GCFGlobal Logo

  • Get started with computers
  • Learn Microsoft Office
  • Apply for a job
  • Improve my work skills
  • Design nice-looking docs
  • Getting Started
  • Smartphones & Tablets
  • Typing Tutorial
  • Online Learning
  • Basic Internet Skills
  • Online Safety
  • Social Media
  • Zoom Basics
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Career Planning
  • Resume Writing
  • Cover Letters
  • Job Search and Networking
  • Business Communication
  • Entrepreneurship 101
  • Careers without College
  • Job Hunt for Today
  • 3D Printing
  • Freelancing 101
  • Personal Finance
  • Sharing Economy
  • Decision-Making
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Image Editing
  • Learning WordPress
  • Language Learning
  • Critical Thinking
  • For Educators
  • Translations
  • Staff Picks
  • English expand_more expand_less

PowerPoint  - Slide Basics

Powerpoint  -, slide basics, powerpoint slide basics.

GCFLearnFree Logo

PowerPoint: Slide Basics

Lesson 5: slide basics.

/en/powerpoint/saving-presentations/content/

Introduction

Every PowerPoint presentation is composed of a series of slides . To begin creating a slide show, you'll need to know the basics of working with slides. You'll need to feel comfortable with tasks like inserting a new slide, changing the layout of a slide, arranging existing slides, changing the slide view , and adding notes to a slide.

Optional: Download our practice presentation .

Watch the video below to learn more about slide basics in PowerPoint.

Understanding slides and slide layouts

When you insert a new slide , it will usually have placeholders to show you where content will be placed. Slides have different layouts for placeholders, depending on the type of information you want to include. Whenever you create a new slide, you'll need to choose a slide layout that fits your content.

Different slide layouts

Placeholders can contain different types of content, including text, images, and videos. Many placeholders have thumbnail icons you can click to add specific types of content. In the example below, the slide has placeholders for the title and content .

A slide with empty placeholders

To insert a new slide:

Whenever you start a new presentation, it will contain one slide with the Title Slide layout. You can insert as many slides as you need from a variety of layouts.

Clicking the bottom half of the New Slide command

To change the layout of an existing slide, click the Layout command, then choose the desired layout.

Applying a new layout to an existing slide

To quickly add a slide that uses the same layout as the selected slide, click the top half of the New Slide command.

Inserting a new slide with the same layout

Organizing slides

PowerPoint presentations can contain as many slides as you need. The Slide Navigation pane on the left side of the screen makes it easy to organize your slides. From there, you can duplicate , rearrange , and delete slides in your presentation.

The Slide Navigation pane

Working with slides

Duplicating slides

  • Delete slides : If you want to remove a slide from your presentation, you can delete it. Simply select the slide you want to delete, then press the Delete or Backspace key on your keyboard.

To copy and paste slides:

If you want to create several slides with the same layout, you may find it easier to copy and paste a slide you've already created instead of starting with an empty slide.

Selecting a slide and clicking the Copy command

Customizing slide layouts

Sometimes you may find that a slide layout doesn't exactly fit your needs. For example, a layout might have too many—or too few—placeholders. You might also want to change how the placeholders are arranged on the slide. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to adjust slide layouts as needed.

Adjusting placeholders

Selecting a placeholder

  • To delete a placeholder : Select the placeholder you want to delete, then press the Delete or Backspace key on your keyboard.

To add a text box:

Text can be inserted into both placeholders and text boxes . Inserting text boxes allows you to add to the slide layout. Unlike placeholders, text boxes always stay in the same place, even if you change the theme.

Clicking the Text Box command

Using blank slides

If you want even more control over your content, you may prefer to use a blank slide , which contains no placeholders. Blank slides can be customized by adding your own text boxes, pictures, charts, and more.

Inserting a blank slide

While blank slides offer more flexibility, keep in mind that you won't be able to take advantage of the predesigned layouts included in each theme.

To play the presentation:

Once you've arranged your slides, you may want to play your presentation. This is how you will present your slide show to an audience.

