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How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

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You can change the default theme to a theme that is included with PowerPoint or a theme that you’ve created yourself.

Change the default theme

If you haven’t already, create and apply the theme that you want to set as the default.

For more information about creating a theme, see Create your own theme in PowerPoint.

Note: You must save a presentation before you can set the theme as the default.

On the Design tab, click the arrow under Themes, point to the theme you want to set as default, and then Ctrl+click.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Click Set as Default Theme.

The next time that you open a new presentation, it will open with the theme that you set as the default.

Change the default theme

If you haven’t already, create and apply the theme that you want to set as the default.

For more information about creating a theme, see Create your own theme in PowerPoint.

On the Themes tab, under Themes, click the arrow next to Save Theme, and then click Set Current Theme as Default.

The next time that you open a new presentation, it will open with the theme that you set as the default.

Revert the default theme to the Office theme

On the Themes tab, under Themes, click the arrow next to Save Theme, and then click Reset Default to White Theme.

Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He’s currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese. Read more.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Microsoft PowerPoint allows users to set a custom template as the default theme when creating a new presentation. This provides a way for users to immediately start building a slideshow using a template specially designed for them.

Create a Custom Template

Creating a custom template in PowerPoint is quite easy. To get started, go ahead and open a blank PowerPoint presentation. You can do so by opening PowerPoint, selecting “New” in the left pane, and then selecting “Blank Presentation” from the template library.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Now, with your blank presentation ready, go ahead and select the slide orientation and size, which you can do by choosing the “Slide Size” option in the “Customize” group of the “Design” tab.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Once you’re finished with that, it’s time to open PowerPoint’s Slide Master, which is where the rest of the customization will take place. To access the slide master, click on the “View” tab and select “Slide Master” in the “Master Views” group.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

The Slide Master will appear in the left pane. Here, you can customize the fonts, headings, colors, text and image box placement, and more.

Once you’re happy with your setup, save your template and exit out of PowerPoint. After that, it’s time to set it as the default template that PowerPoint opens with.

Set a Custom Template as the Default

To set your custom theme as the default, open PowerPoint, select “New” in the left pane, and then click the “Custom” tab.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Next, select the “Custom Office Templates” option.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Your custom templates will appear. Select the one you want to make the default template.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

A new window will appear, giving you a preview of the template and some basic information (if you input any). Click the “Create” button.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Next, head over to the “Design” tab and select the “More” arrow in the “Themes” group.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

A list of themes will appear. Right-click your custom theme and then select “Set as Default Theme” from the drop-down menu.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Now, the next time you open PowerPoint, it will automatically begin with this theme.

If you want to use a template you’ve saved for your next presentation, here’s how.

On the File tab, click New.

Select Personal or Custom. (The name varies, depending on circumstance.)

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpointNew, select the Personal option to see your personal templates” loading=”lazy”>

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpointNew, select the Custom option to see your personal templates” loading=”lazy”>

Tip: If you don’t see Personal or Custom then you probably don’t have any templates stored in your templates folder. Create and save one, or use the steps in the next section to copy a template to that folder.

Double-click your template and a new presentation will open with your template applied to it.

Got a custom template you want to use in PowerPoint?

Did you receive a template, via download, email, or other method, that you’d like to add to PowerPoint? Copy or save your template (.potx) file to the Templates folder at:

C:\Users\ UserName> \Documents\Custom Office Templates\

Important: Replace with your username.

Import existing slides into your new presentation

Open the file that contains the existing slides.

Click the thumbnail pane and then select the slides you want:

Select all slides: Ctrl+A

Select a subset of the slides: Ctrl+click

Copy the slides (Ctrl+C).

Switch to the new file, right-click the thumbnail pane, and under Paste Options select Use Destination Theme:

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

All the copied slides are inserted in the new presentation.

Set your template as a default option

You can mark your personal template to be an option on the default Featured tab. Here’s how:

Repeat the first two steps from the first procedure above.

