In PowerPoint, a Master specifies the appearance of text (font, size, and color, for example), slide background color, animation effects, and any additional text or other objects that you want to appear on each slide or page. Each PowerPoint presentation has at least three Masters:

  • Slide Master: Dictates the format of your slides

  • Handout Master: Controls the look of printed handouts

  • Notes Master: Determines the characteristics of printed speaker notes

Each Master can contain one or more layouts on the slide. For example, a typical Slide Master might contain a Title layout and several Text layouts for various types of body text slides.

Any elements you add to the Master are also included in each layout that’s associated with the Master. For example, if you set the background color for the Slide Master, that color is used for each layout.

You can also add elements to an individual layout. For example, if you add a graphical elements to the Title layout it appears only on slides that use the Title layout.

Here are a few other points about Slide Masters:

  • Masters aren’t optional, but you can override the formatting of objects contained in the Master for a particular slide. This enables you to vary the appearance of slides when necessary.

  • PowerPoint allows you to create more than one Slide Master in a single presentation, so you can mix two or more slide designs in your presentations. If you have more than one Slide Master, a presentation will have more than three Masters altogether.

  • In PowerPoint 2007, title slides don’t have their own Masters. Instead, the format of title slides is controlled by a Title Slide layout that belongs to a particular Slide Master.