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Slide Layouts

New Slide

To add a new slide, go to Home > New slide. You can click on any layout that fits your needs the best.

New slide

Change Slide Layout

If you decide to add something to the slide that is not in your current layout, you can change the layout. For example, the slide you are working on has a title and content. You decide to add an image to the slide, but the current slide layout does not have an image placeholder. In that case, you can go to Home > Layout and choose a layout with an image placeholder in it.

Change slide layout

Slide Master

You can also create custom templates using the slide master feature. This is very beneficial because you can add desired placeholders to your layouts. For example, if your layouts do not include an image placeholder, you can create a custom layout with the image placeholder.

Using Slide Master

  1. Go to View > Slide Master.
    Slide master in view tab
  2. Click on the Slide Master. It will show you all the slides that are related to the PowerPoint theme you have chosen.
    Slide master tab
  3. You can choose the theme, add a custom background, logo, add headers and footers, change fonts, add animations, add content placeholders, etc. This is the best way to change styles throughout the presentation.
  4. You can make the changes in the MASTER slide or the layout slides. Changes in the MASTER slide apply to all the layout slides. The changes in a layout only apply to that layout.
    Master and layout slides

Creating a Custom Layout with Placeholders

  1. In the Slide Master tab, click on Insert Layout.

    Insert layout
  2. Select the new blank layout.
  3. To add or remove the title, click on the checkbox Title.

    Custom layout title
  4. To insert placeholders, click on the little arrow under Insert Placeholder. You can add any placeholders to your layout.
    Custom layout placeholder
    If you create a layout with title, text, and image, when you use that layout in your presentation, you will be able to add text without manually adding a text box.
  5. You can also rename or duplicate your layout. To access these features, right-click on the custom layout.

    Rename or duplicate custom layout
  6. Once you have made all the necessary changes, you can close Master View. When you click on New Slide or Layout, you will see the new layouts you created.
    Custom layout in new slide dropdown

    Custom layout in layouts dropdown

Outline View

The outline view is the view of the presentation without any formatting. It includes the text of the presentation only. Screen reader users often use outline view to access the text. The example below shows why it is important not to manually add a text box or any piece of information to your slide.

The following image shows a slide with two text boxes: the first text box with a green border in the slide layout and the second text box with a red border added manually. The screen reader will not read the second text box (with a red border), which is manually added, so please do not add a text box manually. Instead, enter text in the placeholders in the slide.

Example of outline view

To access the outline view:

  1. Go to View > Outline View.
    Outline view tab
  2. Click on the Outline View. It should open another window with all the text content in the presentation.
    Outline view displaying reading order

As you can see, this view shows all the slides and the text content. If you look at slide 3, you can see that it only lists the text box that was part of the slide layout. It does not list the text box that was manually added. This is why it is important to add content through the text boxes in the slide layout only. You can also use this view to check the proper reading order.