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PowerPoint 2013 changes

What’s changed in PowerPoint 2013


There are several significant changes in PowerPoint 2013 which we consider to be a loss.

1. Personal templates

PowerPoint 2013 does not give you access to your custom templates, be they personal or corporate. There is a selection of on-line “featured” templates.

To gain access to you custom templates, click File > Options > Save and type %appdata%/Microsoft/Templates into the Default personal templates location box.

2. New from Existing

In earlier version of PowerPoint, create a new presentation from an existing one (make a copy) or create a new presentation from a template that’s saved in any folder by using the New from Existing command.

In PowerPoint 2013 the New from Existing command no longer exists and there is no other easy way to achieve a similar result.

3. Theme colours

The Theme Color and Theme Fonts commands have been moved from the Design tab to the Slide Master tab.

4. Hide Background Graphics

The Hide Background Graphics command has been removed from the Design tab.


On the other hand there are some great new things we love!

1. Align and space with Smart guides

When you move objects in PowerPoint 2013, Smart guides appear to help you align and space the objects:

powerpoint align and space

If you resize an object, the Smart Guides appear to help make the edges align:

Powerpoint smart guide resize

 2. Guides on masters

PowerPoint’s guides are also a good way to align objects. One problem with them has always been that they can be too easily moved or deleted in Normal view. In PowerPoint 2013, guides can now be added to master slide layouts and cannot be moved or deleted in Normal view. Guides can now also be customised with a choice of 10 colours.

3. Eyedropper

New in PowerPoint 2013 is a handy feature called the Eyedropper that makes colour matching in a presentation simple. The Eyedropper can also be used to match colours outside the presentation, such as in images and web pages.

Select the object to re-colour and on the Format tab, click Shape Fill > Eyedropper.

powerpoint eyedropper

Move the mouse over the object from which to copy the colour and, when you see the right colour in the preview, click to apply the colour to the selected object.

powerpoint eyedropper

To match the colour of something outside of PowerPoint:

  1. Arrange the screen so you can see both the PowerPoint window and the window that contains the object with the colour you want to copy.
  2. In PowerPoint, select the object to re-colour and on the Format tab, click Shape Fill > Eyedropper.
  3. Click anywhere on the PowerPoint slide and drag the mouse outside of the PowerPoint window.
  4. Release the mouse when it is over the colour you want to copy to the selected object.

 What else we’d like see

1. Protect master view

A straightforward way to password protect master views so they can’t be changed by the unauthorised or uninitiated!

2. Guides in Word

It would be really useful if we had guides and Smart Guides in Word too!

3. Eyedropper in Word

The Eyedropper tool is great. Why not add it to Word too?

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