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Using the PowerPoint Design Templates

If we return to the basic Rational Real Estate presentation we worked with in the previous chapter, we see that it has had no design template applied to it.

Notice that the Design Templates that are in use in the current presentation are at the top of the Slide Design—Design Templates Task Pane, and more recently used designs (if you've been working for a while) are in the panel directly below (see Figure 2-1).

Figure 2-1

Figure 2-1 The Slide Designs in the Slide Design Task Pane are divided into those currently in use, the ones most recently used, and other design templates available in PowerPoint.

We can scroll through the available designs and apply one instantly by clicking on it, and it becomes the template for the entire presentation.

We can also click the drop-down arrow at the right of the design template thumbnail and get other choices, including Apply to Selected Slides—in this case, that would be the one in the preview window in Normal view (see Figure 2-2).

Figure 2-2

Figure 2-2 Clicking the drop-down arrow in the slide thumbnail of the Slide Design gives us the option to apply it to only the current or selected slide.

If we apply the design to the selected (or currently viewed) slide here, the effect is dramatic. Not only is a design applied to the slide's background, but complementary colors for lines and fonts also replace those that were in the slide before the template was applied (see Figure 2-3).

Figure 2-3

Figure 2-3 Applying a Slide Design from the Gallery changes the colors of lines and fonts to coordinate with the overall design.

In addition, if you scroll back up to the top of the Gallery, you see that the new design has joined the basic design as those that are in current use within the presentation.

So the good news with slide designs is that they quickly and efficiently convert one or more slides into color-coordinated packages, complete with common design elements in the background.

The bad news is that these packaged designs generally brand your presentation as just another PowerPoint slide show, and everyone has seen most of these designs a million times.

If you click the Browse button at the bottom of the Slide Design Task Pane, you can open the file folders for the various design templates (including those from previous versions of PowerPoint from which you may have upgraded) and find and preview even more packaged slide designs (see Figure 2-4).

Figure 2-4

Figure 2-4 Using the Browse button to open your actual template file folders provides an even greater selection of pre-packaged PowerPoint templates.

If you click on Design Templates on Microsoft Office Online (see Figure 2-5), you can download yet more packaged designs from the Office Assistance website (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT011153611033.aspx).

Figure 2-5

Figure 2-5 There are always new categorized templates available for download from the Microsoft Office Assistance center.

If you find a Design Template that suits the flavor of the presentation you are creating, then using the slide designs makes proceeding with your presentation a snap. The colors you have applied complement each other, and even if you add drawing objects, the lines and fills (or accents) will continue to be complementary according to the slide design's Color Scheme, which we will cover more extensively in a bit.

But my guess is that after you have familiarized yourself with some of the examples of corporate designs that are clean and reflect a corporate brand, you will want to learn how to create a set of more professional templates for your own presentations.

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