Advanced PowerPoint:
Custom Template

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

Did you want: Working with Presentations: PowerPoint 2007,2010,2013,2016 or español

Most of the formatting for your slides should be controlled by the Slide and Title Masters. That makes it easy to be consistent throughout the presentation and will make new slides match the old automatically.

Saving your formatting as a custom design template makes it easy for you to reuse your lovely design and its effects in other presentations.

What is in a Custom Template?

  • Slide background
  • Slide Layout- which placeholders appear and their positions
  • Color Scheme
  • Formatting of placeholders
  • Formatting of text and bullets
  • Slide transition
  • Placeholder animations

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Presentations

Before you start...

Project 1: PowerPoint BasicsTo subtopics

Project 2: PowerPoint FormattingTo subtopics

Project 3: Advanced PowerPoint
    Outline Arrow to Subtopics
    Icon: Step-by-StepText Outline
    Icon: Step-by-StepWord Outline
    Icon: Step-by-StepCustom Template
    ImagesTo subtopics
    Tables & ChartsTo subtopics
    FinishingTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics


Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step:Custom Template

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to format text on Master
to format bullets
to remove text formatting not on the Master
to format background on Master
to apply an animation scheme to Master
to promote bullet levels (3 methods)
to save as a custom design template

Start with: Icon: Class disk,  nz-word.ppt

You will modify the Masters, remove the formatting inherited from the Word document, and then save your design as a template.

Master: Format Fonts

  1. Open the Slide Master.

    Initial Master slide

    Hmmm. The formatting here is not quite what is actually showing on the slides. That means that the slides are using some formatting that has been inherited from the original document.

  2. Click in the Title placeholder to select it.

  3. Using the Formatting Bar, set the following:
       Font = Arial Black
    Font size = 44 pts

  4. Button: Font Color - paletteClick the arrow beside the Font Color button and then click on More Colors...

  5. Select the 1st green hexagon on the 6th row from the top.
    Green is the color that World Travel Inc. uses for its name and logo materials. The font for the name is usually Matura MT Script Capitals, but that font might not be on the computer running the slide show. It is a good idea to use common fonts in presentations.

  6. Dialog: Line SpacingFrom the menu select  Format  |  Line Spacing . The Line Spacing dialog appears.

  7. Change the line spacing to 1 line and click on OK.

  8. Click in the Text placeholder to select it.

  9. Change the font on the Formatting Bar to Tahoma. Button: Font - Tahoma

    Master after formatting text

Master: Format Bullets

The standard bullets are OK  but is easy to change them.

  1. First two outline levels selected on Slide Master. Right click - Bullets and Numbering...Click on the first outline level to select it

  2. Right click on the selected line and select Bullets and Numbering... from the popup menu. The Bullets dialog opens.


  3. Dialog: Bullets - choose squareClick on the square bullet style.


  4. Click on the arrow at the right of the Color box at the bottom of the dialog to open the palette of colors that are in the default color scheme.
    None of these are particularly interesting.

  5. Click on the More Colors... link. The Colors dialog opens.

  6. Dialog: Colors - redClick on the color Red at the bottom right of the hexagon of colors and click on OK.

  7. Dialog: Bullets - red squareClick on OK to close the Bullets dialog.

    Slide Master after changing font to TahomaThe first outline level now has a bullet that is square and red. Not too hard to do!


  8. Select the Second outline level and change its bullet to:
       Shape = solid disk
       Color = Blue - first row, second hexagon
       Size = 120% 

    Dialog: Bullets - shape is solid disc Dialog: Colors -a  blue chosen in hexagon Dialog: Bullets - Size = 120%

    Slide text after formatting bulletsIn the Master, the second level now shows a round, blue bullet.

  9. Slide #2 after formatting bulletsClose the Master view and look at Slide #2: Volcanoes.
    Something is wrong! The colors and bullets are right but the text is not using the fonts you just set in the Slide Master. The cure is in the next set of steps - Remove formatting that was applied directly to the text.

Slides: Remove Text Formatting

The slides are still using the fonts from the original outline. You must make the slides use the formatting from the Masters. 

  1. Slide #2: Volcanoes  with placeholders selectedIn the Slide Pane, click on Slide #2: Volcanoes in an area outside of the two placeholders.

  2. From the menu select  Edit |  Select All 
    Icon: Keyboard Use the key combo CTRL + A.
    The placeholders are both selected.


  3. Slide #2: Volcanoes after removing manual formatting with CTRL + SHiFT + ZIcon: Keyboard Use the key combo CTRL + SHIFT + Z to remove all of the formatting that is not on the Master. Is this not cool!?

    Even better, by using the Outline you can remove all the manual formatting from all the slides at once.

  4. Click in the Outline pane and repeat the key combos above:
    CTRL + A to select all the outline text
    CTRL + SHIFT + Z to remove formatting that is not on the Master
    The manual formatting is removed for all of the slides and the Master rules again.

  5. Switch to Slide Sorter view to see all of the slides at once.

    Slide Sorter view - after removing manual formatting

    Slide #7 needs some work. The text is running off the slide!

Slide: Font Size

You need to apply some manual formatting of your own to get all of the text on Slide #7 comfortably.

  1. In the Slide Sorter view, click on Slide #7: General Information. The slide opens in the Slide Pane.
  2. Select the text of the first bullet item, starting with the word Seasons.
  3. Change the font size to 24, using the Font Size box on the Formatting Bar.
  4. Similarly, change the font size of the other two bullet points to 24, starting with the second line of each bullet item.