Right-click your template and select Pin to List.

I would like to designate MyFile.potx as the default PowerPoint template. How do I do this? I am using the version that comes with Office 365, and the instructions I found online for other PowerPoint versions (2013, 2016) don’t seem to work. I am using Windows 10 and am not an administrator of the Office 365 setup, just a user.

For example, when creating a New presentation, there is no ‘Personal’ or ‘Custom’ choice in my version of PowerPoint:

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

(Here is what I see when I follow @harrymc’s suggestion in his answer. It is the bottom of the dropdown menu under the left pane under Design. ‘Browse for Themes’ is at the end.) How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

4 Answers 4

When creating a New presentation, there is no ‘Personal’ or ‘Custom’ choice in my version of PowerPoint

This was the problem that brought me to this question. Using PowerPoint for Office 365, I had a provided potx file and placed it correctly into C:\Users\ \Documents\Custom Office Templates\ , but could not get the option for Personal templates to show where the documentation and screenshots in this thread said it should be showing.

The fix was to open the template file itself and re-save it with my Office 365 version of PowerPoint. The template was likely created with a previous version of PowerPoint.

After re-saving and making sure the newly saved version is in the Custom Office Templates folder, I was able to see a Personal section when creating a New file.

Once we’re happy with our template, we can set it as default for all new presentations. The method of doing this is a little unorthodox but still quite easy.

To explore more Kubicle data literacy subjects, please refer to our full library.

The goal of this lesson is to adjust the default presentation template in PowerPoint.

By default, the standard Office template is used when you create a new presentation in PowerPoint. To adjust this, you first open the presentation that we want to use as the default. You should delete all slides except the title slide, and delete all content from the title slide. We then save the template as a PowerPoint template file, with the name Blank.potx. This specific name indicates the file to be used as the default template in PowerPoint.

To revert to the default Office template, you simply need to delete the Blank.potx file. If you have difficulty locating this file, then you can identify the location by attempting to save the template again, and copying the filepath at the top of the Save As window. You can then paste this filepath into Windows Explorer to find the location of the Blank.potx file. Deleting this file reverts the default template to the standard Office template.

When you’re happy with your custom template, you may want to set it as the default for all new presentations. Currently, when I click File, and then go to New, the old Office theme is the default blank presentation. To set this to the Zippy template is quite straightforward. I’ll first close this new presentation.

On the title slide, I’ll delete the image and the two text boxes, to just leave the placeholders. And I’ll delete all the remaining slides. To do this quickly, select the first slide you’d like to delete, skip to the bottom, and then hold Shift, and select the last slide. And this will select slides two to seven. Then press Delete to remove.

I’ll then go to File, and Save As, PowerPoint Template.

And I’ll call this template Blank.potx, and save it.

When you create a file that’s called Blank.potx, this tells Microsoft you want to use this file as your new default template. When I now create a new presentation in PowerPoint, you can see that our Zippy Airways template has become the new default.

If you want to switch back to the old Microsoft default at any point, you just delete the Blank.potx file. This can be a little tricky, because the location of the file can be hard to find. The easiest way is to try and save the template again.

And up at the top, click on the Folder icon on the left, and then copy the path to this folder. And I’ll do this with Control + C.

I’ll then cancel, open up a new window, and paste in the path I copied earlier.

Now I simply close the two documents behind, and delete the blank file.

Now, when I open up a new presentation, you’ll see that we’re back to the original template again.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Target audience and introduction

This article is for users and IT administrators. In the first part, we’ll show users how to set the default template on their PC. In the second part, we’ll show how IT admins can deploy the default template to PC users across their organisation. For Mac users, refer to the section at the end of this article.

