formats. Some of the slides are built for pictures, some for text, some for animation. They are managed by another form of a thematic slide called the Layout Master.

They are subordinate to the Master Slide. And every Master Slide can have few other Layout Masters. For example, the layout of the Title is a form of Layout Master.


You can use a Layout Master for all slides that show text. Another one for videos, and so on. Adjust a feature of a layout master slide, and all the dependent slides will adjust with it. You don’t have to bother with all of the slides.

Designing a Layout Master slide is equivalent to changing a PowerPoint template.

Thus the PowerPoint Slide Masters and Layout Masters will not only help you develop your presentations easily but also help you update your presentations in the future. Anyone else on the team can join in and make adjustments without going back and forth between the slides. A library of pre-built templates will also help you adjust the style of a plain presentation with just a few clicks.

Formatting A Presentation Using Slide Masters


The slide master, as we’ve noticed, has a default layout. You can use it or start with your own design from scratch.

Go to the Slide Master View

From the View tab on the Ribbon, press the Master Slide button in the Master Views group.

The Slide Master tab on the Ribbon

You can see the Slide Master tab on the Ribbon. A new Slide Master emerges with the default PowerPoint layout.

Modify the Master Slide

The Slide Master has default placeholders for the main slide, subheading, footer, date, and more. Make any improvements to the formatting you wish to make to this simple slide. You can also select from PowerPoint’s available themes to create the Slide Master.

You can also press Master Layout to pick the objects in the Slide Master, and then uncheck the placeholders that you do not like.

Modify the Layout Masters

Each theme has a variety of slide formats. Choose the templates to complement the quality of the slide. Some are best for text, some for comparison, and some are better for graphics.


You can create your own custom layouts from scratch by pressing the Insert Layout from the Edit Master group.

Like a default style, but you want to change it slightly? Right-click on the thumbnail of the slide layout on the left and select Duplicate Layout. Also, remove the layout masters you don’t need with the right-click shortcut or the Delete button on the page. PowerPoint provides about 25 layouts to pick from though you do not need them all.

Apply the Layouts

To return to Normal View, press the Close Master View button on the Slide Master tab on the Ribbon.


In the thumbnail panel, click the slide to which you want to re-apply the modified style. Go to the Home > Slides group > Click Layout. Choose the style that you built-in Slide Master View. You can also pick several slide thumbnails and use a common style for them.

Most of your presentation is managed by the layout masters. Only remember to re-apply the layouts to the related slides if you go back and change things to the layout masters.

Make Your Masters Before You Launch Your Slides

HTML documents have style sheets on them. Word documents are styled. And, PowerPoint has Slide Masters. These are printing blocks that make everything a lot smoother. A PowerPoint design can be refurbished and redesigned with a few tweaks to the master slides.

You’ve just saved a lot of time with the master slides. Take the time to make better use of the actual material to make the PowerPoint more appealing to the viewer.

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