How to Change Slide Layout in PowerPoint

PowerPoint slide layouts allow you to quickly arrange text, images, charts, and other elements into professional looking slides. Here’s a guide on how to work with slide layouts in PowerPoint to create polished presentations.

What are Slide Layouts?

Slide layouts in PowerPoint contain placeholder boxes and formatting for slide content like:

  • Titles
  • Bulleted lists
  • Tables
  • Charts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Shapes

They provide a starting structure so you don’t have to format everything manually. There are several preset layouts to choose from that work well for most presentations.

Slide Layouts

Some common layout types:

  • Title Slide – Contains a placeholder for the presentation title and subtitle. Good for the opening slide.
  • Title and Content – The most versatile layout. Has placeholders for titles, text, images etc.
  • Comparison – Has columns for making side-by-side comparisons.
  • Picture with Caption – Optimized for full bleed images with a text box.

Adding New Slides

To insert a new slide with a specific layout:

  1. Click New Slide on the Home tab.
  2. Select the desired layout from the drop down menu.

A new slide will be added to the end of the presentation using that layout.

New Slide Dropdown

You can also right click on an existing slide in the thumbnails pane and select New Slide to add one after it.

Changing Layouts

To change the layout of an existing slide:

  1. Select the slide in the thumbnails pane or slides view.
  2. Click Layout on the Home tab.
  3. Choose the new layout from the dropdown.

PowerPoint will attempt to map content from the old layout onto the new one. Some reflow or rearranging may be needed afterwards.

Creating Custom Layouts

Don’t see a layout that meets your needs? You can make your own:

  1. Switch to Slide Master view.
  2. Insert a new layout where desired.
  3. Customize placeholders, add text boxes etc.
  4. Save and close Slide Master view when done.

Custom layouts will then be available when inserting or changing slides.

Layout Design Tips

  • Use slide layouts consistently to reinforce structure
  • Limit text density – aim for max 6 lines x 6 words per bullet point
  • Sans serif fonts improve readability
  • Pick a maximum of two complementary fonts
  • Use high quality images that reinforce your message
  • Allow plenty of whitespace – don’t overcrowd slides

Common Slide Types

Title Slides
Open with an impactful title slide. Include the presentation name, your name, company etc.

Agenda Slides
Outline the key topics and flow early on. Helps audiences anticipate content.

Text Slides
Display key messages, data, conclusions etc in a scannable format. Use concise bullet points.

Image Slides
Use powerful imagery that supports your narrative. Pick full bleed photos for maximum impact.

Data Slides
Present key data visually in graphs, charts, tables, dashboards etc.

Quote Slides
Reinforce ideas using relevant quotes. Combine with an image of the author.

Call to Action Slides
Close by recapping main points and issue a call to action. Prompt audiences with clear next steps.

Final Thoughts

Slide layouts may seem like a small detail, but leveraging them effectively has a big impact. They allow you to arrange critical information in an intentional way that resonates with audiences. Start utilizing layouts purposefully to level up your next presentation.