If the PowerPoint Designer is not working, it can be frustrating and needs to be fixed immediately. In this article, we will cover different solutions you can apply to fix PowerPoint Designer if it’s not working.
PowerPoint Designer is a Microsoft PowerPoint feature with multiple design ideas for users to select from on any slide. It allows PowerPoint users to choose different design options for a specific slide. The feature analyzes elements and content on a particular slide and automatically suggests design ideas that a user can apply instantly.
There are several ways in which PowerPoint Designer may fail to work. For example, some users reported that they didn’t see the Designer button, that the button seemed to be grayed, or that no suggestions were seen when they clicked the Designer button. There could be other issues that manifest that need to be fixed. Before we fix the PowerPoint issues, we need to know why you are having them.
Why is PowerPoint Designer not working
There are several possible causes for PowerPoint Designer not working on your Windows PC. If you are not using a genuine version of PowerPoint or are not a Microsoft 365 user, PowerPointer Designer will not work. You won’t even see the Designer button when you click the Design option. However, Designer is available to all PowerPoint Web users.
If you get no suggestions when you click on the Designer button, you might have no stable internet, or it’s completely disconnected. The PowerPoint Designer uses an internet connection to fetch design ideas online. It could also mean that someone else is editing, in cases of co-authoring, or that the slide has text boxes or shapes.
How to fix PowerPoint Designer not working
As seen above, there can be an array of reasons for PowerPoint Designer not working. That is why we will try to run different solutions to fix each of the causes. To fix PowerPoint Designer not working on your PC, try the following solutions:
- Try preliminary steps
- Ensure no one else is editing
- Set Design ideas to show up automatically
- Use acceptable PowerPoint file format
- Turn on experiences that analyze content
- Don’t use pictures and additional shapes or objects on the same slide
- Reinstall Microsoft Office
Let us look at these solutions one by one in detail.
1] Try preliminary steps
At times, PowePoint Designer may experience simple glitches or bugs that can be fixed by performing some preliminary steps. Try the following initial steps to fix PowerPoint Designer not working.
- Ensure that you have a legitimate PowerPoint app and that you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber. The Designer might not work if you have an outdated Office, as well.
- Check that you have a stable Internet connection. PowerPoint Designer relies on the Internet to fetch design suggestions on the Web.
- Try to use the themes that come with Powerpoint and not the customized ones or ones that you may have downloaded from a third-party site.
- Ensure only one slide is selected. If several slides are selected under the slide thumbnail in the Normal view option, the Designer will be grayed out.
- Restart the app to fix simple bugs especially if you newly installed Microsoft 365. You may also restart your device.
2] Ensure no one else is editing
PowerPoint Designer will not work if more than one user is working on the same slide. This happens when you are co-authoring a PowerPoint presentation. It means that the Designer will not give any design ideas to other users editing the document. It is also good to note that the Designer will give suggestions to a user if they start working on or making changes to the slide—changes that the Designer can react to and offer suggestions for.
3] Set Design ideas to show up automatically
If the design suggestions are not set to automatically pop up, then the PowerPoint Designer won’t work. To fix this, follow the steps below:
- Open your PowerPoint app and on the left side click File.
- At the bottom of the new list of items, go to Options.
- Next, click General.
- On the left pane, locate the PowePoint Designer option and check the box next to Automatically show me design ideas and Automatically show me suggestions when I create a new presentation.
4] Use acceptable PowerPoint file format
PowerPoint Designer not working can be a result of selecting a file format that is not supported by the Designer. PowerPoint Designer won’t work if you are using .pptm (PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation) or .ppt (PowerPoint 2003 to 2007 Presentation). However, you can save your presentations in those two formats, but the Designer will not work if you want to use it; it will gray out. PowerPoint Designer will work if you save the file in .pptx format, and this is how you do it:
- Go to File and select Save As, or you can alternatively press Ctrl + Shift + S on your PC keyboard.
- Locate where you want to save your file i.e. Desktop.
- On the Save as Type option, select PowerPoint Presentations
- Click Save or hit Enter to save your file.
5] Turn on experiences that analyze content
If the PowerPoint Designer is not working, try to turn on the Microsoft Office-connected experiences that analyze content. To turn on connected experiences in PowerPoint, follow the steps below:
- Head to File and scroll down to Account.
- Locate Account Privacy and click on it, then go to Manage Settings.
- You will see Connected Experiences, and under it, check the box next to Turn on experiences that analyze your content. Save your changes by clicking OK.
6] Don’t use pictures and additional shapes or objects on the same slide
If you use process-based slides or pictures, the PowerPoint Designer won’t work. Microsoft states that the feature has no suggestions for picture slides or those with additional objects and shapes. It is recommended that you use the Title + Content or Title layout for your slides, and do not use additional elements with pictures in the same slide.
7] Reinstall Microsoft Office
If you recently upgraded to a Microsoft 365 subscription, you need to uninstall and reinstall the app in order to get the PowerPoint Designer feature as a subscriber. To uninstall Office, follow the steps below:
- Search Control Panel on the Windows search box and select Open.
On the View by option, select Category.
- Next, go to Programs > Programs and features > Uninstall a program > Microsoft 365 > Uninstall.
To reinstall Office, go to the official website, download Office, and follow the onscreen directions to install it. Launch your PowerPoint and see if the Designer feature is working.
We hope something here helps you fix the PowerPoint Designer feature which is not working.
Related: How to use PowerPoint Designer in Microsoft Office 365
How do I reset my PowerPoint Designer?
To reset your PowerPoint Designer layout, go to Home > Reset. You can reset a PowerPoint layout if you are not impressed with the design and wish to revert back to the original layout. The reset feature does not delete any details or content you have added to the slide.
How does PowerPoint Designer work?
PowerPoint Designer allows users to create professional slides automatically in seconds. All you need to do is insert a few pictures, content, or lists, and the Designer feature will give you suggestions on the best layout design. PowerPoint Designer is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers and PowerPoint web users. Ensure you have the latest Office version to access the Designer feature in PowerPoint.
Read next: How to save Slide Design Idea as a Template in PowerPoint.