How to find powerpoint slides that don’t fit the template

If you have ever copied a Powerpoint presentation from an old compay template to a new one, you will find that any slides that have been altered even slightly from the template cause a new slide layout to be added to your template – it will be give the same name as the original with the characters 1_ prefixed.  You can see what I mean by pressing Cmd+Opt+1 to open slide Master View* and hovering the mouse over the slide layout.

This means that these slides (slides 10,30 plus who knows how many others in my illustration above) are not going to reflect any change made to the original slide master – which in my illustration above was called Two Content Layout.  Often this is now a big deal, but sometime it can cause all sorts of wierd re-arrangements of layout.

I needed a way of quickly identifying which slides had been copied across and not matched the new template.  The Microsoft super-unfriendly way of hovering the mouse over the slide and hoping the list of slide numbers would appear to totally inadequate and extremely inefficient. And just sooo frustrating.

So this is what I did to find the powerpoint slides that didn’t fit the template in four simple steps:

  1. Add a marker slide to the end of the template
  2. Select ALL the layouts after the marker slide
  3. Change the slide background colour
  4. Fix your slides by re-applying the correct layout
  5. Delete the erroneous layouts

Here are the steps in detail and pictures.

Step #1. Add a marker slide to the end of the template

This picture taken from slide master view says it all

Step#2 Select ALL the layouts after the marker slide

When you paste your slides into the new presentation, PP will add all of the imported layouts at the end of the list in Slide Master view.

Use Click -> Shift-click to slelect all the extra layouts.

Step #3 Change the slide background colour

With all the extra layouts selected, right click on one of the layouts to bring up the menu, and choose Format Background – I choose a colour like pink. Don’t make the colour too bright, you won’t be able to read your slides.

Step #4 Fix your slides by re-applying the correct layout

Now with the new background colour, your slides can be easiliy identified when you return to normal view.  Unfortunately, the process of re-applying the master to each slide is still time consuming, but is probably best done one slide at a time because sometimes things don’t go as planned when the template is re-applied, especially if you have had others edit the slides who pay no attention to which layout they use.

Step #5 Delete the erroneous layouts

Once you’ve been through your slides, you can go back to the Slide Master view and select all your coloured background layouts and delete them.


*Windows users may have to use this trick to get quickly to Slide Master view – it works on Macos as well. Stolen from this source

Holding the SHIFT key and clicking on the Normal View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will take you to the Slide Master View of your presentation

About RedNectar Chris Welsh

Professional IT Instructor. All things TCP/IP, Cisco or Data Centre
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