The moment you add a Slide Number
to your slides in Normal view, you
expect to see them immediately thereafter. However many times you may not see any Slide Number – or worse, you may
see the Slide Number in just a few of the slides! The reason this happens is because Slide Numbers can appear only
if the slides have a Slide Number placeholder – if you add Slide Numbers to a slide that has no Slide Number
placeholder, then you won’t see any Slide Number!
To remedy this situation, you have to ensure that both the Slide Master and the Slide Layout for any given
slide does contain the Slide Master placeholder – this is something you can do only within
Slide Master view, as explained
within this tutorial:
- Make sure you are in Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 1, below. The
large thumbnail highlighted in red within the left pane is the Slide Master, whereas
the smaller thumbnails highlighted in blue are the Slide Layouts.
Figure 1: Slide Master view
- If any of your slides were created in PowerPoint 2003 or an older version, you must visit the Slide Master and
all individual Slide Layouts, and manually select and delete all Footer placeholders (Slide Number, Date, and
Footer) – that’s because all Footer placeholders work differently in newer versions of PowerPoint – this is
not an optional step – you must do so!
- Click the large Slide Master thumbnail to open the Slide Master within the Slide Area, as shown in
Figure 2, below. Note that the Slide Number placeholder is visible on the bottom right, as
highlighted in red.
Figure 2: The Slide Number placeholder
It is not necessary that the Slide Number placeholder should always be on the bottom right.
Depending upon your default
template or Theme
, the location of the Slide Number placeholder may differ. It might be on the top part of the
slide (see top slide in Figure 3
) or somewhere in the center (see bottom slide in
), or even absent altogether!
Different positions of Slide Numbers on the slide
The point here is that your Slide Numbers will only appear wherever the Slide Number placeholder is positioned –
and if there is no Slide Number placeholder, then you will see no Slide Numbers on your slides, even if you have
The important point to note in such a scenario is to reinstate the Slide Number placeholder – we discuss this next
within this tutorial.
- Now within the Slide Master tab of the
Ribbon, click the
Master Layout button, highlighted in red within
Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Master Layout button
- This brings up the Master Layout dialog box, as shown in Figure 5 -- make
sure that the Slide number check-box is selected (highlighted in
red within Figure 5). You may also want to ensure that the
Date and Footer placeholder check-boxes are selected.
Figure 5: Master Layout dialog box
- Back in the Slide Master, click and drag your Slide Number placeholder to the required place
to reposition it. You can also modify the text style, alignment, etc.
- Now select any of the Slide Layouts in the pane on the left. Then access the Insert tab of
the Ribbon, and click the Header & Footer button to bring up the
Header and Footer dialog box, as shown in Figure 6. Select the
Slide number check-box (refer to Figure 6 again). Optionally, also select the
Date and time and Footer check-boxes.
Figure 6: Header and Footer dialog box
- Within the Header and Footer dialog box, click the Apply to All button if
you want to show slide numbers in all Masters / Layouts of the presentation -- and click only the Apply
button if you want it to be visible on the current selection (Master or Layout).
- Now go to each individual Slide Layout and confirm that the changes you made to the Slide Master show up for
the Slide Number placeholder.
- If not, then deselect the Footers check-box (highlighted in red
within Figure 7) in the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and
then select it immediately thereafter (see Figure 7). This forces each layout to show the exact
Slide Number placeholder as shown in the Slide Master.
Figure 7: Footers check-box
- Make sure you are on the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and click the
Close Master View button to go back to the Normal view.
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
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