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PowerPoint 2016

In this free PowerPoint 2016 tutorial, learn how to use themes and background styles, add pictures and clip art, modify charts and lists, and do more to create standout presentations.

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PowerPoint Basics

  • 1 Getting Started with PowerPoint arrow_forward_ios ✓ Get to know the PowerPoint 2016 interface.
  • 2 Understanding OneDrive arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn all about working with your Microsoft account and OneDrive.
  • 3 Creating and Opening Presentations arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn all about creating and opening presentations.
  • 4 Saving Presentations arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to save presentations.

Working with Slides

  • 5 Slide Basics arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn the basics of working with slides.
  • 6 Text Basics arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to cut, copy, paste, and format text.
  • 7 Applying Themes arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to apply a theme to your slides.
  • 8 Applying Transitions arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to apply transitions to your slides.
  • 9 Managing Slides arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn the tools available to help organize and prepare your slide show.
  • 10 Using Find & Replace arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to find and replace text.
  • 11 Printing arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to print your slides.
  • 12 Presenting Your Slide Show arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to present your slide show to an audience.

Text and Objects

  • 13 Lists arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add numbered and bulleted lists.
  • 14 Indents and Line Spacing arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to use indents and line spacing.
  • 15 Inserting Pictures arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to insert and modify images.
  • 16 Formatting Pictures arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to format the images in your slides.
  • 17 Shapes arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and modify shapes.
  • 18 Aligning, Ordering, and Grouping Objects arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to align, group, and order objects.
  • 19 Animating Text and Objects arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to animate text and objects.

More Objects

  • 20 Inserting Videos arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and edit videos within your slides.
  • 21 Inserting Audio arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to insert and edit audio in your slides.
  • 22 Tables arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and modify tables.
  • 23 Charts arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and modify charts.
  • 24 SmartArt Graphics arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and edit SmartArt graphics.

Review and Collaborating

  • 25 Checking Spelling and Grammar arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to use the spelling and grammar check features.
  • 26 Reviewing Presentations arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to review presentations before you present them to an audience.
  • 27 Inspecting and Protecting Presentations arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to inspect and protect your presentation.

Customizing Your Presentation

  • 28 Modifying Themes arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn all about modifying themes to mix and match colors and fonts.
  • 29 Slide Master View arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to use Slide Master view to ensure a consistent look.
  • 30 Hyperlinks arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and edit hyperlinks.
  • 31 Action Buttons arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to add and edit action buttons.
  • 32 Rehearsing and Recording Your Presentation arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to rehearse and record your presentation.
  • 33 Sharing Your Presentation Online arrow_forward_ios ✓ Learn how to share your presentations online.
  • 34 Buying Office 2016 arrow_forward_ios ✓ If you're considering purchasing Office 2016, learn about some important changes you should know about.
  • 35 New Features in Office 2016 arrow_forward_ios ✓ Discover some of the new features in Office 2016.
  • 36 PowerPoint Quiz arrow_forward_ios ✓ Test your knowledge of PowerPoint by taking our quiz.
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  • PowerPoint Presentations

6 Simple Parts for Beginners to Create a PowerPoint Presentation

Last Updated: December 19, 2022 Tested

Creating a New PowerPoint

Creating the title slide, adding a new slide, adding content to slides, adding transitions, testing and saving your presentation.

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Darlene Antonelli, MA . Darlene Antonelli is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. Darlene has experience teaching college courses, writing technology-related articles, and working hands-on in the technology field. She earned an MA in Writing from Rowan University in 2012 and wrote her thesis on online communities and the personalities curated in such communities. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 4,259,199 times. Learn more...

Do you want to have your data in a slide show? If you have Microsoft 365, you can use PowerPoint! PowerPoint is a program that's part of the Microsoft Office suite (which you have to pay for) and is available for both Windows and Mac computers. This wikiHow teaches you how to create your own Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on a computer.

Things You Should Know

  • Templates make it easy to create vibrant presentations no matter your skill level.
  • When adding photos, you can adjust their sizes by clicking and dragging in or out from their corners.
  • You can add animated transitions between slides or to individual elements like bullet points and blocks of text.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 1

  • If you don't have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, you can use the website instead of the desktop app. Go to https://powerpoint.office.com/ to use the website version.
  • You can also use the mobile app to make presentations, though it's easier to do this on a computer, which has a larger screen, a mouse, and a keyboard.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 2

  • If you don't want to use a template, just click the Blank option in the upper-left side of the page and skip to the next part.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 3

  • Skip this step if your selected template has no themes available.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 4

  • If you're creating a PowerPoint presentation for which an elaborate title slide has been requested, ignore this step.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 6

