Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
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Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


build: techniques to build and visualise faster

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PowerPoint & its Layout

Logic: save yourself hours building slides and moving things around

If you are not regularly using PowerPoint Layouts, smack yourself on the fingers. Layouts contain Placeholders that are smart little thingies that hold your content. But they are placed on the slide in a regular and aligned format. The cool thing is that if you use layouts, you can quickly change your whole presentation via the Slide Master

So, fire up the Task Pane (they are available in versions earlier than PowerPoint 2002 via a different route), and let's have a look.

When you first load the Layout section of the Task Pane, you will get three groups: Text, Content and Other Layouts. The real trick with PowerPoint is to use these as often as possible. If you enter content into Placeholders, you can take advantage of other features such as Slide Designs and Color Schemes.


For example.

slide with full layout

I started with a simple Layout known as "Content". I click the little Image icon in it and insert an image.

image added


title added

But say I want to add a heading? When my image is already inserted, I simply select Title and Contents and everything is resized and realigned.


But if I change my mind about one section of content, I can simply delete, for example, the image and I get another option to reinsert content! Now, that is cool but it gets better!

In a presentation that takes full advantage of Layouts and Placeholders, we can start using the full power of PowerPoint Templates .

ready to add template

Our rather plain slide gets zapped with a Template.

template task pane

Which transforms it into this.


Notice that not only did the slide color change, but so did the text in the Title Placeholder, plus (there's always more!) the extra text box I inserted at the bottom changed! But wait, there's more!

We then go to the Color Scheme section of the Task Pane.

color schemes available

With one click of a button, the slide changes again.

color scheme result

Imagine you walk into a venue to give a talk and find the lighting not what you expect. You can change your whole presentation in a few clicks. And Color Schemes added to Templates allow you to get multiple variations of the same templates. But there's more! We haven't even touched the Slide master.

The bad news? well, you will kick yourself if you try to do this to an old presentation where you didn't use Placeholders. Also, you need to check each slide as added content such as custom text boxes will behave differently in some cases.

So, Layouts, Templates and Color Schemes are there to make life easy. Use them and spend the time you save fishing! By the way, whether the image is a flower or a prickle depends on whether it is in the garden or in your foot!





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