Last Updated On: July 26, 2022

Using Slide Masters in designing courses or projects is a great way to maintain a consistent look and feel for users. Thanks to Slide Masters in ActivePresenter 8, you can easily create the default themes, colors, fonts, preset background styles, text, objects and determine the object placement in slides. So, let’s explore how amazing this feature is in today’s tutorial.  

What you will learn in this tutorial:

Now, it’s time to walk through each of them.

Overview of Slide Masters

In general, whenever you create a new project, your project uses a theme. This theme consists of a Slide Master. If you apply many different themes to the project, the project will have many Slide Masters. So, to work with Slide Masters, you have to access the Master View. (In the View tab > Slide Master slide_master_icon). It will open a new contextual Slide Master tab for editing. 

Slide Master view

As you can see, the Master View includes three main parts:

(1) The Slide Master tab’s toolbar contains groups of useful commands for you to work with. 

(2) The left pane displays Slide Masters previously set up for the current project. 

(3) The canvas previews changes of the selected layout in the left pane. If you create a blank project or haven’t created any Slide Master before, you will see a default Slide Master.

master layout & custom layout

In general, a slide master comprises a master layout and a set of custom layouts. The master layout is the first thumbnail in the left pane, which appears slightly larger than all other thumbnails of custom layouts. And all the custom layouts appear below the master one. Therefore, custom layouts inherit all the properties from the master layout. Nevertheless, you can modify each custom layout as you wish. All changed properties will no longer be inherited from the master layout. So, you can create a new slide master or add more custom layouts to a slide master if you want.

When using Slide Masters, you can:

  • Quickly edit the look of all slides. It comes in handy when you have a long project with multiple slides.
  • Easy to add content placeholders like text, images, and questions.
  • Save tons of time as you don’t need to type the same information on more than one slide. Therefore, this is a great solution to insert a logo, a symbol, or a slogan appearing across all slides.  


  • Each Slide Master has at least one layout.
  • Whenever you create a project and access the Master View, you always see at least a Slide Master.
  • A project possibly has more than one Slide Master.
  • The Master View is where to create, manage, and customize any Slide Master/layout. It’s impossible to do those tasks in any other place.

Create Slide Masters & Layouts

In fact, ActivePresenter 8 allows adding as many Slide Masters and layouts as you want. This task is done in the Master View. Now, to access this view, open the View tab > Slide Master slide_master_icon.

Insert Slide Masters

To perform this task, do either of the following:

  • In the Slide Master tab > Insert Slide Master Insert slide master icon .
  • Right-click anywhere in the left pane > Insert Slide Master.

Next, the new Slide Master with multiple layouts appears at your desired position in the left pane.

Insert Slide Layouts

To insert a layout into a Slide Master, do one of the following:

  • Select the slide master/layout > Slide Master tab > Insert Layout Insert layout icon .
  • Right-click anywhere on the left pane > Insert Layout.

Then, the new layout appears with the same theme properties as the selected slide master or layout. It also has a default title text box and three footer text boxes.  

Manage Slide Masters & Layouts

In general, it’s easy to manage your Slide Masters and layouts in the Master View. You’re able to copy, duplicate, rename, delete, and preserve them.

Copy Slide Masters & Layouts

Now, to copy a Slide Master/layout, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select your Slide Master/layout and press CTRL+C. Or, right-click it and select Copy Copy icon.

Step 2: In terms of copying Slide Masters, click Paste Paste icon or Paste (Keep Source Formatting) Paste  (Keep Source Formatting) icon to perform the task.

In the case of layouts, do any of the following:

  • Press CTRL+V or select Paste from the context menu. ActivePresenter will make a copy of the layout in the current Slide Master.
  • Select Paste (Keep Source Formatting) from the context menu. Then, both copied layouts and Slide Master from which they inherit properties are replicated.

Duplicate Slide Master & Layouts

To create similar Slide Masters or layouts, just duplicate them. Take the following:

Step 1: Right-click your Slide Master/layout.

Step 2: Click Duplicate Master/Duplicate Layout in the context menu.

Rename Slide Masters & Layouts

If there are many similar Slide Masters or layouts within a project, you should give them descriptive names. This way, it is easier to select and reuse them.

To do this task, perform one of the ways below:

  • Select a Slide Master/layout > Rename.
  • Right-click a Slide Master/layout > Rename Master/Rename Layout Rename Master/Rename Layout icon.

Next, the Rename Master/Rename Layout dialog appears. Enter a name > OK.

Delete Slide Masters & Layouts

If you no longer need a Slide Master/layout, just remove it. Perform as follows:

Step 1: Select a Slide Master or layout.

Step 2: Click Delete Delete icon in the Slide Master tab. Or, press the DELETE key.


