How to Make changes to a Design Ideas Slide in PowerPoint

Posted July 2, 2018

Let's look at how to edit Design Ideas in PowerPoint.

If you're like me, you probably love, love, love the Design Ideas slides in PowerPoint.

Design Ideas is available in PowerPoint for Office 365.

Design Ideas in PowerPoint

You can find the Design Ideas option on the Home tab...

Design Ideas in PowerPoint

Or, as you create your presentation in PowerPoint, you may see the Design Ideas pane pop up on your screen.

PowerPoint displays on this pane a gallery of professional design ideas for the slide you are currently on.

Change Design Ideas Slide

Just scroll through the suggestions and click the design you most like and your slide will suddenly be transformed into this design.

Change Design Ideas Slide

I use this all the time. I do not mind telling you that I'm not creative.

I know what I like when I look at it and see it, so I skim through these all the time, looking for slides that are going to make my PowerPoint presentation have a little bit more 'pizazz'.

But what I found, was when I wanted to edit design ideas slides and make changes to the objects that were on the slide, I couldn't select them.

However, when I used the Selection Pane, I could!

Edit Design Ideas slides

To open the Selection Pane, on the Home tab go to the Editing area, click Select and then Selection Pane and turn it on. 

BTW, if you still have the Design Ideas pane displayed you might like to turn this off so that you have more room on your screen.

Change Design Ideas Slide

The Selection Pane allows you to select the objects on the slide.

Just click onto each one of the objects listed on the pane and you will see that as you do this you are actually selecting the object on the Design Ideas slide.

For example, clicking on 'Oval 26' on the Selection Pane will select the small grey circle in the centre of the slide.

Change Design Ideas Slide

Once the object is selected you can change the format (colour, outline etc) or you can delete it.

Change Design Ideas Slide

However, it’s not as easy if you want to move or resize an object.

Here’s a work-around to move and resize objects on a Design Ideas slide

You may have noticed that you can’t select the object to move or resize it, which can be a bit of a pain.

Whenever I have an object that is in the way, not placed where I want it, too big or too small, I just select the object using the Selection Pane, delete it and manually replace it.

If you’re unsure of how to do this, please watch my video for a demonstration on how I did this.

It’s not ideal, I know, but it will give you a work-around.

BTW, manually changing your slide doesn’t change the Design Ideas slide, so you will need to do this for every slide that you need updated.

Was this blog helpful? Let us know in the Comments below.

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  • Wonderfully helpful! I’ve been wanting to do this for, like, YEARS!

  • Not necessarily for public reading, but as an FYI…to return the favor, I tried to share on Facebook, but when the link is clicked in Facebook, a 404 page is shown…

  • Thank you so much for this! I love Design Ideas formats but often abandon them because of colors – really appreciate you sharing this and your instructions were so clear. Thank you, thank you!

  • Thank you so much for letting us know. Really appreciate it! We’ll check it out.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for! I could not even find this information on the official Microsoft pages. Thank you!

  • Thanks Jessica. You are so welcome. I’m so glad it helped you out!

  • I’m so happy it was helpful Mohammad! Thank you for letting me know it helped 🙂

  • I don’t have the editing section and options on my Mac. Is it somewhere else?

  • Hi Penny. I did write this post for Windows but I beleive you can access the Selection Pane option from a different tab. First select any shape on your slide (if you don’t have one just draw a temporary shape and then delete it latter). Then go to the Shape Format tab and then click the Selection Pane button. The selection pane will be opened at the right side of the slide. Please let me know if this worked for you and I’ll add the instruction to the blog post. Thanks!!

  • I’m missing the editing area in my version of Powerpoint on Mac, can anyone help?

  • Hi Michelle. Thankfully we had a lovely contributor who uses a Mac share ‘how to find the Selection Pane on a Mac’ on our YouTube Channel. This is what Katie wrote: “Thank you for this video! I use a Mac and had trouble finding the selection pane tool, so I figured I would comment for anyone else struggling with this. On the home tab, select arrange, and then you will see selection pane. Then make changes as this wonderful video shows! This is a game changer for me, seriously! THANK YOU!” You can check out the video and Katie’s comment here I hope it helps.

  • THANK YOU!! So frustrating to see those weird little design details and not be able to fix them.

  • So happy we could help! Thank you so much for letting us know 🙂

  • Thanks, this is helpful. Just got a PPTX for use as a speaker at a conference, and it must have been set up with Design Ideas – couldn’t do anything, no layout (my usual approach(!

    So I opened Selection Pane and think I found a way to change objects – there’s a padlock on the right that is open for some, closed for others – click on it to open it, then all the editing can be done – pretty cool!

    I would probably take the objects and put them on layouts in Slide Master. Maybe Microsoft had that in mind – these ARE just ideas, right?

    Thanks again!

  • Thanks Vern! I’m so glad our blog helped! Putting the objects into the Slide Master is a great idea!

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