  • You can change the font and size of text used from the Home tab that's in the orange ribbon at the top of the window.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 7

  • You can also just leave this box blank if you like.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 8

  • You can also click and drag in or out one of a text box's corners to shrink or enlarge the text box.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 9

  • On a Mac, you'll click the Home tab instead. [1] X Research source

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 10

  • Clicking the white slide-shaped box above this option will result in a new text slide being inserted.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 11

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 12

  • Naturally, the title slide should be the first slide in your presentation, meaning that it should be the top slide in the left-hand column.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 14

  • Skip this step and the next two steps if your selected slide uses a template that doesn't have text boxes in it.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 16

  • Text boxes in PowerPoint will automatically format the bulk of your text for you (e.g., adding bullet points) based on the context of the content itself.
  • You can add notes that the Presentation will not include (but you'll still be able to see them on your screen) by clicking Notes at the bottom of the slide.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 17

  • You can change the font of the selected text by clicking the current font's name and then clicking your preferred font.
  • If you want to change the size of the text, click the numbered drop-down box and then click a larger or smaller number based on whether you want to enlarge or shrink the text.
  • You can also change the color, bolding, italicization, underlining, and so on from here.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 18

  • Photos in particular can be enlarged or shrunk by clicking and dragging out or in one of their corners.

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 20

  • Remember to keep slides uncluttered and relatively free of distractions. It's best to keep the amount of text per slide to around 33 words or less. [2] X Research source

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 21

  • Slide content will animate in the order in which you assign transitions. For example, if you animate a photo on the slide and then animate the title, the photo will appear before the title.
  • Make your slideshow progress automatically by setting the speed of every transition to align with your speech as well as setting each slide to Advance . [3] X Trustworthy Source Microsoft Support Technical support and product information from Microsoft. Go to source

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 27

  • If you need to exit the presentation, press Esc .

Image titled Create a PowerPoint Presentation Step 31

  • Windows - Click File , click Save , double-click This PC , select a save location, enter a name for your presentation, and click Save .
  • Mac - Click File , click Save As... , enter the presentation's name in the "Save As" field, select a save location by clicking the "Where" box and clicking a folder, and click Save .

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • If you save your PowerPoint presentation in .pps format instead of the default .ppt format, double-clicking your PowerPoint presentation file will prompt the presentation to open directly into the slideshow view. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can still use Apple's Keynote program or Google Slides to create a PowerPoint presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to make a presentation on powerpoint 2016

  • Your PowerPoint presentation (or some features in it) may not open in significantly older versions of PowerPoint. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Great PowerPoint presentations avoid placing too much text on one slide. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Create a Powerpoint Handout

  • ↑ https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=DBDCE00C929AA5D8!252&ithint=file%2cpptx&app=PowerPoint&authkey=!AH4O9NxcbehqzIg
  • ↑ https://www.virtualsalt.com/powerpoint.htm
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/set-the-timing-and-speed-of-a-transition-c3c3c66f-4cca-4821-b8b9-7de0f3f6ead1#:~:text=To%20make%20the%20slide%20advance,effect%20on%20the%20slide%20finishes .

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

Create a basic PowerPoint presentation to share information

how to make a presentation on powerpoint 2016

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In This Article

Jump to a Section

Create a PowerPoint Presentation

Add text and images to a powerpoint presentation.

  • Save and Share PowerPoint Presentation

What to Know

  • Select File > New > Blank Presentation or choose preset theme.
  • Next, select Home tab > New Slide . Or right-click Slide Sorter bar > select New Slide .
  • Select Insert tab > Text Box > select spot in slide for text box > enter text. Select Insert > add images.

This article details how to put together a PowerPoint presentation using PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint 2019, 2016, and 2013.

Here are the steps to create a basic PowerPoint presentation.

Open PowerPoint. The program may open a blank presentation. If so, select File > New to see the options for creating a new slideshow.

If you'd like to take a tour of the most popular PowerPoint features, go to File > New , then choose the Welcome to PowerPoint template.

Select either a Blank Presentation or choose one of the Microsoft-supplied design themes to create your presentation. When you choose a blank presentation, PowerPoint creates a one-slide presentation that starts with a title slide. You can then select the text boxes on the Title Slide to add your text.

Themes include matching color palettes and fonts to help you create a document with a cohesive look.

Add more slides to your presentation. Go to the Home tab and select New Slide . Or, right-click the Slide Sorter bar in the left pane and select New Slide .

Change the slide layout, if desired. Go to the Home tab and select Layout . Then, choose options for content layout in your slides, which you can resize or delete as needed.

Repeat these steps until you have enough slides to finish your presentation.

Now that you've created the framework of your presentation, you can use some basic operations to make it more interesting.

