Customize PowerPoint’s Default Theme to Get the Look You Want

Do you open a new presentation and constantly change the font, font size, font color, alignment and more? Does your organization have difficulty getting everyone to use the right theme, so that presentations are not consistent? One of my readers asked this question because the organization wants presentations to use the Arial font, but the default always comes up using Calibri.

If you’re in this situation, then customizing the default theme in PowerPoint 2007, 2010 or 2013 will solve your problems! When you first open PowerPoint, you’ll get exactly the look you want.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open PowerPoint. In 2007 and 2010, you’ll see the default, blank theme. In 2013, choose the option marked Default Theme.
  2. To go to the slide master, click the View tab, then click Slide Master.
  3. Click the top, larger master thumbnail in the left-hand column. You may need to scroll up to see it. Make the changes that you want. For example, select the slide title and change its font, font size, font color and alignment.
  4. From the Slide Master tab, click the Close Master View button or just click the Normal view icon at the lower-left corner of the screen.
  5. Click the Design tab. In the Themes group, click the More button on the right and choose Save Current Theme at the bottom.
  6. In the Save Current Theme dialog box, accept the default location, type a new name for the theme, and click Save.
  7. Again click the Themes gallery More button and look in the Themes gallery’s Custom section. Find your new theme. To distinguish it from others that look similar, hover your cursor over a theme to see its name in a tooltip. Right-click the new theme and choose Set as Default Theme.

To test the theme, close PowerPoint without saving changes and re-open it. In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, you’ll automatically see your new default theme. In PowerPoint 2013, you’ll see  your new custom theme in the top-left position labeled Default Theme.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a noted presentation design consultant and trainer, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and author of a number of top-selling books in the presentations field. For more information, visit

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