Inserting New Placeholders in Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2013
Learn how to add new placeholders within slide layouts in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7, 8, and 10
In PowerPoint a placeholder is a boilerplate container that you can use to fill in with some sort of
content. When you launch PowerPoint, you will see those distinctive boxes that invite you to add some content
-- haven't you noticed the "Click to add title" suggestions? All these boxes are
placeholders -- when selected, these boxes have a dotted border around them, as shown in
Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Part of a new slide showing placeholders with dotted borders
Placeholders and Text BoxesThese placeholders are different than text boxes that you insert within your existing slides. Learn more in our Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
All of PowerPoint's built-in slide layouts except the Blank layout contain placeholders. PowerPoint provides several placeholders that can contain various types of content such as text, tables, charts, pictures, clip art, SmartArt diagrams, or media clips. If you add a new slide based on the Title and Content layout, you'll find two placeholders -- one for the slide title and the other for any single content type (see Figure 1, shown previously on this page). Each of the default layouts comprises a collection of various placeholders -- if none of the available layouts work for you, you can create your own layout with custom placeholders in PowerPoint 2013, as explained in the following steps:
- Launch PowerPoint. You will see the
Gallery -- here, select the Blank Presentation to open a blank presentation with a
new slide. Access the View tab of the
Ribbon and click the
Slide Master button, as shown highlighted in red within
Figure 2: Slide Master button within the View tab of the Ribbon
- This opens the
Slide Master view, as shown
in Figure 3. In Slide Master view, you'll see that the left pane contains two distinctly
different elements: a larger thumbnail representing the Slide Master (highlighted in
red within Figure 3) and several smaller slide thumbnails below
representing individual Slide Layouts (highlighted in blue
within Figure 3).
Figure 3: Slide Master and Slide Layouts within PowerPoint
insert a new Slide Layout and
make sure it is selected -- we will now add one or more placeholders to this layout. Optionally, you can
follow these same steps to add placeholders to any of the existing Slide Layouts. For this
tutorial we have selected a new inserted slide layout, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: New Slide Layout selected
- With the Slide Layout still selected, click the bottom half of the Insert Placeholder button (highlighted in red within Figure 5) within the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon.
Figure 5: Insert Placeholder button
- This brings up a drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Insert Placeholder drop-down gallery
Note: If you click the top half of the Insert Placeholder button (highlighted in blue within Figure 5, shown earlier on this page), you will end up selecting your last-inserted placeholder type.
All the placeholder types within the Insert Placeholder drop-down gallery can be populated with the content types explained below:
- Content: A Content placeholder is a combination of seven types of
content: text, pictures, charts, tables, SmartArt, media clips, and clip art. This placeholder appears almost
like a text placeholder -- but it additionally contains a small palette of icons in the center -- one for
each of the other 6 non-text content types. Note that each Content placeholder can hold only one type of
content at a time. Figure 1, earlier on this page shows a Content
- Text: For bulleted text.
- Picture: For a picture.
- Chart: For a chart.
- Table: For a table.
- SmartArt: For a
- Media: For media files such as
audio or video clips.
- Online Image: For an
- Content: A Content placeholder is a combination of seven types of content: text, pictures, charts, tables, SmartArt, media clips, and clip art. This placeholder appears almost like a text placeholder -- but it additionally contains a small palette of icons in the center -- one for each of the other 6 non-text content types. Note that each Content placeholder can hold only one type of content at a time. Figure 1, earlier on this page shows a Content placeholder.
- Choose the placeholder type you want to add, and drag on the slide layout to insert the placeholder. For
this tutorial we are selecting the Text placeholder. As you can see in
Figure 7 below, the Text placeholder is inserted within the new slide
layout (compare with Figure 4, shown earlier on this page).
Figure 7: Text Placeholder inserted within the slide layout
- You can also insert multiple placeholders to create your customized layout. Figure 8,
below shows our layout that contains Text, Picture, and
Media placeholders (compare with Figure 7, above).
Figure 8: Picture and Media Placeholders inserted within the slide layout
- When done, click the Close Master View button on the Slide Master tab
of the Ribbon (to locate the Close Master View button, refer to
Figure 4 shown earlier on this page). This will get you back to
- Access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the
Layout button to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery as you can see in
Figure 9, below. Notice that your new layout shows up here with the name
Custom Layout (highlighted in red within
Figure 9) -- ready to be used to create a new slide.
Figure 9: Custom Layout added with new placeholders
Note: The new layouts you create are saved as part of the presentation, and are not available in any other presentations you create. Other than adding placeholders to your new slide layouts, you can also change their slide backgrounds.
Additionally, you can rename Slide Layouts as explained in our Duplicate, Rename, and Edit Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
- Save your presentation often.
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