3 Technicalities to Consider When Updating Your PowerPoint Master

Aug 24, 2021 | PowerPoint

Have you ever tried to update your Microsoft PowerPoint master slide? We update our PPT masters to modernize the look and feel of our presentations and ensure it consistently aligns with our brand. However, updating the same styles, fonts, and themes throughout a presentation is time-consuming. 

Using a master slide, you can create a company-specific template. Best of all, these slides are easy to update due to their conciseness and your team will adhere to visual identity standards if your master and layout slides are kept up to date.

Note: To learn how to update the presentation master slide, read this article

But, before you update your PowerPoint master slide, there are a few technicalities to consider. Because If your master slide is not properly created, you may face a variety of operational issues when updating your old presentations to a new one.

3 technicalities to consider when updating Powerpoint master slide 

1. Name your masters and layouts so that you can easily copy and paste slides

In order to effectively copy slides between your old and new masters, it is critical that you properly name your masters and layouts.  Your new master should be named differently than your old one.  Also, make sure your layouts use a different name than the masters. 

When copying slides from one master to another master, PowerPoint matches the layout name to pick the appropriate layout.  If a slide has a layout name that doesn’t exist in your new master definition, the default layout will be used automatically.  As such, when building your new master, you may need to design additional layouts to ensure your old layouts map correctly (backward compatibility).  Further, design your default layout to be simple so that it can handle other layouts forced to the default.  

Note that the default layout is set by its position in the master definition (third item including the master layout).

If you only want to rename the slide master, go to the View tab and then select Slide Master. If you want to rename a layout, right-click it and select rename.

Once done, you can search the slide masters using the name that you have given.

2. How to use Placeholders?

Placeholders are the preformatted containers that can be placed in the master slider templates. You can place the graphics such as text, audio, and videos in these placeholders. 

When using master slides, you need to be well-versed with the use of placeholders in the content. The top placeholder consists of the Title text and sets default size, font, and color.   

There are other different types of placeholders that you can place in the slides. These include Text, Picture, Chart, Table, SmartArt, Media, and Clip Art / Online Image. 

When changing the layout of a slide, PowerPoint uses placeholders to move content to the right spots.  For example, your current layout might include a title placeholder at the top of the slide.  However, in your new layout, the title might be on the right side of the slide.  PowerPoint uses the placeholder to know that the title needs to be moved from the top to the right.

3. Do not hardcode the date and time on the master slides. 

One of the common mistakes while updating the master slides is embedding the date and time source in the master slides. The hardcoded time will require you to manually update the date and time in the master slide every time you launch it. 

Hence, the dynamic field insertion of date and time is a more feasible option as it will automatically update the date and time when the slide launches. 

To add dynamic date/time to your slides, you’d need to access the Insert tab and click on Header & Footer. Finally, click on ‘date & time’ and choose if you want to update automatically.  

With the dynamic insertion of date and time, you have the flexibility to choose a fixed specific date or automatically update the date and time. 

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