If you, like me, have been using PowerPoint since computers were boxes with with humming towers attached to them, then you may have forgotten a few little features that could make you life easier when making presentations, games, or even PDF worksheets for you classes. Let me give you a quick reminder of what you might be missing out on, so you can save time in the future.
The Slide Master function in PowerPoint can be found by selecting View –> Slide Master. Once selected you will see something like this on your screen:
The first thumbnail is the Master Layout (every time I type that I hear dramatic music in my head – dum da dum dum). Any changes you make to the Master Layout are also applied to all the slide layouts. You can also make changes to individual slide layouts by selecting them – those changes won’t be applied to all slide types.
Lets say you want a border to be applied to all your slides.
Adding a green border to the Master Layout adds the border all the slide layouts.
Now any new slide I add to the deck will have the green border. I don’t need to duplicate slides, or copy and paste the border from one slide to another. The border also remains consistent across all the slides.
Design Themes and Variants
When you select the Design tab from the ribbon, you’re presented with two main options – Themes and Variants as well as a Customise option and a Designer option. The Themes and Variants options can save you time when it comes to making your slides or worksheets look cohesive.
When you expand the Themes tab you will see something like this:
Each theme comes with a pre-set colour scheme and background look. When you select a theme it will be automatically applied to all your slides, and any existing elements you’ve added, like our green border for example, will be changed to match the new colour scheme associated with the theme.
When you expand the Variants tab you will have a number of options, including the Colour option.
Selecting a different colour scheme will change the colours applied to you slides. So, when I select the Slipstream colour scheme, the green border becomes red, and the lightning becomes green.
Choosing a theme, or colour scheme, will mean you’re presented with different options when you go to adjust the fill colour on shapes, or recolour images you’ve inserted into your presentation. This keeps everything consistent.
Using the Slide Master, and Design Themes and Variants features of PowerPoint are hardly high tech. Perhaps that’s why we forget they’re there. But, using them can save you time and effort while making resources for your students that look consistent and polished. They’re your secret weapon to getting work out of the way, so you can go enjoy the sunshine.