Basic Question:

In Powerpoint, when copying slides from one presentation to another how can I maintain the source background, colors, and other formatting?

Traditional Answer:

When things are working right:

  1. Get both presentations into the same view (e.g. Normal vs. slide sorter)
  2. Highlight the slides in the source presentation and drag or Copy/Paste to the desired location in the destination presentation.
  3. By default, it will adopt the corresponding styles from the destination template (specifically, that of the slide just before the paste destination)
  4. In the small floating Copy/paste drop-down menu, select "Keep Source Formatting"

This will keep the source formatting and add the corresponding template of master slides to the destination presentation.

Question here is: What if that doesn't work?

Example: in the latest version of Powerpoint 2016 under Mac OSX (16.17 (180909)), selecting "Keep source formatting" does not make any changes. Instead, the check mark never moves, and the format is stuck with the undesired destination formatting.

Any ideas?


Work around:

  1. Open the Master view in each presentation
  2. Select the top (larger) master slide from the source and copy it to the end of the list of master slides in the destination. This will copy not just one slide format, but the full template of slide formats as an alternate template in the destination. Existing slides there will not change
  3. Return both to normal view
  4. Copy slides to destination, attempt to use the drop down to select "Use destination formatting." Chances are this won't work or you wouldn't be reading this part so...
  5. For the newly copied slides, select the Layout button from the Home ribbon and scroll down till you see the source template and select the correct slide type.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.