Clicking the Start From Beginning command

  • The presentation will appear in full-screen mode.
  • You can advance to the next slide by clicking your mouse or pressing the spacebar on your keyboard. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move forward or backward through the presentation.
  • Press the Esc key to exit presentation mode.

You can also press the F5 key at the top of your keyboard to start a presentation.

Customizing slides

To change the slide size:.

By default, all slides in PowerPoint 2013 use a 16 - by-9 —or widescreen —aspect ratio. You might know that widescreen TVs also use the 16-by-9 aspect ratio. Widescreen slides will work best with widescreen monitors and projectors. However, if you need your presentation to fit a 4-by-3 screen, it's easy to change the slide size to fit.

Choosing a slide size

To format the slide background:

By default, all slides in your presentation use a white background . It's easy to change the background style for some or all of your slides. Backgrounds can have a solid , gradient , pattern , or picture fill.

Clicking the Format Background command

  • The background style of the selected slide will update.

Clicking Apply to All

To apply a theme:

A theme is a predefined combination of colors, fonts, and effects that can quickly change the look and feel of your entire slide show. Different themes also use different slide layouts , which can change the arrangement of your existing placeholders. We'll talk more about themes later in our Applying Themes lesson.

Clicking the More drop-down arrow

Try applying a few themes to your presentation. Some themes will work better than others, depending on your content.

  • Open our practice presentation .
  • Change the theme of the presentation.
  • Delete slide 7. This slide should be blank.
  • Add a new slide with the Title and Content layout to the end of the presentation.
  • In the Title placeholder, type Adoption Event Dates .
  • Select the Content placeholder and delete it.
  • Insert a text box and type July 17, 2017 inside it.
  • Change the slide size to Standard (4:3) . A dialog box will appear asking if you want to maximize or ensure fit. Choose Ensure Fit .

Slide Basic Challenge

/en/powerpoint/text-basics/content/

Critical PowerPoint Shortcuts – Claim Your FREE Training Module and Get Your Time Back!

nuts and bolts speed training logo

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

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

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 on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

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

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, 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?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

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.

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

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 learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

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

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  and Ctrl+V to Paste  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 my 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: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

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 my 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 my 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 my 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 my 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 my 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

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.

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 .

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

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

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 PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials 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

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 .

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 learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

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, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

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

🔒 Unlock the PowerPoint Shortcuts Trusted by Industry Leaders KKR, American Express, HSBC, and More!

Join over 114,880 professionals from diverse fields including consulting, investment banking, advertising, marketing, sales, and business development who have supercharged their PowerPoint game with our proven methods.

✅ Customize compelling presentations effortlessly.

✅ Master time-saving techniques for faster deck creation.

✅ Boost your career prospects with top-notch PowerPoint skills.

Get FREE access to the Critical PowerPoint Shortcuts module of our premium training course by entering your name and email below.

DISCLAIMER: PC Users Only!

We respect your privacy and will keep your info safe and confidential.

About The Author

' src=

Popular Tutorials

  • How to Strikethrough Text (l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶) in Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • How to Make Animated Fireworks in PowerPoint (Step-by-Step)
  • How to Create a Flash Card Memory Game in PowerPoint (Like Jeopardy)
  • Strikethrough Shortcut (l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶) for Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working: Solved

PowerPoint Tutorial Categories

  • Strategies & Opinions
  • Shortcuts & Hacks
  • Pictures, Icons, Videos, Etc.
  • New Features
  • Miscellaneous
  • Charts & Data Viz

We help busy professionals save hours and gain peace of mind, with corporate workshops, self-paced courses and tutorials for PowerPoint and Word.

Work With Us

  • Corporate Training
  • Presentation & Template Design
  • Courses & Downloads
  • PowerPoint Articles
  • Word Articles
  • Productivity Resources

Find a Tutorial

  • Free Training
  • For Businesses

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

Master Critical PowerPoint Shortcuts – Secure Your FREE Training Module and Save Valuable Time!

⌛ Master time-saving expert techniques.

🔥 Create powerful presentations.

🚀 Propel your career to new heights.

We value your privacy – we keep your info safe.

