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Powerpoint Views Tutorial

MS Office 2010
Free PowerPoint Online Tutorial

* Normal View
* Slide Sorter
* Notes Page
* Reading View
* Master Views
* Slide Show View
* Presenter View

There are different ways to view your presentation depending on what you want to do.  Understanding and using the different views in PowerPoint can make your work much easier. This includes Normal, Slide Sorter, Reading, Outline, Notes, and Slide Show.

Test your PowerPoint skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
PowerPoint Views Test

* Normal View

In real life you may often contemplate how normal your family, friends, colleagues or even you yourself are.  No doubt many a psychologist has dedicated their lives to defining exactly what normal is and if you spend any time in a public area observing people, you may start to think there is no such thing as 'normal'.  Lucky for us in the world of PowerPoint we need not ask such deep philosophical questions and Normal is, well, just normal!

When you launch PowerPoint the first view that you will encounter is the Normal View.  This is the default view and is easily recognizable by the Slide Window which is flanked to the left by the Slides and Outline panels.
Examine the screenshot of the Normal View below:
Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Normal View

The Normal View is where you will be doing most of the work in creating and formatting your presentation:

1.  You add content to the Slide Window (circled in yellow in the screenshot above) using textboxes and placeholders. 

2.  The Slide Panel located on the left-hand side of the Slide Window, allows you to duplicate slides, reorder slides, delete slides and add formatting elements.

3.  The Outline Panel, which is also displayed in the left-hand side of the Slide Window, is the answer to quickly adding content to slides.  Access this panel by clicking on the Outline Tab located next to the Slides Tab (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Normal View

4.  You can add notes for yourself to the presentation by typing into the Notes Pane located below the Slide Window.  These notes will not be visible to your audience when your slides are viewed in a slide show presentation. 

You can resize the Notes Pane by hovering your cursor over the top margin until it changes into a double-pointed arrow and then click and drag the panel margin upwards or downwards to resize the area.

* Slide Sorter

A single presentation can contain anything from around 2 to over a 100 slides.  Keeping track of slides and organizing the order in which they will display in your presentation can turn into a logistical nightmare.  Although the Slides Panel in the Normal View provides you with functionality to drag single or multiple slides upwards or downwards to reorder the sequence in which they appear, it allows for a limited view of a few slides at a time only. 

The solution to all slide organization worries is the Slide Sorter View. 

1.  To access this View, click on the View Tab at the top of the Ribbon and then select the Slide Sorter button in the Presentation Views group.

The Slide Sorter View allows you to view thumbnails of all the slides in your presentation.  The screenshot below demonstrates what this view looks like:

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Slide Sorter

2.  To reorder slides, click on the slide you wish to move and hold down the left mouse button while dragging the slide into its new position.  A diagonal line will appear while you are dragging a slide indicating where the slide will be inserted when you release the button.

3.  The number in the bottom right-hand corner of each slide indicates the position of that specific slide in the overall slide order.  In other words, after which slide and before which slide it will appear when your presentation is played.

4.  You can use the preview animation and transition button in the bottom left-hand corner of each slide to view the transitions and animations applied to the slide.  Click on the tiny star icon and wait for the animation to play.

5.  You can add new slides in this view by right-clicking and selecting New Slide from the available options.  You can also copy and paste slides and add sections if relevant to your presentation using this view.

6.  Should you wish to edit a specific slide, double clicking on the slide will take you to the Normal View where you can edit, format and/or add content to the slide.

To display more slides in the Slide Sorter View area or to view larger thumbnails of slides, use the Zoom slider located in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (circled in yellow in the screenshot below).  You can also hold down the Ctrl key whilst using the scrolling wheel on your mouse to zoom in or out in this view.

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Slide Sorter

* The Notes Page

Doing a talk or presentation in front of strangers or possibly worse, a group of your peers, can be a nerve-racking experience.  Losing your train of thought and sweating buckets while you nervously fall over your words between apologies, trying desperately to remember what you were going to say, is the stuff of nightmares for most of us. 

To avoid the above scenario it is highly recommended that you add notes to each slide outlining your thoughts or adding prompts to your talk.  You can then either print out the notes or display them on your screen whilst the presentation is projected minus the notes, to your audience.  Built in printing functionality allow you to print notes in different formats should you wish to give a copy to anyone.

1.  To access the Notes Page View, click on the View Tab above the Ribbon area.  In the Presentation Views group select Notes Page to access this view.

Study the screenshot of the Notes Page View below:

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - The Notes Page


2.  Each slide in your Presentation will be displayed on an individual page.  Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side of the screen to scroll through all the slides or use the scrolling wheel on your mouse.

