Create a reusable template by saving a PowerPoint file as a PowerPoint template (.potx).
Provide instructions for users of your template
If you create templates for others to use, you can overwrite the text in the default placeholders by adding ‘custom placeholder text’, which describes or specifies the types of information that you want the users of your template to enter.
Click View > Slide Master.
In the pane that contains the slide master and layouts, click the layout that you want to add a text placeholder to.
Click Slide Master > Insert Placeholder >Text.
Use the mouse pointer to drag and draw the size of your text placeholder.
Highlight the default text in the placeholder and replace it with your own instructional text. If an unwanted bullet appears before your instructional text, click the Home tab, and in the Paragraph group, click the down arrow next to Bullets, and then click None.
Click Slide Master > Close Master View. If you edit a layout in Slide Master View, for example by adding instructional text, or some other layout-altering action, you must reapply the layout to the slides in your presentation when you return to Normal view. This ensures that the slides in your presentation will contain your most recent updates to the layout.
Save your presentation as a PowerPoint template (.potx)
To save your template, click File > Save As.
Under Save, click Browse. Save your templates to the Templates folder at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\to make them easier to locate.
In the Save Asdialog box, in the File namebox, type a file name, or do nothing to accept the suggested file name.
In the Save as typelist, click PowerPoint Template (.potx), and click Save.
Use slide masters to customize a presentation
Coho Winery has a presentation that showcases its premium wines, and every year they need to update it.
In the presentation updates, the wine details always change.
But certain other things in the presentation stay the same, such as these section headers, used for the wine categories.
For the wine descriptions, the subheadings don’t change, and neither does the basic layout.
To update the slides, it would be tempting to click File, Save As, save the presentation as a new one, and type over the old content.
But having to delete old content adds an extra step to the work.
Also, over time, inconsistencies creep in as various authors work in the file and incorrect formatting gets introduced.
A better solution for the Coho staff would be to turn this presentation into a template and use that as a master for presentation updates.
For the content in the template, you’d keep the formatting and text you always want in the presentation.
Where new content needs to be added, you could leave the area blank or use placeholder text as a guideline for authors.
You could include formatting, too, such as the frame style on a picture placeholder, to save an author time and help ensure consistency.
For the template, you’d want global design elements in place, such as a theme from the Themes gallery, or a background design.
And you’d open Slide Master view (click View, Slide Master) to make style changes to the master and to customize master layouts so they’re right for your content.
With all the design details and content in place, you would click File, Save As, and choose PowerPoint Template (*.potx) as the file type. Then click Save.
And here’s the beauty of a template: When you click to open the template file, it opens a fresh presentation that is based on the template.
So, to update the Coho Premium Selections presentation, you’d be starting in a new presentation file, not the template itself.
Yet, you’d have everything that’s in the template—and benefit from all the work that’s been done.
If you put the template on a shared site, your team can always find a current copy there and download it for their use, too.
Up next: To prepare the template, customize a presentation’s design and layouts.