PowerPoint design is a field of design that's different from the design of brochures, web sites, and even Word documents. It affords opportunities that these other media do not, and it also does not provide some options you may be used to, especially if you are a print designer. So, what if PowerPoint itself showcased these presentations-specific design opportunities or design possibilities for you? You could then choose to apply a possibility with one click, or ignore—it's your decision. Wouldn't that be awesome?
PowerPoint Designer is exactly this option, and it lets you choose an alternative slide layout, choose a template when you begin creating a new deck, or even create infographics for you. In this tutorial, we will give you an introduction to the PowerPoint Designer feature.
- Let's see what happens when you load up PowerPoint 365 for Windows. PowerPoint shows Backstage view, and you choose the Blank Presentation option, highlighted in red within Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Blank Presentation
- As soon as you see the new blank presentation, you will also see the Design Ideas Task Pane on the right, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, below. In this Design Ideas Task Pane, you will see thumbnails of some template designs that can replace the conventional white background and black text slide deck that you see leftwards of the Design Ideas Task Pane in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Design Ideas Task Pane with template ideas
- Click on any of the thumbnails in the Design Ideas Task Pane to apply the new template to your new presentation. We clicked the bottom-most of the three thumbnails shown in Figure 2, and you can see the template applied in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Template from the Design Ideas Task Pane applied
- If you are happy with your existing design and do not want to see the Design Ideas Task Pane, you can simply click the X button on the top-right of the pane to dismiss it, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Close the Design Ideas Task Pane
Different Design Ideas?
Notice the template thumbnails in Figures 3 and 4. Aren't they different? We used screenshots from two separate PowerPoint 365 installs, at the same time. It's important to know that all suggestions you see in Design Ideas across many systems may not be identical. This feature is based on artificial intelligence and shows options based on your usage patterns.
If you want to summon the Design Ideas Task Pane again, just visit the Design tab of the Ribbon, and click the Design Ideas button, shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, below. This button is a toggle, so you can click it again to send away the Design Ideas Task Pane.
Figure 5: Open the Design Ideas Task Pane
Why Don't I See PowerPoint Designer?
You may have disabled PowerPoint Designer (see the note later on this page) or you may be using an unsupported version of PowerPoint such as PowerPoint 2019, 2016, or 2013? PowerPoint Designer's complete feature set is only available in Office 365 subscription versions of PowerPoint. Even if you have a subscription version, your System Administrator may have disabled updates or some features.
These links may help you understand better:
Also, look at our Troubleshooting PowerPoint Designer in PowerPoint 365 for Windows tutorial to explore various solutions.
What we just learned was via a small walkthrough. In other tutorials, we explore more that you can do with PowerPoint Designer:
Disable PowerPoint Designer
Yes, you can disable PowerPoint Designer altogether. We explain this process in our Disable PowerPoint Designer tutorial.