  • Deleting a Slide Master removes all of its corresponding layouts.
  • You can’t delete any Slide Master/layout that are currently being used by any slide in your project.

Preserve Slide Masters

A slide master that is not in use will be deleted automatically. So, if you want to keep it in your project for use later, just preserve it.

To do that, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Select one or more Slide Masters.

Step 2: In the Slide Master tab > Preserve Preserve icon. Alternatively, right-click the master layout > Preserve Master

As you can see, a pushpin icon appears at the top-left corner of the master layout.

Preserve Slide Masters


  • When adding a new Slide Master, it will be automatically preserved.
  • If you don’t want to preserve a Slide Master anymore, click Preserve again. In that case, ActivePresenter displays a confirmation dialog to ask if you want to delete it. This dialog doesn’t appear when that Slide Master is currently used in the current project.

Customize Slide Masters & Layouts

Options to Design Slide Masters & Layouts

To customize a Slide Masters/layout, let’s open Master View. In the View tab, click Slide Master. The Master view appears immediately and offers you useful features to design Slide Masters/layouts. 

Slide Master toolbar

Now, look at the Slide Master tab’s toolbar in the above picture. 

Have in mind that some commands are unavailable (dimmed) in this view: The Master Layout command is only available for customizing master layouts. This means that this function enables when master layouts are selected. The Insert Placeholder, Title, and Footers commands are only available for customizing custom layouts. Then, you can use most tools on tabs like Home and Insert to do this task.

Here are the commands in the Slide Master tab:

  • Master Layout: Add or remove placeholders like title, text, date, footer, and slide number in Slide Masters. 
  • Insert Placeholder: Add placeholders to a layout. Basically, there are 8 types of placeholders, including Content, Text, Image, Video, Media, Question, Report, and Button. 
  • Title: Display a title placeholder on layouts if it’s checked.
  • Footers: Show a footer placeholder on layouts if it’s checked.
  • Themes: Apply a consistent theme to your Slide Masters/layouts.
  • Colors: Use consistent Theme Colors for your Slide Masters/layouts.
  • Fonts: Use consistent Theme Fonts for your Slide Masters/layouts.
  • Background Styles: Apply a Preset Background Style to Slide Masters/layouts.
  • Slide Sizes: Change the size of Master Slides. See Changing Project Size for further details.

After finishing the design phase, exit the Master View to see the changes. To do that, click Close Master View in the Slide Master tab’s toolbar. Then, the changes you made to Slide Masters and their layouts will be automatically applied to slides based on them. In addition, when you click New Slide and Layout in the Home tab or Insert tab, you see new slide layouts are updated.


  • If you want to add any object like shape, text, image, video, or button to your slides, just select these objects in the Insert Placeholder command in the Slide Master tab’s toolbar. Otherwise, the objects you add from other commands, such as Text Caption in the Insert tab, will be treated as a background image. So, you are unable to edit in Normal view. 
  • To edit the text’s font, size, and color in the Text Placeholder box, you simply select the box itself (not the text inside the box) then customize these things in the Font group in the Home tab.

Tips to Design Slide Masters & Layouts

To create slide masters and layouts consistently, keep in mind these below tips:

Background Fill feature
  1. ActivePresenter allows adding background graphics to themes with the Background Fill feature. Thus, you are free to create beautiful themes like this in minutes. For further information, see Modifying Slide Background.
  2. When you make any change to Slide Masters, it’s good to review your projects to see how the change affects each slide. Hence, you can know which slides don’t look exactly right the way you want.
  3. It’s a good idea for you to edit your slide master and layouts before you begin to create slides. The reason is that all the slides that you add to your presentation are based on your custom edits. In case you edit the slide masters or layouts after you create slides, you’ll have to reapply the changed layouts to the existing slides in your presentation in Normal view.

Apply Layouts to Slides

Basically, there are two ways to use slide layouts for slides in the current project. That is, change the layout of existing slides or insert new slides.

Change Layouts of Existing Slides

Now, to change the layout of any existing slide, you need to select one or more slides, then do either of the following:

  • In the Home: click Layout > select a layout from the gallery.
  • Right-click the selected slides > select a layout from the gallery.

Insert New Slides

Another way to use slide layouts is to insert new slides. Firstly, let’s define the location you want to add a new slide. A new slide with a different slide layout will be inserted below the slide that you select. Next, do as follow:

In the Home or the Insert tab, click the drop-down part of the New Slide button, then select your desired layout in the drop-down menu.

Insert new slide

So, that’s all I want to share about using Slide Masters in ActivePresenter 8. Download the app right now, and you will find it very useful when designing eLearning content. Much useful information is available for you on our YouTube channel, Twitter, and Facebook page. Feel free to contact us if you need any help. 

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