If you selected a pre-determined layout for a slide that includes text or image elements, click any element. Selecting a text box opens it for editing. You can then type or paste your content into the text box. General content boxes have icons to click to insert objects, including tables, charts, SmartArt, pictures, and video.

Add a text box to a slide. Go to the Insert tab and choose Text Box . Click any place in the slide to place the box. When you begin typing, the Home tab opens with text formatting options such as font, size, bold, italics, color, and alignment. The text editing buttons are only available when a text box is selected.

To resize a text box, drag (click and hold with a mouse) one of the adjustment handles on the outside of the text box until the text box is the desired size.

Add an image. Go to the Insert tab and find the options in the Images group. Choose from these options:

  • Picture opens a file browser. Navigate to the photo on your computer you wish to use.
  • Online Picture opens a search window. Search Bing for an image online or use OneDrive to access your photos.
  • Screenshot captures part of your screen and adds it to your presentation.
  • Photo Album accesses a group of photos on your computer.

Adding other objects is also done through the Insert tab. You can drag and create shapes, SmartArt, and charts.

Save and Share a PowerPoint Presentation

Don't leave your new presentation without saving it. Also, you may want to share it with someone or put it where you can access it easily.

Save your presentation by selecting File > Save As .

You can also select Save as Adobe PDF to convert the presentation to a PDF file.

If you use OneDrive, save your presentation to OneDrive for easy access and sharing.

Select File > Share to see options to share your presentation quickly. Depending on your other software, PowerPoint allows you to share through OneDrive, email, and other options.

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training. In this article, you will learn how to move from blank slides to slides like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

In this guide, you’ll specifically learn how to:

  • Start a blank presentation
  • Type text into your title slide
  • Insert more slides
  • Add content to slides
  • Change the design
  • Add animations & transitions (optional)
  • Save your presentation
  • Print your presentation

Additionally, you’ll learn tips and tricks to make a good PowerPoint presentation, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

1. Start with a Blank Document

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

2. Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

3. Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To expand your knowledge and learn how to best use the Ctrl+M PowerPoint shortcut, read our guide here . 

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

4. Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy ( details here ) and Ctrl+V to Paste ( details here ) from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read our guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

Note: To learn how to use PowerPoint Designer and how to troubleshoot if it’s not working for you (it’s greyed out in the ribbon), read our guide here .

5. Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read our guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read our guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read our article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read our guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read our guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

To change the background formatting of your slide, either:

  • Right-click  your slide and select  Format Background in the right-click menu
  • Navigate to the  Design tab in your Ribbon and select  Format Background

Each one of these options provides you with ways to make your backgrounds look beautiful. There are however some caveats.

Note: To expand your knowledge and learn more about PowerPoint backgrounds (including where to find free ones online), read our guide here .

The format background pane in PowerPoint

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

Note:  To learn more about how to create a custom color palette, as part of a custom theme, check out this article  here .

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

6. Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

Note:  To learn more ways to launch and run your slide show (including keyboard shortcuts),  read our guide here .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of advanced PowerPoint animations that we recommend using the Animation Pane for, see our tutorial here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

To learn more ways to launch and run your PowerPoint presentation (start slide show mode), read our guide here .

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

7. Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To expand your knowledge and learn how to save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF, read our guide here .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, read our guide here .

8. Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you want to get access to all our best PowerPoint training courses, check out our PowerPoint Pro Membership here .

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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Camille Holden

We help busy office workers save hours and gain peace of mind, with tips, training and tutorials for Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.

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10 Tips for Making Better PowerPoint Presentations with Office 2016

Microsoft PowerPoint continues to set new standards. New features in PowerPoint 2016 manifest its top spot as the best option for smart and creative presentations.

Most of us don't get what Microsoft PowerPoint is all about.

Like any presentation tool, it is meant to enhance what the presenter is saying. It is not a tool to do all the job for the presenter.

If the latter had been true, TED Talks would have killed scores of audiences around the world. Death by PowerPoint bloodies the hands of a bad presenter.

"Your slides should be a billboard not a document!" - Lee Jackson (Author)

A PowerPoint presentation needs to work with the creative constraints of short attention spans. Not unlike the billboards designed to catch the eyes of speeding motorists. But, PowerPoint creators have the luxury of multiple slides to make a point. And some wonderful creative tools that have become better with the enhancements in Microsoft Office 2016 .

So, let's dive into these new creative tools in PowerPoint 2016 and see how they can help you make better presentations .

Save Time with PowerPoint Designer

Suffering from "presentation block"?

With Microsoft PowerPoint 2016, you can banish both annoyances. Any presentation starts with the hunt for a suitable template or theme . Or creating a nice one from scratch. But you may not be a designer.

