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Powerpoint: Create your own Design Template

Design Templates

One of the first things you should do when creating a presentation is to choose a design.

There is a huge choice of them, such as Whirlpool, Festival and Dads Tie(!) Each has a different mood and you probably have your favourite.

Sooner or later, however, someone in marketing is going to come along and say that all presentations must use the logo and/or corporate colours, etc.

They may go as far as producing a design template for you, but here's how to create your own if they don't.

As well as how to save a design as a template once you have it looking the way you want, we'll also talk about getting the colours and illustrations you want.

Fill Effects for the Background

First of all create a new presentation and switch to the Slide Master (View - Master - Slide Master).

Then choose a Color Scheme: Click the Design button to get a choice of Slide Designs, then from the list above the Designs choose Color Schemes.

Choose the Color Scheme that is closest to what you want, to keep you work to a minimum.

You can choose a picture, a colour or a texture to be the background of your slides. For any of these you need to get into the Fill Effects dialog box as follows:

Give the command Format - Background.

This displays the Background dialog box, which has a preview of the Color Scheme, using some text and a chart.

Below the preview is a drop-down.

Click the drop-down and choose Fill Effects... to get a choice of Gradient, Texture, Pattern and Picture for the background of your slide.

Background Colour(s)

In the Gradient tab of the Fill Effects dialog box you can choose a background colour and how it is shaded across the slide.

You can see a Sample in the bottom-right of the dialog box.

At the top choose whether you want a single colour that fades to black, or two colours that fade from one to the other.

Then choose the Shading Style and Variant.

Click OK to confirm the Fill Effect, and then Apply to All to set it as the background to all your slides.

Background Texture

Another choice you have for the background is a Texture. Textures are special patterns, such as granite or woodgrain effects.

In the same way as for choosing colours, give the command Format - Background, click the drop-down for more choices and choose Fill Effects.

Click the Texture tab, and select the one you want.

Click OK to confirm the Fill Effect, and then Apply to All.

Background Picture

If you have a photo or other illustration you want as the background to your slide, make sure it is the right shape. It will be stretched to fill the slide, so make sure it is the right height and width. This also means that it's unlikely to be suitable to add your logo in this way.

Make sure you are in the Fill Effects dialog box as above and on the Picture tab.

Click Select Picture and browse through your files to find the picture you want. Click Insert to add it to the Background.

Click Apply to All to get it onto your slides.

Setting the Fonts

Your house style is bound to include fonts, and possibly bullet styles too.

Make sure you are in Master View and highlight the title placeholder by clicking the dotted line around it.

Choose the font you want for your titles. Remember to choose the colour, alignment, etc. at the same time.

Repeat this for the bulleted list and other placeholders on the slide.


To choose the bullets you want, you still need to be in Master View (View - Master - Slide Master).

You can set a different bullet for each level of bullet points, as follows:

Highlight the line that you want to change, and then give the command, Format - Bullets and Numbering. Make sure you are in the Bullets tab of the dialog that opens.

Click Customize to open the Symbols dialog box. Change the Font to one with interesting shapes such as Windings or Monotype Sorts.

Once you have made your choice, click OK twice to return to your slide.

Repeat this for each level of bullet point as required.

Other Touches

You can add anything else you want to the slide: Inserting logos, and drawing background illustrations and/or shapes can be done as if you were adding them to a normal slide.

Master Title Slide

As you are working in Slide Master, you should be able to see the Slide Master View toolbar. Click the Insert New Title Master button to enable you to repeat the design you have created for the main slides, for the Title slide of your presentation.

Saving the Design

Once you have it all looking as you want it, save it as a Design Template so it appears with the standard Designs when you a creating your presentation.

Give the command File - Save As....

Choose a name for the Design and then below that choose Design Template as the Save as Type.

Close the presentation and then create a new one, and you'll find your design amongst the standard set.

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