PowerPoint templates get a bad rap. That’s because most PowerPoint templates are pretty bad. They’re often ugly and they’re rarely built right. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. A professionally designed and expertly crafted PowerPoint template can save users time and effort and help them create better presentations more quickly.

One feature that can contribute to creating beautiful slides with minimum effort is custom layouts. Here’s a custom layout I created in a template designed by Lammert Jonkman.

custom layout 1

This layout includes a powerful image and bold pre-formatted text. All the user has to do is type her statement into the textbox. She can even change the image easily if she wants – and we provided off-slide instructions to help her do so.


custom layout

The title slide is similar, with changeable images and graphics as well as pre-formatted text placeholders. We included a number of simple solid-background options as well to maximize flexibility.

Here’s another, this one for a client who has a more industrial look. On this custom layout we created a custom-shaped picture placeholder to allow the footers to seamlessly overlay the image. There’s also a semitransparent caption block overlaying the photo.  And off-slide instructions, just in case.

Even something simple like a layout for an agenda or quotation slide can be a huge time-saver while still encouraging good presentation practices. The text placeholder in this quotation slide designed by my colleague Julie Terberg formats automatically with all caps and loose character spacing so all the user has to do is enter text.


To learn more about custom layouts and other features that enhance PowerPoint templates, check our book, Building PowerPoint Templates: Step by Step with the Experts.