How can I change the default layout for a new slide in Powerpoint?

When I go to View -> Slide Master, I can edit and add new layouts (sometimes I can also delete a layout, but not always, which is odd), but I don't see an option to make a particular layout the default one.

The version I am using is Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

4 Answers 4


I've found a solution that works for me on PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Go to Slide Master View. You should see a master layout and several dependent layouts (indented).
  2. Find the slide layout that you want to use as default layout for new slides.
  3. Move it so that it is the third item overall counting the master layout (i.e. the second indented layout underneath the master layout)
  4. Close Slide Master View.
  5. Try to add a new slide. It should be in the layout you need.

Please let me know if this works for you.

  • 20
    This works but it is super unintuitive. Why the heck would they make it the third item?
    – Andrew Mao
    Dec 9, 2013 at 18:12
  • 7
    This works because the first is the current theme (the base for all slides), the second (which is the first in the theme) is the "Title" slide, (you can test this by deleting all slides and adding a new slide and the second in the list is the default for the first slide). This makes the third (The second in the theme) the first non-title slide.
    – James
    Jun 29, 2015 at 14:47
  • 5
    Power point for the win in regards to usability here
    – mist
    May 16, 2016 at 17:38
  • 4
    Unintuitive and illogical but also works on PowerPoint 2016 on the Mac.
    – pvillela
    Aug 19, 2016 at 10:41
  • 1
    @AndrewMao if you have to ask that, then I guess you don't use Microsoft products. You may have heard the phrase, the customer is always right, or make the customer happy. This is true for most companies, but apparently not a good strategy if you have a monopoly ( or apparent monopoly), in this case you should treat them as badly as possible. I can not remember where I read this, but it seems to be what works. May 23, 2017 at 17:19

PowerPoint has Slide Masters and Layouts.

The "default" Layout (i.e., what you get when you add a New Slide [Ctrl+M]) is set by what was taken as the layout last time. Thus to change:

  1. Add a New Slide
  2. Right click on the slide (in the slide outline [to the left]), select Layout>
  3. Click on the Layout you want as default

When you add a new slide (Ctrl+M), it should will be in this format.


Save the layout you want as a PP template. When you open PP you should see the template under the recent tab. Click on the pin icon to pin the template so that it will always be available as a pinned template. Click on it and it will open to your desired layout.


I could have sworn there was an easy way to do this in Powerpoint, but I don't use it anymore and Googling the issue seems to indicate that there isn't a proper in-program way to do it. This Powerpoint add-in ought to be the solution.

Note: I didn't actually test that, I run LibreOffice now. But it does appear to have a good rep on teh interwebz.

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