How to Use PowerPoint 2010 Templates

Synopsis: In this article we look at how to use templates in PowerPoint 2010. We also learn how to create templates from existing presentations.

A PowerPoint 2010 template is a sort of “blueprint” that can be used as the basis for some slides. In fact, a template is usually used as the basis for a complete presentation, and may well contain specific “patterns” for title slides, and for other slide types within the presentation. The features that are often included in templates are:


  • 1) theme features, such as colors and fonts
  • 2) slide layouts
  • 3) background styles.

Let’s see how to use one of the templates that is normally installed with PowerPoint 2010.

Start PowerPoint 2010. To create a new presentation, select New from Backstage View. You see this screen.

To create a new presentation, you can choose from the available templates and themes. The ones in the top row are mostly part of PowerPoint 2010, although some of them are specific to your installation. For example, My templates gives you access to any templates you’ve created yourself and stored in the location reserved for them.

Select Sample templates to try one of those.

Let’s select one of these “standard” templates. Let’s try “Contemporary Photo Album”. Select this template and then click the Create button on the right.

PowerPoint 2010 uses the selected template to create a presentation. In terms of the content you will be adding – such as your own photos – it is empty so far, but the slides that it already contains give you several options for the layout of the pages in your new album.

Let’s add a new slide. First, select the last slide of the presentation. Then, on the Home tab, in the Slides group, click New Slide. A new slide is added with a default layout.

Now locate the Layout button in the Slides group and click the arrow on its right.

What you see now is a gallery of available layouts for this template. Select the middle one in the top row. It’s labeled “Portrait with Caption”. Note how the layout of the new slide is changed to the layout you have selected.

Now let’s create a new template from this one. Let’s make the new template very similar to the one we already have, the only change being that it will have a widescreen (16:9) layout rather than the more traditional (4:3) layout.

To do this, we’re going to change the page layout of the slide master. Select the View tab. In the Master Views group select Slide Master.

Now select the Slide Master tab. In the Page Setup group select Page Setup. This shows the Page Setup dialog.

Click the dropdown arrow on the Slides sized for: control and select On-screen Show (16:9). Click OK. You should notice how the shape of the master slide changes when you do this.

So, we now have a presentation that is suitable as a widescreen photo album. Let’s save it as a template.

Click File to enter Backstage View and then click Save As. You will see the Save As dialog.

Change Save as type: to “PowerPoint Template (*.potx)” and change the File name to “My Widescreen Photo Album”. The dialog now looks like this.

To keep things simpler at this stage it’s best if you don’t change the folder where the template will be stored. By default it is saved in a folder that is set aside for storing your templates, and you’ll find them more easily if you keep them there. (You can, however, change the location of the folder that is used for this purpose if you want to).

Click on Save and the new template is saved.

Click File and then Close to stop working on this presentation.

Let’s use our new template. Click File and then click New. Select My templates. You will now see the New Presentation dialog, and one of the available templates is the one we just created.

You can select it, click OK and start to create your new widescreen photo album.


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