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Creating and Renaming Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn how to create and rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows.

Slide Masters govern several default attributes for your slides such as the slide background, font choices, colors, and even the positioning of the placeholders. In many ways thus, Slide Masters are the backend workers of your presentation. And even though Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003 only include limited functionality, you can still use this functionality to either edit existing Slide Masters or even create your own Slide Master.

Creating a new Slide Master from scratch is not always the optimum solution because duplicating an existing one can be a better option, especially if the changes you want to make are fewer. For each option you choose, do follow one of the simple procedures listed below:

  1. Duplicating an existing Slide Master
  2. Inserting a New Slide Master
Note: The Slide Master influences the layout of all the slides in your presentation except Title slides (typically the first slide of a presentation). Title slides are based on the Title Master. This behavior is valid for PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions.

Duplicating an Existing Slide Master

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2003 and open the presentation you want to edit. Then, click the View | Master | Slide Master menu option. This will open the Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 1 below.

  2. Figure 1: Slide Master View
  3. With the default Slide Master selected (highlighted in red within Figure 1, above), press the Ctrl+D keyboard shortcut. This step duplicates the selected Slide Master, thus creating a new one, as shown in Figure 2 below.

  4. Figure 2: Duplicate Slide Master
  5. PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

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    Note: Did you see that the new Slide Master's thumbnail in Figure 2, above has a pushpin icon, whereas the existing one doesn't have any such icon? This indicates that the existing Slide Master is not preserved. Want to know more about what "preserving" does to Slide Masters? Explore our Preserve the Masters tutorial.

Inserting a New Slide Master

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2003 and open the presentation you want to edit. Then, choose the View |  Master | Slide Master menu option. This will bring up Slide Master view, as shown in  Figure 1 previously on this page. 
  2. Now choose the Insert | New Slide Master option, as shown in Figure 3  below. 

  3. Figure 3: New Slide Master option
  4. This will insert a new Slide Master, as shown Figure 4 below.

  5. Figure 4: New Slide Master

Renaming Slide Masters

Whenever you add a new Slide Master, a default name is applied to this Master. You can see this name in Slide Master view. The name shows within a tool tip as you hover your cursor over the Slide Master's thumbnail (see Figure 5). You can change this name to something more explanatory as explained in the following steps:


Figure 5: Default name given to the new Slide Master

  1. To rename the Slide Master, right-click on the newly inserted Slide Master, and choose the Rename Master option in the resultant menu (see Figure 6, below).

  2. Figure 6: Rename Master
  3. This brings up the Rename Master window, as shown in Figure 7 below. Type in a new name to replace the existing one. Then click the Rename button.

  4. Figure 7: Rename Master menu
  5. Now hover over on the renamed Slide Master. You'll find your design name within the tool tip, as shown in  Figure 8 below.

  6. Figure 8: Renamed Slide Master