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Slide Basics PowerPoint Tutorial

Free PowerPoint Online Tutorial
MS Office 2010 - Working with Slides

* Inserting Slides
* Deleting Slides
* Changing the Slide Order
* Understanding Content Placeholders
* Selecting and Changing Slide Layout

Slides are the primary output of PowerPoint. The fundamentals include creating new slides, understanding placeholders, changing layouts, and copying, deleting and re-ordering slides.

Test your PowerPoint skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
PowerPoint Slide Basics Test



* Inserting Slides

A PowerPoint presentation or file is made up of multiple slides, sometimes called a slide stack.  Each slide represents a page in the presentation. Slides are easy to work with: you can move them around to reorder the presentation, delete and duplicate them with ease and even change their layout after content has been added.  According to Microsoft experts, a single PowerPoint presentation can hold around 2,147,483,647 slides.  Hopefully you will never need that many!

When you launch PowerPoint, a blank presentation will open that contains a single slide visible in the Slide Pane to the left of the screen (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

PowerPoint Slide Basics Tutorial


When you open any presentation, you will be able to view all the slides in the presentation in the Slides Pane.
  Left clicking on a slide will highlight the slide and display it in the main slide screen.  The total number of slides in a presentation is displayed in the bottom left-hand corner on the status bar (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

How to insert a new slide into a Presentation - PowerPoint Tutorial


 
To insert a new slide into a Presentation:

1.  Select the slide after which you wish to insert the new slide.  If you want to insert a new slide at the end of the current presentation, select the last slide in the Slide Pane.

2.  Click on the Home tab on the Ribbon.

3.  In the Slides group, click on the New Slide button. 


A new blank slide will be inserted into your presentation.  You can click the New Slide button however many times you wish to insert new slides.

Oftentimes when creating a presentation, you will find a slide format and/or layout that perfectly suit your specific requirements.  To re-use the same slide and therefore benefit from not having to recreate the formatting and layout, you can copy an existing slide in your presentation.




To copy or duplicate an existing slide in a presentation:

1.  Right-click the slide you wish to create a copy of.

2.  Select Duplicate Slide (circled and highlighted in yellow in the screenshot below) from the menu list:

Copy or duplicate an existing slide in a presentation - PowerPoint Tutorial

You can now add content to the duplicate slide as required.

An alternative method for creating a copy of a slide is:

1.  Select the slide you wish to create a copy of.

2.  Right-click the slide and select Copy from the menu list.

3.  Select the slide after which you wish to insert the copied slide.

4.  Press the Paste button in the Clipboard group under the Home tab on the Ribbon.

TIP: Use shortcut combinations to replace copying and pasting in the instructions above:

  • To copy:  Ctrl+C
  • To paste: Ctrl+V


* Deleting Slides

PowerPoint presentation slide stacks change frequently, not only during the creation and review process, but when slides are re-used at a later stage.  Information may have changed or you no longer need a specific slide or slides to be part of the presentation.

Deleting a slide is very easy:

1.  Click on the slide you no longer need.

2.  Press the delete key on your keyboard or right-click and select Delete Slide from the menu list.

The above method will immediately delete the slide or slides.  This can be a terrifying experience if you press delete by mistake.  Luckily there is always the Undo function!  Click on the Undo button in the Quick Access Toolbar or use the shortcut key: Ctrl+Z to undo the delete slide action.

You can select multiple slides to delete by holding down the control key on your keyboard whilst selecting slides in the Slides Pane before pressing delete.



* Changing the Slide Order

Moving Slides to Change the Slide Order
All presentations start as a draft and you are sure to find as you make progress and approach completion of the presentation, the order of slides you started with, is no longer the order required.  Each slide in PowerPoint represents a separate page that is not attached to the preceding or following slide.  This makes it easy to quickly change the order in which slides appear.

To move a single slide:

1.  Select the slide you wish to move by left clicking on it once.

2.  Hold down the left mouse button and drag the slide upwards or downwards in the Slide Pane. 

3.  Let go of the mouse button to finalize the move.

To move multiple slides:

1.  Click on the View tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Presentation Views group, click on the Slide Sorter button.  This will open the Slide Sorter view pictured in the screenshot below:

Moving multiple slides - PowerPoint Tutorial

3.  Click on any slide using the left mouse button and drag the slide to a new position to change the order slides appear in.

You can also move slides between presentations.  Open both presentations and view the screens side-by-side by resizing the windows.  You can then drag a slide from the Slide Panel of one presentation directly into another. 



* Content Placeholders

It is important to remember when working with PowerPoint, that even though a slide represents a page, it does not behave the same way as a page does in a Word or Notepad document.  When working with a page, you can click on the page and start typing to add content.  In PowerPoint all content needs to be added to a content placeholder.  Textbox placeholders are used to add headings, paragraphs and bulleted lists.  There are also placeholders for pictures and multi-function placeholders, which allow for quickly inserting tables, charts, SmartArt, pictures and even videos. 

It is impossible to work with a worksheet without using placeholders.  By default, a new PowerPoint presentation opens with two placeholders (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

Content Placeholders - PowerPoint Tutorial

To use a placeholder, simply click on the placeholder and start typing to add content.  To move a placeholder, click the outline of the box and drag it to a new position.

To add text to a blank slide:

1.  Select the slide you wish to add content to.

2.  Click on the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

3.  In the Text group, click on the Textbox button.  When you move your cursor over the slide (without clicking), you will note the cursor has changed to a vertical line ending in an arrow.

4.  Hold down the left mouse button while dragging to create a textbox shape or click in the slide once where you wish the text to appear.

5.  You must type text into the placeholder immediately after creating it.  If you don't, the textbox will disappear. 

Slides come predesigned with a specific collection of placeholder types.  The selection of placeholders available to you will depend greatly on the type of slide you have selected to insert.

To insert a slide with different types of placeholders:

1.  Click on the Home tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Slides group, click on the words New Slide with the down pointing arrow (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

Insert a slide with different types of placeholders - PowerPoint Tutorial

3.  This will open the Slide gallery box.  Study the different slides and their content placeholders available and select the most appropriate one.

4.  Use the content placeholders to add elements such as tables, charts, SmartArt and images by clicking on the relevant icon (all circled in yellow in the screenshot below) within the placeholder:

Use the content placeholders to add elements such as tables, charts, SmartArt and images - PowerPoint Tutorial

A dialogue box will open after clicking on a content placeholder icon, prompting you as to which steps to take to insert the selected content type.

To reset placeholders on a slide to their original position, click on the Reset button in the Slides group under the Home tab.



* Selecting and Changing Slide Layout

Slide layout means the combination of content types that make up the structure of a slide.  For example, a slide could contain one column or two columns, tables and images.  Combinations of different content placeholders are used to build a slide layout and there are many pre-built layouts available to select from.

It is important to differentiate between a Slide and a Slide Layout.  A slide is an actual slide comprising a new page in a presentation that has a specific layout applied to it.  A layout is applied to a slide and is not a slide in itself. 

You can change the layout of existing slides by:

1.  Clicking on the Home tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Slides group, click on the Layout button.

3.  From the Layout Gallery, select one of the pre-designed layout types by clicking on it.

The layout of your slide, irrespective of whether it contains text, bullets or other content, will be rearranged to match the selected layout.

Using the Layout function to design slides is a quick way of formatting a slide and adding the relevant textboxes or other content placeholders to a slide with the least amount of effort on your part.  You can even change the layout of multiple slides at once by holding down the control key on your keyboard whilst selecting slides in the Slides Panel and then applying a layout.



Test your PowerPoint skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
PowerPoint Slide Basics Test