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Handout Master in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn about the Handout Master in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows. The Handout Master influences the appearance of PowerPoint handouts.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






Handouts are presentation accompaniments that are almost always intended for print. It is a good idea to distribute handouts before your PowerPoint presentation's delivery so that the audience can follow along the presentation. If you don’t do so, you may certainly want to carry handouts with you to distribute as takeaways for your audience. You can control the look of your handouts by formatting the Handout Master. This can be useful if you want to include a graphic such as a logo on each page of your handout. Customizing the Handout Master is easy, and you can thereafter print your presentation handouts with one, two, three, four, six, or nine slides on a page.

The changes you can make within the Handout Master include the repositioning, resizing, or formatting of the header and footer placeholders. And if you are printing color handouts, you can also change the background color of the handouts.

Follow these steps to edit the Handout Master:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2003 and choose the View | Master | Handout Master menu option, as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Handout Master option within the Master sub-menu of View menu
    Figure 1: Handout Master option within the Master sub-menu of View menu
  3. Alternatively, you can Shift-click the Slide Sorter View button (highlighted in red in Figure 2 below) on the Status bar to get to the Handout Master view.
  4. Either of these options will open the Handout Master view with the Handout Master View toolbar, as shown in Figure 2.
  5. Handout Master view in PowerPoint 2003
    Figure 2: Handout Master view in PowerPoint 2003
  6. You can change number of slides per handout page from within the Handout Master View toolbar. You can choose from 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9 slides per handout page. In addition, you can opt to show no slides but just the entire outline text. All these options are highlighted in red in Figure 3, below.
  7. Slides per handout page options within the Handout Master View toolbar
    Figure 3: Slides per handout page options within the Handout Master View toolbar
  8. You can just type in your desired text into the header and footer placeholders. Thereafter, the information entered in these placeholders automatically appears on every handout page. For the date and slide number placeholders, you typically may want to make no changes to the text contained within the placeholder.
  9. Handout Master view with placeholders
    Figure 4: Handout Master view with placeholders
  10. Tip: Can't find the placeholders within Handout Master view? To get these placeholders, click the Handout Master Layout button from Handout Master View toolbar (highlighted in red in Figure 5).
  11. Handout Master Layout button within Handout Master View toolbar
    Figure 5: Handout Master Layout button within Handout Master View toolbar
  12. This opens the Handout Master Layout dialog box, as shown in Figure 6. Here you'll find four check-boxes for all these placeholders. Just select the check-boxes you need, and click the OK button.
  13. Handout Master Layout dialog box
    Figure 6: Handout Master Layout dialog box
  14. You can also add pictures and text boxes to your handouts, or even change the background color of the handouts. Anything you add to your Handout Master appears only in the handouts; it will not show up on the individual slides.
  15. Once you have made the changes within the Handout Master, you go back to Normal view using any of these three options:
  16. a. Click the Close Master View button (highlighted in red in Figure 7 below) within Handout Master View toolbar.
  17. Close Master View button within Handout Master View toolbar
    Figure 7: Close Master View button within Handout Master View toolbar
  18. b. Click the Normal View button, the first button among the three View buttons located at the bottom right corner of the Handout Master View, just above the Drawing toolbar within the PowerPoint 2003 interface.
  19. c. Select View | Normal menu option.
  20. Save your presentations often
  21. Note: All changes made to the Handout Master are only saved within PPT or PPS files. If you save your file as a POT (PowerPoint Template), you will lose all changes made to the Handout Master.

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