Submission guidelines for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 templates

 Important    This article provides submission guidelines and best practices for Microsoft partners who want to create Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 templates that meet the publishing requirements for the Microsoft Office Online Templates website. For information about how to create, modify, or apply templates, see What is a template?

In addition to setup requirements, this article discusses features and options that are commonly used to build Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 templates.

When creating templates, it's a good idea to become familiar with important considerations about content that you want to publish and your potential audience. Before you submit a template for publication online, we recommend reading What to know before you create a template and Make your templates more accessible for users with disabilities.

In this article


Setup requirements

Make sure that the computer you use to create and to test templates meets the following operating system and application-specific requirements.

Operating system requirements

  • For security reasons, make sure that the recommended security settings for your operating system are turned on and that you’re running up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Make sure that the language in which you are creating a template is the same language that you’re using for your operating system and PowerPoint 2007.

Application requirements

  • Use a clean installation of PowerPoint 2007 only; for example, an installation with no additional fonts or add-ins. This helps ensure that your templates will work on most customers’ computers.
  • Use the default page setup options for PowerPoint 2007. This helps ensure that most customers can view and print your templates without problems.

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About PowerPoint 2007 templates

PowerPoint 2007 templates can contain sample text and images to help users get started, for example, with creating awards, certificates, and calendars. In PowerPoint 2007, use themes to create slide masters, layouts, and sample slides for your templates.

2007 Microsoft Office system document themes

A document theme is composed of a set of theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects. Every document that you create by using PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007, or Microsoft Office Excel 2007 has a theme inside it — even blank, new documents. Additionally, themes contain slide master and slide background designs for use in PowerPoint 2007. The default theme is Office theme, with a white background and dark, subtle colors. When you apply a new theme, Office theme is replaced by a new look, such as the dark background and bright colors of the Metro theme. All content (such as text, tables, and SmartArt graphics) should be dynamically linked to the theme, so changing the theme automatically changes the look of your content.

When your masters and sample slides are created using theme elements, changing the theme of your presentation not only changes the background color, but also the colors, styles, and fonts of the diagrams, tables, charts, shapes, and text within your presentation.

Document themes are shared across Office programs so that all of your Office documents can have a consistent look. You can apply the same theme, for example, to a PowerPoint 2007 presentation, a Word 2007 document, and an Excel 2007 spreadsheet.

The difference between themes and templates

Themes are what you see in the Themes gallery. Although a theme can be a stand-alone file type (.thmx), every presentation (.pptx) or template (.potx) you create by using PowerPoint 2007 has a theme applied to it. Themes do not contain text or graphics on individual slides, but theme colors, fonts, effects, backgrounds, slide masters, and slide layouts. Themes apply to all parts of your presentation, including text and data.

When you need a document to act as a ''starter'' document—that is, a presentation that contains slides with sample content—create a template (.potx). In addition to the customizable theme elements that reside in the template (such as slide masters and layouts for formatting your slides), a template can contain sample slides with text and graphics.

A comparison of PowerPoint 2003 slide designs with PowerPoint 2007 design features

In PowerPoint 2003, to change the look of your presentation — such as the types and sizes of bullets, background design and fill colors, and placeholder sizes and positions — you opened the Slide Design task pane and applied a ''design template.'' In PowerPoint 2007, you apply a theme to achieve similar results. The Themes gallery on the Design tab of the ribbon in 2007 replaces the Slide Design task pane in 2003.

A PowerPoint 2003 template can contain one or several slide designs (based on the number of masters). A PowerPoint 2007 template can also contain multiple masters, and they will each show up as a separate entry in the Themes group. A PowerPoint 2007 template, however, can only contain one complete theme (one set of colors, fonts, effects, and one background group).

In PowerPoint 2003, slide designs came with their own sets of color schemes that worked only for PowerPoint. In PowerPoint 2007, theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects also work with Word 2007 and Excel 2007. PowerPoint 2003 slide designs (also called ''design templates'' in the product) were meant to provide you with one quick and attractive solution, and using themes provides you with multiple options in which you can dynamically swap out one theme for another, instantly giving your presentation a completely different look.

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Designing slides using themes, colors, fonts, effects, and background styles

This section discusses commonly used options on the Design tab of the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon.

Themes

You can apply a document theme to all slides, to selected slides only, or to the master slide. Right-click the document theme, and then click the option that you want.

