Editing slides and main layouts – ABOUT MAG 2020

Lesson 14: Editing main slides and layouts

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Editing slides and main layouts

You may have noticed that when you select a different theme in Google Slides, it rearranges the text on the slides and adds shapes to the background. This is because each theme has built-in slide layouts and background graphics. You can edit these layouts with a feature called the main model editor. Once you learn how to use the editor, you can customize your entire slide show with just a few clicks.

Using the main model editor

The main model editor in Google Slides, you can quickly modify slides and slide layouts in your presentation. From there, you can edit the slide master, which will affect each slide in the presentation. You can also modify slide layouts, which will change all slides using these layouts. Here are some common uses for the main model editor.

  • Modify funds: The master template editor makes it easy to customize the bottom for all your slides at the same time. For example, you can add a watermark or logo to each slide in the presentation, or modify the background graphics of an existing theme.
  • Rearrange placeholders: If you find that you generally rearrange the placeholders on each slide, save time by rearranging them in the master template editor. When you adjust one of the layouts in the master template editor, all slides with that layout are changed.
  • Customize text formatting: Instead of changing the color of the text on each slide individually, you can use the main template editor to change the color of the text on all slides at once.
  • Create unique slide layouts: If you want to create a presentation that looks different from the standard Google Slides themes, use the main template editor to create your own layouts. Custom layouts can include your own bottom graphics and placeholders.

Customizing the Slide Master

If you want to change something on all slides in your presentation, you can edit the slide master. In our example, we will change the font color of the title.

  1. Optional: Click Theme and select a theme similar to the design you want. In our example, we’ll select the Coral theme.
  2. Open the Slide menu and select Edit master.
    Clicking Edit Master on the Slide menu
  3. The presentation will switch to the main template editor. Make sure to select the slide master at the top; otherwise, one of the layouts will be selected by default.
    Selecting the slide master
  4. Make the desired changes to the slide master. In our example, we’ll change the font color to teal.
    Changing the font color
  5. When finished, close the main model editor by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of the panel.
    Closing the main slide view
  6. The change will appear on all slides in the presentation.
    Changes are applied to all slides

Customizing slide layouts

You can use the main template editor to modify any slide layout in your presentation. It is easy to make minor adjustments, such as adjusting background graphics and more significant changes, such as rearranging or deleting placeholders. Unlike the slide master, changes to a slide layout will only be applied to slides using that layout in your presentation.

  1. Open the master model editor. When opened, the layout of the currently selected slide will be displayed by default.
    Opening the main editing view
  2. Locate and select the desired layout in the left navigation panel. When you select a layout, you can see how many slides are using that layout in the presentation.
    Current slides using this layout
  3. Add, move, modify or delete any objects as wished. In our example, we will resize the boxes and change the fill color to teal.
    Modifying a slide layout
  4. When finished, close the main model editor by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of the panel.
    Main display of the closing slide
  5. The change will appear on all slides using this layout.
    Changes to a slide using this layout

Unlike PowerPoint, images are not contained in placeholders, so they are not moved when you change the theme.

Should you edit all layouts?

The theme can contain layouts that are not used by your presentation. It’s up to you to edit all of them or just some of them. You can only focus on the layouts currently used for your presentation. On the other hand, if you plan to add more slides or use your theme in other presentations, you may want to edit all layouts to ensure that the design is consistent.

Using your theme in other presentations

After customizing the slide master and layouts for your current presentation, you can import those same designs into a new presentation as a theme.

  1. Open the presentation you want to import your custom theme into. Open the Themes panel and click the button Import theme command at the bottom.
    Clicking on the Import theme
  2. Select the custom presentation. Your theme will be imported into the current presentation.
    Selecting a presentation


  1. Open our sample file. Make sure you’re signed in to Google and click Archive > Make a copy.
  2. Open the master model editor and make sure to select the slide master at the top.
  3. Change the bottom for teal of the theme colors.
  4. Change the source of the main title to Times New Roman and the font color for White.
  5. Change the font color of the rest of the text to black.
  6. Select the first layout slide (Title slide) in the main editor.
  7. Change the alignment main title and main caption for align right. Drag the title and caption so that they are near the bottom right corner of the slide.
  8. Add a small horizontal line below the legend. Change the thread color yellow and the line width to 4 pt.
  9. Close the slide master. When finished, the first slide of your presentation should look something like this:
    Master Slide Challenge

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Paula Fonseca