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In keynote, I know how to edit the theme and create a new master slide. (By going into View -> Show Master Slides.) However, I would like to edit the master of a single slide.

Here is an example of why I want to do this:

enter image description here

Is there some way I can unlock an element of the current slide's master (i.e. that horizontal line), without editing the master itself for other slides?

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It is the purpose of masters to make all slides look the same - you cannot ask to have masters and differently looking slides at the same time.

Copy the master, modify it and assign that one slide to the modified master.

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Yes, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask a specific slide not to have a master, so that all elements become editable. I think I gave a good use case for that in my question. Of course you're probably right that it's not possible, though. – Nathaniel May 31 '14 at 15:02
Of course I can create another master. But that's really awkward, since the reason for doing it is to make the design elements fit with the content of the slide, but if I do it that way I have to make the master separately from the content, so it will involve a lot of trial and error to make it look right. (But this is more of a minor gripe about Apple's UX than a comment about your answer.) – Nathaniel May 31 '14 at 15:06
@Nathaniel: I get your point, but think of what others would do if given such powers. How would you decide if you design software which should produce good results even in unskilled hands? – Peter Kämpf May 31 '14 at 16:05
I see your point, but I'm sure it's possible to produce very ugly presentations in Keynote even without this feature! – Nathaniel Jun 1 '14 at 2:55
No objections - in the wrong hands, it has no advantages over PowerPoint. – Peter Kämpf Jun 1 '14 at 5:48

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