Monday, March 22, 2010

When themes corrupt: Fixing a possessed PowerPoint

Twenty minutes before show time, my PowerPoint 2007 presentation (Sorry kittens) was possessed. I tried adding a drawing item to an image and nothing happened. I couldn’t get the the image to display in the normal slide view. I couldn’t fix the problems, so I gave up and went with what I had.

Later I tried to figure out what went wrong. As best I can tell the themes/layout control data had been corrupted. This particular presentation started with a corporate theme as PPT 2003 and had round-tripped between 2003 and 2007 a few times.

Evidently, a few times too many.

Setting a theme on a slide didn’t fix it. The fix was

  1. To to View – Presentation views – Slide Master
  2. In this view, choose Themes and apply a theme
  3. Save
  4. Go back through presentation and fix everything up

I had to make do with a standard PPT 2007 theme, but I could again edit my presentation.

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