Edit master slides and layouts

When creating a presentation in Google Slides, you can choose from among pre-designed themes and layouts. You can also edit these themes and layouts, allowing you to use custom slide designs again and again throughout your presentation.

For a given theme, you can edit both the master slide and individual layouts:

  • Master slide — The master for a theme serves two purposes. Placeholders on the master contain the defaults for text styles used throughout your presentation. The background and any other shapes on the master slide make up the default background for all slides, regardless of their layout. If you have a company logo that you want to appear on every slide in your presentation, put it on the master.
  • Layouts — Layout templates determine how content is arranged on each type of slide. If you’d like all your title slides to look a certain way, for example, you might edit the title layout template.

Edit a theme’s master and layouts

Here’s how to edit the master and layout templates:

  1. Open a presentation in Google Slides. It can be a presentation you’re already working on, or a brand new one.
  2. Click the Slide menu, then select Edit master.
  3. The master template editor will appear. On the left side, you’ll find the master template, as well as all of the slide layouts — from “Title Slide” to “Title and Two Columns” — used in your presentation’s theme.

  4. To edit the master or one of the layouts, select it from the list on the left. Then, make any changes you’d like to the appearance of the layout or master. You can insert images, shapes, and other items, as well as change the formatting of text and shapes. The slides affected by the master or layout you’re working on will be outlined in yellow on the left.
  5. There are a few other things you may want to do while editing the master and layout templates:
    • Insert a new custom layout — To add a new custom layout to a theme, click the New Slide button. To rename a custom layout, right-click the layout in the list of layouts and select Rename layout.

    • Duplicate a layout — To duplicate a layout template, right-click the layout in the list of layouts and select Duplicate layout.

    • Delete a layout - To delete a layout, first select the layout from the master slides. The slides using this layout will be highlighted in yellow in the thumbnails on the left. Either delete the slides using the layout or change the layout for the slides. Then you can delete the layout from the master slides.
    • Insert a placeholder — To add placeholder text, click the Insert menu, select Placeholder, and choose to add a title, subtitle, or body text placeholder. A layout can have one title and one subtitle placeholder, but as many body text placeholders as you’d like.

      When you use a layout template in your presentation, any placeholder text will be replaced by your slide’s content. To add text that recurs across slides, add a text box rather than a placeholder to a master or layout template. You can insert a text box by clicking the Insert menu and selecting Text box.
  6. All your changes are saved automatically. To leave the master template editor and return to your presentation, click the “X” in the top-right corner.

The changes you make to the master template will appear in your presentation’s existing slides, as well as any new slides you add.

Learn how to import a theme from another presentation to save time and reuse a theme from previous presentations.

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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