The default template in PowerPoint is a special file. It is the template that it used to create the blank presentation you see each time you start PowerPoint. In organisations with their own template, it saves a lot of time if that template is presented to users each time PowerPoint starts. Somewhat confusingly, the default template is called blank.potx and it resides in the user’s documents area here:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates

The %appdata% part is an alias (or shortcut) which resolves to a unique user location on every PC. For example:

C:\Users\JohnSmith\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

This special location for blank.potx should not be confused with the separate location for custom (aka personal) templates which may be the same location or one of these:

C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Custom Office Templates

It may also be a completely different location since it can be set by the user in the backstage under File / Options / Save as shown below (for PowerPoint 2016)

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

How users can set the default template

Setting the default template requires two things:

  1. The right file name : default.potx
  2. The right location : %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates

To set the default template

  1. Start PowerPoint
  2. Open the POTX template you want to set as the default
  3. Click File / Save As
  4. Click the file type drop down and select PowerPoint Template (*.potx). This will automatically change the folder location to your personal templates folder. DO NOT SAVE It HERE!
  5. Now click More options… (PowerPoint 2016) which will open a file dialog name and replace the file name with %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates and hit return
  6. You should now see a folder that contains the file blank.potx
  7. You can optionally make a backup up of that file by selecting it, pressing Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V
  8. Click the blank.potx file and then click the Save button to overwrite it
  9. Close PowerPoint
  10. Start PowerPoint to confirm your default template has changed

IT admins deployment of the default template

There are several methods but by far the easiest is to use an xcopy command in a logon script file. This is the simplest example:

You can then add command line switches as required. For example, to suppress UI messages:

This can be extended to an enhanced script file that reports the success or failure of the xcopy process. Copy the following script to a batch file eg. setDefPOTX.bat, changing the serverFile value, and then run it in the user logon sequence:

PowerPoint:mac users

Things are slightly different on the Mac. There is no blank.potx but there is the concept of a Default Theme.thmx file. You can create a thmx file by saving your template from PowerPoint 2016(PC) or PowerPoint:mac 2011 but not PowerPoint:mac 2016. Click File / Save As and select the file format from the format drop down.

To set it as the default, save the file in the corresponding location according to your version of PowerPoint:

PowerPoint:mac 2016

/Users/username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Themes/Default Theme.thmx

PowerPoint:mac 2011

/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Themes/Default Theme.thmx

Note that in both of these cases, access to the Library folder on OSX is gained in Finder by clicking Go from the menu bar whilst holding down the alt key.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Microsoft PowerPoint allows users to set a custom template as the default theme when creating a new presentation. This provides a way for users to immediately start building a slideshow using a template specially designed for them.

Create a Custom Template

Creating a custom template in PowerPoint is quite easy. To get started, go ahead and open a blank PowerPoint presentation. You can do so by opening PowerPoint, selecting “New” in the left pane, and then selecting “Blank Presentation” from the template library.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Now, with your blank presentation ready, go ahead and select the slide orientation and size, which you can do by choosing the “Slide Size” option in the “Customize” group of the “Design” tab.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Once you’re finished with that, it’s time to open PowerPoint’s Slide Master, which is where the rest of the customization will take place. To access the slide master, click on the “View” tab and select “Slide Master” in the “Master Views” group.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

The Slide Master will appear in the left pane. Here, you can customize the fonts, headings, colors, text and image box placement, and more.

Once you’re happy with your setup, save your template and exit out of PowerPoint. After that, it’s time to set it as the default template that PowerPoint opens with.

Set a Custom Template as the Default

To set your custom theme as the default, open PowerPoint, select “New” in the left pane, and then click the “Custom” tab.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Next, select the “Custom Office Templates” option.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Your custom templates will appear. Select the one you want to make the default template.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

A new window will appear, giving you a preview of the template and some basic information (if you input any). Click the “Create” button.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Next, head over to the “Design” tab and select the “More” arrow in the “Themes” group.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

A list of themes will appear. Right-click your custom theme and then select “Set as Default Theme” from the drop-down menu.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Now, the next time you open PowerPoint, it will automatically begin with this theme.

