Tech Tips: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint 365 is an indispensable tool in today’s digital world, used widely for creating engaging and informative presentations. This blog aims to provide you with a comprehensive set of tips, shortcuts, and insights to harness the full potential of PowerPoint 365. Get ready to transform your slides from mundane to magnificent!

 Whether you're crafting a business presentation, or a personal project, these tips and tricks will elevate your PowerPoint game, making your slides not only visually appealing but also efficient and impactful.

In this blog we will cover:

  • Basics of navigating PowerPoint
  • Slide Management
  • PowerPoint Designer
  • Collaboration
  • Text and Content
  • Keyboard shortcuts

Basics of Navigating PowerPoint

Much like the rest of the Microsoft Office 365 suite powerPoint is easy to navigate with Microsoft's signature Ribbon layout, here's a quick guide to the Ribbon within PowerPoint:

Home Tab
  1. Clipboard: Contains Cut, Copy, Paste, and the Format Painter.
  2. Slides: Options to add new slides, layout, and section organization.
  3. Font: Text formatting options including font type, size, color, bold, italic, underline, etc.
  4. Paragraph: Alignment, bullet points, numbering, and text indentation.
  5. Drawing: Shapes, lines, and arrangement features like Bring Forward or Send Backward.
  6. Editing: Find, Replace, and Select functionalities.
Insert Tab
  1. Tables: Insert tables into your slides.
  2. Images: Options to insert pictures, screenshots, and photo albums.
  3. Illustrations: Add shapes, icons, 3D models, and SmartArt.
  4. Links: Insert hyperlinks or action buttons.
  5. Comments: Add comments to the slides.
  6. Text: Insert text boxes, headers, and footers.
  7. Symbols: Include equations or symbols.
Design Tab
  1. Themes: Choose from a variety of themes for your presentation.
  2. Variants: Select color variants of the chosen theme.
  3. Customize: Customize slide size and format background.
Transitions Tab
  1. Transition to This Slide: Choose the transition effect for the current slide.
  2. Timing: Modify the transition duration and apply to all slides.
Animations Tab
  1. Preview: See a preview of animations and transitions.
  2. Animation: Add and remove animations.
  3. Advanced Animation: Add more complex animations and open the Animation Pane.
  4. Timing: Set the start, duration, and delay options for animations.
Slide Show Tab
  1. Start Slide Show: Start the presentation from the beginning or from the current slide.
  2. Set Up: Set up slide show options, including monitors and narration.
  3. Monitors: Choose the monitor for presentation display and use Presenter View.
Review Tab
  1. Proofing: Spelling and grammar check.
  2. Language: Language preferences and translation.
  3. Comments: View, add, and manage comments.
View Tab
  1. Presentation Views: Switch between Normal, Slide Sorter, Reading View, etc.
  2. Master Views: Edit Slide Master, Handout Master, and Notes Master.
  3. Show: Show or hide gridlines, guides, and the Ruler.
  4. Zoom: Zoom in or out on the slide.
  5. Window: Arrange multiple open presentations and use the Split view.
  6. Macros: Record, write, or manage macros.

Slide Management

Slides are the core feature of PowerPoint, so it is important to now these quick tricks to creating them and improving the layout:

Creating and Organising Slides Efficiently add a new slide with Ctrl + M and duplicate your well-designed slides with Ctrl + D. Organize your slides by dragging them into the desired order in the slide navigator.

Layouts and Themes PowerPoint offers a variety of layouts and themes to give your presentation a cohesive and professional look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find the one that best suits your message. Check out the Design Tab for more.

PowerPoint Designer

PowerPoint Designer is a powerful tool within Microsoft PowerPoint that leverages cloud intelligence to suggest layout ideas for your slides. It's a feature designed to improve the visual appeal of your presentations without requiring extensive design skills. Here’s more about PowerPoint Designer:

How it Works
  1. Content Recognition: When you insert content such as images, text, or other multimedia, PowerPoint Designer automatically kicks in. It recognizes the content and context of your slide and suggests professional design ideas.
  2. Design Suggestions: Based on the content of your slide, Designer offers a variety of design options. These suggestions include professional layouts, color schemes, and typographies.
  3. Seamless Integration: The suggestions appear in a dedicated pane on the right side of your PowerPoint window. You can browse through these ideas and click to apply any design that suits your preference.
Key Features
  1. Professional Layouts: Designer suggests the best ways to arrange your content on slides. For instance, it can suggest visually appealing layouts for slides with bullet points, or it can offer dynamic arrangements for slides with images and text.
  2. Intelligent Formatting: It not only suggests layouts but also intelligently formats your content. It matches color schemes and styles based on the content of your slides and the overall design of your presentation.
  3. Quick Revisions: If you change the content of your slide after applying a design, Designer will reanalyze the content and offer new suggestions that suit the updated content.