Drop the first image into a fresh slide and PowerPoint Designer automatically offers several design ideas. The recommendation engine works with 12,000+ creative designs created by graphic artists.

Microsoft says:

Designer applies cloud intelligence to analyze and identify the most compelling portion of your images to determine which blueprints work best with your content.

You can also open it from Ribbon > Design > Design Ideas .

If you don't find it useful, go to File > Options > General .  Uncheck the box that says Enable PowerPoint Designer .

The time-saving assistance isn't only about dropping a pretty graphic on a slide. Designer uses cloud intelligence to analyze and highlight the most compelling portion of your images. Try it. It's different from our old habit of selecting a pre-made template.

General tip – Right now, PowerPoint Designer recognizes a few simple slide types. As further updates arrive, the recommendations will get better with different slide types.

Learn with Tell Me

Still feel lost on the Ribbon?

Microsoft Office 2016 introduced the "Tell Me" assistant to help you navigate through the many options. The Tell Me What to Do box is located above the right side of the Ribbon. Type what you want to do in this box, and PowerPoint points you to the Ribbon button that lets you do it.

Let's say you want to organize multiple PowerPoint windows on the desktop by cascading them. Type "windows" and Tell Me displays the Cascade Windows command (originally located under the View tab).

Tell me is a time saver and a timely confusion killer.

Power Search with Bing "Insights"

Looking for more information or creative inspiration?

Highlight a keyword and right-click to use the Bing-powered Smart Lookup in PowerPoint 2016 (Insights) to bring in search results from the web. A panel opens on the right with results from the web and Wikipedia.

You don't have to leave PowerPoint for looking up simple information. Make error free presentations quickly by checking the facts or the vocabulary you will use on your slides. Use it for creative inspiration or for finding RGB values of colors.

You can also use Smart Lookup from the Ribbon > Review tab.

Smart Lookup is also a part of the new Tell Me feature.  Enter keywords into the Tell Me box and select Smart Lookup from the dropdown suggestions.

General tip – try to avoid using it for image searches. Finding images to insert with the right Creative Commons license is almost impossible via the search pane.

Ink Your Equations

Remember the struggles with math on the slides?

Working with math equations is easier in PowerPoint now with both the keyboard and the stylus. From the Ribbon, go to Insert > Equation > Ink Equation . For touch-enabled devices, you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand. You can also use the mouse in the Write box. The Office software converts it into text.

As the Ink Equation editor brings the fight with mathematical expressions to an end, it can be an effective teaching tool if you broadcast your presentation to a remote audience. Or pair it with one of the creative uses of Google Chromecast .

General Tip -- Use the Tell Me box to quickly get to the Ink Equation editor. Type Ink in the box.

Smoothly Animate with Morph Transitions

Found Motion Paths too difficult to apply?

Morph Transitions in PowerPoint 2016 is designed to make animations easier. Simply explained, Morph allows you to move an object from Point A to Point B. To move objects effectively, you'll need to have two slides with at least one object in common. An easy way is to duplicate the slide and then move the object on the second slide to a different place. You can also copy and paste the object from one slide and add it to the next.

Then, with the second slide selected, go to Transitions > Morph .

PowerPoint estimates the difference between the two slides and applies a smooth animation between them. Play around with movement and transitions. You can use Morph to move objects, change colors, shrink or zoom into a particular view.

The Microsoft Mechanics video demonstrates Morph (and PowerPoint Designer):

The direct transitions of Morph can be powerful tool to explain business processes or steps. Morph Transitions is an easier way to animate without the use of complicated motion paths. But unlike motion paths, the transition takes the shortest direct route.

For example, you cannot show the curved flight path of a butterfly with a morph transition. For more complicated animations, revert to the use of motion paths.

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription .

Tell Beautiful Stories with Six New Chart Types

Stumped when you have to tell stories with data?

Data visualization today is not only about displaying datasets. Effective visualizations send a message and help us recognize shapes and patterns. As we are wired to visualize information far faster than we can read it, using the right chart type in PowerPoint puts us at an advantage.

Six new charts types -- Box and Whisker, Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, (and within Histogram options, Pareto), and Waterfall – give the presenter more flexibility.

This Microsoft Office blog article shows how to use the new Treemap and Sunburst charts to breakdown hierarchical data.

General Tip -- For a given set of numbers, Microsoft Office allows you to change the chart types. But ask yourself why is the chart important for the audience. If possible, simplify the data and look beyond charts.

More Options with Preset Shapes

Do you long for more preset shape formats?

Remember how the Merge Shapes feature helps you draw your own custom shapes? The feature to save your own custom shapes is still missing, but PowerPoint 2016 gives us another incremental improvement with five more rows of preset Shape styles. Draw a shape in your slide and apply a new preset style to the shape. PowerPoint 2016 makes it easier for the creatively challenged.

