Why Does PowerPoint Formatting Keep Changing?

When working on a PowerPoint presentation, there is nothing more frustrating than having the formatting change from one slide to the next. This can slow down your workflow, and possibly create inconsistencies between slides if you happen to miss the change. But why does it happen?

As a general rule, formatting in PowerPoint will default to the style of the chosen theme when working on a new slide. This means that the font size, style, slide colors, and backgrounds will change with each new slide.

While formatting can be one of the most frustrating aspects of working with any design, getting it right from the start can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Keep reading to learn why your PowerPoint formatting keeps changing and what you can do about it.

Why Does My PowerPoint Formatting Keep Changing?

When you first started up your PowerPoint presentation deck, you probably selected a theme that most closely fits the style you were hoping to achieve. While this is a great way to get started, it may cause some frustrations with the formatting later on.

Any new Powerpoint slides that are added to the deck will take on the format setting of the chosen theme. That means that any formatting changes you’ve made on previous slides will not carry over to new slides. This includes:

  • Heading font
  • Body font
  • Font size
  • Background colors
  • Accent colors
  • Hyperlinks
  • Effects

For example, if you change the text size for the title of one of your slides, on the next slide the text will revert back to its original size. While this can be helpful in some cases, if you’ve made major changes to the font or slide colors, this can create inconsistency throughout the presentation.

Why Does Font Change When You Copy and Paste?

But what if you copy and paste the content from one slide to another? How about copying a slide from one presentation deck to another? Will the formatting keep? Not necessarily.

Unfortunately, the same rule applies to content that is copied from one slide and pasted to another. The slide will default to the theme’s style and generally require some editing.

However, that doesn’t mean you will have to do this every time. Going through the process of unnecessary reformatting can be avoided with a few simple changes.

Turning Off AutoFit to Keep PowerPoint Formatting

One reason you may be running into your formatting changing is because of a feature called AutoFit. This is a feature in PowerPoint that shrinks the size of the text in titles, bullets, and paragraphs so that the text fits comfortably on the slide.

While this was created with good intentions, AutoFit can lead to poor and inconsistent formatting throughout your presentation. Luckily, this feature comes with an off switch.

To turn off AutoFit, click on File in the upper lefthand corner and select Options. Once the dialogue box appears, select Proofing from the menu on the left and click the box that says “AutoCorrect Options.”

From here, a second dialogue box should appear with the AutoCorrect settings. Select the AutoFormat tab and uncheck the box next to AutoFit. Once you hit OK the settings will be saved and you should no longer have issues with AutoFit changing your format.

Locking and Unlocking Elements in PowerPoint

If your PowerPoint slides deal more with elements like shapes and graphics, you may want to lock the objects in place. For example, let’s say you have a colored box behind a group of text on a slide. If the box is accidentally moved, the formatting for the slide may appear off.

To lock an object, simply click on the padlock symbol in the Selection Pane. This can be found in the Shapes Ribbon menu. Another way to lock an object is to right-click the element and then select the Lock option from the dialogue box.

Once an object is locked it cannot be moved from its place on the slide. However, if you need to make changes to the placement, simply unlock the object and it will move freely again. To do this, right-click the object and select Unlock from the dialogue box.

Using the “Keep Current Format” Option

Another easy way to ensure consistent formatting is to use the “keep current format” option. This is a setting PowerPoint provides that allows you to retain the current format settings when copying and pasting elements of slides from one deck to another.

To do this, start by selecting the slides you would like to copy and add them to the new presentation deck.

Once this is done, you should see an icon appear that looks like a clipboard with a drop-down arrow. Click on the arrow and navigate to the option “keep current format.” Selecting this will retain all of the previous formatting settings of the slide regardless of the deck’s default theme settings.

Create Your Own PowerPoint Theme

Another way to keep your formatting in check is to create your own theme. This can be done using an existing theme and changing the colors, fonts, and effects to your liking. Once everything is how you like it, simply save the Theme.

To accomplish this, navigate to the View tab and click Slide Master. From here, select Save Current Theme. I new dialogue box will appear. This is where you will name your theme and click save.

Once saved, your new theme will appear in the Themes group on the design tab. Keep in mind that it will now function as a theme, so any new changes applied will not carry over to new slides.

Final Thoughts

While formatting issues can be frustrating, there are usually several workarounds that can keep things running smoothly. Hopefully, this article gave you the information needed to understand why your PowerPoint formatting keeps changing.

Remember to also check your theme and make sure to switch off the AutoFit feature. If you are still having issues, the Microsoft support team is always available to help!