Viewing and Changing a Presentation's Master Slides

Viewing and Changing a Presentation's Master Slides

When you create a presentation, the slides take on the characteristics of the template on which it is based. PowerPoint templates use masters to determine their basic design. By default, PowerPoint presentations have three masters:

  • Slide master. This set of masters controls the look of all the slides in a presentationthe theme, text placement, background graphics, and so on. The set contains a master design for most of the layouts you are likely to want to use.

  • Handout master. This master controls the look of student handouts.

  • Notes master. This master controls the look of speaker notes.

See Also

For information about the masters for notes and handouts, see "Preparing Speaker Notes and Handouts" in Chapter 10, "Delivering a Presentation Electronically."

When you create a new presentation, its slides assume the design of its corresponding set of masters. The masters contain placeholders for a title, bullet points, or other content, depending on the particular layout. Most masters also contain placeholders for the date and time, footer information, and slide number. The placeholders control the position of the elements on the slide. Text placeholders also control the formatting of their text.

On an individual slide, you can make changes to the design elements provided by the master, but you can change the basic design only on the master. When you change a design element on the master, all the slides reflect the change.


To override the master design for a particular slide, you use commands on the Home and Design tabs. For example, you can remove a background graphic from a slide by clicking the Hide Background Graphics button in the Background group on the Design tab.

To make changes to a presentation's masters, you need to switch to Slide Master view by clicking the Slide Master button in the Presentation Views group on the View tab. PowerPoint then displays all the master layouts in the Overview pane on the left and the selected master layout in the Slide pane on the right. It also adds a Slide Master tab to the Ribbon and hides the tabs that aren't needed in this view.

By clicking buttons on the Slide Master tab, you can make the following adjustments:

  • Make another set of masters available to the presentation and preserve that set so that it remains available even if it is not currently used in the presentation.

  • Add a new layout with the same background, title, and footer style to which you can add your own placeholders.

  • Delete a selected layout.

  • Change the ScreenTip that appears when you point to a layout in the Layout gallery.

  • Specify which placeholders will be included on the selected layout.

  • Select and fine-tune the theme applied to the master set.

  • Control the background color, texture, and graphics.

  • Set the default page setup for the presentation.

Clicking the Close Master View button in the Close group on the Slide Master tab returns you to the view you were in before Slide Master view. You can also click any view button on the View toolbar at the right end of the status bar to close Slide Master view.

While you are working in Slide Master view, you can use the buttons on the other tabs in the following ways:

  • Format a text placeholder on a master by selecting it and then clicking buttons in the Font and Paragraph groups on the Home tab.

  • Add objects such as graphics and WordArt text to a master by clicking buttons on the Insert tab.

  • Animate parts of a slide and add transitions by clicking buttons on the Animations tab.

In addition to formatting the text, you can format bulleted lists by specifying the bullet's size, shape, and color. You can also control the indenting of various bullet levels and the distance between the bullet and its text by displaying the rulers and moving markers, as follows:

  • First Line Indent. The upper triangle controls the first line of the paragraph.

  • Hanging Indent. The lower triangle controls the left edge of the remaining lines of the paragraph.

  • Left Indent. The small square controls how far the entire paragraph sits from the edge of the text object.

To adjust the relationship between the first and remaining lines of a bullet point, you drag the First Line Indent and Hanging Indent markers to the left or right on the ruler. To adjust the distance of the bullet point from the edge of the text object, you drag the Left Indent marker.

In this exercise, you will view a presentation's masters in Slide Master view, remove the footer placeholders from the title layout, and add a picture to the background. You will change the font set used in the master and adjust the formatting of the title placeholder. Then you will change bullet characters and adjust bullet spacing.

USE the 02_Masters presentation and the 02_Background graphic. These practice files are located in the Chapter09 subfolder under SBS_PowerPoint2007.

OPEN the 02_Masters presentation.

With Slide 1 displayed in Normal view, on the View tab, in the Presentation Views group, click Slide Master.

You are now in Slide Master view. The Overview pane on the left shows thumbnails of the primary master and the other layouts in this set, with the first layoutthe title slideselected. The selected layout appears in the Slide pane to the right.

With the title master displayed, on the Slide Master tab, in the Master Layout group, clear the Footers check box.

The date, footer information, and slide number placeholders are removed from the title master, but they remain in place on all the other masters. You cannot remove the footer placeholders from the primary master, and you must remove them from the other layouts one by one.

In the Overview pane, click the primary master.

The primary master is displayed in the Slide pane. Changes made to this master will be reflected in all the other layouts in the master set.

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click the Picture button.

In the Insert Picture dialog box, navigate to your Documents\MSP\SBS_PowerPoint2007\Chapter09 folder, and double-click the 02_Background graphic.

PowerPoint expands the graphic to fill the primary master and adds the Format contextual tab to the Ribbon. Because the primary master controls the basic characteristics of all the layouts, the graphic fills their backgrounds as well.

On the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click the Send to Back button.

PowerPoint moves the graphic behind the other elements on the primary master.

On the Slide Master tab, in the Edit Theme group, click the Fonts button, and then in the Theme Fonts gallery, click the Apex font set.

In the title placeholder, select all the text, and then on the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher.

The Font dialog box opens.

On the Font tab of the dialog box, set the Font style to Bold, the Font color to Purple, and under Effects, select the Small Caps check box. Then click OK.

The titles of all the layouts take on the attributes assigned to the primary master.

In the bulleted list placeholder, click anywhere in the phrase Click to edit Master text styles. Then in the Paragraph group, click the Bullets arrow, and click Bullets and Numbering at the bottom of the gallery.


The Bullets And Numbering dialog box opens.

You can change the bullet's color, adjust its size in relation to the text of the bullet point, change the symbol, or switch to numbers.

Click Picture.

The Picture Bullet dialog box opens.

Scroll two-thirds of the way down the gallery of images, click the red spiral, and then click OK.

Click anywhere in the phrase Second level, display the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, and click Customize.

The Symbol dialog box opens.

At the top of the dialog box, click the Font arrow, and at the bottom of the list, click Wingdings.

Scroll through the gallery of symbols available in the Wingdings font, and double-click one that is compatible with the red swirl you selected for the first level bullet.

Back in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, set the Color of the new bullet to Dark Red and its Size to 90, and then click OK.

On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, select the Ruler check box.

Horizontal and vertical rulers appear along the top and left edges of the Slide pane. On the horizontal ruler are the indent markers that control how second level-bullet points are indented. You want to increase the amount of space between the second-level bullet and its text.

On the horizontal ruler, drag the Hanging Indent marker to the right to the 1-inch mark.

Hanging Indent marker

The First Line Indent marker remains where it is, but the Left Indent marker moves with the Hanging Indent marker, increasing the distance between the bullet and the text and aligning the second and subsequent lines in the bullet point at the 1-inch mark.


If you want to adjust the indenting of all the levels of bullet points, it is best to start with the lowest level and work your way up, using equal increments. Otherwise it is easy to create a list that looks uneven and unprofessional.

In the Overview pane, click the fourth layout, and then click the fifth layout.

Because you changed the bullets and the indenting of the second-level bullet points on the primary master, these changes are reflected in all bulleted-list layouts.

On the View tab, in the Show/Hide group, clear the Ruler check box to turn off the rulers. Then in the Presentation Views group, click the Normal button.

You return to Slide 1 in Normal view.

Display Slide 2.

Reflecting the changes you made to the master, the graphic fills the background of the slide, the title is purple and displayed in small capital letters, and the bullets are red swirls.

CLOSE the 02_Masters presentation without saving your changes.

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