MS PowerPoint

Removing Slide Master Elements from a Single Slide

In PowerPoint, you cannot remove the Slide Master from a single slide as it is an integral part of the presentation's design and layout. The Slide Master controls the overall formatting and style for all slides in the presentation, and removing it would affect the entire slide deck.

However, you can remove specific elements from a single slide that are inherited from the slide master. This allows you to customize the content on that slide without affecting the rest of the presentation. Here's how you can do it (Applies to PowerPoint 2007 and later:):

  1. Select the slide from which you want to remove the Slide Master elements.
  2. Select the elements on the slide that you want to remove or modify. These may include placeholders for the title, content, date, page numbers, background graphics, or any other objects inherited from the Slide Master.
  3. Press the Delete key on your keyboard to remove the selected element from the slide. This action will only remove the element from the current slide and will not affect the Slide Master or other slides in the presentation.

By removing or modifying elements (see Customize the Background of a Single Slide) from a single slide, you retain the Slide Master settings for the rest of the presentation, but you have the flexibility to customize individual slides as needed.

For previous versions (e.g. Excel 2003)

You can have the slide number appear on every slide except one. You might need to do this if one slide includes a big chart, for example, and you need every square inch of slide space to hold it. You might think that you could select the slide number placeholder on a single slide and press the Delete key to remove it. If you try it, however, you'll see that this approach doesn't work.

In fact, removing elements of the Slide Master from an individual slide is an all-or-nothing proposition: You get all of them, or you get none of them. This can be particularly vexing when the design you've chosen includes a graphic object and most of the designs included with PowerPoint include graphics or when you have a graphic element, such as a logo, that's supposed to appear on all slides.

To remove all the Slide Master elements (except the Title Area placeholder and Object Area placeholder) from a single slide:

  1. Select the slide.
  2. Choose Format, Background.
  3. Select the Omit Background Graphics from Master check box.
  4. Click Apply.

Note: Do not click Apply to All. Doing so will remove all the elements from all the regular slides in your presentation.

If this method is too drastic you want to remove only one element, for example, on just one slide you can cover the element up, instead of removing it:

  1. Create a small rectangle by clicking the Rectangle icon on the Drawing toolbar.
  2. Make the rectangle just slightly larger than the Master Slide element you want to eliminate. If you need to adjust the size in finer increments than the tool normally allows, press the Alt key while making the adjustments.
  3. Drag the rectangle over the Master Slide element.
  4. Click the down arrow next to the Fill Color icon. There should be a color very close to the background color available at the beginning of the first or second line of color swatches. Choose the color closest to the background color.
  5. Click the down arrow next to the Line Color icon. Choose the same color you just chose for the fill color, or choose No Line.

If you match the colors carefully, your audience will never know.

To accomplish the same trick on multiple slides, even those with fancy multi-colored backgrounds, make a copy of the master slide, remove the element from the copy, and then use this master for the slides where you want the one element removed.