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powerpoint templates and slide masters

Modifying PowerPoint Templates

Do you want to customize your PowerPoint templates? There are a number of ways to use PowerPoint tools to modify your templates. This is the first in a series of ďhow toĒ articles that will cover a number of easy ways to create templates that are uniquely yours.

Instead of searching for an industry related theme in a generic template design, you can easily add photos or logos that specifically represent your company or organization. (The abstract designs in PowerFinish templates are great backgrounds for this.)

For more information,  about slide masters, see customizing PowerPoint templates with additional slide masters.


Inserting Pictures in your Templates

Add a picture to a single slide or all your slides with a simple Insert/Picture command.  If you are in Normal View this will insert the picture on the selected slide. If you are in Master View, you can add the picture to all slides, all title slides or all text slides.
Just navigate to the location where your photos or logos are stored and select the image.

If you need help using Master View, see our tutorial.

insert pictures in templates

Where to find images

If custom templates are your objective, stock photography may be too general. But if you donít have the time or budget to hire a photographer, donít despair.
Perhaps your company already has the picture you need.  The images you want may already have been created for a company brochure or advertising piece. Look through existing marketing materials, if you locate an image you want to use, the original photographer should be able to provide you with a file you can use.  Make sure you ask about rights and any additional costs to reuse the images.  Donít assume that your company owns the images...ask first.

What image format?

PowerPoint accepts virtually all common image formats (see the complete list below).
However, just as most commercial PowerPoint templates are JPEGS...you will generally use JPEG or PNG for your presentation pictures.

Enhanced Metafile (*.emf)
Windows Metafile (*.wmf)
JPEG Interchange Format (*.jpg;*.jpeg;*.jfif;*.jpe)
Portable Network Graphics (*.png)
Windows Bitmap (*.bmp)
Graphics Interchange Format (*.gif;*.gfa)
Compressed Windows Enhanced Metafile (*.emz)
Compressed Windows Metafile (*.wmz)
Compressed Macintosh PICT (*.pcz)
Tag Image File Format (*.tif;*.tiff)
FPX Format (*.fpx)
Picture It! Format (*.mix)
WordPerfect Graphics (*.wpg)
Kodak Photo CD (*.pcd)
PC Paintbrush (*.pcx)
CorelDraw (*.cdr)
Computer Graphics Metafile (*.cgm)
Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps)
Macintosh PICT (*.pct;*.pict)


Transparency offers more options

transparent images float on your templates

  PNG - transparent                  JPEG - no transparency

Whenever possible, an image with transparency will offer the most options for your custom PowerPoint templates.
A transparent image allows you to move and float the image anywhere in your templates. Unfortunately, you will not always have a transparent image available. Fortunately, there are some options that will help you make a non-transparent image look more professional in your presentation.

JPEG offers high quality images when transparency is not needed.  But for both high quality plus transparency - PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is the clear winner.

professional custom presentations

Set Transparent Color Tool

powerpoint tool for transparent color

You can choose a color in your picture for PowerPoint to eliminate by selecting it with this tool. As you can see in the example to the right, the results removing white arenít great against a dark background. But it can sometimes be acceptable depending on the contrast of the original image and the color of the background you want to float the image against.

transparency in powerpoint


Customizing PowerPoint Templates with Additional Slide Masters

Thereís an easy solution to this dilemma if you are using PowerPoint templates from PowerFinish. Each template has at least one alternate slide background that is primarily white. Many of our templates include numerous alternate slide backgrounds. Template design sets and Presentersí Choice also include at least one primarily black alternate slide. These are particularly effective when you want to float an image that is not transparent.
PowerPoint 2003 lets you use multiple backgrounds inside of your custom template with additional Slide Masters.
In previous versions of PowerPoint, format/background can provide this same functionality. White image on white background (or black on black) can give the illusion that your image is floating on the slide.

templates with multiple backgrounds
templates with alternate slide masters

Next in the series...using PowerPoint drawing tools to customize your templates.

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