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Slide Master in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn about the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






Even if you are not aware, every presentation you create has its own Slide Master. This Master governs the default attributes like slide background, font choices, colors, and even the positioning of the placeholders in your slide. Thus if you end up with a 50 slide presentation that uses center aligned titles that you want changed to left aligned titles in a larger font size -- then you need to make this change only once within the Slide Master, and all 50 slides update at once with your new Title formatting! Also, the icing on the cake is that you do not have to format individual slides. This saves you loads of time, and you also end up with slides that are consistent in look.

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.

Remember, changes made within the Slide Master show up on all slides of your presentation apart from Title slides. Follow these steps to edit the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2003:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2003, and choose the View | Master | Slide Master menu option, as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Slide Master option within the Master sub-menu of View menu
    Figure 1: Slide Master option within the Master sub-menu of View menu
  3. Alternatively, you can Shift-click the Normal View button located right beneath the Slides and Outline pane within the PowerPoint 2003 interface (highlighted in blue in Figure 2) to get the Slide Master view.
  4. Either of these options brings up the Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 2.
  5. Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2003
    Figure 2: Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2003
  6. Within the Slide Master view you'll find several placeholders:
  7. Title Placeholder

  8. Influences the look, position, and formatting of your slide titles.
  9. Text Placeholder

  10. Influences the look, position, and formatting of your bulleted lists, numbered lists, or even paragraphs. You can also change the bullet style.
  11. Date

  12. Format how the date appears on your slides (most of the time, this is not visible).
  13. Footer

  14. Format how you want your footer text to look.
  15. Slide Number

  16. Format the appearance, font, and position of the slide number.
  17. Tip: Just because you format your Date, Footer, and Slide Number placeholders, do not expect them to show on your slides. The Slide Master only changes their appearance. You have to individually make these three placeholders visible on your slides.
  18. You can make global changes to all these placeholders such as changing the font style, their location on the slide, or text formatting for alignment, margins, font color, etc.
  19. In addition, you can also add a graphic such as a logo to show on all your slides by inserting a picture of the logo in your Slide Master. Once you exit the Slide Master to go to Normal view, all these changes reflect on the slides in your presentation.
  20. Remember: The text on the master is only for styling; actual slide text, such as titles and lists, should be typed on the slide itself in normal view.
  21. Once you have made the changes in the Master view, you can go back to Normal view choosing any of these options:
  1. a. Click the Close Master View button (highlighted in red in Figure 3 below) within Slide Master View toolbar.
  2. Close Master View button within Slide Master View toolbar
    Figure 3: Close Master View button within Slide Master View toolbar
  3. b. Click the Normal View button (highlighted in blue in Figure 2) located right beneath the Slides and Outline pane within PowerPoint 2003 interface.
  4. c. Select View | Normal menu option.
  1. Always remember to save your presentation.

Related Links: Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

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