In PowerPoint, the Slide Master influences the layout and look of all slides in your presentation. One of the changes you can make to your Slide Master is applying the Background Style used so that all slide layouts and actual slides in your presentation use a different slide background. In this tutorial, we will explore how you can choose from any of the 12 available Background Styles to apply to the Slide Master.
Note: You can also have more than one Slide Master in your presentation, and any of those multiple Slide Masters can influence the actual slides following that master in your presentation.
Follow these steps to learn more:
- Launch PowerPoint 2011. PowerPoint typically opens a blank presentation with the Office Theme applied. If your presentation is using another Theme, apply the Office Theme since this is a basic, clean Theme that lends itself best to changes and edits that we discuss later in this tutorial. If you do not know how to apply a Theme, explore our Applying Themes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel 2011 tutorial.
Figure 1: Blank presentation with Office Theme applied
- Next, select View | Master | Slide Master menu option as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Slide Master option within the View menu
- This opens the Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 3. Here, within the pane on the left, you'll find one large slide thumbnail that represents the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 3), and the several smaller slide thumbnails below represent individual Slide Layouts. For now, do understand that changes made to the Slide Master influence its Slide Layouts, and in turn, this influences all slides within your presentation that are following that Slide Master.
Figure 3: Slide Master view
- Now, select the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 3, above) and click the Styles button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).
- This brings up the Styles drop-down gallery with 12 default slide background styles shown highlighted in red within Figure 4. Click on the style of your choice to apply it to the Slide Master. In Figure 4 you can see the Style 11 being selected.
Figure 4: Styles drop-down gallery
- This will apply the selected background style to the Slide Master and all the Slide Layouts belonging to the selected Slide Master as well, as shown in Figure 5 (compare with Figure 3, shown earlier on this page).
Figure 5: Background Style changed within the Slide Master view
- Click the Close button on the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in red within Figure 5 above) or the Close Master button in the yellow strip below (highlighted in blue within Figure 5 above). This will get you back to Normal view, where you can see the new Background Style applied to all your slides.
- Save your presentation often.
Note: In hierarchy terms, Slide Layouts are dependent for their appearance on the Slide Master although you can individually override these dependencies.
Note: These 12 default styles change when you apply a different Theme to your presentation. Also, do you see the Format Background and Show Background Graphics options (highlighted in blue within Figure 4) below the Background Style thumbnails? These options are explained in our Custom Backgrounds in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2011 tutorial. The Show Background Graphics option is meant for individual Slide Layouts. It is used to hide or show any graphic that you might have inserted into master view, on a particular slide layout.
Note: Do you want to use a background for your Slide Master that's not part of Background Styles—maybe something you created, or even a picture? You can learn how to do that in our Custom Backgrounds in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2011 tutorial.
Slide Master and Slide Layouts: Change Background Styles in the Slide Master in PowerPoint (Index Page)Change Background Styles in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Change Background Styles in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Change Background Styles in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Background Styles in the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows