Save time with presentation masters in Slides

Edit masterYou know the frustration of incorporating a new logo into presentation decks with dozens of slides. Chances are you can cut your work exponentially by taking advantage of the master in Google Slides.

First, to access the master, click on the Slide dropdown menu and choose Edit Master. The topmost outdented slide is the actual master slide. The ones below it that are indented are called layouts. To see the effect of changing the master slide, insert a picture, for example your company’s logo. Be sure you have selected the master slide and not a layout below. You should see that logo now appear in that same position on every layout. Click at the top and rename it something more descriptive.


If you are working with a deck to which you’ve already added this logo manually to each slide, you will need to delete them. However tedious it might seem, you’ll never have to do it again! You should see the logo you added to the master appearing on each slide. Be aware of any graphics you use that might overlay the logo. Sometimes it’s a good idea to add the logo to certain layouts but not others.

Let’s create some layouts that use the logos and some that don’t. We’ll access the master again and cut the logo from the master slide. Let’s paste it on the Title and Body layout, positioned the way it was on the master. Now let’s duplicate that layout by right-clicking on it and choosing Duplicate layout. And, then delete the logo from this one. You may choose to rename it something like Title and Body No Logo. Now, also paste it on the Title Slide layout, a bit larger and more centered near the top.

On our title slide we now see the logo centered and on each of the other two slides, the correct layout applied for the content. Look for any new layouts you created at the end of the layout selections.

SlideYou can even duplicate the whole master if you like. It will create a copy of the master slide and all associated layouts. You can, for example, create one with dark backgrounds, better suited for a darkened auditorium; and one with no branding from which to create handouts, where the branding will be in the header and footer of the document or on a cover page. Access each new master from the arrows at the top of the master slide.

Make a copy of a presentation with the correct masters active, and use it as a template to create all new presentations. That way, you’ll always have all the layouts and backgrounds you might need. Now, when branding changes, all you’ll have to do is change a few items in the Presentation Master. Any new presentations you make from them will automatically adopt the new look. Keep the names of your layouts consistent, so that Slides can easily replace the new elements.


If your administrator has activated organizational custom templates, another good practice is to include a slide in yours that describes the presentation masters included and how they are to be used.