Access the shapes and the Quick Styles from the Drawing group on the Home Tab. Alternatively, you can also go to the Insert tab and draw a shape. This again brings up the Shape Styles under a Drawing tab.

Though, you can finetune any shape with the Format Shape options, the variety of Quick Shape Styles makes creating stylish presentations a bit breezier.

General Tip -- The new presets with transparent and semi-transparent fills are useful for creating neat overlays over another image.

Show Them Better with Screen Recordings

Wondering how to record high-quality screencasts?

There is an industry standard tool like Camtasia and then there are many lightweight screen recorders , too. PowerPoint's native screen recording utility is a one-touch process. Camtasia takes some learning. Try PowerPoint's Screen Recording feature with a bit of creativity and you can avoid the boring static screenshots.

Go to Insert > Screen Recording .

Click the Select Area button and drag across the area you want to record. Click the Record button.

Use the Windows button + Shift + Q shortcut to stop the recording and insert the video on your current slide.

PowerPoint gives you a whole slew of Video Tools to format and present your screencasts.

General Tip -- PowerPoint screencast slides are ideal for how-to tutorials and training courses. A single dynamic slide can be more effective and less time consuming than making multiple static slides with fancy graphics. If you missed a few opportunities to use Screen Recording in the updated PowerPoint 2013, it's time to set the "record" straight now!

Present on Larger High-Def Screens

Hate the black bars on the top and bottom of your slides?

This is another little, but useful feature that continues from PowerPoint 2013. When you export your presentation as a video, you can create a file with resolution as high as 1920 x 1080 and display it cleanly on an HDTV, projector, or a computer monitor.

Remember, you can also design slides with the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 used on such displays. If you show a slide in this aspect ratio on a standard 4:3 screen you will get black bars on the top and bottom.

General Tip – Find out the dimension of the presentation screen beforehand. This could make all the difference.

Resolve Conflicts

Can't make up your mind on two slides?

PowerPoint 2016 has beefed up the collaboration options. When two or more people work on the same slide, it can lead to two slides with a few, conflicting differences. The conflict resolution feature will pop up automatically and display the two slides side-by-side. Compare them visually, select the best one, and restore team harmony.

Combine Old Tips with the New for Better Presentations

Presenting in front of an audience is an old game. The newer features in PowerPoint 2016 won't make you radically change the way you prepare, but make the process just a little bit easier. New features like the new Office themes are superficial and the management of version history is available only for files stored with OneDrive for Business or SharePoint.

What are your favorite professional presentation tips for designing slides or giving them? Which among the new tools in PowerPoint 2016 do you see yourself using more? Write to us in the comments!

how to make a presentation on powerpoint 2016

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Turn your inspiration into stunning presentations

Turn a spark of inspiration into personalized presentations with Copilot in PowerPoint. Copilot will turn existing Word documents into presentations, create new presentations from simple prompts or outlines, or find the best places for impactful imagery—and will help you leave audiences dazzled with skillful storytelling.

Designing slides has never been easier

Create well-designed, impactful slides with the help of Designer and Ideas in PowerPoint.

3D isn't just for the movies

Now you can easily insert 3D objects and embedded animations directly into PowerPoint decks from your own files or a library of content.

Device screen displaying an animated 3D dinosaur in a PowerPoint presentation.

Interact naturally using voice, touch, and ink

Easily ink onto a slide, then convert handwritten notes into text and make hand-drawn shapes perfect in seconds.

Nail your next presentation

With Presenter Coach, practice your speech and get recommendations on pacing, word choice, and more through the power of AI.

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Be on the same page

Always know where you are in the editing process. With the while you were away feature, track recent changes made by others in your decks.

Task management with PowerPoint and Microsoft 365

Ready to create great presentations with microsoft 365, see more from microsoft powerpoint.

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Collaborate on shared projects

Get commonly used Office features and real-time co-authoring capabilities through your browser.

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Jumpstart your design

Show your style and professionalism with templates, plus save time. Browse PowerPoint templates in over 40 categories.

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See what’s new and get classic tips and editors' tricks to help you create, edit, and polish presentations like a pro.

Read about slide presentations

6 slide presentation software tips to impress, host large-scale virtual presentations, what’s new in powerpoint.

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how to make a presentation on powerpoint 2016

Share your PowerPoint presentation with others

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Select  Share .

If your presentation isn't already stored on OneDrive, select where to save your presentation to the cloud.

Choose a permission level, like Anyone with a link , or maybe just people in your company. You can also control if people can edit or just view the doc. 

Select  Apply .

Enter names and a message.

Select  Send .

You can also copy the link and then paste it in an email, social media post, or even a text message.