Slide #7: General Information - after changing font size


Master: Background

You can set a background color, pattern, or image on the Slide Master. On-screen presentations usually have dark backgrounds with light text. White backgrounds can be too harsh and bright to the eyes, but a soft, light color can work well, too. Printed presentations work better with light background and dark text. (Saves a lot of ink!)

Since this presentation will usually be viewed on a monitor, you will change the background color.

  1. Context Menu: Background...Open the Slide Master again.
  2. Right click in an area that is not in a placeholder.
  3. From the popup menu select  Background... .
    The Background dialog opens.

  4. Dialog: Background - palette openClick the down arrow at the right of the color bar, to open the palette of colors.
  5. Click on the light blue square to select it as the background color for the slides.
    TipTo use a color that is not in the Color Scheme palette, you would click on the link More Colors... to open a Colors dialog. The Fill Effects... link opens a dialog where you can choose a texture, pattern, or image to use as a background fill.
  6. Master with blue backgroundClick on the button Apply. The Slide Master changes.
  7. Close the Master View.
    All of the slides now have a light blue background.

Slides after applying light blue background to Slide Master

Master: Apply Animation Scheme

Advantage: By applying an animation scheme to the Master, all slides that use that Master, including any slides you add later, will use the same animation scheme. That's usually a good thing!

Disadvantage: Animations applied to the Master cannot be turned off for a particular slide. You have to create a separate Master for those slides.

  1. Open the Master view to the Slide Master.

  2. If necessary, show the Animation Schemes task pane. [Slide Show | Animation Schemes...]

  3. Task Pane: Animation Schemes - WipeSelect the Wipe scheme from the Subtle section. The Slide Pane automatically plays the effect once for you. The Title fades into view and then the text in the text placeholder wipes into view from the left. 
    Can you tell exactly how your bullet points are going to show up? All together or one at a time? Better check the Slide Show.

  4. Close the Master view.

  5. Click the first slide and then on Button: Slide Show the Slide Show button at the bottom left of the window or on  Text Button: Slide Show the Slide Show button at the bottom of the task pane. Play the entire presentation, clicking the screen to advance to the next slide.
    On some slides, all of the placeholder text appears in the same wipe. On other slides, the paragraphs appear one after the other. What is the difference?? It's the bullet levels involved.
    Master - bullets formattedIn this scheme, first level bullets are revealed one after the other. Second level bullets are revealed at the same time as the first level above them. Your presentation only uses 2 bullet levels.
    So, to make the bullet points appear one after the other, you will have to make all of them first level. (Or you could choose a different scheme or make changes in the Custom Animation task pane.)

Change Bullet Levels

Three slides have second level bullet paragraphs, showing blue circles: Rain Forests, Oceans & Beaches, Cities. You need to promote those paragraphs to first level so that the animation scheme will reveal each bullet point in turn and not all at once.

Similar methods work to demote paragraphs to lower bullet levels.

Method 1: Indent Button on Formatting Bar

  1. Open the slide Rain Forests.

  2. Bullet points selectedDrag on the slide or on the outline to select the two bullet points. (You can select just part of each bullet point.)


  3. Bullet points promoted to first levelClick Button: Decrease Indent the Decrease Indent button on the Formatting bar.
    The bullet points are moved to the left and now show the red square bullet that indicates first level bullet points. The text formatting changed also.

Method 2: Arrow Button on Outlining Bar

  1. Open the slide Oceans & Beaches.

  2. If necessary, show the Outline toolbar. (View | Toolbars | Outlining)

  3. Bullets promotedBullets selectedDrag on the slide or on the outline to select the bullet points.

  4. Click on Button: Promote the Left Arrow to promote the bullet points to first level.

Method 3: Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Bullets selectedOpen the slide Cities.

  2. Select the bullet points, which have blue circles as bullets.


  3. Bullets promotedOn the keyboard, hold down the SHIFT key and press the TAB key once, then left go of both keys.
    The bullet points have first level formatting and first level bullets. Excellent!

  4. Play these three slides in a slide show again and verify that the bullet points are now appearing one after the other.


Save As a Custom Template

Now that you have created a look and chosen an animation scheme, it would be nice to be able to apply it again later to a different presentation. That means you have to save your design as a custom template.

WarningAfter you save your presentation as a template, PowerPoint contains the template that you just saved, not the original presentation!

  • Save the presentation before saving as a template or your recent changes will be lost!!
  • Close the template and re-open the presentation before doing any more editing!!!
  1. Icon: Class diskFrom the menu select Save As.... Use the name  nz.ppt  and save your changes to your Class disk.
    Full floppy disk How to handle a full Class disk

  2. From the menu select Save As... again.

  3. Change the file type to Design Template (*.pot).

    Dialog: Save As... - File type = Design Template (*.pot)

    The dialog changes to show the Templates folder.
     Dialog: Save As - Templates
    Templates saved to this Templates folder will show in the list of template choices inside PowerPoint. Of course, you can save to any folder you wish. For this lesson, you will not save to the Templates folder.

  4. Change the file name to nz-xxx.pot, but replace the xxx with your own initials.

  5. Navigate to your Class disk. The dialog won't show any files! The file type is currently set to .pot and there are not any files of that type on your Class disk yet.

  6. Icon: Class diskClick the Save button in the dialog.
    Full floppy disk How to handle a full Class disk

  7. Close the current document in PowerPoint, which is the template.

Be SURE to close the current document, which is the template.

To Use a Custom Template

  • From Templates Folder: Select from list in Design Templates task pane: Available For Use
  • Not in Templates Folder: Click the Browse link at the bottom of the Design Templates task pane Link: Browse and navigate to where you saved the template. (Easy - if you remember where you saved it!)

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Last updated: 30 Apr 2012