MS PowerPoint

Creating Multiple Master Slides

By default, every slide in a presentation has an associated set of up to four master slides. For most presentations, as we noted earlier, this configuration is perfectly adequate.

In some cases, however, you might want to associate certain slides in your presentation with a different set of masters than the standard Slide Master. For example, if you and a classmate or colleague are collaborating on a presentation, you might want to set up a "point/counterpoint" presentation, where your "point" slides all have one look, but your colleague's "counterpoint" slides are different. The main part of the presentation would flip-flop between point and counterpoint slides, with each set of slides showing a different graphics designon the point slides, a woman facing to the right; on the counterpoint slides, a man facing left. To create this design, you would establish one set of masters for the point slides, and another set of masters for the counterpoint slides.

To create a second Slide Master, use either of these options:

  • Right-click any empty space below the current crop of masters and choose New Slide Master from the shortcut menu (or, alternatively, choose Insert, New Slide Master). This option produces a completely blank master that doesn't incorporate any elements from the design you've used.

  • Right-click an existing Slide Master and choose Copy; then point to any empty space below the existing masters, right-click, and choose Paste. The new master slide is a perfect copy of the original, including design elements. For the new slide, PowerPoint adds a number and an underscore to the beginning of the name; if your presentation uses the Blends design, the new Slide Master is called 1_Blends Slide Master.

If you go to the trouble of creating and customizing master slides, take the final step and give each one a descriptive name. Right-click the master slide and choose Rename Master from the shortcut menu.

When you create a new presentation from scratch, all the slides are associated with one set of masters. If you want to use a second (or third, or fourth. . .) set of masters, you have to manually associate the slides in your presentation with the additional masters. The following steps assume you've already created a second Slide Master to use in your presentation:

In Normal view, click the Design button on the Formatting toolbar. This brings up the Slide Design pane. All existing master slides appear at the top of the Apply a Design Template box, under the heading Used In This Presentation.

Select the slides that you want to associate with the second set of masters.

Click the down-arrow to the right of the newly created Slide Master and choose Apply to Selected Slides.


Working with multiple masters can be a daunting and potentially confusing adventure, and we recommend it for experts only. For new slides, PowerPoint continues to use the original masters. If you change designs, slides created using the additional masters do not reflect the background, fonts, and colors of the new design.