Master Slides

I have a question about Powerpoint 2007. I am using Master Slides for several modules, that are individual modules (so like 7 files), all using the same design. If I change or add something to one of the modules Master Slides, what is the best way to have the change apply to all modules, without having to individually go into each Master Slide area and make the change?.I did create a theme that I am using over and over, however, I don't know if a theme affects changes to all Master Slides.  I don't really have the option to use a Slide Library, since I don't have Sharepoint (or that seems to be what it is looking for.)

I looked out on the web and could not find a real answer, regarding Master Slide reuse.

7 Replies
Louise Ward

I'm not a total expert on Master Slides, but when I need to use the same background/template on multiple slides, I just createa Master slide (within 'View' > 'Master Slide') and then apply that master to each of my slides as I create them using the 'Layout' option in the 'Home' tab. 

[You can highlight all your slides in the 'Slides' pane to the left, select the master layout from 'Layout' and that will apply the master design to all slides within your project.]

Then whatever you need to change on that single 'Master' slide should then display on every slide within the project where that layout has been selected.

I 'hope' that helps...

David Anderson

Hi April,

With your Slide Masters, are you create 7 "Masters" or "Slide Layouts"? Yeah, it gets confusing but most times, a single Slide Master with multiple Slide Layouts is used.

Think of Slide Master as the slide that contains the persistent objects across the entire slide:background graphic for example.

Slide Layouts are the "children" of the Slide Master and each can have its own properties--font styles, layout designs, but would share the same background image used in their parent Slide Master.

Can you post a screenshot of your Slide Master layouts you're using?

Here's a Screenr on using and working with Slide Masters and Slide Layouts.

Notice there is one high-level Slide Master with 10 Slide Layouts. Each layout can be applied to a slide. When the Slide Layout is updated, any slides using that layout will be updated. You shouldn't have to individually update each file unless you only have one Slide Layout applied to each slide.

Kat Fardian

Hi April,

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding but do you mean you have 7 different powerpoint documents and you have reused the same master slide in each one (i.e. copied a master slide from one to another)??? So if you change document 1s master slide then you need to change document 2-7s as well?

I'll use Dave's terminology from above. I can't think of a simple way of doing it. If you don't want to go to each individual slide layout and make numerous changes the best I can think of is coping the slide layout from one documents master slide to another and deleting the old. However you then need to make sure you update the slides that were using the old version. It may or may not be quicker than making the content changes individually.

If you have made changes to many slide layouts then you can copy the whole slide master (rather then the individual slide layouts) and just delete the previous slide master. But again you may need to update the slides to check they have the right slide layout.

Sorry I can't be of more help.


April Edmonds

Yes, the group I am building e-learning modules for wants individuals modules (7 of them) instead of them being complied into one module (makes it to large I think).  All using the same theme/master Slides.

So if you change document 1s master slide then you need to change document 2-7s as well? Yes!

Some one suggested using making a template file. So if I make a template and change it, will it automatically change all of the files?

Part of my issue, is that occasionally I'm finding little tweaks I need to do in the Master. Then I have to go into each module I have already created 7 times, to make that little change. So I was just curious if there was an easier way to change one, it changes all 7 files.


Kat Fardian

As far as I know when you make a template file as suggested by Shelly then when you create a new document from it you get the template design. But if you have a document which you have already created updating the template won't automatically update all documents which were created from the original, it will only give new documents the new design. I might be wrong though...

I get what you want to do but unfortunately I don't know a quick solution other than copying master slides from one to another. Sorry mate. Hopefully someone out there has an answer...