Content placeholders keep reappearing in slides

I've noticed that some (not all) of my content placeholders from my templates appear on slides after I've compiled my ppt. to Articulate. It's only on certain slides.

I tested my ppt by deleting unneeded content placeholders from my slides, saving the file and relaunching ppt. The content placeholders are not there. I then compiled the file into Articulate and when I went back into ppt, the content placeholders were back on the slides. Sometimes I'll have 5-10 empty content placeholders. Even if I've correctly USED the placeholder, a new one will be placed on top.

While I realize these don't show in the running application, it is adding unnecessary content to the file, is making maintenance a pain, and is causing problems when we submit a training piece for review because they don't allow anything to be on a slide that isn't being used.

Is this a known issue? Is there a workaround?


9 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi Rebecca,

Are you able to try importing the slides into a new presentation? I'm curious to see if this will fix the issue for you. It sounds like there's an issue with PowerPoint caching the placeholders, or it may possibly be a corruption issue. 

If pulling the content into a new file doesn't seem to change anything, are you able to submit the files to us? If so, please include a Presenter Package so we can test the files.


Leslie McKerchie

Hi Karen!

What do you mean that you lose functionality? When you reused the slides? Did you select the box to keep the source formatting?

Open a blank presentation in PowerPoint.
Save the presentation.
Click the Home tab.
Click the drop-down arrow beside New Slide and select Reuse Slides.
Click the Browse button and select Browse File.
Locate your original PowerPoint file and click the Open button.
At the bottom of the Reuse Slides panel, select the Keep source formatting check box.
Right click the first slide in the Reuse Slides panel and select Insert All Slides.
Save the new presentation and republish.

You are also welcome to package up your files and send them to support for review as well.



Thank you for the follow-up Leslie. Yes, I did these steps and a few things are happening:

1. The new presentation fails to display some swf files I had inserted as movies.

2. I had a graphic with several hyperlinks, branching it to other slides to simulate pop-up boxes. That functionality got all wonky and jumps to the wrong slides or, in some cases, just does nothing.

3. My project was built from a template with a set of master slides, but when I import the existing slides into the new presentation, it only brings those master slides which are used in this presentation – not the additional master slides whose layouts I may want to use/apply.

So…if that’s the only solution, it looks like I may just have to live with the duplicate text placeholders. That’s the better tradeoff, although definitely not a good situation.

Thank you for your help,


Seth Williams

I have had this issue recently on the first presentation I created with the PPT plug-in. All I knew was that PPT was creating an empty content placeholder on slides with my content and that the placeholder could not be deleted. As more slides 'acquired' the placeholder, PPT began running extremely slowly - to the point of being unworkable.

I sent it to CS and they identified the issue. It wasn't that the placeholder couldn't be deleted, it was that each slide had several of them. When I deleted one, it just showed the next one underneath, hence I though they weren't being deleted. The CS agent showed me how to use the Selection Pane on PPT in order to see all of the placeholders at once and delete them wholesale. PPT began running smoothly, again, after the CS deleted 15-30 placeholders per slide. As I began working on the presentation again, more content placeholders were spontaneously appearing. Each slide would generate 4-7 per pass. If I ignored them for awhile, a slide could quickly acquire 15-30 of them. This became a tedious maintenance issue with that presentation.

The CS agent didn't propose a cause or a permanent solution. I decided that the issue was one with the original PPT. I had been using that one for years, with dozens of edits, and an Office revision thrown in. I figured that the issue was an issue with an old 'legacy' template, or something, so I decided to start with a "fresh" PPT with my next presentation.

I didn't import any old content for the next presentation, I just printed the old presentation and then typed everything into the new PPT. I did this on my laptop at home, working on the presentation for about a month. 41 sides, all fully narrated, with 2-12 pictures per slide, pictures animated to time with the narration, no issues. Then, I transferred the PPT to my work computer (the one I had worked on the first presentation on) and after an hour of finalizing timings and such, the PPT began to acquire the content placeholders. Every fourth slide or so would generate 4-7 of them on its own with each pass. So clearly, the issue wasn't an old PPT with a legacy template.

I have the same OS and versions of Office and Articulate on my laptop as I do on my work I'm not sure what the issue could be. I will definitely be finalizing my third presentation on my laptop as far as I can before transferring it to work, at least until I hear about a permanent fix for the work computer.