Recently, a professor called the Training Team because the formatting on many of the slides in his PowerPoint presentation was not consistent with the formatting he had set on the Slide Master.  After visiting his office and looking at his presentation, I realized what was causing the problem.

In PowerPoint, the Slide Master is the template for your presentation.  If you make a change to the Slide Master, it will change for your entire presentation.  However, if you have already applied formatting to one of your individual slides, it will not follow the guidelines of the Slide Master.  He had changed the layout and formatting on some of his individual slides, and then made changes to the Slide Master, thinking that the changes would be applied to the slides that he had edited individually.  

Individually editing each element on each slide to match the slide master formatting would be horribly tedious, so I started looking for a better way to reapply the Slide Master formatting.  After a fruitless Google Search, where many people acknowledged the problem, but didn’t have solutions, I went to http://office.microsoft.com.  This really should have been my first stop, because within a minute or two of my arrival at the Microsoft Office site, I found the answer. 

Office 2003

1. In normal view, bring up the Slide Layout task pane (if it isn’t already up) by going to Format > Slide Layout.
2. Select the slide to which you want to reapply the master layout.
3. In the Slide Layout task pane, find the layout type that you want to reapply.
4. Click the arrow on that layout and then click Reapply Layout.

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To reapply the Slide Master formatting to several slides at once (assuming they have the same layout), you can select multiple slides and following the same steps.

Office 2007

1. Select the slide or slides you would like to reapply the Slide Master formatting to.
2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Slides section, click the Reset button.

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