December 15, 2011 3

How To Make Page Numbers in Powerpoint permanent, inaccessible, uneditable, background etc.!

By in Technology, Tips

I recently spent a lot of time trying to create a template in Powerpoint where a few elements were in the background of the slide master and thus uneditable (untouchable, permanent).  Inserting an omnipresent logo and positioning a new text box was easy – dropping them in the master slide made them appear on every slide created and i couldn’t touch them in normal view.  When I went to insert page numbers, I ran into a bit of a headache.

Problem: Inserting automatic page numbers into a template still allowed them to be moved and accidentally deleted on new slides create.  Doesn’t matter if you insert page numbers into the slide master or if you go through the headers/footers menu.  Both created editable page numbers on every page.


  1. Go to Slide Master
  2. Create a NEW TEXT BOX
  3. Insert -> Page Number (INTO THAT TEXT BOX)
  4. Reposition to where ever you want
  5. DONE

Additional notes – if you want to make sure the page number isn’t displayed on the title slide, go to the specific slide type template (title slide), check the box that says “Hide Background Elements” (this hides any elements that were inherited from the parent slide template), and then re-add the constant elements you do want (everything from the original Slide Template except for page number).

When you go to create the first slide, make sure it uses the Title page layout.


Hope this helps and saves someone time!!


Tags: , , ,

3 Responses to “How To Make Page Numbers in Powerpoint permanent, inaccessible, uneditable, background etc.!”

  1. Greg says:

    Oh man, this has vexed me for some time. I totally don’t get why Microsoft made that one type of master element editable/deletable from outside master mode. Anyway, thanks for finding/sharing your effective and elegant solution!

  2. Sofie says:

    This worked perfectly (I’m using Powerpoint 2010). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jeff says:

    Is there a way to retroactively add auto slide numbers on top of graphic elements? I have a very graphic heavy presentation where the client wants auto numbering to customize later, and I have different images on each slide. They are in the slide, “sent to back.”

    When I edit the master slide to add the auto slide number, I’m guessing it is putting the number behind my graphic elements because they aren’t showing up.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Leave a Reply