In your presentation, a Slide Master is the element that influences everything, be it the slide background or the fonts used for text. Despite having different layouts, all slides in a presentation share a common look, which is provided by the Slide Master. There will be at least one Slide Master in every presentation. However, while adding slides from other presentations, you may end up adding more Slide Masters inadvertently to your presentation. So how do you know how many Slide Masters your presentation contains? And how do you add another one? In fact, why do you need another Slide Master at all?
Those are great questions, and we shall explore answers to these questions on this page. First things first though, let us find out how many Slide Masters your presentation contains. To find out, access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and click the Layout button. This brings up the Layout drop-down gallery you see in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: The Layout gallery
Notice that the thumbnails that you see in Figure 1 are not Slide Masters. They are Slide Layouts which are contained within the Slide Master. Most new presentations you create in PowerPoint contain just one Slide Master based on the Office Theme. Typically the Theme name may also be used for the Slide Master name, as highlighted in red within Figure 1, above. Now that we have established the fact that most new presentations contain at least a single Slide Master, why would you need to add a new Slide Master? The reasons may differ but for most users that's because they want their slides to contain two or more different looks (backgrounds, colors, fonts, effects, etc.). For design purists, it is difficult to justify this as a reason. Most professional PowerPoint template designers will only add a second Slide Master for small and subtle differences. Whatever your opinion may be, it's actually quite easy to add a new Slide Master:
Adding a New Slide Master
- Launch PowerPoint 2016 and open the presentation that needs a new Slide Master. Next, access the View tab of the Ribbon, and click the Slide Master button. This opens the Slide Master View, as shown in Figure 2. Here, within the pane on the left, you'll find the default Slide Master with associated layouts (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Default Slide Master
- To add a new Slide Master, click the Insert Slide Master button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3.
Figure 3: Insert Slide Master button
- Alternatively, right-click the existing Slide Master, and choose the Insert Slide Master option from the contextual menu that appears, as shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Insert Slide Master option within the contextual menu
- You can also press the Ctrl + M keyboard shortcut in Slide Master view to add a new Slide Master.
- Either of these options will add a new Slide Master, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 5. Notice that this new Slide Master is numbered 2, since this is the second Slide Master of your presentation.
Figure 5: New Slide Master inserted
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts
Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?
Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.
Adding a Slide Master Applied with a Theme
You can also add a Slide Master from any of existing Themes within PowerPoint. This can be helpful if you want the new Slide Master to be based on a Theme that's not part of the current presentation. To learn how you can do so, follow these steps:
- Access the Slide Master view as explained in Step 1 in the preceding section. Thereafter, click at the end of your existing Slide Master (below the last Slide Layout thumbnail) to place an insertion cursor, as shown in Figure 6. Now click the Themes button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.
Figure 6: Themes button
- This brings up the Themes drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 7. Click on a Theme of your choice.
Figure 7: Themes drop-down gallery
- This will add a new Slide Master with the selected Theme applied, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8. Notice that this new Slide Master is numbered 2, since this is the second Slide Master of your presentation.
Figure 8: New Slide Master gets added along with the selected Theme applied
- Once you have added the new Slide Master following any of the ways explained above, you can make changes to the newly added Slide Master as required.
Renaming the Slide Master
To rename the Slide Master follow these steps:
- Select and right-click the Slide Master and select the Rename Master option from the contextual menu that appears. This will bring up the Rename Layout window, as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9: Rename the new Slide Master
- Just type in the name you like and click the Rename button.
After adding and renaming the new Slide Master, click the Close Master View button (highlighted in blue within Figure 8). This will get you back to Normal View. Now access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Layout button to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery you see in Figure 10, below. Notice that now there are two Slide Masters within the Layout drop-down gallery(names highlighted in red within Figure 10, below). Compare Figures 10 and 1.
Figure 10: New Slide Master added within the Layout gallery
Keep on saving your presentation often.
Add and Rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Add and Rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Add and Rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Add and Rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows