Removing Elements from PowerPoint Templates

I was recently asked the questions about how to remove elements from one of our animated PowerPoint templates.  Specifically, our subscriber wanted to remove the globe and keep the rest of the animation from this template. But she also wanted to keep the globe animation in other slides.

The animated PowerPoint Template used in this tutorial.
Download animated templates here.

This is a great question, and it gives me an opportunity to better explain how the slide master works.

This tutorial applies to PowerPoint 2010, 2008(mac) and 2007.

The Slide Master Explained

The heart of a PowerPoint template is the Slide Master.  To view the slide master – choose View>Slide Master.

Slide Master View in PowerPoint

It controls all the default layouts and various pre-designed slides that are included in our templates.  Each Slide Master can have any number of layout pages beneath it.  Think of the Slide Master as the template for the template.  You can have multiple Slide Masters, and each Master can have multiple layouts attached to it.  It’s powerful but a bit confusing at first.

Take a look at this screen-shot, the slide at the top is the Master, everything beneath and indented is a layout attached to the Master.

PowerPoint Slide Master Screen-Shot

The Slide Master and the attached Layouts

Adding and Subtracting Items from the Slide Master

An element or image placed on the Slide Master is copied to any layout page attached to the Master. (There is a way to hide Slide Master graphics on the attached layouts.  This is explained at the end.)  So in our example, if you remove the globe from the Slide Master, the top slide in the illustration above, it is also removed from all the layout pages of the template.

That’s great if you don’t want the globe to appear anywhere in the template,  but the original problem was we wanted the globe animation to appear only on select slides, not get rid of it completely.

There are a couple of things you could do at this point.

1. Cut the animation from the Slide Master and then Paste it into the individual layouts where you want it to appear.

Any element you place on a layout slide, will only appear in your presentation when you choose that layout.  This is a fine, but if you start adding elements to the layouts, it can quickly get confusing where the final resting place for that element is.  Is that picture on a actual slide, on a layout, or is it on the Slide Master?

2. Duplicate the Slide Master

This is my favorite option.  Because you can have multiple Slide Masters in your template, you can duplicate the Slide Master.

Choose ‘Duplicate Slide Master’ from the menu after you right click top of the Slide Master.  Now with this new Slide Master, in our example, you can have a complete set of new layouts without the globe animation, and a complete set with the animation.

PowerPoint Slide Master Screen Shot

A second Slide Master is created with the globe animation removed.

Now after exiting the Slide Master view, you have a completely new set of layouts available to you in the normal PowerPoint view.

Layouts Screen Shot from PowerPoint

Your new Slide Master layouts now appear when you select Layouts

Hiding Graphics Used on the Slide Master

You may notice that by deleting the globe from the slide master that the globe still exists on the Title Slide Layout.  This is because the Title Slide Layout has its own graphical elements and all the elements from the Slide Master are hidden.

Title Slide Layout

The Title Slide Layout is hiding the graphics from the Slide Master.

If you right click on the layout you wish to edit, you can choose ‘Hide Background Graphics”.  This effectively removes all the graphical elements from the Slide Master.  In this example a different version of the globe animation has been added directly to the Title Page Layout so the template has another look.

Format Background in PowerPoint

Hide Background Graphics to remove Slide Master graphics from layout pages.

One note of warning, if you hide the background graphics you will need to copy and paste any images or videos you wish to continue to use directly into the layout you are modifying.

In Closing

It can be confusing, but once you have worked with the Slide Master and it’s layouts it gets pretty easy.  Just remember when editing our templates, first start editing on the Slide Master.  If you cannot remove or change what you want there, then move on to looking at the attached Layout slides.  If your still have questions, feel free to contact our customer support.

Good Presenting!

Art Holden

  • Julie Burley

    Great explanation. Thankyou so much. This clarified many questions I had as well.

  • Jacalyn Rogers

    This is nice, but the autodate in slide Master and it’s dependencies (layouts) is sometimes good; sometimes bad.

    Since I had to hard date the slides and did it on each slide for end of month… Now I want to re-establish the Autodate feature from the layout … can you advise me?

  • SM

    Hi—I have a Master that has an image in the background that I cannot remove—no where in any of the menu options does it provide a way for me to remove the background image. It says I can hide the images, but I want to remove a graphic and replace it with another—super hard to try and find the answer to this, help!!! Thx!

    • SM – Which template is it you’re working in ? I’ll walk you through the process of finding the right image.


    I am using pp10 I was unable to remove the “your logo” placeholder. It appears as if the “your logo” is part of the background. any suggestions? am i doing anything wrong?

  • David

    When one wants to Hide Background in multiple pages of a presentation, is there a way to do this?

    I find highlighting the pages and holding the control key does not work with Hide Background command. I end up doing it one page at a time.


    • Are you wanting to do it to all of the slides? If so, click “Apply to All”. Also, if you only have specific slides to do this to, you can use the Format Painter hotkey, F4 on your keyboard. As soon as you’ve closed the “Format Background” window, click your next slide you want to hide the background on and hit F4.

  • Theresa

    Thank you so much. This was incredibly helpful.

  • Raees Uzhunnan

    Thanks ; this helped

  • cynthia

    Thank you so much! You solved my problem!!!

  • Nicole

    This was the most helpful info EVER! Thank you sooooo much!!!!

  • Jenyfer

    Thank you so much. This was realllllly helpful

  • Suzy

    Perfect! Thank you –

  • DF Enterprise

    I am trying to remove the background within PP and I have tried to remove the background, and also save it as a png and it still is not gone. I need to import it into another program so I can edit the background there.

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