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How to Make Your Own Google Slides Presentation Template in 2020

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This post is part of a series called How to Use Google Slides (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
How to Use Google Slides Offline (When the Internet is Down)
How to Use Google Slides Presentation Collaboration Tools Online
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

There's no need for all your Google Slides presentations to look different. Save time and achieve a consistent image by re-using the same Google Slides presentation template again and again. 

One way to do this is to design and create your own Google Slides presentation template. 

In this tutorial, we examine why you might want to create a presentation template. We'll also explain what a master slide and a master layout is. We'll present a step-by-step guide that explains how to create your own Google Slides presentation template. Finally, we'll show you how to customize a professionally designed template, which will save you time.

Why Create a Google Slides Presentation Template?

Your Google Slides template controls the impression your presentation leaves in the minds of your viewers. While many professional presentation templates are available, sometimes you need something a little more unique.

When you want to use a presentation theme that you know no one else is using, you can create your own reusable Google Slides presentation template.

Exposure make Google Slides template
You can design and create your own Google Slides template. But most of the time you'll want to work with professionally designed templates such as this one from Envato Elements.

Be careful, though. Any theme you create needs to be professional. The success of your presentation could depend on it. If your organization uses a design team, consult with them during your presentation template planning process.

Use a Professional Google Slides Presentation Template from Envato Elements

Have you ever wanted to create a professional presentation, but didn't want to break the bank to do so? With the help of Envato Elements, that's possible. It's an all-you-can-download site that includes templates with top Google Slides master designs.

On Envato Elements, you can use professional designs that only need a few customizations. Download a template, add your specifics, and presto! You're ready to go.

Elements unlimited downloads
Use Envato Elements to source unlimited creative assets for a flat rate.

Not only do you unlock templates with great Google Slides master designs, you'll have plenty of other assets at your disposal. That includes extras like stock photos, illustrations, and more that balance out your finished design. Make Google Slides templates the focus of your subscription and think of all these other assets as free!

After you start working with Elements, you'll see it's easy to learn how to add a template to Google Slides. Download a file from a library, upload it, and make Google Slides templates your starting point.

Elements Google Slides masters
Use the massive library of Google Slides master designs from Envato Elements to set your presentation up for success.

Remember: make Google Slides template your starting point for your next design. With the help of Elements, you hit the perfect sweet spot of cost and quality and incur no surprises thanks to the unlimited package.

Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook)

Learn how create and give effective presentations. Before you dig deeper into creating your own Google Slides template, don't miss our free eBook on presentations: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations.

Making Great Presentations eBook Free Download

Now, let's take a closer look at how to create a presentation template by first creating a master slide and master layouts. By applying your masters to a sample presentation you'll create your Google Slide template.

What's a Master Slide and What Are Master Layouts?

The first thing to understand when creating a presentation template is the concept of a master slide in Google Slides. Simply put, the elements that you place on the master slide appear on every slide in your presentation.

In contrast, a master layout defines the layout only for the slides it's applied to. To create a master layout, you'll use a combination of placeholders and graphic elements on each master layout. A master layout can be used for one or more slides in your presentation, or it may not be used at all.

Access the Master Slide tool by selecting Slide>Edit Master from the main Google Slides menu. The master slide and master layouts appear:

Google Slides Master Slide and Master Layouts
The Master Slide tool allows you to edit the master slide and master layouts.

A change made to the master slide appears on all the slides in the presentation, including the master layouts.

For example, I've added a vertical bar to the left of the master slide. As you can see, the bar is automatically added to all the master layouts:

Changing the Google Slides Master Slide
Changes you make to the master slide appear on all the slides in the presentation.

Pro Tip: Design elements added to the master slide appear on every slide in your presentation. But you can cover a master slide element on an individual slide by drawing a shape over it in a color that matches the background of the slide.