For info on collaborating with others on a document, see Work together on PowerPoint presentations .

To stop sharing, see  Stop sharing OneDrive files or folders or change permissions.

Share by using a traditional email attachment:

If you don't want to share a document with others to collaborate on, simply use a traditional email attachment to send the presentation to others.

From OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, share a PDF or copy of a presentation by email

This feature is only available if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription . If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office .

To send your presentation as a copy or a PDF, select Share .

The Share button on the ribbon in PowerPoint 2016

Select Attach a Copy Instead in the Share dialog box.

The Attach a Copy Instead button in the Share dialog box

Select either PowerPoint Presentation or PDF .

The attachment options for sending a presentation in email are: presentation or PDF

PowerPoint will open the email application and attach the file to a new message. Enter the recipients details and a short message, and click Send .

From OneDrive, share a PDF or copy of your presentation by email

The Share button on the ribbon in PowerPoint.

Select Send as attachment  in the Share pane.

The Attach a Copy Instead button in the Share dialog box

Select either Send a copy or Send a PDF .

Shows the Send a PDF link in PowerPoint 2016

PowerPoint will open the email application and attach the file to a new message. Enter the recipients details and a short message, and click Send .

You can share or co-author a presentation in PowerPoint for macOS. If you allow others to edit your presentation, changes they make will be merged into the original presentation. If you want to share your presentation, you can:

Invite people to view or edit the file located in the cloud, like your OneDrive.

Send a link to your file saved to the cloud.

Send a copy of the file as an email attachment.

Note:  If you're looking for information about saving a presentation in JPEG or PDF format, see File formats supported in PowerPoint .

Important:  You can simultaneously edit presentations in the .pptx or .ppsx file format that are located on OneDrive or a server that has at least Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 installed. To work with SharePoint in Office for Mac, you have to have at least Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011, Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011, or Microsoft Office for Mac Standard 2011.

Invite people to view or edit your presentation

Save your file to the cloud and then invite people to view or edit it. That way, whenever you update your file, everyone you share with will have the latest version.

In the upper right corner, click the Share icon and then click Invite People .

PPT for Mac Share

If the file is on your device, you'll be asked to upload the file to the cloud first.

PPT for Mac Save to Cloud

Invite users by adding their email addresses to the invite field. When adding names for the first time, PowerPoint will prompt to access your Contacts.

To allow your users to edit the file, click the Can Edit check box. Add any comments in the comments field and click Share .

PPT for Mac Share Invite

The recipients receive an email with a link to the shared file.

Share a link to your presentation

You can copy the link to your presentation and paste it in another shared file or email to the recipients.

In the upper right corner, click the Share icon and then click Copy Link .

PPT for Mac Share Copy Link

Paste the link wherever you need.

Send your presentation as an email attachment

If you don't want to save your file to the cloud, you can share it as an email attachment.

In the upper right corner, click the Share icon and then click Send Attachment .

PPT for Mac Send Attachment

Click Presentation or PDF .

PPT for Mac Share Email Options

PowerPoint will open your email application and attach your file to a new message. Just fill in the details, like email addresses and a short message, and click Send .

Share and co-author a presentation in PowerPoint for Mac

File formats supported in PowerPoint

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how to make a presentation on powerpoint 2016

por Microsoft Create team

A branded PowerPoint presentation features your business's own visual language in a design template. Here, you create an effective and eye-catching way to represent your company that goes far beyond adding a logo to every slide—for your audience, it conveys an attention to detail that reinforces your brand values. Thankfully, you don't have to be a graphic design expert to create a branded presentation. Start with a professionally designed PowerPoint template and then modify it to reflect the visual identity for your business.

Why create a branded presentation?

A cohesive visual identity is one of the signifiers of professionalism to your audience. It reflects confidence and uniqueness in a world of competitors.

You might already have stationery , business cards , and a website featuring your brand's visual elements—this includes things like color palette, typography, logo size and placement, or decorative elements. It makes sense to carry this cohesion to your presentations. This is often overlooked in establishing a visual identity. Many believe that they must start from scratch, which is time- and labor-intensive. But instead of building a template from the ground up, start by selecting a design that speaks to you and modify a few simple elements to create your own branded presentation.

Screenshots of slides in a branded PowerPoint presentation, in hues of navy, maroon, and brown.

How to create a branded PowerPoint presentation

When developing a branded presentation, there are three important things to include: your logo , your brand colors , and your brand's font.

Example of a logo, brand color palette, and a font. The color scheme is navy, maroon, brown, white, and yellow, with a celestial theme.

Embed your logo

A branded presentation will carry your logo on every slide, as an anchor element. But it should not be too large or distracting that it draws attention away from your content. Your first and last slides should include a large version of your logo, and on your remaining slides, this logo will move to a corner of your presentation, where it will serve as a visual reminder for your audience.

