At CreateHive, we design many brand guides and templates for clients. One of the most common requests are PowerPoint templates. It is a great idea to have a base design for your collateral, having customized PowerPoint templates for your company will not only make it easy to create new presentations but will ensure your brand’s consistency throughout.

In this post we go over the basics on how to build a PowerPoint template yourself as well as give tips on how to implement your content using templates.

Building a PowerPoint Template

  1. Open a blank presentation, click the VIEW tab in the top menu, then in the MASTER VIEWS group, choose SLIDE MASTER. The slide master is the largest slide image at the top of the slide thumbnail list, to the left of your slides. All of the associated slide layouts are positioned directly beneath the slide master.

    This group would be your first custom theme. It is possible to create multiple templates in one document. To create an additional template, select master slide (giant slide) and then go to Edit>Duplicate in the menu bar or use the keyboard shortcut (Mac: CMD + D, PC: CTRL + D). 

  2. Style your template with fonts, shapes, colors etc. that you’d like to create for your template. Remember the master slide will retain every element so be sure to only put universal elements that will be featured on all slides there.

  3. When finished with creating a template, close slide master editor (click on “Close Master,” button highlighted on screenshot below).Once back to your document you can access your template by going to the HOME tab, LAYOUT, and there you should see your template with all the slides laid out. Click on the slide you want to use and there you go!

Things to keep in mind when designing a template or two…

  • If you plan to not use native system fonts (Google fonts or purchased fonts), be cognizant when sharing this template with others who may use the template on their computers that may not have that font on their computer. Unfortunately PowerPoint 2016 Mac does not have a font embedding option but PowerPoint 2016 for PC does.
  • If you plan to add images into your template, high res PNGs tend to display the best.
  • You can create a custom color scheme with easy access for your template. There is a colors button in the Slide Master Template builder where you can pick colors for a custom palette.
  • Pay attention to what proportion you’d like to have your template. New versions of PowerPoint currently have a standard ratio and an ultra-wide option.
  • Always smart to have light and dark version for your template.
  • Transitions are always a nice way to help the flow of your presentation so keep those in mind as well.
  • If you are using images from the internet, be sure to check what their copyright laws are for the photos used.
  • More than not, a simple presentation goes a long way. Use everything in moderation from colors (try not to make your template all bold colors) to slide transitions to your text (give the audience key terms, not an encyclopedia). Breaking up text on separate slides is a great option when battling the issue of too much content on one slide. K.I.S.S!

Tips When Adding Content to Your Newly Made Template

Now that you have a great template in place, let’s discuss how to use it.

  • Best practice when starting a new project is to make sure the new presentation already has your custom template stored on it. A good option is to have a blank presentation with the theme on it and for all future projects to duplicate that file when creating new presentations.
  • If you are copying and pasting in slides from previous presentations, sometimes they will carry over remnants of a theme so be sure to strip all of that by reassigning your custom theme to that slide. (Home Ribbon / Layout)
  • Microsoft Office programs tend to keep content formatting if you are copying content from other sources (online, word document, etc) and sometimes that can be helpful but more than not, it isn’t. Best practice when copying content from said other source, as text for example, make sure to copy/paste it with clear formatting. A good way to do that is have open (WordPad for PC, TextEdit for Mac) and paste the info you copied from original source, then recopy content, the info is now stripped of all formatting.