How to Plan Your Own Google Slides Template

Before you create a Google Slides template, first plan for it. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What'll I use this presentation template for?
  • Who'll see the presentations created with this template?
  • How can I make this template fit into my current marketing and branding?

To answer these questions, you need to consider the following:

Step 1. Keep Your Audience in Mind 

This step addressed the question: "Who'll see the presentations created with this template?"

The audience of the presentation(s) you'll create makes a difference in what you put in your Google Slides template. Obviously, a presentation template used by a teacher of elementary students should be different from a presentation template used by the marketing department of a company.

Also, ask yourself whether the presentation will be given by a live presenter or accessed online through a site like SlideShare by members of the target audience. If the presentation will be accessed online, the first few slides are crucial to capturing the reader's attention. They need to be eye-catching or your presentation will be ignored.

Once you've thought about your audience, it's time to move on to planning the actual design.

Step 2. Consider Design Elements

Your Google Slides template is made of many components, including:

  • Fonts. While there are many unusual and artistic fonts available, focus on using fonts that are highly readable. If your presentation will be viewed online, choose a commonly available font. Keep in mind that if the viewer doesn't have the font you choose on their machine, a font they do have will be substituted.
  • Colors. When choosing a color scheme for your branding and for your presentation template, remember that colors may symbolize different things depending on the culture of the person who sees it. Choose colors that have positive associations for your audience. Or, work with your company brand colors.
  • Images. It's best to keep your presentation template design simple. Add images and other graphic elements to the various presentation slides. You can even use them on your master layouts. But be sparing on the master slide.

The final template planning step is to plan the design itself.

Step 3. Plan Your Template Design

In this step, you plan what types of slides you'll include in your template. The types you decide upon become the master layouts of your template.

Many professional designers create wireframes. These are basically sketches for each type of slide they would like to include in the Google Slides template. Wireframing can be quite useful, since it provides a rough visual of what your presentation is going to look like.

If you're not comfortable creating wireframes, create a list of the slide types you wish to include in your presentation. For example:

  • title slide
  • intro slide (no images)
  • text and single image slide
  • columns slide
  • conclusion slide

Since you'll likely use the same type of slide layout more than once in a presentation, you don't need to create a lot of master layouts. Figure out the basic layouts you need and focus on those.

For another discussion of the presentation design process (this time using Keynote), refer to:

After the planning is done, you're ready to create your Google Slides template.

How to Create Your Own Google Slides Template

Start by opening Google Drive. To open Google Slides, type https://drive.google.com in the Address field of your browser. Google Drive opens.

Step 1. Create a New Google Slides Presentation

Once Google Drive is open, create a new Google Slides presentation. Click the New button in the upper left. Click Google Slides from the drop-down menu. A blank presentation appears:

Blank Google Slides Presentation
Use a new blank presentation to create your Google Slides template.

The presentation is assigned one of the Google Slides default themes, but don't worry. We'll soon change that.

Rename your presentation by typing a new title in the upper left.

Step 2. Create a Master Slide

We've already examined the master slide tool. It's time to go back to it so we can define those elements that'll appear on every slide.

1. Select Slide > Edit master from the main menu:

Google Slides Master Slide Tool with Graphic Addition
The master slides tool opens. This illustration includes the vertical bar I added earlier.

We've already defined a vertical bar for the left of the Google Slides Presentation. It's time to define the elements of the slide, starting with the font.

Change the Font

1. Choose the font for the presentation by clicking in the text placeholder on the master slide and selecting it. You'll notice the current font is defined as Arial:

Changing the Font on the Master Slide
Start your Google Slides template by defining what font your presentation will use.

Pro Tip: You'll find unique fonts and other graphic elements in Envato Elements.

2. To change the font for each text place holder, click the down arrow to the right of the font name (Arial). For this presentation, we'll use the common font, Georgia.

Changing the Master Slide Font
To change the font on the master slide, select each text placeholder and assign it a new font.

Pro Tip: You could also change the font size and other font attributes by clicking the arrow to the right of the word More next to the font name.