To customize a document theme, change the colors, fonts, and/or graphic effects by making new choices in the Themes group on the Design tab while your theme is selected. Changes that you make to one or more of these theme components immediately affect the styles that you have applied in the active document. A combination of the various types of effects you see in the formatting dialog boxes for PowerPoint 2007 graphics are used to populate the various graphic formatting groups, including SmartArt graphic layouts, Chart Styles, Shape Styles, and (in PowerPoint 2007 only) Table Styles (including line and fill formatting, shadows, 3-D format, 3-D rotation, etc.).

A custom document theme is saved in the Document Themes folder (Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes) and automatically added to the list of custom themes (also saved in the Document Themes folder).

Colors

Theme colors specify how colors are applied to your charts, SmartArt graphics, and shapes. By using built-in colors on the Design tab, you can choose different sets of colors to quickly change the look of these objects. You can also create your own theme colors.

Fonts

Use fonts that ship with Windows and the 2007 Office release only, which will be the case if you are using a clean installation. If you download and apply additional fonts, your templates might not print or display correctly for customers who do not have those fonts. You can find built-in fonts on the Design tab. See Fonts that ship with different versions of Office and Fonts supplied with some Microsoft products.

Effects

Theme effects specify how effects are applied to your charts, SmartArt graphics, and shapes. By using built-in effects on the Design tab, you can choose different sets of effects to quickly change the look of these objects. Although you cannot create your own set of theme effects, you can choose the effect that you want to use in your own theme.

Background styles

Background styles are a combination of theme colors and effects that only apply in the Background Styles gallery, which can include fill effects (including images). When you change document themes, the background styles are updated to reflect the new theme colors and backgrounds. If you want to change only the background of your presentation, you should choose a different background style. When you change document themes, you change much more than the background—you also change the set of colors, heading and body text fonts, line and fill styles, and theme effects.

  • Background styles are displayed in thumbnails in the Background Styles gallery. When you place your pointer over a background style thumbnail, you can preview how the background style will affect your presentation. If you like the background style, you can then click to apply it. You can also apply unique backgrounds from the gallery to specific masters, layouts, or slides.
  • To change the available background styles, change the theme or theme colors, as the background styles will be updated to reflect the new theme colors and backgrounds.
  • To add the Background Styles gallery (or any gallery on the Ribbon) to the Quick Access Toolbar, right-click a thumbnail, and then click Add Gallery to Quick Access Toolbar.

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Using slide masters

When you start with a blank template, you can add a consistent look to your slides by customizing the slide master, instead of customizing each slide individually. To customize a slide master, you specify the placements of text and objects on a slide.

A template file (.potx) can contain one or more slide masters. Each master contains one set of layouts, which consists of 11 built-in layouts (nine of which are available to English-language users), and can contain custom layouts as well.

  • Work in Slide Master view to create and edit a slide master.
  • It is a good idea to create a slide master before you start to build individual slides, rather than after. When you create the slide master first, all of the slides that you add to your presentation are based on that slide master. However, if you create a slide master after you start to build individual slides, some of the items on the slides may not conform to the slide master design.

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Creating custom slide layouts

Overview of layouts

You can use layouts to arrange objects and text on a slide. A layout is one part of a slide master that defines positioning information for content that will later appear on a slide. Layouts contain placeholders, which in turn hold text, such as titles and bulleted lists, and slide content such as SmartArt graphics, tables, charts, pictures, shapes, and clip art. While you can add text and object placeholders to a layout or slide master, you cannot add placeholders directly to a slide.

PowerPoint 2007 includes built-in, standard layouts, or you can create custom layouts that meet your specific organizational needs. People creating presentations in your organization can then use either the built-in or your custom layouts to create their presentations.

Standard layouts

The standard layouts available in PowerPoint 2007 are similar to the ones available in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions.

PowerPoint 2007 includes the following nine built-in layouts:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Comparison
  • Title Only
  • Blank
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

(There are a total of 11 if you include two Japanese layouts – Title and Vertical Text Layout and Vertical Title and Text Layout – which don’t appear in the Layout gallery unless Japanese language is enabled on your computer. These two, however, always appear in Slide Master view.)

Custom layouts

You cannot customize background graphic elements (such as images or shapes) that you place on the master on individual layouts, but you can hide them (in the Background group on the Slide Master tab).

If you don’t find a standard layout that suits your needs or the needs of presentation authors within your organization, you can customize a built-in layout. You can also create reusable custom layouts that specify the number, size, and location of placeholders and background content. You can also distribute custom layouts as part of a template, so you no longer have to waste valuable time cutting and pasting your layouts onto new slides or deleting content on a slide that you want to use with new and different content. You are also less likely to need multiple masters for a few unique slides since individual layouts are customizable.

