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Creating PowerPoint Templates

Learn how to create PowerPoint templates.


By: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created:






See Also: Create a PowerPoint Template


Introduction
Case Study 1
Case Study 2
Case Study 3
Disclaimer


Introduction

PowerPoint templates are an irony - they are gateways to both excellent and ridiculous presentations, yet many of us want to collect as many templates as we can. They are like fonts - no number is too much. Considering how easy it is to create a template, its surprising that many of us never get down to creating one. And many who actually do create their own templates rarely use them - partly because they look so amateur. So, what's the key to creating professionally designed templates - this is more easily explained as a case study - read on...

All these case studies are fictitious and any resemblance to actual situations is purely coincidental.

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Case Study 1

John works for the Infrastructure Development Authority - his boss needs to present to a visiting foreign delegation on the benefits of investing in their region - primarily in a new airport. They are certain they need a presentation template that reflects their objectives - but have no idea where to start!

They approach a professional presentation designer - the following thoughts ensue into action:

  1. They choose midnight blue as the background colour - around 75% of presentations today are presented on a blue background - there's a reason behind this choice: blue is the colour of the sky and the sea and represents unlimited potential - it also looks good with most other colours and most importantly is also considered conservative.

  2. The background used is a textured fill design from Corel PhotoPaint. If you're using the same application, create a new 1076 x 768 pixels blank image, go to Edit -> Fill and choose a textured blue fill.

  3. A nice aeroplane image was found in Hemera's excellent Photo Objects collection - the program allowed export with alpha channels intact - great if we're using a professional image editor like Photoshop, PhotoPaint or Paint Shop Pro.

  4. The aeroplane image was imported into PhotoPaint to be superimposed over our textured fill - the program's excellent interactive transparency tool was used to blend it into a complete composition. The final image was flattened and exported to a JPG image with no compression applied.

  5. In PowerPoint 2000, choose to create a blank presentation. Go to View -> Slide Master, and then Format -> Background. Choose the
    Picture tab, and browse to wherever you saved your background image.

  6. Now select the text boxes and select a suitable typeface - also change their colour to white.

  7. Go to Insert -> Title Master and repeat the steps for inputting your
    background and changing the text attributes.

  8. Go to View -> Normal. This brings you back into the default mode.

  9. Go to File -> Save As - in the resultant dialog box choose 'Design Template (*.pot)' in the 'Save As Type' drop down menu.

  10. Save your presentation template.

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Case Study 2

Anita has been a frequent creator of her own custom templates - presently, she's installed the new PowerPoint 2002 and would like to use its Multiple Masters feature to create a template that offers more backgrounds and layouts. Yet, she doesn't know where to start.

She manages to convince Rex, the resident geek to help her out - this is how they proceed:

  1. Follow the first four steps under 'Case Study 1' to create a distinctive identity for your template.

  2. Create similar backgrounds with a few variations - for example, you could remove the aeroplane altogether in one instance - or maybe scale or rotate some elements. You could also lighten or darken the background or change the opacity of some elements. Basically, we need backgrounds that have something common in their identity. Substituting a blue background for a pink one is a very bad idea - since continuity in look is important, even if we are using Multiple Masters.

  3. Open PowerPoint 2002. If PowerPoint does not open an introductory dialog box, click on the 'Blank Presentation' option on the right task pane.

  4. Choose View -> Master -> Slide Master and then Format -> Background. Choose the Picture tab, and browse to wherever you saved your background image.

  5. Now select the text boxes and select a suitable typeface - also change their colour as required.

  6. Go to Insert -> New Slide Master and repeat the steps for inputting your
    background and changing the text attributes - you could use a completely different picture or something else here.

  7. Repeat the last step as often as required to increase the number of individual slide masters would be contained within your final template.

  8. In normal circumstances, the 'Slide Master View' toolbar will be open - you can experiment with the various options included - and finally click the 'Close Master View' button.

  9. Go to File -> Save As - in the resultant dialog box choose 'Design Template (*.pot)' in the 'Save As Type' drop down menu.

  10. Save your presentation template.

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Case Study 3

Martin needs to use a presentation as a medium to propose a script for his new movie commercial - a little dramatic effect is required in each slide - as also an opening animation. Basically, he requires a multimedia equipped PowerPoint template - but he doesn't know how to go about creating such a template.

Basically - a little dramatic effect can be achieved using some movement during a slide transition. Explaining how to create such a template on this page could be a complicated affair - yet here are a few guidelines to get one started:

  1. Use slide transitions to advantage - at least one template included with PowerPoint - "Pulse" includes an animated light transition. Create a single slide presentation with this template - we are going to deconstruct the design to easily learn the concept behind such effects. The techniques listed here were executed in PowerPoint 2000 - if you're using PowerPoint 97 or 2002, you may have to complete the sequence differently.

  2. Choose View -> Master -> Slide Master.

  3. Click any of the light blue light portions on the right - all the
    portions get selected - actually it one thin long column stacked behind all objects. So you only view the portions exposed.

  4. Right click the light blue column and choose Custom Animation.

  5. In the Order and Timing tab: You'll find the Fly From Right transition
    selected with a timing of 0.01 seconds after a slide loads.

  6. In the Effects tab: You'll find that the 'Hide After Animation' option
    has been selected.

  7. Since all these settings have been used on the Slide Master, they affect every slide in the presentation.

Now that we have learnt about inserting a 'lighted' transition - it may be a good idea to include an 'aperture' style sound with each transition. This is easily accomplished. In slide-sorter view, right-click on any single slide and choose 'Transition' from the resultant flyout menu. The Transitions dialog box has an option called 'Transition Sounds' - choose a suitable sound and press either 'Apply to All' to reflect the change in all slides or just 'Apply' to restrict the sound effect to just this slide.

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Disclaimer

No support can be provided for the techniques listed above. If you need any assistance, you could use Microsoft's product support for PowerPoint. An alternate route would be to post your queries on the Microsoft PowerPoint newsgroup:

PowerPoint Newsgroup

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    since November 02, 2000