3. Continue selecting the text in each placeholder on the master slide to change the font at each level.

When you're done, the font Georgia will be used throughout the entire presentation. But you could you manually change the font for an individual slide.

Add a Graphic

You can also add a graphic element to your Google Slide template. This element appears on every slide, so it's best to be subtle. In this case, I'll add a logo. Here's how to do it:

1. Select the master slide:

Master Slide with Insert Image Icon
Click the Insert Image icon to access the Insert Image dialog box.

2. Click the Insert Image icon from the tool bar beneath the main menu. The Insert Image dialog box appears:

Google Slides Insert image screen
Use this screen to add an image or photo to the master slide.

3. Drag an image from your desktop onto the dialog box or click the Choose an image to upload button to download an image from your computer. In this case, I download a logo for my company:

Adding a Logo to a Google Slides Master Slide
The downloaded image appears on the master slide.

4. Drag the image where you want it to appear on your slides. In this case, I want the image to appear in the lower right corner:

Oosition the Image on the Master Slide
Select and drag the logo to where you want it to be in your Google Slides template.

We've just added a vertical blue bar, changed the font, and added a logo to the master slide. These changes will be reflected on all the slides in the presentation.

Note: There's a page number beneath the logo on the master slide. We want this to appear on all the slides in the presentation except the title slide, so it's important to leave it here.

Step 3. Add Master Layouts

You're now ready to start adding your own master layouts from within the master slide tool (Slide > Edit Master).

Remove Extra Layouts

To start, delete any current master layouts (left over from the default template) that you don't need.

1. To delete a master layout click on it to select it and right-click.

2. Choose the Delete option from the popup menu:

Delete Google Slides Master Layout
Remove any master layouts you don't want in your Google Slide template.

Note: You must leave at least one master layout in your template.

Change a Master Layout

After you remove unwanted master layouts, you're ready to change any layouts you left in the template to match your own layout design. In this example, I'm going to change the master layout for the title slide to make the text left-aligned. Let's get started

1. Click on the title slide master layout to select it:

Title Slide of Google Slides master layouts
Select the text you want to change on your master layout.

2. To change the text alignment, select the text to be changed.

3. Click the down arrow next to the More button in the Tools menu. Then, click the Left Alignment button. Here's what the title master layout slide looks like with the text left aligned:

Master Layout for Title Slide with Text Left-aligned
This is the title master slide with the text left-aligned.

Each time you apply the title slide layout to a slide in your Google Slides presentation, it'll look like your master layout.

Change Another Master Layout

I've modified one more master layout as an example. Here's what I did:

1. To change another master layout slide, select the slide you want to change. 

2. Use the editing tools to delete any elements you don't want to keep. (Remember, you can't delete elements from the master slide.) After removing the existing elements, you'll see a blank master layout that looks something like this:

Blank Master Layout
Modifying a blank master layout in Google Slides.

For the master layout I'm creating, I want to leave room for an image on the left and insert a text placeholder on the right.

Note: There's currently no way to insert an image placeholder in a master layout.

3. Leave space on the left of the slide for the image. When we go back to the slide authoring mode, we'll draw a placeholder there that can easily be removed so that the user of the template knows what to do.

4. To draw the placeholder, click the arrow to the right of the Text Tool from the Tools menu. Select the Body text placeholder option from the drop-down menu. Now the master layout looks like this:

Adding a Text Placeholder to a Master Layout in Google Slides
Add a text placeholder to the right of your master layout. The space on the left is for an image.

Caution: If you use the Text Tool without choosing the placeholder option, the text becomes an unchangeable part of the slide layout.

5. Use your cursor to draw the text box placeholder on the master layout.

6. To add a subtitle placeholder, use the Subtitle placeholder option from the drop-down menu:

Master Layout with Text Placeholder and Subtitle Placeholder
There are also text placeholders for titles and subtitles.

