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How to Quickly Change PowerPoint Templates (Download & Import) 2021

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Read Time: 10 mins
This post is part of a series called How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
How to Make & Give Great PowerPoint Presentations (In 5 Simple Steps)
How to Create a PowerPoint Presentation From a PPT Template

Changing your PowerPoint theme (template) can help you set your presentation apart and visually engage with your audience. Discover how to change a PowerPoint template for an existing presentation as well as how to import a PowerPoint template.

Audrey themeAudrey themeAudrey theme
The Audrey theme is a great example of professional, custom PowerPoint templates.

PowerPoint theme is a set of backgrounds, font pairings, color schemes, and slide designs. It's also commonly referred to as a PowerPoint templateNote: We'll use these terms interchangeably in this article. 

Best of all, there are plenty of custom PowerPoint themes out there that you can download and use for your own presentations.

In this tutorial, I'll teach you three key skills for working with PowerPoint templates:

  • how and where to find custom PowerPoint themes
  • how to install custom PowerPoint themes
  • how to PowerPoint change templates

Download Our Free eBook on Making Great Presentations

We also have the perfect complement to use alongside a professional PowerPoint template. Download our Free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It'll help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation.

Make a Great Presentation Free eBookMake a Great Presentation Free eBookMake a Great Presentation Free eBook

How to Change PowerPoint Templates Quickly (Watch & Learn)

In the screencast below, I'll give you a brief overview of how to import PowerPoint templates and how to install them as well. The screencast will help you take a drab presentation and quickly add some much needed design style to it.

In the rest of this tutorial, I'll teach you how to download, install, and change custom PowerPoint templates.

How to Download PowerPoint Themes

Downloading new PowerPoint templates helps set your presentation apart. You can build your own themes, sure. But you're probably focused on doing research and writing your own content. 

Designing slides that work together and are visually engaging is time consuming. Using pre-built, custom PowerPoint templates will save you quite a bit of time and give you a professional set of presentation designs to work with. 

When it's crunch time to finish your upcoming presentation, the best option is to buy a professional PowerPoint template from a marketplace like Envato Elements.

Envato Elements - PPT templatesEnvato Elements - PPT templatesEnvato Elements - PPT templates
PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements

To download a PowerPoint template, set the filter for PowerPoint to see only those templates. When you find a template, you like you can easily download it.

Envato Elements is a subscription-based marketplace with a compelling offer. For a low monthly fee, you get access to thousands of PowerPoint templates for all your presentation needs. 

Besides that, you also get access to thousands of other design assets to help you take your presentation to the next level. From stock photos to beautiful and unique fonts, Envato Elements has it all. 

Download as many design assets and PowerPoint templates as you want. Customize them to meet your needs. And use them in an unlimited number of projects. Browse through our curated selections of the best PowerPoint templates

You can certainly find some free PowerPoint templates by Googling and searching around. But these premium templates have unique advantages. The advantage of purchasing PowerPoint themes from qualified marketplaces like Envato Elements is three-fold:

  • Quality Control. The themes are reviewed by Envato and only qualified files make the cut to go online. Each PowerPoint template also includes detailed instructions on installing and using the theme for easy usage.
  • Premium Design. These aren't the standard templates included with PowerPoint. Authors spend considerable time developing slide designs that stand out from the crowd and help you present your ideas effectively. 
  • Professional Setup. Each set of PowerPoint themes comes with quick to customize setup, and some advanced presentation features you'd expect in a premium asset. 

In short: the built-in themes are a great start in PowerPoint but purchased templates will give your presentation an edge over others. 

Another place where you can find awesome and professional PowerPoint templates is GraphicRiver. It's the perfect choice if you prefer buying templates individually or if you need a PowerPoint template to use right now.