Start each new PowerPoint presentation with your own custom template

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Sam Edwards / Getty Images

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If you create presentations as part of your job, your presentations follow your company’s style guide and use your company colors, fonts, and logo. You could edit a PowerPoint design template each time you create a new presentation. But, what if you must always be consistent? The answer is to create a new default design template. With your own template, each time you open PowerPoint, your customized formatting is front and center.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Save the Original Default Template

Before you make any changes, make a copy of the original default template.

For PowerPoint for Windows

Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation using the Blank Presentation template.

Choose File > Save As.

Select This PC.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Enter a new name for the original template.

Select the Save as type down arrow and choose PowerPoint Template (*.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 Template (*.pot).

Select Save.

For PowerPoint for Mac

Choose File > Save as Template.

In the File Format box, select PowerPoint Template (.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 (.pot).

Create Your New Default Presentation

When designing your new default template, make the changes on the slide master and the title master so that each new slide in your presentation takes on the new characteristics.

Open a new, blank PowerPoint presentation, or if you have a presentation already created that has most of the options already formatted to your liking, open that presentation.

Before you make any edits, save the file with a different name and as a template. Choose File > Save As. On a Mac, select File > Save as Template.

Change the file type to PowerPoint Template (*.potx) or PowerPoint 97-2003 Template (*.pot).

In the Filename text box, type blank presentation.

Make any changes you want to this new blank presentation template. For example:

  • Change the background color.
  • Change font styles and colors.
  • Add pictures or graphics, such as a logo.

Save the file when you’re finished.

The next time you open PowerPoint and select the Blank Presentation, you’ll see your formatting in the new, blank design template. You’re ready to start adding your content.

Return to the Original Default Template

At some future time, you may wish to return to using the plain, white default template in PowerPoint. When you installed PowerPoint, if you made no changes to file locations during the installation, the necessary files are located in the following locations depending on the operating system:

  • Windows 7: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. (Replace “username” in the file path with your own username.) The Application Data folder is a hidden folder; be sure that hidden files are visible.
  • Windows 10: C:\Users\username\Documents\Custom Office Templates.
  • Mac OS X 8 or newer: /Users/username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Templates.
  • Mac OS X 7: The Library folder is hidden by default. To show the Library folder, in the Finder, select the Go menu, and then hold down OPTION.

Rename the new template that you created.

PPT Productivity PowerPoint add-in has 100+ time saving features. Manage Templates features let you quickly find all of your PowerPoint templates, even if they are stored across multiple locations. You can also set your PowerPoint default template for faster access.

Access all of your PowerPoint templates in a single location, and set your Powerpoint default template.

PPT Productivity’s Template Management features make finding the right PowerPoint Template (also known as Themes or your .POTX files) easy.

MS Office saves custom templates and themes in a different default location than where PowerPoint’s standard Office Themes are saved which makes it really confusing to find templates in standard PowerPoint!

PPT Productivity solves this problem by displaying all of your templates in the Template Manager (without changing the saved locations).

Click the New Template button or press the default template shortcut key (Ctrl+N) to open PPT Productivity’s Template management popup in PowerPoint.

You can also quickly access any template or presentation file as a new presentation. Template management gives you visibility of all your templates without you needing to relocate the template files. This includes:

  • Office templates, commonly in C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\
  • Office Personal templates, typically in C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Custom Office Templates, or OneDrive\Documents\Custom Office Templates
  • Your centrally managed Corporate Templates (from the PPT Productivity Corporate Gallery feature that allows you to centrally distribute your templates to all users)
  • Your Recently used templates
  • Your Pinned templates (which display at the top)

Note: Macro-enabled files and templates (.POTM and .PPTM) are not permitted as default templates by PowerPoint.

You can right-click any template file set as default in the Template Manager for shortcut options to easily Pin or Unpin, open its folder location in Explorer, or copy its path to the clipboard.

