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Slide Layouts Within Slide Master View in PowerPoint 2013

Explore Slide Layouts within Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2013.

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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7, 8, and 10

While changing the Slide Layout of any given slide(s) in PowerPoint 2013, you typically access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Layout button. This brings forth the Layout drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1 below. The number of Slide Layouts that you see within this gallery may differ depending upon the Theme of your active presentation -- but with PowerPoint's default Office Theme applied, you may see 9 layouts (refer to Figure 1, again).

Layout drop-down gallery
Figure 1: Layout drop-down gallery

Tip: If your Presentation is using another theme or template, make sure you change it back to the Office Theme since this is a basic, clean Theme that lends itself best to changes and edits that we discuss later in this tutorial. If you do not know how you can apply a Theme, explore our Applying Themes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel 2013 tutorial.

So, where do these Slide Layouts come from? What influences how they look, or how the placeholders within them are laid out? To find out answers to these questions, you need to access the Slide Master view within PowerPoint.

Tip: To quickly access Slide Master view, access the View tab of the Ribbon and click the Slide Master button.

In Slide Master view, you'll find that the left pane contains two distinctly different elements: a larger thumbnail representing the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 2) and several smaller slide thumbnails below representing individual Slide Layouts (highlighted in blue within Figure 2).

Slide Master view within PowerPoint
Figure 2: Slide Master view within PowerPoint

Note: Cannot see all the Slide Layouts in Figure 2 above -- yes there are more Slide Layouts -- and you can use the scroll bar to see more of this pane and see more Slide Layouts.

In any typical PowerPoint presentation, the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 2, above) is hierarchically placed at the highest position for information about the background, color, fonts, effects, placeholders (size and position), etc. The Slide Layouts which are placed at a lower hierarchy level get all this information from the Slide Master they belong to.

When you modify the Slide Master, you are making changes to all the influenced Slide Layouts beneath that Slide Master. For example, if you change the Background Style in a Slide Master, this should reflect the new Background Style in all the dependent Slide Layouts. However, the reverse is not true -- if you make any changes to the Slide Layout, that change is never reflected in the Slide Master -- in fact, for that change in particular, the Slide Layout stops being influenced by the Slide Master. Exploring our earlier example of changing the Background Style, any change made to the Background Styles in a Slide Layout will not affect the Slide Master or any other Slide Layouts within the presentation.

The nine Slide Layouts available within the Slide Master are:

  1. Title Slide Layout
  2. Title and Content Layout
  3. Section Header Layout
  4. Two Content Layout
  5. Comparison Layout
  6. Title Only Layout
  7. Blank Layout
  8. Content with Caption Layout
  9. Picture with Caption Layout

Note: In addition, if you are using PowerPoint for a Far East Asian language, you may see two additional Slide Layouts.

We will explore how you can add new Slide Layouts and modify existing ones in other tutorials.

See Also:

Slide Layouts within Slide Master View in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Slide Layouts within Slide Master View in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Slide Layouts within Slide Master View in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

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