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After over a decade of service to the web community, I have made the decision that Web by Design has served its purpose and lived a fruitful life. It is time to shutter the doors and move on. However, due to the fact that so many continue to reference this tutorial, I will keep it available for the near future.

Thank you for your support over the years. It has been a pleasure.


PowerPoint 2007 Basics Tutorial

Table of Contents

About PowerPoint

PowerPoint is an application that lets you build, print, and deliver presentations. You have several options for the delivery of a presentation, but you only have to develop it once. You can print slides (a "slide" is what PowerPoint calls each screen of information), print handouts, print notes pages, or deliver an on-screen presentation.

As you develop a PowerPoint presentation, it is important to remember that you should not try to include every piece of information you wish to deliver. PowerPoint slides should contain brief, concise, descriptive phrases that will help you remember what you want to present and to serve as a reminder for your audience. The most common mistake made by novice PowerPoint developers is to include too much information on each slide.

For more information, review this tutorial for practical advice about choosing color combinations, the amount of text that should be included on an individual slide, the most effective font choices, and more: Creating Effective Visual Aids / Using Color Effectively (NOTE: this is in PowerPoint 2003 presentation show).

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The Ribbon

The first change you'll notice in Office 2007 over previous versions is the Ribbon. The Ribbon reorganizes and replaces the menus and toolbars you have been accustomed to in previous Office versions into tabs and groups. This makes access to commands more intuitive (once you get used to it!). In the example below, notice that the Home tab is active; this is the default tab when you first start PowerPoint 2007. Within this example of the Home tab we can see three groups: Clipboard, Slides, and Font.

In addition to the tools that are visible, notice the small diagonal arrow in the lower right corner of the Clipboard and Font groups. Clicking this arrow in PowerPoint will open additional options for that group of tools.

Office 2007 Ribbon

We will introduce the various sections of the Ribbon as we explore how to complete certain tasks within PowerPoint, but in the remainder of this section, let's look at some of the features of the Ribbon.

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As you mouse over tools on the Ribbon, Office will display a pop-up Screen Tip like the one shown below. The tip will show the name of the tool, a miniature of how it relates spatially to other tools, and provide a brief description or set of instructions. If you're new to PowerPoint 2007, screen tips provide a great introduction to the environment.

Sample Screen Tip
Screen Tip

Microsoft Office 2007 Help IconAnother great resource for getting help in Office 2007 is the Microsoft Help. To access Help, click the blue circle with the white question mark (like the one shown on the left), located on the far right upper corner of the screen. A new window will open, displaying several topic categories as well as providing a search box for you to type keywords into. Help files range from step-by-step instructions to video demonstrations.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Many of you may be accustomed to using keyboard shortcuts such as CTRL-P to print or CTRL-C to copy. The "CTRL" keyboard shortcuts that you have used in the past will continue to work in PowerPoint 2007. However, with the reorganization into tabs and groups, many shortcuts have been reworked. The ALT key is now the trigger for keyboard shortcuts. When you press ALT, PowerPoint will display numbers or letters in small blocks on the Ribbon (see example below) above the functions they represent. In order to access a tab, then access a tool, you need to sequence your keyboard shortcuts. For example,

To insert a picture into a presentation, first click in the slide where you want the picture inserted then using the keyboard, press

  1. ALT (to display the keyboard shortcuts)
  2. N (to access the Insert tab)
  3. P to issue the command to insert picture

So the keyboard shortcut sequence to insert a picture is: ALT N P.

Sample Keyboard Shortcut 1 Sample Keyboard Shortcut 2
Keyboard Shortcuts

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Office Button

Microsoft Office ButtonThis is the Microsoft Office Button. It contains many of the important commands that you previously found in the File menu including New, Open, Save, Save as, and Print.

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Starting a New Presentation

You can begin to create a presentation using the blank slide and PowerPoint tools when PowerPoint first starts, or click the Microsoft Office Button and choose New. From the Button's New dialog box (shown below), double click the icon or link to select:

New Presentation Dialog Box
New Presentation Dialog Box

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Opening a Presentation

To open an existing presentation, click the Office Button and choose Open, then browse for the file. You can also select from the list of Recent Documents.

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Saving A Presentation

In the Office Button are two save options: Save and Save As. If the presentation you are working on has been changed and you want to save it with the same name as previously used and in the same location, click Save.

The Save As options allow you to save your presentation in a variety of types as shown below:

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Printing a Presentation

To see a preview of your presentation, from the Office Button choose PRINT : Print Preview. From this screen you can print the presentation as handouts, slides, outline, or notes as well as navigate through the presentation.