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Using placeholders in custom layouts

Custom layouts can contain as many placeholders as you want. Types of text and object-based placeholders that you can add to build your custom layout include:

  • Content
  • Text
  • Picture
  • Chart
  • Table
  • Diagram
  • Media
  • Clip Art

While you can add text and object placeholders to a layout or slide master, you cannot add placeholders directly to a slide.

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Inserting pictures and clip art

Pictures and clip art are referred to as images in this section, except where specific guidelines apply to each. These features are available on the Insert tab of the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon and in content and picture placeholders on some of the slide layouts.

Legal responsibilities

Before you choose images to include in a template, make sure that they are not protected by copyright or trademark and are suitable for public distribution.

Image file format

You can insert vector or bitmap files, but for image quality and file size purposes, we strongly recommend that you insert the following:

  • JPEG File Interchange Format (.jpeg, .jpg, .jfif, or .jpe files)
  • Portable network graphics (.png files)
  • Windows Enhanced Metafile (.emf files)

Image resolution

Resolution values depend on how you intend a template to be used:

  • If a template is intended to be viewed online only, use a resolution of 72 DPI.
  • If a template is intended for print or for print and online use, use a resolution of 150 or 200 DPI.
  • To test image resolution, print the template on a home printer. Commercial printers use a resolution of 300 DPI, but most home printers can print 150 to 200 DPI only.

Guidelines for inserting and formatting images

You can add images to a template by placing them on the slide master or directly on a slide. If you are not sure which option to use, keep in mind that:

  • If an image should appear on each slide in a presentation, insert it on the slide master.
  • If an image should appear on all slides that share a similar layout, insert the image on the applicable slide layout.
  • If an image should only appear on one or a few of the slides in the presentation, insert the image in the individual slides.
  • Custom placeholders should only be added to custom layouts so that the built-in layouts in your templates work with all built-in themes.
  • Avoid resizing photos within a template; instead, use a photo editing program to resize photos and save them to the recommended resolution setting for print or online use.
  • When you must resize an image in PowerPoint, press and hold the Shift key while dragging the corner image handles to maintain proportion. You can also use the size and position options on the Picture Tools Format tab.

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Inserting SmartArt graphics, tables, shapes, and charts

SmartArt graphics, tables, shapes, and charts are available on the Insert tab of the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon and in the content placeholder of some of the slide layouts.

SmartArt graphics

Instead of adding individual shapes to create a drawing, you may want to create a SmartArt graphic. In a SmartArt graphic, the arrangement of the shapes and the amount of text within those shapes is updated automatically as you add or remove shapes and edit your text.

With SmartArt graphics, you can create editable illustrations of your information in a PowerPoint 2007 presentation. Because PowerPoint 2007 presentations often contain slides with bulleted lists, you can quickly convert slide text to a SmartArt graphic. In addition, you can add animation to your SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint.

  • If an image should appear on each slide in a presentation, insert it on the slide master.
  • You can change the color of an entire SmartArt graphic in the SmartArt Styles group on the SmartArt Tools Design contextual tab. Also on this tab is a Change Colors button. All of the color options are linked to theme colors.
  • You can apply a SmartArt style to a SmartArt graphic.
  • If you already have text on a slide, you can convert the text to a SmartArt graphic.
  • You can also add text and shapes to your SmartArt graphic in the SmartArt graphic’s text pane.

Tables

In the 2007 Office release, the PowerPoint 2007 table feature has been significantly enhanced. It is now much easier to reuse tables from Word 2007 or Excel 2007 in a PowerPoint 2007 presentation. After you create and format a table in Word 2007 or Excel 2007, you can paste the table into PowerPoint 2007 as an embedded object to retain its functionality. After you add the table to your presentation, you can use the new table features in PowerPoint 2007 to quickly change the table style or add an effect.

Thumbnails of table styles appear in the Table Styles gallery of the Table Tools Design tab. When you place your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the Quick Style affects your table.

A table style is a combination of different formatting options, including color combinations that are derived from the theme colors of the presentation. Table styles under the Best Match For Document heading also include theme effects.

Shapes

You can add one shape to your PowerPoint 2007 template or combine multiple shapes to make a drawing or a more complex shape. Available shapes include lines, basic geometric shapes, arrows, equation shapes, flowchart shapes, stars, banners, and callouts.