3.  Below each slide is a notes box.  You can type any comments, speaker notes or prompts relevant to the slide in this box.

4.  You can format this area as you would any other text.  If you are planning to share your notes with your audience, you may wish to format them first.  Click on the Home Tab to access formatting options such as font, paragraph spacing and bullets and numbering. 

5.  You can even add graphics or elements such as tables to your Notes Page.

Use the Notes Pages option under Slides in the Print Area of the Backstage View to print your slides with their notes.  You can also use the Create Handouts function in the Save & Send area of the Backstage View to export your slides and notes to Microsoft Word.

* Reading View

This view may at first seem a little useless but it has its place in creating presentations.  Slides can contain multiple graphical elements, transitions and animations that are difficult to review in the Normal or Slide Sorter views.  If you play the Slide Show, it automatically fills your computer screen leaving no space to make notes or compare your slides to other presentations or documents.

The Reading View fills the gap that other View types do not.  You can open a presentation in Reading View, resize the window and review your slides whilst making notes.  It is also ideal for viewing a slide show that someone has shared with you or if you want to review a slide show with a colleague.  You can go through the slides viewing all animations and transitions and stop to edit an individual slide at any time.

1.  To access Reading View, go to the View Tab at the top of the Ribbon and select Reading View in the Presentation Views group.

2.  To resize the Reading View screen, click on the Restore Down button (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) at the top right-hand corner of the screen or double click on the header bar at the top.

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Reading View


3.  To navigate through slides in the Reading View, either click on the screen to launch animations and transitions, use the Next and Previous Slide buttons located at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, or use the Menu button (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) to navigate to specific slides.

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Reading View

4.  To exit the Reading View, press Escape on your keyboard.  You can also click on one of the other view type icons in the bottom right-hand corner or use the Menu button to exit the Reading View and continue editing your slides.


* Master Views

There are three Master Views in PowerPoint namely: Slide Master, Handout Master and Notes Master.  A Master View is a view type that allows you to create default formatting for specific areas of your slides ensuring consistency in look and feel of your presentation.  It can also shave of hours of time not to mention frustration as it removes a lot of the manual formatting steps in slide slow design and layout.

To access one of the Master Views, click on the View Tab at the top of the Ribbon and select either: Slide Master, Handout Master or Notes Master in the Master Views group.

1.  The Slide Master allows you to set how formatting for different types of slides will look, this includes layout, font format, inserting placeholders for specific elements to setting default transitions and animations for slides.

2.  The Notes Master allows you to apply default formatting and layout to Notes pages.

3.  The Handout Master is ideal if you need to create handouts of your presentation as it allows you to create a standard format for all notes.

Master Views can save you a lot of time and frustration and act as a stencil for adding content to the different sections of your presentation.  Stay tuned for future tutorials on how to use Master Views and get the most out of PowerPoint.

* Slide Show View

In PowerPoint the proof is in the Slide Show View.  You may have spent hours, days or even weeks constructing the perfect presentation, but you will only know what it looks like when you view it in Slide Show View.  This view plays your completed presentation including audio, video, animations and transitions, including triggers of how animations and transitions are launched.  This is the view type you would normally use when presenting your slides to an audience.

1.  To view your presentation in Slide Show View, click on the Slide Show Tab above the Ribbon and select From Beginning in the Start Slide Show group.

2.  To move forward or backwards through slides or to access Media Controls, hover your mouse over the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.  You will note a forward and backward arrow, a pen icon and a menu button.  Use these tools to highlight or mark-up slides during a presentation, or to move backwards and forwards through slides.

3.  To exit the Slide Show View, press escape on your keyboard.

* Presenter View

The Presenter View is similar to the Slide Show View but provides for more control over the presentation. 

In Presenter View the presentation will play on the display screen to your audience and you will have a slide by slide control panel on your screen.  You can control which slide is displayed and use Media Controls to highlight or write on slides. 

1.  To use the Presenter View, click on the Slide Show Tab at the top of the Ribbon.

2.  In the Monitors group tick the box for Use Presenter View.

3.  Launch your Presentation by pressing From Beginning in the Start Slide Show group. 

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorial - Presenter View

The Presenter View (see screenshot above) allows you to see which slide is displayed, select any slide to display, how long you have had the slide displayed and your notes regarding the specific slide. 

4.  To exit the view, press Escape on your keyboard and remove the tick next to Use Presenter View in the Monitors group before you launch the Slide Show View again.

Test your PowerPoint skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
PowerPoint Views Test