Step 1 - What is the Slide Master ?
The Slide Master is the slide that controls the slide background and AutoLayout for all your slides (excluding title slides).
Any changes you make to the slide master will be automatically applied to all the slides in the presentation.
Anything that is added to the slide master will automatically appear on every slide in the presentation.
The slide master provides you with a general slide layout which will form the basis for all the slides.
It is often better to think of the slide master as more of a design grid that affects all your slides.
If you want a graphic to appear on every slide, you can add it on the slide master instead of pasting it onto each slide individually.
You can make changes to the slide master at any time.
Step 2 - Displaying the Slide Master
To display the slide master for the active presentation select (View > Master > Slide Master).
This will take you directly to the Slide Master (or Title Master if a title slide is active).
Another way to display the slide master is to hold down Shift and select the Normal button / Slide View button in the bottom left corner.
A thumbnail of the Slide Master in the active presentation will be displayed.
In most cases you will see two slides, a slide master and a title master.
Step 3 - What is an AutoLayout ?
The slide master contains two AutoLayouts.One for the title and one for the main text.
This defines the default formatting for your body text on all slides.
The slide master can contain any graphic or text objects that you want to appear on every slide.
The Slide Master includes the position and size of basic title and text placeholders; the background and colour scheme used for the presentation; and any font settings; colours sizes etc.
The slide master marks where the elements you use from the AutoLayouts will appear on your slides.
The two most important elements on the slide master as the Title Area and the Object Area.
The Title Area contains the formatting specifications for each slide's title, that is the font, font size, style and colour to use
The Object Area contains the formatting specifications for the remaining text and AutoLayout objects.
The Object Area also specifies the exact formatting for any bulleted lists or numbering including fonts, styles and levels of indentation.
Any additional text or objects placed on the slide will appear exactly as they are
Any slides which have had custom formatting applied will not be altered.
Step 4 - Closing the Slide Master
Any changes you make will be automatically applied to all the slides
When you have finihed there are a number of ways to close the Slide Master and return to the actual presentation:
1) Selecting Close Master View on the Master Slide View toolbar.
2) Select (View > Normal)
3) Select the normal slide in the bottom left corner
Step 5 - Things to Remember
PowerPoint applies character formats such as bold, italics, font size and font to entire paragraphs when you work in Slide Master view. You do not need to highlight the whole paragraph.
PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 allow you to use multiple slide masters in the same presentation.
Any slides where you have made changes to the text formatting at slide level will be treated as exceptions and will retain the custom formatting you applied to them.