How to Import a PowerPoint Template

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If you want your next PowerPoint presentation to shine but you don’t have a lot of time, consider using a template.
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If you want your next PowerPoint presentation to shine but you don't have a lot of time, consider using a template. Microsoft provides a variety of built-in templates or you can take it up another notch with a premium or custom template. It's easy to import a PowerPoint template that you've downloaded or saved on your computer.


Download a PowerPoint Template

Microsoft supplies a wide range of templates for download at You can also find free and premium templates at third-party sites. PowerPoint expects personal templates to be stored in the templates folder at the location C:\Users<UserName>\Documents\Custom Office Templates, with <UserName> replaced with your Windows username. After downloading or copying a PowerPoint template, move it to the custom templates folder.

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Import and Load a PowerPoint Template

When you start PowerPoint, you can select a template for a new presentation by selecting the File tab and clicking on New. You can select a built-in template from the gallery of thumbnails or use the search field to look for a specific type of template online. If you've added templates to the Custom Office Template folder, you'll see a Featured button and a Personal button under the template search field. Click on the Personal button and the gallery of thumbnails will switch to thumbnails of your custom templates. Select a template to import and load into PowerPoint. The template will be applied to a new blank presentation.


Apply Imported Template to Existing Slides

To apply an imported template to an existing PowerPoint presentation, follow the steps for creating a new presentation based on the template. Next, open the file containing the existing presentation. To import existing slides into the new presentation, select thumbnails for the slides you want to import and type Ctrl+C to copy them into the clipboard. Go to the new presentation and use Ctrl+V to paste the slides. Choose the paste option Use Destination Theme and the imported template will be applied to the slides when they're pasted.


Fix Problems with PowerPoint Template Location

If the Personal button isn't displayed after you select File > New, it's probably because PowerPoint hasn't been set to look in the correct folder. To fix this problem, go to File > Options and click on Save. In the PowerPoint Options dialog, look for the field labeled Default personal templates location. Make sure it has the file path for the Custom Office Templates folder.

You can store your template files in a different folder by entering the file path you want in the field. Click OK to close the PowerPoint Options dialog. If you have template files in the folder you specify, the Personal button will be displayed and you can select the template to import.


Create Custom PowerPoint Templates

You can create and save your own templates in PowerPoint. Begin by creating a new presentation and adding all the elements you want in your template. Then select Save As on the File tab and click on the Browse button. In the Save As dialog, change the Save as type menu to PowerPoint Template(*.potx). Once you select this type, the template file will automatically be saved to the Custom Office Templates folder and will be available for importing into PowerPoint.