How to Create a Powerpoint Template from an Existing Presentation

How to Create a Powerpoint Template from an Existing Presentation

If you need to build a new Powerpoint presentation from scratch, you can minimize your work time by making a template sourced from a previous project. Creating a template from a finalized presentation is an efficient approach because it supplies you with a foundation to build a new project, without having to invest the extra time to create something completely new. There are a few ways that you can do this, but for a basic overview of how you can create a powerpoint template from an existing presentation, read the step-by-step guide below.

  1. One of the easiest ways to do this would be to simply open up the completed Powerpoint presentation from which you want to source your template. To do this, you first want to make sure that this presentation (whether it was made by you or someone else) can be sourced from your computer files or your cloud system. If not, download the presentation onto your computer and/or cloud and as soon as this is done, then you can start up Powerpoint, click Open and browse through the files or cloud drive to find your presentation. 

If you have recently worked on this presentation, you can also just find the presentation under Recent. Click on this and a list of the most recent presentations that you’ve worked on will appear.


2.Once your presentation is up, find the File tab located at the topmost ribbon, click on it, and scroll down to the option for Save as Template. When you select this option, you can save the entire presentation as a .potx file.

3. That entire presentation is now saved as a template, from which you can now open up a new Blank Powerpoint presentation, go to the New Slide option located under the Home tab, and select the downward facing ribbon adjacent to it. When you click on that, scroll down to the last option that says Reuse Slides and click on it. 

4. After you select Reuse Slides, a prompt will appear where you can browse your files for the presentation that you’ve just saved as a .potx file. 

5. Once you’d located that file, click OK and the presentation will open up after the first blank slide in your current project. 


    Note that your settings for reusing a slide must be under a requirement that keeps all source formatting. Otherwise, you might notice that after selecting Reuse Slides, any background color or element of your template will not carry over onto your new presentation (the original text and style will remain). If this happens and the background graphics do not show up in your new presentation, select the slide that you reused and on Paste, located under the Home tab, select Keep Source Formatting, When you select this, the correct template with all text and images will appear and you can delete the previous faulty slide. 


6. If you’re only in need of one or a few slides from .potx files, you can simply select the slides that you don’t want, right-click to Delete Slide and you’ll be left with just the slides that you need to work on. From here, you have your template ready to use and free to customize as you wish. As this is a template, you can freely adjust text, content, etc. 


This guide detailing how to create a powerpoint template from an existing presentation is following the process for Powerpoint 16.41 on a Mac Version 10.15.4, but they are virtually the same guidelines regardless of device and applicable for any previous version of Powerpoint. The few variations lie in where you can find the option to Keep Source Formatting and in where the Reuse Slides options can be found. As you can see in the screenshots below, the majority of Microsoft versions will have a pane open up on the right hand side after you select the option for Reuse Slides. 

Keeping the image and any background graphics is arguably easier for PC and previously developed Microsoft Powerpoint versions, as you need only to check off the Keep Source Formatting box located toward the bottom of the Reuse Slide Panel. Once that is selected, you will be able to choose and transfer any slide that will automatically transfer to your new presentation as is, with text, structure, style, and graphics included. 

Last but not least, you might also be tempted to try the more crude approach of simply copying a slide from a completed presentation and pasting it onto your new project. This does not necessarily make it a “template” but you will be able to get the same results in terms of having an already built slide that you can customize for graphics, styling, etc. For the more efficient and proper method, follow the basic steps outlined in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your work output while finishing your projects in less time.