To exit Print Preview, click the Red box with the white X.

To send the presentation directly to the default printer and print all the slides in the presentation, from the Office Button choose PRINT : Quick Print.

For the most options, from the Office Button, click PRINT.

Select from the Color/grayscale drop-down options depending on whether you have a color printer or not.

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Publishing a Presentation to a Folder or CD

To package your presentation to a CD:

  1. Save your presentation.
  2. Insert a CD-R or CD-RW CD into the CD drive.
  3. Click the Office Button and choose PUBLISH : Package for CD.
  4. If prompted that some of your files will be updated to be able to run in the PowerPoint Viewer, click OK.
  5. In the Package for CD dialog box, type a name for the CD.
  6. The currently open presentation will automatically be included in the list. To add additional files or presentations, click Add Files.

    Presentations will automatically be listed in the playlist in the sequence that you add them. To re-sequence the files, select the presentation, then click the up or down arrows.
  7. After you have added each presentation you want to be listed, click Options.
  8. In the Options dialog box:
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click Copy to CD.
  11. Office may prompt you that you should only package presentations from sources you trust. Click Yes.
  12. When the files are finished being written, you will be prompted as to whether you wish to copy the same files to another CD. Respond and continue as desired.
  13. Click Close

When the CD is inserted into the computer, you will be prompted to accept the license agreement for the PowerPoint Viewer. The presentations will play sequentially and transition according to the settings in the presentations (automatically or manually).

To package your presentation to a Folder,

  1. Save your presentation.
  2. Click the Office Button and choose PUBLISH : Package for CD.
  3. Click the Copy to Folder button.
  4. Type a name for the folder and choose a location for the folder to be stored.
  5. You may be prompted that linked files should only be copied if from a source you trust; click Yes.
  6. Click Close.

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Quick Access Toolbar

Microsoft Office Quick Access ToolbarThe other new addition to the toolbar is the Quick Access toolbar. This is a customizable area where you can add tools that you frequently use in your work in this application. By default it contains the Save, Undo, Redo, and Print tools. I've customized my PowerPoint Quick Access toolbar (as shown on the left) by including the tools to insert Clipart and Pictures from Files.

To add tools to the Quick Access toolbar,

  1. Point to the tool you want to add.
  2. Right-click and from the pop-up menu, choose: Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

To remove tools from the Quick Access toolbar,

  1. Right-click on the tool you want to remove.
  2. From the pop-up menu, choose: Remove from Quick Access Toolbar.

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The Basics

Understanding Layouts

Layouts are the organizational structure for slides and give your presentations consistency. All but the blank layout contain pre-selected locations called Placeholders, shown in PowerPoint with a thin dashed line, in which to insert text and other elements. The example below contains three Placeholders.

Each Placeholder contains "prompt text" to suggest what to add in that location or icons that you can click to add specific types of elements to the slide. To type in a Placeholder, click anywhere within the dotted line box and begin typing. An unused Placeholder will not display the "prompt text" or icons when the presentation is played or printed.

It is important to insert text into each Title Placeholder. PowerPoint uses that information to help you orient yourself during presentations when you need to move to a different slide.

Sample Layout and Placeholders
Sample Layout and Placeholders

Although Placeholders are automatically added to slides in predefined configurations, you can resize and move them to accomodate the needs of your presentation.

To move a Placeholder,

  1. Point to the dashed line border until your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow: Move Pointer
  2. Click to select the Placeholder; use the arrow keys on your keyboard or press and drag your mouse to move.

To resize a Placeholder,

  1. Point to the dashed line border until your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow Move Pointer
  2. Click to select the Placeholder.
  3. Point to one of the handles until your cursor changes to a two-headed arrow (the angle of the arrow will change to indicate the direction of the re-size): Resize Pointer
    NOTE: to ensure that your Placeholder remains proportional, hold your SHIFT key as you press and drag.
  4. Press and drag to increase or decrease the size of the Placeholder.

To rotate a Placeholder (including the contents therein),

  1. Point to the dashed line border until your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow Move Pointer
  2. Click to select the Placeholder.
  3. Point to the rotate tool: Rotate Tool
  4. Press and drag to rotate.

Reset ToolAfter adjusting Placeholders, you may decide you want to return to the default size and location of the selected Layout. To reset the Placeholders to their original size, orientation, and location, in the Home tab's Slides group, click the Reset tool.

