Simple Ways to Edit a PowerPoint Master Slide

A PowerPoint master slide acts as a template that standardizes the formatting and look of all slides in your presentation. Making edits to the master slide allows you to quickly update every slide at once instead of having to manually format each individual slide.

Follow this simple step-by-step guide to learn how to access and edit your PowerPoint master slides with just a few clicks.

Open the Master Slide Pane

The first thing you need to do is open the Master Slide pane. This pane displays thumbnail previews of all the master slides in your presentation.

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and select the View tab
  2. Click on Master Views in the Master Views group
  3. Select Slide Master from the drop down menu

The Master Slide pane will now open on the right side of the PowerPoint window, displaying thumbnails of all master slides.

Edit the Slide Master

The Slide Master controls the default formatting for all standard slides in your deck. Any changes made to the Slide Master will apply to all slides using that layout.

Here are some elements you can edit on the Slide Master:

  • Background – Add a background color or image
  • Objects – Add reusable objects like logos, headers, footers
  • Theme – Change the theme colors and fonts
  • Placeholder sizes – Resize default placeholder boxes

To edit the Slide Master:

  1. Click on the Slide Master thumbnail in the Master Slide pane
  2. Click on any object or placeholder and make your desired changes
  3. Click the close button above the thumbnails when finished to save changes

All slides using that layout will automatically update with your edits.

Edit Layout Masters

In addition to the main Slide Master, you can also edit the individual Layout Masters. Layout Masters act as templates for the various slide layouts, controlling the placement and sizes of placeholder objects.

To edit a Layout Master:

  1. Click on the Layout thumbnail you want to customize
  2. Make any changes to placeholders, theme colors, background, etc.
  3. Click the close button above the thumbnails to save changes

Your slides using that layout will now reflect the updates.

Add New Layouts

You can create custom slide layouts by duplicating an existing Layout Master:

  1. Right click on a Layout thumbnail and select Duplicate Layout
  2. Customize the new layout by adding, deleting or arranging placeholders
  3. Give your new layout a name and click the close button to save

This new layout will now be available to use for any new slides you create.

Reset Masters

If you don’t like the changes you’ve made, you can always reset your masters back to their defaults:

  1. Click the Reset button at the top of the Master Slide pane
  2. Choose which masters and layouts you want to reset
  3. Click Reset Master Layout to confirm

This will revert any customizations back to the original PowerPoint design.

Tips for Editing Masters

  • Use subtle background images so text and content remains legible
  • Add reusable objects like logos, graphics or text boxes to quickly brand slides
  • Limit Master edits to formatting changes, not content, to avoid clutter
  • Be consistent with font choices, colors and effects across masters
  • Reset any layouts you aren’t using to keep the file size smaller