How to Import Custom PowerPoint (PPT) Templates

After you download a custom PPT templates, you'll need to install it so that you can use it for your own PowerPoint presentations. Here's how to import PowerPoint templates and install new PowerPoint themes:

1. Check the Available Files

Every custom PowerPoint theme is packaged differently, and the installation of the theme will differ as well. 

Take, for example, the Lotus Business PowerPoint template that's available via Envato Elements. The download package includes a variety of .PPTX formats in different colors and three sizes. Open the PPTX file and add your own content to build out your presentation quickly.

Lotus PPT templateLotus PPT templateLotus PPT template
Downloaded PowerPoint themes from GraphicRiver or Envato Elements include several file and size variations.

Premium themes from GraphicRiver or Envato Elements include several file sizes and color variations. Before you start customizing the template, check your theme’s folder to see what’s available to you.

Custom PowerPoint themes typically come in two types of formats: PowerPoint files (PPTX files), or .THMX / .POTX theme templates. Here's how to work with each type of file:

2. Work With PPTX Template Files

Many theme makers package custom PowerPoint themes as simple PPTX files, standard PowerPoint presentation files. Add these to PowerPoint by double-clicking on them or choosing File > Open inside PowerPoint.

The advantage of this approach is that the theme author can package many ideas for layouts inside the file. You can then pick and choose the slides that have the layouts you want and add your content to them.

working with pptxworking with pptxworking with pptx
The Lotus PowerPoint template is an example of a PowerPoint template packaged as a PPTX file, where you can use built-in slides and drop your own content into the template.

The disadvantage of this type of theme is that it doesn't feel as re-usable. Each time that you work with the custom PowerPoint theme, you'll need to open the original file, choose the slides to use, and add your content.

3. Or Use .THMX and .POTX Theme Files

The alternative to pre-built PPTX files are .THMX or .POTX files. These are reusable themes that you can add to PowerPoint and apply to your current presentation with a few clicks.

The Arcama PowerPoint theme is a great example of this. It includes .THMX files that you can add to PowerPoint and repeatedly use.

When you've got .THMX files (or .POTX in earlier versions of PowerPoint), create a folder to store the files in. Move the .THMX files to that folder.

Now, find the folder path where your themes are stored, such as /Users/username/Themes, for example. Right-click the folder and then click on Get Info to grab this path if needed.

storing custom themesstoring custom themesstoring custom themes
Create a folder and move your .THMX theme files to start your own custom group of themes.

Now, return to PowerPoint and go to the File > Save as template menu. From there, choose the folder you’ve created to store your THMX files. 

saving thmx filessaving thmx filessaving thmx files
In the Save settings in PowerPoint's options, choose in the folder where your PowerPoint themes are stored.

Your custom themes are now available in PowerPoint. Now, let's learn how to use them.

How to Change a Design Template in PowerPoint - Quickly 

So, you've installed your PowerPoint themes and you're ready to begin using them. Let's look at how to quickly change your theme.

If your PowerPoint themes were PPTX files, you can start using them as soon as you open the file. As I mentioned earlier, simply drop in your own content and you're using the custom theme.

For THMX files, you'll see these in the Personal Section when you create a new PowerPoint presentation. On the File > New menu, click on Personal to see your newly installed themes. Click on one of them to create a new presentation with the selected theme.

PowerPoint Personal ThemesPowerPoint Personal ThemesPowerPoint Personal Themes
On the File > New menu choose the Personal section to apply your own PowerPoint themes.

You might be accustomed to changing PowerPoint's themes on the ribbon. Unfortunately, your Personal PowerPoint themes don't automatically show up on PowerPoint's ribbon. You'll need to add the themes specifically to PowerPoint's ribbon to make them available.

PowerPoint themes ribbonPowerPoint themes ribbonPowerPoint themes ribbon
Custom PowerPoint themes don't automatically appear on the PowerPoint Design ribbon.

To add PowerPoint themes to the Design tab, click on the dropdown arrow on the right side of the Themes section. Choose Browse for Themes and browse to your custom .THMX files. Then, choose Save Current Theme after you've added the custom theme.