Use built-in shape styles to change the look of shapes. Remember that shape styles are controlled by theme effects.

Charts

In PowerPoint 2007, charts have the same charting flexibility as in Excel 2007 (but only if you have Excel 2007 installed on your computer). In addition, chart styles are controlled by theme colors and effects.

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Using content controls and macros

Content controls and macro functions are available on the Developer tab of the PowerPoint 2007 Ribbon.

 Note   When you install PowerPoint 2007, the Developer tab is not turned on by default. If you haven't already done so, you can turn it on by using the option provided in the Popular tab of the PowerPoint Options dialog box.

 Important   Please contact your Microsoft representative before submitting templates with macros. As a security measure, templates containing macros must be reviewed and digitally signed by Microsoft before they can be published online; templates that have been digitally signed by third parties cannot be published and should be submitted without a digital signature.

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Working with placeholders and sample text

Sample text in placeholders should clearly indicate the type of information that customers need to enter when working with a template. Follow these guidelines for placeholders and sample text:

Formatting placeholders

  • Anchor points for placeholders can vary according to the design. The default for title placeholders is middle-anchor. The default for body text, header, and footer placeholders is top-anchor.
  • Do not group placeholders. Group all other images, including text boxes that contain images.

Formatting sample text

  • Text in pladeholders will update automatically if a user changes the slide layout, design template, or color scheme. Text that is not in controls will not update automatically.
  • Make sure that all placeholder text is on top, and that no text boxes, shapes, or other images are covering placeholder text.
  • Don’t surround placeholder and sample text in brackets or manually format placeholder text.
  • Make sure that sentences and phrases use editorially correct capitalization and punctuation.
  • To create lines where text should be entered or written, such as signature lines, use a table cell with a bottom border, a bottom paragraph border, or an underlined tab leader. Do not use underscore characters which can’t be ''filled in'' online and which can display as dotted lines in print.
  • Use either instructional or sample text, but be sure to use it consistently within a template. For example, use either ''Street Address, City, ST'' or ''1234 Main Street, Bothell, MD,'' but do not use both in the same template. For more information about legal naming requirements, see Street addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses later in this document.
  • If you prefer to use generic placeholder text instead of sample text, use the text and construction provided in Generic placeholder text later in this document.
  • Format all text in controls by using built-in colors, fonts, and effects. Do not format text manually.

Street addresses, telephone numbers, web sites and e-mail addresses

 Important   For copyright, trademark, and privacy reasons, make sure that any person or company names, addresses, telephone numbers, web sites, and e-mail addresses in your templates comply with these legal naming requirements for text and construction.

Street addresses

  • Use sequential numbers
  • Use common street names
  • Use a ZIP Code that does not match the state listed in the address, for example: 4567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  98052

Telephone numbers

  • Use an area code that does not match the state listed in the address
  • Use the prefix 555
  • Use suffix numbers between 0100 and 0199, for example: (425) 555-0150 where 425 is not the correct area code for the state you have selected

E-mail addresses

  • Use someone@example.com. This address has been reserved by Microsoft for use for sample purposes.

Names in the public domain

Places such as parks and other public city locations are in the public domain. You can refer to these names without trademark issues. If you are not certain, however, please request permission from the appropriate contacts or contact your Microsoft representative.

You can also use publicly disseminated information such as The American Heart Association Food Guidelines, but you must credit the organization. If you are not certain whether information or company names are in the public domain, please contact the organization to obtain permission.

Company names and web site addresses

To create fictitious company or person names and web site addresses:

  • Avoid any name or web site address that you know to be real, especially in combination.
  • Use generic or descriptive names such as The Dental Office or The City Planning Office
  • Use the names of trees, for example, for fictitious educational institutes such as Elm High School or Maple University.
  • Thoroughly research your fictitious name by going online, using telephone service publications, and other publicly available resources.

Generic placeholder text

To help ensure that placeholder text is consistent across all templates on the web site, use the text and construction provided in the table below.

Function Placeholder text and construction
Names

To indicate person or company names, use these placeholder texts:

  • Recipient Name
  • Company Name
  • Your name here
Business tag line Your business tag line here
Company contact information

To indicate company contact information, use these placeholder texts:

  • Company Name
  • Street Address
  • Address 2
  • City, ST  ZIP Code

For example: 4567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  98052

Telephone and fax numbers

To create a telephone or fax number:

  • Use an area code that does not match the state listed in the address
  • Use 555 as the prefix
  • Use numbers between 0100 and 0199 for suffix

For example, based on the address above: (425) 555-0150

E-mail and web site addresses

To indicate e-mail and web site addresses, use these placeholder texts:

  • E-mail address
  • Web site address
Recipient mailer information

To indicate recipient mailer information, use these placeholder texts:

  • Recipient Name
  • Street Address
  • Address 2
  • City, ST  ZIP Code

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Submission requirements

File format

Save and submit PowerPoint 2007 templates for publication as .potx files.

