Another new feature of PowerPoint 2016, only available to subscription users, is DESIGNER, which is an automatic layout tool. Here is an example of how it works.

  1. Start with a blank slide – on a Microsoft supplied template (I am using the standard white background new presentation)
    Designer 1
  2. I entered some text in the title placeholder and used the Insert Image option for the content placeholder
    Designer 2
  3. Go to the DESIGN tab and click the new DESIGN IDEAS button
    Designer 3
  4. The right action pane opens the DESIGN IDEAS interface, click LET’S GO
    Designer 4
  5. The Design Ideas pane displays a number of layout options
    Designer 5
  6. Scroll through the options, select any to see and use, these layouts (and several others) were automatically created with a simple click
    Designer 6

Fantastic feature for both the designer and non-designer! But at this stage there are a few downsides to the new DESIGNER tool.

  • The biggest downside is if you do not have PowerPoint 2016, and a subscription version (eg. Office 365), Designer is not available in PowerPoint.
  • The biggest limitation is that it will only work with Microsoft supplied templates. Open the DESIGN tool on a custom template and get the message below.
  • If you do not use layout placeholders (eg. add your own text boxes and insert images not through a placeholder insert image icon), and you get the message below.

Designer 7

Overall, a great idea and smooth implementation. But because TLC virtually never uses a Microsoft template (or theme), this feature has very limited use for us – but I am hopeful Designer will continue to expand its capabilities.


-Troy @ TLC