Last time we looked at the features and importance of Slide Masters, particularly as a template for creating consistency or making large scale changes across numerous slides through themes. Let’s continue exploring the amount of customisation you can get and how to use Slide Master to change themes, fonts, and colours in your document.

Font Theme

The Font Theme is located within the Slide Master of each document. Go to View, then Slide Master under Master Views. ​Creating and applying Font Themes is a simple way to help keep the fonts across your document consistent while making it easier change them all at once later.

Click on Fonts in your Home panel – the very first two fonts in the dropdown menu will be labelled Theme Fonts. Opening a new document will default to Calibri Light and Calibri. Theme Fonts will be what every text box defaults to, including the textboxes set in each new slide or new textbox you create.

If you plan on using a different font to the default, it can tedious since you’ll be manually changing the font constantly. To save you this hassle, create and apply a new Font Theme, and change them all at once. ​

Once you’re in Slide Master, you’ll find Fonts in the new Slide Master menu tab under the Background category. Click this to trigger a drop-down menu that will show you both the Font currently set, and other default presets. You can choose any of these, or create a new one by selecting Customise Fonts. ​

This will open a pop-up window where you can select Heading Font and Body Font. Heading font will change the Title textbox of each slide layout, while Body Font changes every other textbox in the slide layout and will be the new default for new textboxes.

Once you’ve selected a font for each, you can rename the Font Theme. which helpful if you’re planning on using this font combination again, as it will be saved as a preset in the Font Theme menu. ​If you wish to change it again at a later date, you can simply create and apply a new Font Theme, and any text that was linked to the previous one will automatically change to the new one. ​

Colour Theme

Sick of the default PowerPoint colour palette? You’re not alone – it’s been the same since we were highschoolers. Creating and applying a Colour Theme is a quick and easy way to customise the colours in your documents, help keep them consistent throughout your slides, and create a faster workflow. ​

If you go to any colour change setting, such as Font Colour or Fill Colour, the very first colour palette is what has been set as Theme Colours. The top row will be your primary colours. These are the exact colours that have been set as the Theme Colours. The rows below are a secondary palette; different variations of those colours, both lighter and darker hues, which can help you choose complimentary colours to the primary palette. ​

To change and set your own Theme Colours, access the Slide Master. Go to the View tab in the top menu, then Slide Master under Master Views. Colours is the first setting under Background. Click on it to open a drop-down menu of the current Colour and a list of preset colour themes. You can decide to select any one of these, or create your own.

To set your own Colour Theme select Customise Colours at the bottom of the menu. This opens a pop-up window displaying all the set colours in the theme. Pay attention to the order and labels of each colour.

The first 4 are usually set to Black, White, and Grey, and these are your default Text and Background colours. Since these colours are used quite often, it is usually recommended to leave these alone, unless you plan to change the default text colour to a colour other than black.

Be aware that all the default text in a PowerPoint document is set to this first black colour, so whatever you change this to will be reflected in every textbox in your document. Accent colours are listed below this.

To select new colours, simply click on the little arrow next to the colour you’re changing, then More Colours at the bottom of the menu. This will open a new window where you can freely select a new colour in the colour spectrum, or input colour values if you’re after a very specific colour. One thing to be aware of in Accent colours is that the order in which you place your colours will affect any graphs that you import into your document. If you look at the Sample preview on the side of this window, you’ll see a little bar graph as one of the examples. You can check how the order of your accent colours will affect graphs this way.

The last two choices are your hyperlink colours, which are exactly what they say they are. Any hyperlinks in your document will change to the colour you set, and after they’ve been clicked, will become the Followed Hyperlink colour. ​

When you’re done, you can rename your new colour palette, which can be helpful if use this Colour Theme again later as it will be saved as a preset in your Colour Theme List. ​

Any objects in your document that were set to the previous Colour Theme will automatically change to the colours in your new Colour Theme. If you want to change any of the colours again in the future, simply set a new colour theme. ​Colour palettes are valuable for tapping into audience psychology, particularly when used in food packaging.

Theme Creation

If you’re looking to use a pre-made template or want to save a template to future use, creating and applying a theme is the best way to go. A Theme encompasses both a set Font Theme and Colour Palette, but also pre-designed slide layouts; essentially a fleshed-out Slide Master.

A quick way to apply a new theme is through Design tab in the top menu and selecting from the library of Themes there. If you want to edit these, customise, or upload your own, head into the Slide Master. ​

Slide Master is in the View tab in the top menu, under Slide Master view. You’ll find Themes in the Edit Theme category in the new Slide Master tab. From here, select any preset Theme in the drop-down menu or click ‘Browse for Themes’ to use one you’ve downloaded. This can open and use any PowerPoint document or PowerPoint Template files. When you select a document, it will add the Slide Master of that document to yours. You will find it listed after your current Slide Master in your left thumbnail panel. Changing slides to the new slide master changes your slides to that theme across the board. 

If you’re happy with your own Slide Masters, you can set them as Themes to use again later. In this case, select Save Current Theme in the dropdown menu, which allows you to save the Slide Master as a theme file. You will now also be able to find it as a preset option in your dropdown menu. ​

PowerPoint’s Master Slide makes designing a more streamlined and convenient process. You can develop further shortcuts and PowerPoint hacks with ease, check out our Ultimate Guide to Custom Tools to design more efficiently and intelligently.