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Archive for the ‘PowerPoint 2003’ Category

Quick Reference Guides for Office

I recently came across a site that offers free reference guides for Office and each of the Office applications. The guides are packed with shortcuts and other quick reference information. They are available for download in pdf format from FREE Quick References

Undo Custom Font Formatting in PowerPoint

Presentation design experts suggest that simplicity is a must if a PowerPoint presentation is to be effective. The risk when you ignore presentation style guidelines is that your message will be lost in a sea of visual changes. PowerPoint uses design masters to control slide layouts and font sizes, colours, and typefaces.

You may have a presentation (or perhaps several) where the person creating the presentation has decided to apply individual font settings to some of the slides (perhaps most of them.) Now you want to reset all text back to the standard settings of a presentation template.

Here is a particularly bad example of the problem:
bad slides

Notice how the presentation has a mixture of font sizes and colours as you go from slide to slide. Some of the text is almost unreadable and the size of title text changes from slide to slide. It wouldn’t take an audience long to write off the presentation as extremely amateurish and to question whether anything the presenter had anything worthwhile to say.


Fixing the background is fairly easily handled by simply applying a design template to the presentation and resetting slide  backgrounds to automatic for any that have a customized background. When you select Slide Design from the Format menu, the task pane will open on the right side of the screen, displaying the available design  templates. ApplySlideMaster

If you move your mouse over one of the design thumbnails, a dropdown arrow will appear on the right side of the thumbnail. Click the apply to All Slides option. In the example presentation, some slides have custom backgrounds.

At this stage, only slides that do not have custom backgrounds will be have their backgrounds reset to match that of the design master you selected. At this point you should also apply the design template to the presentation master so that PowerPoint will automatically apply it to any slides you add to the presentation.

Reset slide backgrounds by selecting all slides and then right-clicking one of them. Select “Automatic” from the Background dialogue and click Apply to All.

  setslidebackground automatic


  resetstage1   bgfixed

Design Template Applied


Automatic Background Applied

So far so good but the fonts in the presentation are still quite inconsistent. Fixing that problem requires switching the Task Pane to Slide Layout. You can do that by clicking on the title bar of the Task Pane or selecting Slide Layout from the Format menu. The is a two step process. First you apply the layout to all selected slides. Then, with all slides still selected, you click “Reapply Layout.”

  FormatSlideLayout   ApplySlideLayout

Here are before and after views of one of the slides from the sample presentation:

  SlideB4change   SlideAfter

Slide With Custom Background Colour and Formatted Text


Slide With Theme and Slide Layout Re-Applied

Note: Resetting a presentation’s appearance in this way will affect only placeholder text fonts. If the presentation includes additional textboxes, you will need to deal with these individually. You may also need to set individual slide layouts for some slides. I have applied the Title and Text layout to make the general change to all slides. To correct the first slide of the presentation, I had to select it and then apply and re-apply the Title and 2-Column Text layout.

Thanks to Noreen for raising the question and to Cynthia, Katherine, and Echo for helping with the solution.