Discover PowerPoint Hacks Loved by Industry Giants - KKR, AmEx, HSBC!

Over 114,880 professionals in finance, marketing and sales have revolutionized their PPT skills with our proven methods. 

Gain FREE access to a full module of our premium PowerPoint training program – Get started today!

We hate spam too and promise to keep your information safe.

  • Gotta Get It: Hot Tech Deals at Target
  • Hands On: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Slide Layouts in PowerPoint

Tips for setting up Slide Layouts

  • Brock University

In This Article

Jump to a Section

  • Understanding the Opening Slide
  • Add a New Slide

Work With the Title and Content Slide

  • Change Slide Layouts
  • Work With the Slides Tab
  • Customize a Slide

PowerPoint's built-in slide layouts give you the versatility and creativity you need to create slideshows that communicate your message clearly and effectively. Here are a few tips to help you use slide layouts in your workflow and structure information that reaches your audience.

These instructions apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint Online, PowerPoint for Mac, PowerPoint for iPhone, and PowerPoint for Android.

Understand the Opening PowerPoint Slide

When you first open PowerPoint, your screen resembles the image above and includes these areas:

  • Slide Pane : Each page of a presentation is called a​ slide . New presentations open with a Title slide in Normal view. The Slide Pane is where you'll add the text, images, and other screen-show elements that are a part of your presentation.
  • Slides Tab : This area toggles between Slides view and Outline view . Slides view shows a tiny picture of all the slides in your presentation. Outline view shows the hierarchy of the text in your slides.
  • Menus : This part of the user interface (UI) is known as the Ribbon . The Ribbon gives you access to all of PowerPoint's features and commands.

When you open a new presentation in PowerPoint, the first slide is the Title slide and contains text placeholders. To customize this slide layout, select the placeholder text and enter a new title and subtitle.

Add a New PowerPoint Slide

To add a new slide to your presentation, select Home > New Slide . This adds the Title and Content slide layout. This is the default slide layout and it contains placeholders for a title, bullet text, images , and illustrations.

If you need a different type of slide, select the New Slide down arrow . This opens a menu that contains nine different slide layouts. Choose one of these slide layouts to add it to your presentation.

When you select Home > New Slide , a new slide is added using the current slide layout. For example, if the current slide on the screen uses the Picture With Caption slide layout, the new slide will also be of that type.

The Title and Content slide layout contains placeholders for a title, a bullet list, images, and illustrations.

To add bullet text to this slide, select the bullet placeholder and enter your new text. Each time you press Enter , a new bullet appears for the next line of text.

To add content other than text to the Title and Content slide layout, select an icon from the set of six content types. The different types of content that can be inserted in this slide layout include a table, chart , SmartArt graphic, pictures, online pictures, and video.

Change PowerPoint Slide Layouts

If you've created a slide and you don't like the layout, change it to one of the nine different slide layout choices in PowerPoint. Display the slide you want to change in the Slide Pane and select Home > Layout (in PowerPoint 2019, select Slide Layout ) to see the list of available slide layouts. The current slide layout is highlighted. Select a different slide layout and the current slide takes on this new slide layout.

Here's a description of each of the built-in slide layouts:

  • Title Slide : Use a title slide at the beginning of your presentation to introduce your topic.
  • Title and Content : The default slide layout and the most commonly used slide layout.
  • Section Header : Separates different sections of the same presentation.
  • Two Content : Use this slide layout to show two columns of text and graphic content.
  • Comparison : Similar to the Two Content slide layout, but this slide type also includes a heading text box over each type of content. Use this type of slide layout to compare two types of the same content type (for example, two different charts).
  • Title Only : Use this slide layout if you want to place only a title on the page, rather than a title and subtitle. The area below the title is blank so that other content (such as clip art, WordArt , pictures, or charts) can be added as needed.
  • Blank : A blank slide layout is often used when a picture or other graphic object needs no further information.
  • Content With Caption : Contains two columns for text and content. The left column contains placeholders for text. The right column contains placeholders for images and illustrations.
  • Picture With Caption : This slide layout is similar to the Content With Caption slide layout. The left side contains a placeholder for text and the right side contains a placeholder for a picture that is stored on your computer or cloud account.