Continue modifying existing layouts, or you can add a new master layout slide through the Master Slide tool.

Add a New Master Layout

Here's how to add a new master layout to your Google Slides template:

1. Click on any master layout to select it.

2. Right-click to bring up the drop-down menu:

Adding a New Master Layout
You can add master layouts to your template.

3. Select the New Layout option from the drop-down menu. A new master layout slide appears below the current master layout slide.

4. Change the new master layout as needed using the previous steps.

Apply the Masters to Your Google Slides Template

Once you've created all the master layouts you need, return to the slide authoring view. Your template will be a sample presentation you build using the master slide and master layouts you just created. It can be modified when you need it.

To start, all I've got in my Google Slides template is the title slide:

Google Slides Template with One Slide
You'll build your Google Slides template using the master layouts you created earlier.

1. To add another slide to your template, click the down arrow next to the New slide button in the upper left (it looks like a + symbol). A pop-up appears showing the available master layouts:

Available Master Layouts
Select one of the available master slide layouts for your Google Slide template.
2. Click on a slide layout to apply it to the presentation template sample slide you're adding. In this example, I selected the Image with Text master layout.

3. Since you can't insert an image placeholder in a Google Slides master layout, insert a text box in your template. Include instructions on how the space is to be used:

Creating a Template Slide for an Image with Text
Use the master layout to create a template slide for an image with text.

For step-by-step instructions on how to add an image to a Google Slides presentation, study:

4. Continue adding slides and applying master layouts and sample text to template slides until your Google Slides template is done.

Step 4. Use the New Google Slides Template

Once you've completed your template, you're ready to use it. Do this by modifying the template example to create an actual presentation.

1. Make a copy of the template using the File > Make a copy option on the main menu.

Rename Google Slide Template
Copy and rename your Google Slide template to make an actual presentation.

2. Rename the copy so you don't overwrite over your template.

3. Right-click on any sample slides you intend to use more than one and use the Copy command from the pop-up menu to make a duplicate of it. Delete any template slides you don't need to use.

Copy and Delete Slide Commands
You can use a template slide more than once by copying it.

4. Move the slides into the order you want them to be in your presentation by clicking on each slide and dragging it into position.

5. Type your information into the presentation. Add any images that you need for the presentation.

For more information on how to create a Google Slides presentation, review these tutorials:

How to Quickly Customize a Google Slides Presentation Template

You've already learned how to create a template for Google Slides. Now it's time to customize a pre-designed template to help build amazing slide decks. Let's learn how in just five easy steps.

If you'd like to follow along, download the beautiful Creative Google Slide Template from Envato Elements.

Google Slides master
This stunning design from Envato Elements is ideal to make Google Slides template customizations.

Let's get started:

1. Add Custom Text

It's easy to make Google Slides template designs work for you. The first step is to add custom text. Begin by highlighting any text you see on a slide. 

Then, simply start typing in your own words. If you'd rather leave a space blank, press Delete to remove any selected text.

Step 1 how to add a template to Google Slides
Type over the text boxes to start making your own Google Slides theme.

2. Change the Font

Google Slides templates like this often include custom fonts, but you don't have to use them. With a block of text selected, find the Font section in the center of the menu bar. 

Step 2 make Google Slides template
Use the Font drop-down to make Google Slides templates totally customized.

Change the font style or size by clicking the appropriate drop-downs. Plus, add effects like bold, italics, and more.

3. Import an Image

A Google Slides master designer knows that images are critical to the success of any slide deck. Pre-built templates make adding them a breeze. Image placeholders allow for instant image imports scaled to fit slides perfectly. 

Step 3 Google Slides master
Use the Replace Image menu now that you've learned how to add a template to Google Slides to update the template.

Click inside the placeholder, then choose Replace Image on the menu above. Click Upload From Computer. Browse to an image file and click to import it. 

4. Change Shape Colors

The human eye is naturally drawn to contrasting colors. As a presenter, take advantage of that fact to call attention to certain slide elements. 

