Creating a Presentation from an Existing Template, Theme, or Presentation
PowerPoint lets you get a jump on your new presentation by starting with an existing template, theme, or presentation and then filling in your content. You can choose from the many templates and themes that come with PowerPoint, or you can go online and search for a specific template or theme that matches your needs. You can also reuse any of the templates, themes, or presentations that you have previously created. The following sections describe each of your options.
From an existing template
A template is a generic presentation designed to be used again and again. Templates help you crank out presentations quickly, because all the design work has been done for you. All you have to do is add your content: the text, charts, graphics, and other elements that convey your particular message.
Templates vary widely, but all contain predefined themes (color schemes, background images, title and bullet point layouts, and text fonts). Some templates contain additional format and design elements and even some generic or placeholder content. Some templates are businesslike, with sober colors and artwork; some are whimsical, with wacky fonts and brightly colored balloons all over the place. The template motifs you can find are nearly endless, which makes it relatively easy to choose a template that fits the mood and structure you want to create for your presentation.
PowerPoint gives you four different options for creating a new presentation using an existing template: Recently used templates, Installed Templates, My templates (templates you have saved yourself), and Microsoft Office Online. The option you choose depends on where you want PowerPoint to hunt for the template, as described in the following sections.
Recently used templates
PowerPoint keeps track of the templates you apply to your presentations and displays the last few in a list. So if you tend to use the same two or three templates to create all your presentations, chances are you'll find this option the easiest. Here is how to create a new presentation using a template you recently applied to another presentation:
- Select Office button> New. The New Presentation window appears.
- In the left side of the New Presentation window, make sure the Blank and recent option is selected. (If it is not, click to select it.)
- In the middle of the New Presentation window, scroll through the template thumbnails.
- Click to select the template you want to base your new presentation on. In the right side of the New Presentation window, a preview appears. Depending on whether the selected template is stored on your computer or on Microsoft's Web server, PowerPoint displays a Create or Download button, respectively, at the bottom of the New Presentation window.
- Click Create (or Download). The New Presentation window disappears. (If you clicked Download, then a Downloading Template message flashes briefly on the screen.) PowerPoint then loads the selected template into a new presentation it names Presentation1 (or Presentation2, or Presentation3, depending on how many presentations you have created since you launched PowerPoint).
When you installed PowerPoint, you automatically installed a handful of professionally designed templates, including templates that let you set up photo albums (Classic Photo Album and Contemporary Photo Album), corporate-style slideshows (Corporate Presentation), layouts for print publications (Pitchbook), animated question-and-answer tutorials (Quiz Show), and big-screen slideshows (Wide Screen Presentation 16x9). To use one of these built-in templates to create a new presentation, follow these steps:
- Select Office button> New. The New Presentation window appears.
- In the left side of the New Presentation window, click Installed Templates. Several template thumbnails appear in the middle of the New Presentation window. Click a template to select it. A larger version of the template appears in the preview area (the right side) of the New Presentation window.
- Click Create. The New Presentation window disappears, and you see a new presentation file based on the template you selected.
Instead of clicking a template and then clicking Create, you can save a step by simply double-clicking the template.
Each time you create your own template or download a template from Microsoft's Web site. PowerPoint automatically stores the template in a special directory on your computer similar to this one: C:\Documents and Settings\[Your Name]\Application Date\Microsoft\Templates. To use one of these templates to create a new presentation, follow these steps:
- Select Office button New. The New Presentation window appears. On the left side of the New Presentation window, click My
templates. The New Presentation window vanishes, and the New Presentation dialog box apppears.
PowerPoint stores the templates you createor that you download from Microsoft's Office Online Web sitein a special folder so that you won't confuse them with PowerPoint's built-in templates. To change how the template icons appear, choose from Large Icons (which makes the template names easier to read), List (shown here), and Details (which displays the date the template was created).
- In the New Presentation dialog box, select the template you want to use and click OK. The New Presentation dialog box disappears, and PowerPoint displays a new presentation file based on the template you selected.
Microsoft Office Online
Although lots of Web sites offer PowerPoint templates for download, you should check Microsoft's Office Online Web site first for a couple of reasons. One, Microsoft's templates are free and two, checking Microsoft's site is one-click easy, as described next. Because Microsoft lets its customers upload templates willy-nilly, the quantity and quality of the templates you find on its site can vary widely.
- Select Office button New. The New Presentation window appears. On the left side of the New Presentation window, under Microsoft Office Online, choose the type of template you are looking for, such as Brochures or Content Slides. Template thumbnails appear in the center of the New Presentation window.
- Click a template thumbnail to select it then click Download. A validation message box appears, letting you know that Microsoft is gearing up to check your copy of PowerPoint to make sure it's not bootlegged. (If Microsoft does not find a legitimately purchased copy of PowerPoint on your computer, then you won't be able to download templates.)
- In the validation message box, click Continue. Microsoft checks out your copy of PowerPoint. If it passes muster, a Downloading Template message appears briefly, after which PowerPoint displays a new presentation file based on the template you selected.
The rest of this tutorial shows you how to add text and change the look of your newly created presentation.
In this tutorial:
- Creating a Basic Presentation
- Beginning a New Presentation
- Creating a Presentation from an Existing Template, Theme, or Presentation
- From an existing (built-in) theme
- Choosing a Theme for Your Presentation
- Adding Text
- Adding More Slides
- Moving Around Inside a Presentation
- Adding Speaker Notes
- Creating and Printing Handouts
- Saving and Closing a Presentation
- PowerPoint 2007 File Types
- Running a Presentation