Work With the PowerPoint Slides Tab

The Slides Tab is located on the left side of the PowerPoint screen. The default setting is Normal and shows thumbnail views of the slides in your presentation. If you'd rather see an outline of your presentation, select View > Outline View .

Each time you add a new slide, a miniature version of that slide appears in the Slides Tab on the left side of the screen. Select a thumbnail to place that slide in the Slides Pane for editing.

Customize a PowerPoint Slide

You're not limited to the layout of a slide as it first appears in PowerPoint. You may add, move, and remove text boxes and other objects at any time on any slide.

If no slide layout suits your specific needs, insert a Blank slide and add text boxes or other objects to fit the information you want to convey.

Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day

  • A Guide to Using PowerPoint Slide Layouts
  • How to Use PowerPoint Slide Master Layouts
  • The 10 Most Common PowerPoint Terms
  • Create Family Trees Using PowerPoint Organization Chart
  • An Introduction to PowerPoint
  • What Is a PowerPoint Placeholder?
  • How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Add, Delete or Change the Order of PowerPoint Slides
  • PowerPoint Master Slide
  • Simple Quizzes in PowerPoint
  • Create a Pie Chart Graphic in PowerPoint
  • How to Add Page Numbers in PowerPoint
  • Different Ways to View Slides in PowerPoint
  • Add Rolling Credits to a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Use Multiple Design Themes in the Same Powerpoint Presentation
  • PowerPoint for Beginners - How to Use PowerPoint

Computer Hope

A slide pane is a feature available in some programs, usually found on the left side of the window. It displays thumbnails of files or features available in the program. For example, the slide pane in Microsoft PowerPoint presentations displays all of the slides in a presentation. This menu allows the user can click each of the slides to view and edit them individually.

Slide , Software terms , Task pane

IMAGES

  1. Slides Pane in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

    slide pane powerpoint

  2. Slides Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

    slide pane powerpoint

  3. Slides Pane in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows

    slide pane powerpoint

  4. Slides Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

    slide pane powerpoint

  5. What Are Panes in PowerPoint 2013?

    slide pane powerpoint

  6. Interface Overview: Slides Pane in PowerPoint

    slide pane powerpoint

VIDEO

  1. How To Create a PowerPoint Slide show

  2. Transition and Animation Pane in PowerPoint

  3. PowerPoint, Lesson 1 PowerPoint Orientation Northstar Digital 1

  4. Powerpoint Slides Automatically

  5. PowerPoint for Beginners

  6. Create Stunning Slide in PowerPoint Tutorial

COMMENTS

  1. Slide Area in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

    The Slide area comprises everything within the region highlighted in red, as shown within Figure 1. This is the area where you work the most, typically through adding and editing slide objects. Figure 1: Slide area within PowerPoint 365 interface for Windows.

  2. PowerPoint: Slide Basics

    The Slide Navigation pane on the left side of the screen makes it easy to organize your slides. From there, you can duplicate, rearrange, and delete slides in your presentation. Working with slides Duplicate slides: If you want to copy and paste a slide quickly, you can duplicate it.

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

    The PowerPoint Ribbon; The Slides Pane; The Slide Area; The Notes Pane; Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation; Insert More Slides into Your Presentation; Adding Content to Your Slides. Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas. Take your PPT skills to the next level; Change the Overall Design (optional) A. Picking your PowerPoint ...

  4. Slide Layouts in PowerPoint

    Display the slide you want to change in the Slide Pane and select Home > Layout (in PowerPoint 2019, select Slide Layout) to see the list of available slide layouts. The current slide layout is highlighted. Select a different slide layout and the current slide takes on this new slide layout. Here's a description of each of the built-in slide ...

  5. What is a Slide Pane?

    Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope A slide pane is a feature available in some programs, usually found on the left side of the window. It displays thumbnails of files or features available in the program. For example, the slide pane in Microsoft PowerPoint presentations displays all of the slides in a presentation.