How to add company logo across all slides

This is a common requirement. If your presentation is “normal”, it is an easy task.
If it is “abnormal” it is a less easy task – but still possible.
Here is how you can Master the art (pun intended).


Important things you must know

The look and feel of ALL slides is based upon one boss and one subordinate. The subordinate is called the Layout Master and the big boss is called the Slide Master.

Slide Master controls all Layout Masters.

How to edit the layout master and slide master?

As an example, see this slide:


Go to View tab – Slide Master.

Unfortunately what you see highlighted in the left pane is NOT the slide master. It is the master which controls the LAYOUT of the current slide – which is Title layout. That is why, the highlighted master is actually the Layout Master. This is the subordinate. This one reports to the big boss – Slide Master – see the dotted line…

Slide and layout masters

Which one to use when?

If you want to change only one TYPE of slides – which means one kind of layout slides, change the Layout Master.

If you want to change / add something to ALL slides, use the big boss – Slide Master.

How to add a common element (like company logo)
to all slides?

You already know the answer. Go to the Slide Master and add the logo. When you do that, notice that all the subordinates (Layout Masters) immediately reflect this additional visual element. Of course,  you can change all kinds of formatting and positioning as well.


Not yet done. Read on.

Look at the logo. It is in FRONT of the title textbox. This will create problems if you have a long title in some slides. So put it BEHIND (Send to Back).

Ideally it should not interfere with existing placeholders by overlapping on them (either in front or back, either way it is not recommended).

Another option is to put the logo in a comparatively unused area of slides (right bottom corner, for example).


It is NOT professional to put a logo on all slides

This is what the current thinking is amongst graphic design professionals.

Does it mean that this article is useless? Absolutely not. The same concept can be applied to any situation where you want to change ANYTHING across all slides.

What if I don’t want that logo on a particular slide?

Obviously that has been thought of already. Go to that slide. Right click on an empty area. Choose Slide Background… Now choose the checkbox Hide Background Graphics.

That’s it.

Still not done. “Abnormal” Presentations

What is a “normal” presentation? A presentation which has only ONE SLIDE MASTER is called “normal” (I have coined this term). Most presentations are abnormal.

That means most presentations will have MORE THAN ONE SLIDE MASTERS!

Yes. So if you really want a common element across “really all the slides”, you must add that element to each of the slide masters.

Just scroll the master area to find how many masters you have in a given presentation.

What did I learn

I conduct lot of seminars and workshops for large, global (and local) customers. I have NEVER come across a presentation with ONE, properly designed Slide Master.

Due to repeated and long term copy pasting, masters get added (most often inadvertently).

Last month, while conducting a session for a global hardware company, I found a corporate presentation template containing 39 slide masters! Disturbing but true…

So what if you have an ABNORMAL presentation?

We will discuss that in another article. This one is already too long. Nowadays I am refining my approach by writing shorter articles. Let me know what you think about it.

Another thing we will discuss in a future article is how to OVERRIDE whatever is dictated by the masters.


2 Responses

  1. Though I was aware of the slide master and layout master concept, I STILL learned something new here – how to hide background graphics on specific slides. That’s the beauty of these articles – thanks, Doc!

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