Tidy Templates

Now listen, I'm a talk show host, not a graphic artist. So how can I make sure my presentations look cool? Do you have a magic spell for that?

As a matter of fact, I do. It's a bit of magic called a template, which is a pre-made presentation design that lays out the elements for you. I have lots of different templates to choose from.

Wait a minute. What if I don't want some pre-fab design? Or what if I want to change a design I like and make it even better?! Are you going to stifle the artist?

Not at all. You can customize the templates as much as you wish.

What is a Template?
A template, also called a presentation design, lets you create a presentation without worrying about design elements. The template defines the color, background, and font of the slides. PowerPoint has many templates, which you can preview and select in the New Presentation window.

PowerPoint also lets you customize the templates. For instance, you can change the background color or typeface of a template.

Okay, you've told us how great these templates are. Now can you show us how to make 'em?

Creating a presentation using templates
When you launch PowerPoint, by default you are always presented with a new blank presentation as your starting point. To use one of the built-in templates PowerPoint 2007 has, follow these steps:

    1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, then click New. The New Presentation window appears.

Built-in Templates

    2. From the list of options, click Installed Templates. The built-in templates to choose from will appear. Click on one and you will see a preview of it.

Choose a Template design

    3. Decide which one you want, then click Create. The New Presentation dialog box will close.

Another kind of Template: Themes

In addition to the built-in templates, PowerPoint 2007 has many built-in Themes you can choose from. A Theme is a predefined layout with selected fonts, colors and style. Even though everything is already chosen for you in a Theme, you are free to change any of its elements.

Adding a Theme to your presentation is easy. Click on the Design tab. Move your cursor over the icons in the Themes Group and you get an instant preview of a Theme on your current slide. To see all the built-in Themes available, click on the down pointing arrow and a dialog box will open. As with Templates, there are more Themes you can get from Microsoft Office Online. Once you decide which Theme you want, just click on it. The Theme is now applied.

Pick a Theme for your Presentation

Once you have applied a theme, you can make changes to it if you wish. In the far right area of the Themes Group, there are controls that quickly let you change the Theme: Colors, Fonts, Effects. Click on the arrow to the right of one of them and a drop-down menu appears with all the options. By holding your cursor over an option, you get an instant preview of how it will look. If you don't like the options given to you, you can even create your own set of Colors and/or Fonts to apply.

Change a theme to suit you

Note: When you pick a theme, it is applied to all the slides in your presentation by default. This way there are no worries about any of your slides not being formatted like all the others. If you want, you can choose to apply a theme to only certain slides.

Quick Quiz