If you’ve recently upgraded from PowerPoint 2003 to PowerPoint 2007 at your company, you may have noticed something annoying with your corporate template. In some cases, corporate presentations need to have the same text added to all presentation slides. For example, many corporate templates are designed so that copyright and confidentiality statements such as “©2008 PowerPoint Ninja – Confidential and Proprietary” appear at the bottom of each slide.
In PowerPoint 2003, this text was typically inserted into a footer placeholder within the Slide Master. This approach would universally add the text to all of the slides, and it would be unalterable in the normal slide view. Perfect.
As my company transitioned over to PowerPoint 2007, we noticed a distinct difference in how the new version of PowerPoint handled these text placeholders. In PowerPoint 2007, the footers were now alterable (i.e., you could edit the text and re-position the entire placeholder), and they seemed to be disconnected from what was in the Slide Master.
We simply needed to update the copyright year from “2007” to “2008”, but we found this simple task to be very difficult to achieve. Changing the year in the Slide Master had no effect on the existing layouts, existing slides, or even new slides that were created. In addition, slides inserted from older presentations would retain their older copyright year. The only way to change the text was to alter it on each individual slide. Not fun and not the solution I was hoping for.
What was the solution?
The key to fixing this problem is to use text boxes and not footers in the Slide Master. If you avoid using the default footer placeholder and use a text box instead, you will be able to create unalterable text on all of your slides. Like magic, all of the layouts and new slides will leverage the specified text in the Slide Master. I’m not sure why Microsoft changed the treatment of its footer placeholders in PowerPoint 2007. I imagine the change has impacted and will continue to impact more than just our corporate template. Learn from our painful experience and beware of the footers!