Browse for Themes in PowerPointBrowse for Themes in PowerPointBrowse for Themes in PowerPoint
To make your themes appear on PowerPoint's ribbon, you'll need to Browse for Themes and choose the .THMX files, then save your current theme.

Now, your custom PowerPoint themes will be available on PowerPoint's ribbon. Simply click on the thumbnail to choose the new theme design you'd like to quickly apply to your presentation.

5 Premium (Quick to Use) PowerPoint Template From Envato Elements For 2021

You've just learned how to change and import PowerPoint templates. Now, let’s take a look at cool premium PowerPoint presentations that are available on Envato Elements. These templates have modern designs and are easy and quick to use and customize: 

1. Kanal PowerPoint Template


The Kanal PowerPoint template has a modern and fresh design. You can use it for any type of presentation. The template comes with both PPT and PPTX files as well as 68 creative slides. Kanal was designed in widescreen resolution and includes 100+ custom icons.

2. Aporesh Modern PowerPoint Template

Aporesh modern powerpoint templateAporesh modern powerpoint templateAporesh modern powerpoint template

The Aporesh template is perfect for a finance or nature-related presentation. It's got a minimal design with a green color scheme. You’ll find 150+ slides, five color variations, and picture placeholders for easy editing. The template also includes PPT and PPTX files.

3. Grey Minimal PowerPoint Template

grey minimal powerpoint templategrey minimal powerpoint templategrey minimal powerpoint template

If you’re looking for a minimal PowerPoint template, look no further than Grey. This template lends itself well to all kinds of presentations. It includes five premade color variations and drag and drop image placeholders. You can easily customize it and create a stunning presentation.

4. Antivia PowerPoint Template

Antivia PowerPoint templateAntivia PowerPoint templateAntivia PowerPoint template

The Antivia template has 30 slides based on master slides and comes with PPTX files included. This template includes portfolio slides that have a modern design. The template also includes image placeholders and vector-based shapes.

5. Limbosan PowerPoint Template

Limbosan powerpoint templateLimbosan powerpoint templateLimbosan powerpoint template

The Limbosan template comes with a grand total of 30 slides based on master slides. The template has a clean design and features a variety of slide layouts. You’ll also find custom vector shapes and image placeholders. The file includes PPTX files.

Discover More Great PowerPoint Templates

The above is just a small selection of PowerPoint templates that are available on Envato Elements. If you’re looking for more PowerPoint templates inspiration or if you want to see different PowerPoint styles, check out these roundups below:

Learn More About Using PowerPoint to Make Great Presentations 

PowerPoint presentations are just supporting tools for speaking and sharing information, but that doesn't mean that we can't style and customize the look of them.

Check out these tutorials to learn more about PowerPoint presentations and check out top PowerPoint themes and templates. 

Grab Our (Free) eBook on Making Great Presentations 

Make a Great Presentation Free eBookMake a Great Presentation Free eBookMake a Great Presentation Free eBook

We've got just the right complement to a professional PowerPoint template. It'll help you learn the complete process of how to write, design, and deliver great presentations.

Download The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations now for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Get your ideas formed into a powerful presentation that'll move your audience. 

Change And Customize Your Presentation Quickly With PowerPoint Templates

You've just learned how to import a PowerPoint template. Changing and importing PowerPoint templates isn't difficult when you've got a great PowerPoint template to use as a starting point. Luckily, you can find plenty of great PowerPoint templates with modern designs over on Envato Elements. 

Or, if you prefer buying templates one by one, be sure to stop by GraphicRiver and check out cool and professional PowerPoint template selection.

What are your favorite PowerPoint themes? Which ones do you turn to when you need to give an impactful presentation? Let me know in the comments.

Editor Note: This tutorial was originally published on July 12, 2017. It's been comprehensively updated by Brenda Barron

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