Collaboration Features

Microsoft PowerPoint's collaboration features allow multiple users to work together on a presentation in real-time, regardless of their location. These featuresare designed to facilitate teamwork, streamline the editing process, and ensure that all contributors can provide their input efficiently. Here’s a detailed look at these features:

Real-time Co-authoring
  • Simultaneous Editing: Multiple users can work on the same presentation simultaneously. You can see who's working on the presentation and what slides they're editing.
  • Live Changes: Changes made by collaborators appear in real-time. This ensures that everyone has the most up-to-date version of the presentation.
Sharing and Permissions
  • Easy Sharing: You can share your presentation with others by sending them a link. The recipients can view or edit the presentation depending on the permissions you set.
  • Permission Levels: PowerPoint allows you to set different permission levels for different users, such as view-only or edit permissions.
  • Link Sharing: You can also share the presentation by generating a shareable link, which can be restricted to certain users or made accessible to anyone with the link.
Comments and Feedback
  • Comments: Users can leave comments on specific slides, making it easy to provide feedback or suggest changes. You can also @mention specific individuals in comments to draw their attention.
  • Threaded Comments: Conversations are easy to follow thanks to threaded comments. You can reply directly to a comment, creating a structured discussion right next to the relevant content.
  • Resolving Comments: Once a discussion is complete or a suggested change is made, comments can be marked as resolved, keeping the comment thread, but removing it from the immediate view to avoid clutter.
Version History
  • View and Restore Previous Versions: PowerPoint automatically saves versions of your presentation as you and your team make changes. You can view the version history and restore a previous version if needed.
  • Track Changes: This feature allows you to see what changes were made, when they were made, and by whom.
Integration with Microsoft Teams and Skype
  • Seamless Integration: PowerPoint integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Teams and Skype, allowing you to present your slides directly within a meeting.
  • Collaborate in Meetings: Team members can collaborate on a presentation before or during a Teams or Skype meeting.

Text and Content

Text Editing Shortcuts Make your text editing swift and seamless. Use shortcuts like Ctrl + B to bold, Ctrl + I for italics, and Ctrl + U to underline key points.

Working with Images and Graphics Insert images by using the Insert tab and resize by dragging the corners. Maintain the aspect ratio by holding the Shift key while resizing.

SmartArt and Charts Present data effectively using SmartArt graphics and charts. These tools help in making complex information digestible and visually appealing.

Keyboard shortcuts

Have a big presentation to design and short on time? Here are some keyboard shortcuts to help you whizz through everything from creating a new presentation to duplicating slides:

  1. Ctrl + N: Create a new presentation.
  2. Ctrl + O: Open an existing presentation.
  3. Ctrl + S: Save the presentation.
  4. Ctrl + Z: Undo an action.
  5. Ctrl + Y: Redo an action.
  6. Ctrl + X: Cut selected text, object, or slide.
  7. Ctrl + C: Copy selected text, object, or slide.
  8. Ctrl + V: Paste text, object, or slide.
  9. Ctrl + M: Insert a new slide.
  10. Ctrl + D: Duplicate the selected slide or object.
  11. Ctrl + A: Select all objects or all text in a text object.
  12. Ctrl + F: Open the Find dialog box.
  13. Ctrl + H: Open the Replace dialog box.
  14. Ctrl + Shift + "<" or ">”: Decrease or increase the font size.
  15. F5: Start the presentation from the beginning.

With these tips and tricks, you’re well-equipped to create compelling and impactful presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint 365. Remember, a great presentation is not just about the aesthetics but also about how effectively it communicates your message. Be clear, be concise, and be creative.

If you are interested in learning more about using products in the Microsoft 365 Office suite, head over to our Tech Tips page.