How to Apply New Template to Existing Presentation Slide & What to Do Next (PowerPoint 2013)

You will probably find these scenarios familiar. Scenario 1. You are in the midst of preparing a presentation for a project kick-off meeting with the client. Your division then blasts an email, requiring all project delivery team members to use the latest corporate template as part of the compliance process. Scenario 2. You are knee-deep in preparing a presentation for a project progress meeting with the client. The client then comes back to you and says “Please use our template instead”. What would you do in these situations?

If your answer is, to copy and paste your existing slides to the new template one-by-one, well, don’t! It is time-consuming and you are prone to making even more mistakes. I’ll show you how you can quickly apply the new template to your current presentation with these simple steps:

1.  Open your existing presentation slide.


2.  On the Design tab, in the Themes group, click the More drop-down arrow.


3.  Select Browse for Themes.


4.  Locate the template (with the file extension .potx) and click Apply.


5.  Your existing slide is updated with the new template.


Before you throw your fist in the air and yell “YESSS!”, hold your breath! You’re not quite done yet. The next step is to check and verify all of the slides are properly formatted after you have applied the new template. Depending on how you (or the previous author) initially created the presentation slide, some slides will not appear as you thought it would.

Check Your Slides!

Let’s take these slides as examples. Slide #2 has two columns of text, but you actually want it to be just one column:


The two text boxes in Slide #3 do not appear to have the updated font type, i.e. they appear as Arial instead of MetaNormalLF-Roman:


Slide #4, which is supposed to have a content layout, has changed to a divider/separator layout instead:


The reasons for these slide blunders are simply because there are custom text boxes used (in Slide #3) and the wrong slide layout is used (in Slide #2 and #4). Here’s how to fix it:

For Slide #2

In the thumbnails pane, right-click Slide #2 and select Layout. A gallery of layouts is displayed. The layout Two Columns is currently selected, which explains why the slide has two columns of text boxes. To change it to just one column, look for the layout with one column. In this case, select the 1_Title and Content layout.


The slide is updated with the selected layout type:


For Slide #3

A custom text box that is created by drawing the text box in individual slide is not the same as inserting a text box placeholder in a slide master. That is why the custom text boxes do not change when you select a different layout. In this case, you need to adjust the text boxes “manually”.

Select both custom text boxes.


On the Home tab, in the Font group, select MetaNormalLF-Roman.


Both text boxes are updated with the selected font type. In the background, you will notice the “Click to add text” content placeholder. You don’t have to delete this as it will not appear when you run the presentation in Slide Show mode. However, if you find it confusing, you can remove it.



For Slide #4

In the thumbnails pane, right-click Slide #4 and select Layout. A gallery of layouts is displayed. The layout Divider is currently selected, which explains why the slide appears as a divider instead of the usual content layout. To change it to content layout, look for the desired layout. For example, select 1_Title and Content.


The slide is updated with the selected layout type:


Make sure you save your file before exiting the freshly made-over presentation. Now you may go ahead and scream “YESSS!”, or do the Tom-Cruise-Signature-Couch-Jump (entirely at your own risk!)  :)

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