PowerPoint deck with a planet-themed logo positioned in the bottom-right corner.

If you have a copy of your logo saved as a file, it's easy to embed into PowerPoint; here's how:

  • Open your PowerPoint deck and go to the slide where you want the logo.
  • Select  Insert  >  Pictures  >  This Device .
  • Navigate to your logo file, select it, and then select  Insert .
  • Select the logo and resize it (if necessary) by clicking and dragging one of the resize handles, then drag the logo to the position you want it in.

Set your colors

If you've got brand colors, here's how to set them for your presentation:

  • Open your PowerPoint deck.
  • Select  Design .
  • Under  Variants  (toward the right side of the toolbar), select the  More  drop-down and then select  Colors  >  Customize Colors .

PowerPoint theme color dialog box.

If you haven't picked brand colors yet and are looking for guidance, learn how to choose the perfect colors for your brand with help from the Microsoft Create team.

The relationships between groups of colors can establish a mood for your business. Color theory tells us that red means passion and blue represents calm, for example, but a trio or quartet of colors across a spectrum can mean multiple things, whether they complement or contrast with each other. To learn more, check out  The fundamentals of color: What is color theory?  by artist and creative director,  Alberto Cerriteno .

Select a font family

A font is more than just the default text for your presentation: A font family also includes different weights (bold or lightweight, for example), italics, and special or foreign characters. Choosing a font family means versatility for anything you might want to convey to your audience.

Here's how to select the font family:

  • Under  Variants  (toward the right side of the toolbar), select the  More  drop-down and then select  Fonts  and then select a font family.

Tips for successful presentations

  • Balance text and visuals.  A wall of text will be uncomfortable to read, while too much imagery will seem unfocused.
  • Enhance your content through your public speaking, but don't echo it.  Use what you're saying to accentuate the content instead of dryly repeating it.
  • Keep the colors balanced.  Bright or distracting colors will take away from your message, even if it is part of your company's identity.
  • Ensure that fonts are legible.  Avoid using text that's too large and make sure that it can be read from anywhere in the room where you are presenting.
  • Use charts and graphs, but sparingly.  Too much data presented as visuals can be information overload.

Example of a well-designed presentation.

Start with a professional template

Microsoft Create  provides PowerPoint templates that can help take the guesswork out of creating a visual identity from scratch. With just a few clicks, you can edit and revise these customizable templates to match your brand.

Start by looking through our  business presentation templates  and downloading the ones you like best. Then modify them to build your own branded presentation.

Related topics

Interactive PowerPoint | How to Make One for Free in 2023

Interactive PowerPoint | How to Make One for Free in 2023

Alternatives

Quynh Anh Vu • 18 Jul 2023 • 5 min read

How to make powerpoint interactive? Making a presentation exciting is a science, and science speaks volumes. So, is it difficult to make a PowerPoint for free? Like an Interactive Powerpoint? Yes

In several experiments, Salescrunch found that while the average engagement level for a presentation is 78%, that can increase to 92% with audience interaction .

The problem? Somehow, Interactive PowerPoint is yet to realise that. Its handful of interactive tools is limited almost entirely to its app integrations, which cost money and require downloads.

Overview of Interactive Powerpoint

Tips for better engagement.

  • Best Alternatives to PowerPoint
  • Free alternatives to Google Forms
  • Extension For PowerPoint
  • Powerpoint Night Ideas
  • Free Spinner Wheel for Better Engagement
  • Free Live Word Cloud Generator!

What if I told you there’s a way to make an interactive PowerPoint without downloads and for 100% free?

Alternative Text

Get started in seconds..

Sign up for free and build your interactive PowerPoint from a template.

Table of Contents

  • 4 Steps to go Interactive
  • 5 Tips for an Interactive Powerpoint
  • More on AhaSlides Alternatives

Tip #1 – Use an Ice Breaker

Tip #2 – end with a mini-quiz, tip #3 – try variety, tip #4 – space it out, tip #5 – allow anonymity.

  • AhaSlides Alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions

Powerpoint to interactive powerpoint.

AhaSlides is a free online tool that helps presenters get more audience engagement. In the simplest terms – it’s like PowerPoint but interactive. So, of course, you can create interactive Powerpoint quiz with AhaSlides!

You can import your PowerPoint presentation in one go to AhaSlides. After that, fit it with interactive slides in which your audience can contribute to opinion polls, word clouds , brainstorming sessions, and even a live quiz !

Here’s how it works…

How to Create Interactive Powerpoint?

Signing up to AhaSlides

Sign up for Free.

Get a free account with AhaSlides in seconds. No card details necessary.

