PowerPoint 2003: Applying a design template to an existing presentation: how to overwrite background of 1st/title slide?

Dear All,

I have the following problem with PowerPoint 2003: I have created a PowerPoint template in which slide and title masters are defined. The new template works just fine for blank presentations.

However, I have a problem when applying this new design template to existing presentations - whenever I do it, the background of the title master does not overwrite the background of the title slide of the existing presentation.

Here is what I do:
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I open an existing PPT document and then click on "Design" in the MS PowerPoint toolbar. in the "Slide Design" pane on the right, I then choose to apply the new template I created to it. Now, PowerPoint adapts the slides of the existing presentation according to what is defined in the slide master of my new template. However, this does *not* work for the first/title page - there, the background that the existing presentation has is not overwritten with the background defined in the newly created template. If I want to apply the background of the first slide, then I have to do so manually.

NB: the background is a "real background", not just an image spreading over the whole slide extension.

I am now wondering whether there is any way to ensure that PowerPoint applies the background for the first slide to the existing presentation, as defined in the slide master.

Many thanks in advance,

Fabio
fabio_wAsked:
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Echo_SCommented:
I would bet that the title slide doesn't use the Title Slide layout. Try selecting the title slide, going to Format | Slide Layout and choosing the Title Slide layout in the pane on the right. If it's already selected, you may need to right-click and Reapply Layout.
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fabio_wAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply Echo_S. I tried re-applying the "title slide" layout (which was already selected), however, unfortunately this did not solve the issue.

Best,
Fabio
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Echo_SCommented:
Hm.

So in the existing presentations, someone use Format Background, Fill Effects, Picture to create the background on the title slide master -- not an image on the slide master. And in your new template, the title slide master is created the same way?

Hm. That *should* overwrite -- just as you think it should! Sometimes you have to apply / reapply the title slide layout twice to get it to "take," but usually not unless there's been a bunch of manual formatting on the existing slide as well.

What if you select a different layout then re-select the Title Slide layout?

Oh, also. The existing presentation...check to see how many slide masters it has. If it was opened and saved in PPT 2007, it will get one set of masters for each slide layout there, because PPT 2007 and 2003 handle masters and layouts very differently. I wonder if something's cross-firing because of that.
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fabio_wAuthor Commented:
The existing presentation does not have a title master in the slide master view. It just has a slide master applying to all slides. The background the first/title slide in it is a "true" background, i.e., done via "Format Background, Fill Effects, Picture". The same applies to the background in the new design template.

I now tried selecting "title only" layout, then switched it to "title slide", re-applied "title slide", but it still does not overwrite the title slide background of the existing presentation when I apply the new design template.

The existing presentation is a native PPT 2003 document, as is the design template.

Thanks,
Fabio
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Echo_SCommented:
Ah, in that case, you'll need to apply the appropriate master. So go to Format | Slide Design and choose the appropriate master -- that is, the title master. Since your slide layout is the title layout, it should update apprpriately.

Basically, you need 2 things to format a slide: the appropriate master and the appropriate layout. Since your original presentation used the slide master, not the title master, you now have to go in and apply that using the Slide Design pane.

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Echo_SCommented:
Oh, and when you apply the title master, use the right-click. Otherwise that master may apply to all your slides!
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fabio_wAuthor Commented:
Thanks Echo. Unfortunately, your solution seems not to work (or, I misunderstood).

What I suspect is that, in the existing presentation, the background of the title slide was manually inserted, which broke the slide's connection to the master, and thus causes it not to adapt to the new design template (if, in the existing presentation, I choose "new slide" and then change the layout to "title slide", it does not look like the first/title slide in the file, but as the other slides). In this case, would there be any solution?
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Echo_SCommented:
That could definitely be the issue. You may just need to go to Format Background | Fill Effects and change it to the appropriate color (first color swatch). Then try reapplying the desgn and/or layout.

You might be able to "omit background graphics from master," but that might not work well in your situation (depends on what's on the new master).
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fabio_wAuthor Commented:
Hi Echo, and thanks for all the quick and good answers. In fact, if I choose "omit background graphics from master" and "apply to all", then applying the new master "overwrites" the (manually inserted) title slide with the one in the new template, which is a feasible solution!

Thanks again,
Fabio
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Echo_SCommented:
That's great to hear! Thanks for your patience working through the options -- I probably should have just asked you to send me the file to look at in the first place. ;-)
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