Step 4 how to add a template to Google Slides
Use the Fill Color drop-down to update a slide or a Google Slides master slide.

To change an object color, click to select it. Just left of center on the menu bar, click on the Fill Color icon. Browse a wide array of solid or gradient colors or create your own in the Customize section. When you see one you like, click once to apply it. Repeat as necessary.

5. Change the Master Slide

Let's say you want to place an object on every slide in the deck. Adding it manually is time-consuming, and also unnecessary. That's where the Google Slides master comes in. 

On the Slide menu, click Edit Master. Under Office Theme, scroll up and select the Master Slide thumbnail. Any edits you make to this slide will automatically apply to the entire presentation. 

Step 5 make Google Slides template
Use the Slide > Edit Master menu to edit your Google Slides master.

Once you've made an edit, click X in the upper right corner to return to the normal view.

5 Google Slides Presentation Template Design Trends for 2020

So, you've made your Google Slides template selection and you're ready to build a slide deck. It's a great start, but to succeed in 2020, you need more. That means embracing the latest template design trends. Let's explore five of the best:

1. Audiences Demand Infographics

Planning to talk your way through detailed concepts? Think again. Audiences in 2020 demand visual infographics that vividly illustrate data and ideas. 

Pre-built Google Slides templates from Envato Elements are filled with creative infographics that are easy to customize. They truly help bring your slide deck to life.

Infographic Google Slides master
The INFOGRAPHIC - Google Slide Template V175 is loaded with stunning visuals.

2. Smoother Presentations With Timed Slides

Nothing distracts an audience faster than fumbling around with clickers. Or worse still, constantly asking an assistant to jump to the next side. With Google Slides, you can actually pre-time slides, making them advance automatically. 

It’s a quick and easy way to keep your slide deck flowing seamlessly. Ready to learn how (in just 60 seconds?) Check out our full slide timing tutorial:

3. With Layouts, Less Is More

Busy slides packed full of data won’t impress modern audiences. It’s key to stay focused, with an eye on a single big idea and a few supporting points. 

Use plenty of open space to ensure readability and an attractive slide layout. In general, minimalism is a great design concept to check out as you make Google Slides template selections.

Minimal Google Slides master
Minimal Presentation Googleslide from Envato Elements is a great example of clear, focused design.

4. Classic Fonts Are Out

Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri: you see them everywhere. But the universe of fonts is so much broader. 

For 2020 slide decks, you should always consider new custom fonts. They bring new levels of style, sure to help you stand out from the crowd. Luckily, you can add your own custom fonts to Google Slides with just a few clicks.

Check out our quick tutorial on Google Slides fonts here:

5. Use Plenty of Photos

As the adage says, pictures are worth a thousand words. That’s never been more true. 2020 presentations should include plenty of images. 

Photos help you introduce your team, show off your products, and explain your ideas. Plus, they help break the tedium and ensure your audience stays excited and engaged.

Exposure make Google Slides template
With an emphasis on photography, the Exposure - Google Slides Template is ideal for illustrated decks.

Templates for Google Slides

We've just shown you how to create your own Google Slides template. But you'll save a lot of time by using a professionally designed presentation template.

You can find professional presentation templates at Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. Here's an article that gives you a peek at some of the professional templates and themes you'll find: 

After you've chosen a Google Slides template, learn how to download a professionally designed theme and use it in this tutorial:

Download Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations

We've got the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

 Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Build or Customize Your Google Slides Template Now

You've just learned how to create a Google Slides template using master slides and master layouts. With a template, make sure that all the presentations your organization creates meet branding standards and look consistent.

The easiest way to control how your presentation looks is to use a pre-designed Google Slides custom template with a Google Slides master. But if you've got the skill and the time, you can also make a Google Slides template.

For even more information on how use Google Slides, review our Google Slides learning guide How to Use Google Slides (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).

Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in November of 2017. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special help from Andrew Childress.

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