Import your PowerPoint

On a new presentation, click the 'Import' button to upload a PDF, PPT or PPTX file. Once uploaded, your presentation will be separated into its Powerpoint questions slides in the left column.

How to make an interactive presentation with the import feature on AhaSlides.

Add Interactive Slides

Create an interactive slide in your PowerPoint presentation. Place a poll, word cloud, Q&A, quiz, or any of the 11 interactive slide types into your presentation when you want interaction.

Press the 'Present' button and take your audience through your presentation. Your audience joins your presentation on their phones and submit their answers to your interactive slides.

5 Tips for Making a Great Interactive Powerpoint

All meetings, virtual or otherwise, could do with a quick activity or two to break the ice. This could be a simple question or a minigame before the real meat of the meeting gets underway.

Here’s one for you. If you’re presenting to an online audience from all over the world, use a word cloud slide to ask them ‘How do you say hi in your native language?’ . When audience respond, the most popular answers will appear larger.

A word cloud of different ways to say hi in audience members' native languages.

💡 Want more Ice Breakers? You’ll find a whole bunch of free ones right here !

There’s nothing that does more for engagement than a quiz. Quizzes are greatly underused in presentations; flip the script to raise engagement.

A quick 5 to 10-question quiz can work at the end of a section to test what your audience has just learned, or as a fun sign-off at the end of your interactive PowerPoint presentation.

On AhaSlides, quizzes work the same way as other interactive slides. Ask a question and your audience compete for points by answering fastest on their phones.

Let’s face facts. Most presentations, through lack of creative thinking, follow the exact same structure. It’s a structure that bores us senseless (it even has a name – Death by PowerPoint ) and it’s one that could really use a kick of variety.

There are currently 11 interactive slide types on AhaSlides. Presenters looking to avoid the dreaded monotony of the standard presentation structure can poll their audience, ask an open-ended question, gather ordinal scale ratings , ellicit popular ideas in a brainstorm, visualise data in a word cloud and so much more.

Check out how a variety of interactive slides could work for your presentation. Click below to dive into an interactive presentation on AhaSlides 👇

While there’s certainly a lot more room for interactivity in presentations, we all know what they say about having too much of a good thing…

Don’t overload your audience by asking for participation on every slide. Audience interaction should just be used to keep engagement high, ears pricked up, and information at the forefront of your audience members’ minds.

Spacing out the audience participation slides in an interactive PowerPoint presentation made on AhaSlides.

With that in mind, you might find that 3 or 4 content slides to each interactive slide is the perfect ratio for maximum attention .

Have you ever wondered why you’re getting muted reactions even with a premium presentation? Part of the social psychology of crowds is the general unwillingness, even amongst confident participants, to speak up in front of others on a whim.

Allowing audience members to anonymously respond to your questions and suggest their own can be a great remedy for that. Just by giving your audience the option to provide their names, you’ll likely receive a higher level of engagement from all types of personalities in the audience, not just the introverts.

Allowing audience members to submit questions anonymously during an interactive PowerPoint.

Or course, you can add more slides to PowerPoint, PowerPoint quiz, q&a slide in PowerPoint or q&a images for ppt… in any way you like. But, it would be much easier if your presentation was on AhaSlides.

Were you looking for More Interactive PowerPoint ideas?

With the power of interactivity in your hands, knowing what to do with it is not always easy.

Need more interactive PowerPoint presentation samples? Luckily, signing up for AhaSlides comes with unlimited access to the template library. This is a library of instantly downloadable presentations chock full of ideas for engaging your audience in an interactive PowerPoint.

Or, be inspired with our interactive PowerPoint template free !

Got a question? We've got answers.

Why did Microsoft buy PowerPoint?

Which company developed powerpoint from dell microsoft apple or ibm, is microsoft owned powerpoint alternative.

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Quynh Anh Vu

More from ahaslides.

PowerPoint Word Cloud - How to Create The Interactive One in 2023

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    Create a presentation from a theme. Select File > New. Double-click a theme in the gallery to create a presentation in that theme. Or search for more templates.

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  24. How to make a branded PowerPoint presentation

    Open your PowerPoint deck and go to the slide where you want the logo. Select Insert > Pictures > This Device. Navigate to your logo file, select it, and then select Insert. Select the logo and resize it (if necessary) by clicking and dragging one of the resize handles, then drag the logo to the position you want it in.

  25. Interactive PowerPoint

    4 Steps to go Interactive. 5 Tips for an Interactive Powerpoint. More on AhaSlides Alternatives. Tip #1 - Use an Ice Breaker. Tip #2 - End with a Mini-Quiz. Tip #3 - Try Variety. Tip #4 - Space it Out. Tip #5 - Allow Anonymity. AhaSlides Alternatives.