Expert Guide For Choosing Between Template, Theme File, And Asset Deck

PowerPoint templates are a perfect tool to reflect your brand professionally and cohesively. It can help you save time and streamline your presentation creation process. 

Rather than starting from scratch every time you create a new presentation, you can reuse your template and customize it with your own content. This is especially helpful for companies with multiple team members, as it ensures that all presentations have a consistent look and feel.

But how do you save your master template for future use? Save your master template in one of three formats:

  • PowerPoint Template File – .potx

  • PowerPoint Theme File – .thmx

  • PowerPoint File- .pptx

This guide will break down the key differences between PowerPoint templates, themes, and use case decks, helping you select the best option for your needs.

PowerPoint Template File (.potx)

It is like blueprints for your presentations, but it is not ready-to-use slides. It includes pre-designed master slides with placeholders for different elements such as Titles, Bodies, Images, and Multimedia. Additionally, it comes with pre-made layouts for slides that repeat throughout the presentation.

This format is perfect when you want to maintain consistency across multiple presentations while also allowing for easy customization.

The image below displays the Master Template and its key elements.

You can define specific parameters of these placeholders as below:

  • Title and Body Placeholder: You can choose the font type, size, colors, line and paragraph spacing, and indents for these placeholders.

  • Image Placeholder: Custom shape image placeholders to suit your needs.

  • Multimedia Placeholder: This feature allows you to easily add multimedia elements such as tables, charts, videos, icons, images, and SmartArt to your document with just one click.

It maintains the consistency in terms of overall margins, layouts and design element placements throughout the deck.


  • Whenever you open this file type, it will always open a new PowerPoint file preloaded with the required layouts and color themes.

  • This file format is especially for Mac users. You can save this file on your computer and pin it to PowerPoint for easy access in future projects.


  • This file format does not allow for future updates. If you need to add new layouts, you will have to create a separate file.

  • The master slides include all design elements. They cannot be accessed in Normal View, and you must access the Master Template to modify them.

PowerPoint Theme File (.thmx)

This document contains your brand’s key branding elements, including fonts, color schemes, and master slides. It closely resembles the template file. 

It serves the same purpose for PCs, similar to how the template file is used on Macs. You can directly add it to the PowerPoint application for improved accessibility. 

When you first open the .thmx file, you will only see the first slide of the document. To access the rest of the layouts, click the ‘Layout’ button. Please note that there are no ready-made slides in this file.

This is how themes work in PowerPoint. By adding a theme, you can automatically apply branded colors and fonts to your presentation. 

The beauty of themes is their effortless updates. You can simply modify layouts or colors within the theme file and seamlessly apply them to the existing file whenever needed.


  • When you open this file type, this file type always opens a new PowerPoint file with all the layouts and color theme

  • This file format allows you to update it in the future. If new layouts are added, you can create a new version of the theme and apply it to the existing file as well. 

  • This file format allows PC users to save it on their computer and pin it to PowerPoint for easy access in future projects.


  • This file format does not allow for future updates. If you need to add new layouts, you will have to create a separate file.

  • All design elements are included in the Master Slides, which can’t be accessed in Normal View. To make any changes to them, you’ll need to access the Master Template.

Asset Deck (.pptx)

This file contains ready-to-use slides with dummy content, allowing you to easily create similar slides by replacing the text. The slides come with both theme and master layouts, providing layout inspiration.

Additionally, it includes branded assets such as table and chart styling, icon styling, shapes, and custom graphics that can elevate the presentation’s overall aesthetics.

Ready-to-use slides offer a great foundation for your presentation. By drawing inspiration from these pre-designed layouts, you can generate similar layouts quickly.


  • The ready-to-use slides are designed with all the predefined alignments and styling, so the duplicate slide is generated very quickly.

  • All the elements are floating and accessible in Normal View. You can easily access them and edit as per the requirement. This enhance the editability of the deck.


  • This file format includes inspirational layouts. So, to create new slides, you have to duplicate the file and remove all the unwanted slides.

  • This file format does not offer the option for future updates. If you need to add new layouts, you will have to create a separate file.

  • Every slide is unique. So, it is difficult to fulfill all the layout requirements by creating readymade slides.

Difference Between .potx/.pptx/.thmx

Master slides along with brand colors + fonts
Floating elements and easy editability
Future layout version update adaptation
Ready to use slides with dummy content
Open blank new files every time when you click (You do not need to delete the existing layouts)
Can be stored and pinned in the PowerPoint



Real-Time Use Case Example With Suitable File Types

Use case
Your team includes designers who can create layouts on their own, and the template is just for branding and consistency purposes.
Your team has all the non-designers who require some foundation and assets to start the presentation.
If the template will be employed by the different departments such as sales, finance, marketing etc.
If you have many repetitive layouts, such as a Case study slide, Financial Summary slide, Company overview slide, etc.
Only basic layouts and no repetitive layouts are required to maintain the brand identity and consistency.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right file format depends on your specific needs. Templates (.potx) offer a complete design framework for consistent presentations, while themes (.thmx) provide control over the overall look and feel. Use case decks (.pptx) for finalizing and delivering your content. By understanding these distinctions, you can create professional and impactful presentations with greater ease.

Still feeling lost? Or need some help in designing a custom Master Template? We can help! Our presentation designers have diverse creative capabilities and domain expertise. 

Just contact us or book a discovery call, and let’s get started!

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