PowerPoint 2010 Masterclass – Slide Masters

As an advanced user of PowerPoint you need to look at ditching the normal themes and templates you have been using and learn to create and customise your own. This is an essential skill to learn if you are running your own business and, if you work for someone else, impressing your managers and directors.

By using your existing corporate colour schemes, fonts and logos etc. you can quickly tie in with your existing brand and standardise and control your message to the marketplace.

What is a Slide Master?

A slide master stores information about your presentation including the background style, colours, fonts, effects and the size and position of the placeholders.

All PowerPoint presentations require at least one slide master.

Creating Your Own

Open up a new presentation in PowerPoint 2010.

PowerPoint 2010 Graphic

Ensure you have the View ribbon bar selected and go to the Master Views section.

Click on Slide Master (see right).

A new Slide Master ribbon bar will have opened.

NOTE: To ensure the uniformity of the slides in your presentation, ensure you make the changes to the Slide Master before creating any other slides. Changes to the Slide Master can be overwritten on other individual slides in the presentation.

First, let us look at adding our own background.


To add a background to your Slide Master ensure you have the Slide Master ribbon bar selected and go to the Background section.

PowerPoint 2010 Graphic

Click on Background Styles and then Format Background.

The Format Background dialogue box will open (shown right).

The choices you have for your background are:

  • Solid Fill – one single colour
  • Gradient Fill – gradient between two colours
  • Picture or Texture Fill – textured background or a photo
  • Pattern Fill – selection of patterns with two colours

When you have selected your preference, choose what options you want with it.

Click Apply to All.

The slide thumbnails on the left of the screen will show the changes.

Next, let’s change the fonts.


NOTE: If there are particular fonts your company uses you must ensure they have been installed in your Windows/Fonts directory.

To change the fonts in your Slide Master ensure you still have the Slide Master ribbon bar selected.

PowerPoint 2010 Graphic

Highlight the text in one of the placeholders you want to change.

Right-click in the highlighted area and select the Font option in the box that appears. This will take you to the Font dialogue box (left).

Choose the font you require, the font style (regular, bold etc.), the font size and colour and any effects you want.

Click OK.

Review the changes you made in the thumbnails on the left of the screen.

Finally, let’s add a logo.

Adding a logo.

Adding a logo to your Slide Master is easy. Ensure you still have the Slide Master ribbon bar selected.

The main slide thumbnail should be selected on the left-hand side of the screen.

Select the Insert ribbon bar and go to the Images section.

Select the Picture icon.

Navigate to the folder where your logo is stored and select it.

Click Insert.

Use the sizing handles around the logo to resize it if you need to and drag it to the location where you want it.

PowerPoint 2010 Graphic

Return to the Slide Master ribbon bar.

Click Close Master View.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
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