How to find master slides being used?

Sep 24, 2012

In the slide master if you mouse over any of the slides a pop-up shows how many slides are using the slide layout.  How do you find out which slides are using a specific layout?  I have some duplicate slides in my slide master and some of them are only used once by a slide.  I want to find that one slide and change the layout so I can get rid of the duplicate in the slide layout.

51 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi there Sarah,

It may not be the quickest method, but you can find the Master for specific slides. First, select the slide (in either Slide View or Story View), then right-click on the slide. Select "Layout". A new menu will open for the layout options. The Master that's currently being used will be listed here and the slide being used from that Master will be highlighted.

It should look something like this:

I definitely agree that a little more specific information from the Master itself would definitely be a great option. Until then, hopefully this information will help!

If you haven't already, you may want to share a feature request with us as well.


Geert De Rycke

Hi Sarah,

Our training courses are very modular. Each module is developed as if it were a separate training course. When we create a new full course we import all the individual parts into an SL-file. With this, all master-files are imported as well Some functionality is to be kept on 1 master slide. So we re-apply the master on all our imported slides.

The slidemaster we don't need we delete. Sometimes we forget to re-apply the master on a slide and can therefore not delete the master. To identify that slide, we change the background colour of the master slide we want to delete to, in our case red. When we then look at our course in course view, the slide stands out...



Brett Rockwood

Hi Debbie,

You can do the same thing with Feedback Masters. I put a big red X on the ones I want to get rid of. Then you just have to go through each quiz slide and check each feedback layer until you find the offending ones. It's kind of tedious and there should be an easier way but that's what I do.

Debbie Chaddock

Hi Charity!  I agree, and I took Brett's advice a step further. I added a dark red rectangle to every slide in the offending Slide Master set and Feedback Master set. It was much easier to hunt down the one or two slides that used the extra Master sets.

I guess in the end it's not a crucial issue to have the extra Master set; the project should run fine either way.  

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

I've seen a few discussions of users doing something similar to what you described Debbie. Additionally, if you look at importing the existing slides into a new .story file it should bring over only the slide masters that are actually in use by the slides you look at importing in. 

Again, an extra one or two slide masters shouldn't be causing problems in your project - so they'd be safe to leave alone. 

Kim Mason
Geert De Rycke

....... To identify that slide, we change the background colour of the master slide we want to delete to, in our case red. When we then look at our course in course view, the slide stands out...



There's no such thing as "an old thread"- great tips are timeless and here's an example. Thanks Geert.

Stacey LH

I also had this recently, i was trying to locate a slide that was using a master in a file I was given to update. However the slide master in use was completely covered by content (A WHITE SHAPE!) on the slide so even when I put a shape on the slide master I couldn't see it.  I got around this by adding a trigger to the offending slide master to show layer on timeline start, put my red shape on a layer instead and previewed the course..  That really worked a treat, I hope it helps someone.

Ellen Sullivan

In the slide master view, you can simply hover over the slide in question and it will show you where it is in use in the presentation (i.e., the precise slide numbers or if it's not in use). This feature may only now be accessible in Office 2016, but I think I've used it in previous editions.

William Osborn

Is there a potential bug with this? I have a slide master that states there are 8 slides using it. However, I have gone through all content and set it to another slide master. I also, put a large red square covering the entire slide master that states there are 8 slides using it and it does not show up in the content. Puzzled... 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi William and welcome to E-Learning Heroes :)

Sorry that you're running into an issue with this. Are you not able to delete a slide master and that's why you're trying to identify? I'm not sure of what the underlying issue is that you are seeing.

If you'd like to share the .story file so that we can take a look along with the steps to reproduce, we'd be happy to take a look!

David Steele

I recently found a solution to the impossible-to-find '1 slide' that used a particular Slide Master, even after going through every slide. A Draw from Question Bank uses the 'Blank' slide layout from whatever the first / top Slide Master is. It can't be changed, or even seen, at the slide level because the draw is not itself a slide. The solution is to delete the draw, then delete the now-orphaned Slide Master, and re-create the draw (which will now use the 'current' or top Master Slide blank layout. Hope this helps!