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How to create a custom PowerPoint template to use or share with others

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/10/2020 insider@insider.com (Melanie Weir)
a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer: It's possible to create a PowerPoint template in a few simple steps. Westend61/Getty Images © Westend61/Getty Images It's possible to create a PowerPoint template in a few simple steps. Westend61/Getty Images
  • You can create your own PowerPoint templates, which you can then open later and use.
  • To create a PowerPoint template, create a new presentation and edit it however you like, and then save it as a "Powerpoint Template."
  • Making a PowerPoint template can save you time if you make many similar slideshows.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you use PowerPoint often, and there isn't an available template for the type of presentation you normally make, you probably wish that there were.

As it turns out, though, that's an option — you can actually make your own PowerPoint template at any time, so that when you want to make a similar presentation again, all you have to do is open the template.

Once you make your PowerPoint template, you can even share it with colleagues, and make everyone's life a little easier.

Here's how to create your own template in Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac or PC.

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How to create a PowerPoint template

First, you have to create the template that you want. Here's some tips on how to meaningfully set up a template.

1. Open PowerPoint on your Mac or PC and open a new, blank presentation.

2. Click "Design" at the top of the window, and choose a slide size and a theme. If you'd like, you can customize your theme using the Format Background button on the right.

a screenshot of a social media post: You can start with a number of basic design options. Melanie Weir/Business Insider © Melanie Weir/Business Insider You can start with a number of basic design options. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

3. Next, go to the "View" tab and select "Slide Master." Doing this will allow you to view your master slide at all times, and use it to create other slides.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Open the Slide Master. Melanie Weir/Business Insider © Melanie Weir/Business Insider Open the Slide Master. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

4. From here, you can edit any number of things about your PowerPoint. Play around with the different buttons and settings until you find a look that you like for your presentation. 

One important thing to know how to do, though, is add a placeholder for an image, chart, or other piece of media you may need.

To add a placeholder, go to the Slide Master tab and click the button labeled "Insert Placeholder." Select a type from the dropdown menu, then use your cursor to click and drag the placeholder to the spot you want it.

a screenshot of a cell phone: To add a placeholder, choose a placeholder type, and click and drag to create it. Melanie Weir/Business Insider © Melanie Weir/Business Insider To add a placeholder, choose a placeholder type, and click and drag to create it. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

Once you've finished creating your template and are satisfied with its design and functionality, it's time to save it.

To save your template on a PC:

1. Go to "File" and click "Save As" (or, if you're using Office 365, "Save A Copy"), and click "Browse" to pick a place to save it.

a screenshot of a cell phone: When you're done, save the file. Melanie Weir/Business Insider © Melanie Weir/Business Insider When you're done, save the file. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

2. Click the dropdown menu next to "File Type" in the pop-up, and from the list, select "Powerpoint Template." When you do this, PowerPoint will automatically change the save location to the appropriate folder for you. 

3. Give it whatever name you like, then click "Save."

a screenshot of a cell phone: Save the file as a template, instead of a slideshow. Melanie Weir/Business Insider © Melanie Weir/Business Insider Save the file as a template, instead of a slideshow. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

To save your template on a Mac:

1. Click "File" at the top of the screen, and then click "Save as Template..."

2. In the pop-up that appears, choose a name for the template and set where you'd like it to be saved. By default, it'll be saved in a folder reserved for PowerPoint files.

3. Next to "File Format," click "PowerPoint Template (.potx)." If your presentation contains macros (if you don't know what this means, chances are you don't have any), select "PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Template (.potm)" instead.

4. Click "Save."

To use your template the next time you open PowerPoint, just open the template file, or select your template from the list when you open PowerPoint. You may need to click a tab labeled "Personal."

 

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