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Slide Numbers within Slide Master in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to add Slide Numbers within Slides Masters in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher






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:

  1. Make sure you are in Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2010, 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.
  2. Slide Master view
    Figure 1: Slide Master view
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. The Slide Number placeholder
    Figure 2: The Slide Number placeholder
  6. Note: 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 Figure 3), or even absent altogether!
  7. Different positions of Slide Numbers on the slide
    Figure 3: Different positions of Slide Numbers on the slide
  8. 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 enabled them!
  9. The important point to note in such a scenario is to reinstate the Slide Number placeholder, we discuss this next within this tutorial.
  10. Now within the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, click the Master Layout button, highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.
  11. Master Layout button
    Figure 4: Master Layout button
  12. 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.
  13. Master Layout dialog box
    Figure 5: Master Layout dialog box
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Header and Footer dialog box
    Figure 6: Header and Footer dialog box
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Footers check-box
    Figure 7: Footers check-box
  21. 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.

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