PowerPoint Templates

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According to Microsoft Office, a PowerPoint template “is a pattern or blueprint of a slide or group of slides that you save as a .potx file. Templates can contain layouts, theme colors, theme fonts, theme effects, background styles, and even content.”

You can use PowerPoint templates, including the default Office PowerPoint templates that come with the software, to jump-start a presentation and build slides that are consistent in appearance and easy to replicate.

New presentation: Default Office templates

New presentation: Custom PowerPoint templates

Download PowerPoint templates online

There are a number of places online you can go to download PowerPoint templates. Most of them are paid, but there are a few decent websites that offer free ones.

Here is a list of our favorite places to download PowerPoint templates.

What to do with PowerPoint templates

Whether they're default ones found in PowerPoint or ones you downloaded from a third party site, PowerPoint templates are not as intuitive as they seem.

In fact, many that you find online are misleading (they’re what we call “fake PowerPoint templates”) and a waste of your time.

So make sure you know what you’re looking for in the first place. Before you download a PowerPoint template, it’s important to understand exactly what a PowerPoint template is first.

Once you know the true meaning and purpose of a template, you can download free PowerPoint templates, buy PowerPoint templates, or even learn how to make your own custom PowerPoint templates.

Keep in mind that when building your own custom template, not only is there a recommended order for building templates, but there are also critical steps to take when sharing templates with others. Make sure you don’t skip those steps and end up shooting yourself in the foot.

Fixing PowerPoint templates

Now once you’ve got your template, you may find that it’s behaving strangely or that some things in your PowerPoint template aren’t working like they should.

There are a few key PowerPoint template tricks to solving nagging issues that inevitably come up, such as how to make titles All Caps by default, and why you should avoid deleting layouts in the Slide Master of your template.

Another thing to note about working with PowerPoint templates, is that they are often confused with PowerPoint themes and PowerPoint slide masters. While these three elements of a presentation are connected, they are all different and were designed with slightly different purposes in mind.

PowerPoint themes

A PowerPoint template, as mentioned above, is simply a set of guidelines for the design of a set of slides - i.e. where text, charts, and images should go on each slide. A template includes a Slide Master (or more) and a theme.

So the next time your download a PowerPoint template, or build one from scratch, make sure you know exactly what it is you’re working with. Do this and you’ll be light years ahead of most PowerPoint users who have never been told about the differences.

What's next?

Updated on August 5, 2018

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