File name

When you save a PowerPoint 2007 template, make sure that the file name:

  • Complies with the 12.4 naming convention, meaning that the file name contains no more than 12 letters or characters before the four-letter file type extension, for example: WeddingPlan.potx
  • Does not contain spaces or special characters, including apostrophes; file names may contain hyphens or underscores, if needed
  • Contains sequential numbers for variations of a template where the content (text) of the template does not change but themes, images, or colors vary. Start by adding the number 2 to the end of each file name, for example: WeddingPlan.potx, WeddingPlan2.potx, WeddingPlan3.potx

Template titles

To ensure that your template titles are consistent and easy for customers to review in search results and browse categories on the Office Online web site, follow these guidelines:

  • Use nouns and modifiers but don't use verbs or gerunds. For example: ''Garden plan'' (but not ''Planning a garden'').
  • Place modifiers before nouns, if possible. For example: Third grade book report, Pet sitter invoice, Birthday and anniversary calendar.
  • Capitalize the first word of a title only. Do not capitalize words within parenthesis unless they include the name of a design or a theme such as ''Garden planner (Floral design).''
  • Use no more than 32 characters, if possible.
  • If you include the template title within the body of the template as sample text, include the same title in the file properties (Title field).

Functional testing

When you finish building a template, make sure that:

  • When you hover over thumbnails on the Slides tab, titles of slides appear correctly.
  • The template works well with every built-in theme.
  • If a template is intended for print, it displays correctly in print preview and prints correctly.
  • If a template is intended for on-screen viewing, keep in mind what types of formatting do and don’t work in different projection environments. For example, gradients aren’t optimal when shown in a LiveMeeting (or comparable) screen sharing environment.
  • Tables, text boxes, pictures and any other object and elements of the design that you expect customers to modify work as intended when you add or remove text, replace pictures, and resize pictures or objects.
  • Font colors, pictures, and shapes are easily discernible from background colors, both online and in print.

Saving templates

After you have finished building and testing a template, but before you save the final version of the file for submission:

  • Turn off track changes and formatting marks.
  • On the View tab of the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon, make sure presentation view is set to Normal.
  • Set the zoom setting to Fit slide to current window.
  • Set task pane sizes to the default size.
  • Check spelling and grammar and resolve all spelling and grammar problems.
  • Run Document Inspector to remove hidden metadata or personal information.
  • Save the template as a .potx file (or .potm if it contain macros).
  • Check the file for viruses by using the antivirus software of your choice.

If you modify a template after testing and saving it, repeat these steps before submitting the template for publication.

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PowerPoint 2007 quick-reference sheet

Review these guidelines in conjunction with the functional testing and saving requirements to ensure that your templates are ready for submission. Make sure, also, that your template satisfies the important considerations for your content and audience that are described in What to know before you create a template and Make your templates more accessible for users with disabilities.

Guideline Details
Elements to which themes can be applied
  • To customize a document theme, change the colors, fonts, and/or graphic effects. Changes that you make to one or more of these theme components immediately affect the styles that you have applied in the active document.
  • To change the available background styles, change the theme or theme colors, as the background styles will be updated to reflect the new theme colors and backgrounds.
  • All shapes are associated with theme colors and effects.
Slide masters
Custom layouts
  • You can create reusable custom layouts that specify the number, size, and location of placeholders and background content.
  • You’re also less likely to need multiple masters for a few unique slides since individual layouts are customizable.
Inserting and formatting images
  • Insert images as appropriate on an individual slide, slide layout, or slide master.
Placeholders and sample text
  • Placeholders should only be added to custom layouts so that the built-in layouts in your templates work with all built-in themes.
  • Placeholder and sample text are used consistently within the template and meet legal naming guidelines.
Text
  • The template title meets the Office Online website requirements.
  • Spelling and grammar are correct.
Layout
  • Zoom is set to ''Fit slide to current window'' (button located in lower right corner of window).
File format
  • File name does not exceed the 12.4 naming convention and contains no special characters.
  • File is saved using the appropriate format: .potx.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2007