Establishing your PowerPoint template as the default option allows it to be easily accessible to your team and propels efficiency. Communicating with your customers with a consistent brand voice and visual identity can support your growth. Whether you are in sales or marketing, keeping your approved templates a click away will ensure you utilize it. Plus, if you find it difficult to get your team to use your templates, this will make it just that much easier for them. In just a few steps, we’ll explain how to make your company’s template your default in PowerPoint.

What is a custom template?
A custom template in PowerPoint allows people and organizations to create uniform, on-brand slides. Through PowerPoint’s Slide Master, creators can easily apply headings, fonts, and colors to all slides. This is a great way to maintain slide organization and consistency.

How to make your custom PowerPoint templates accessible

  1. Create your custom template using Slide Master and save it as a PowerPoint Template (.potx). It will automatically be saved in the “Custom Office Templates” folder

2. Let’s set this custom template as your default when you open PowerPoint. Select “New” and click the “Personal” tab

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

3. Click the template you want to set as your default

4. In a new window, you’ll see a preview of the template. Click “Create”

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

5. In the “Design” tab, select the “More” arrow in the “Themes” group and a list of themes will appear

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

6. Right-click your custom theme under the “Office” section and select “Set as default theme”. Every time you open PowerPoint, this will be your theme

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of PowerPoint or you’re an experienced pro, making sure your custom templates are right at your fingertips will boost your efficiency and uniformity. In addition, take into account the size of your template as well. Large templates weigh down your files, so creating a separate library of slides that are not included in your base template can help simplify your template. Consider a slide library solution to manage slides that you want to share with your team but don’t belong in your template.

How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

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How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

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How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

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How to set a custom template as the default in powerpoint

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Learn to customize the default slide in PowerPoint. Stop wasting time recreating your preferred template every time you open a presentation.

Why change default Master slide in PowerPoint template?

Many times the design theme for your business presentations are dictated by your company. Your master slide is expected to look in a certain way to follow the company design protocol.

Let us say, your company’s slide master has title font as ‘Franklin Gothic Medium Condensed’ with size 40 and Calibri for the body of the slide. The master slide has a fancy banner to distinguish the title from the rest of the body. It even has a thin line at the bottom to separate the footer from the body.

The default master slide in PowerPoint is naturally blank. It has Calibri for both the title and body. The title font size is set as 44 by default.

What this means to you is – every time you open a new presentation you need to change the font setting in the master slide. You also need to stick the banner and the thin line in its position. This wastes a lot of time unnecessarily.

What if there is a way you could replace the fonts and design settings for your master slide once and for all and let PowerPoint open your presentation with your preferred setting every time you want to create a new presentation? Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? In this article we will show you how to achieve the magic in a simple step by step way.

Step 1: Change your master slide

Open a new presentation. Go to View -> Slide Master and change the setting of the Master layout slide.

Change the font styles. Add any design element you need till you are happy with the Master slide. Close the master slide by pressing ‘Close Master View’ on the top right corner of the PowerPoint ribbon.

Step 2: Save the presentation as a PowerPoint template

Click on the office button on the top and go to ‘Save as…’ option. Choose ‘Other formats’.

In the ‘Save as type’ column choose PowerPoint Template. In the file name enter ‘blank.potx’ and click on ‘Save’ tab.

Now close the PowerPoint. From here on, every time you open a PowerPoint presentation the slide master will be in the design theme you created just now.

If you want to change the slide master, you can always go to View -> Slide Master and change the master layout. If you want to reset the master slide in PowerPoint, go to View > Slide Master option once again. Change the settings the way you want and save as ‘blank.potx’ again. It will replace the earlier blank template with the new blank template. It is as simple as that.

Though the steps shown here are in PowerPoint 2007, you can follow similar steps in PowerPoint 2010 as well. The basic idea is to change the ‘blank.potx’ file in Microsoft templates folder.

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