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Navigating the Development Area

PowerPoint 2007's normal view has a three-pane development area as shown in the figure below (note the orange shading behind the slide thumbnail in left pane; that's the indicator for the current slide):

PowerPoint 2007 Development Layout
PowerPoint 2007 Development Layout

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Moving between Views

The View toolbar is located in the lower right corner of the screen. To move between different views, click the corresponding view tool:

Normal View Normal default view
Slide Sorter View Slide Sorter view of a thumbnail of each slide
Slide Show View Slide Show displays on-screen presentation
Fit Slide to Window View Fit slide to window after zooming in or out, click this tool to return the slide to the original view
Zoom Controls
zooms in or out to alter the size of the slide development pane; drag the slider or click the minus or plus icons

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Home Tab

Home Tab
Home Tab

Clipboard Group

Cut Tool To remove text or an object from its original location and add it to the Clipboard,
  1. Highlight the text or select an object.
  2. Click the Cut tool.
Copy Tool To make a duplicate of text or an object while keeping it in its original location then add it to the Clipboard,
  1. Highlight the text or select an object.
  2. Click the Copy tool.
Format Painter Tool To apply the same format to multiple text elements,
  1. Format the original text as desired.
  2. Click in the text.
  3. Click the Format Painter.
  4. Press and drag over the text you want to apply the same formatting to.
To apply the same formatting to multiple text elements, double click the Format Painter to keep it "locked on."

To deselect, or turn off, the Format Painter, press the ESC key.

The text being formatted do not have to be on the same slide.

Paste Tool To add the contents of the Clipboard to a new location,
  1. Position your cursor where you want to add the captured text or object.
  2. Click Paste.

Within the Paste tool is the Paste Special function, which allows you to retain the formatting of an object you are pasting or to add the copied object as an image. For example, you can type text on one slide or in another presentation or Office document, highlight it and copy it to the Clipboard. Then in your presentation, choose Paste Special and insert it into the presentation as a .jpg image.

Another function of the Clipboard Group is the Clipboard Task Pane. By default, the Clipboard allows you to paste only the last data you added to it; each time you click Cut or Copy, it replaces whatever you last added to the Clipboard through a cut or copy command. The Clipboard Task Pane, though, retains the last 24 items you copied or cut, allowing you to select the item you want to paste.

NOTE: The Clipboard works across applications, so, for example, you can copy a URL from your browser and paste into a PowerPoint presentation slide. However, I have noticed that Office 2007 often "forgets" items if you perform other tasks, like checking your e-mail or using your Web browser, between the copy/cut and paste.

To access the Clipboard Task Pane,

  1. Click the diagonal arrow in the lower right corner of the Clipboard group to display the Clipboard Task Pane to the left of the Slides/Outline tabs.
  2. Position your cursor in your presentation slide where you want to place the pasted item.
  3. Click the clipboard item you wish to paste.

Clipboard Task Pane
Clipboard Task Pane

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Slides Group

Inserting a New Slide

Clicking the New Slide tool will insert a new slide using the bulleted list layout. New slides are added after the current slide in the Slide Pane.

To choose a different Layout,

  1. Click the down arrow beside the New Slide tool.
  2. Select one of the nine default Layouts provided (shown in the example below) that you want to apply.

New Slide Layouts
New Slide Layouts

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Changing a Slide's Layout

To change the layout of an existing slide,

  1. Select the slide.
  2. Beside the Layout tool, click the drop-down arrow and select a new layout.

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Deleting a Slide

Delete ToolTo delete a slide, make sure that it is the currently selected slide (denoted with the orange shadow as described above in the section on the Development Area) then click the Delete tool.

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Font Group

Font Group
Font Group

NOTE: any time you wish to make formatting changes to text, you must highlight the text to be changed. Making a selection from the Font group affects the highlighted text only.

In addition to the standard formatting options of Bold, Italics, and Underscore, you may want to format text with the options described below.

Font ToolTo change the font face or size of selected text, make a selection from the Font and/or Size drop-down box.

Increase/Decrease Font ToolTo incrementally increase or decrease the size of selected text, click the Increase/Decrease Font Size tool. Each click will increase or decrease the size of the selected text by the standard font sizes (e.g., 44 to 40; 24 to 20; 12 to 11, etc.).

Clear Formatting ToolTo remove all formatting that you may have applied to selected text, click the Clear Formatting tool. This causes the text to revert to the default size and formatting as it was first added in the Placeholder.

Shadow ToolTo add a subtle shadow behind selected text, click the Shadow tool. When used, it is generally applied to title text to provide a distinctive appearance from the regular text (see example below). You should NOT shadow all body text since this makes it very "muddy" to read.

Example of Shadowed Text
Example of Shadow Formatting

Character Spacing ToolTo control the kerning, or the space between pairs of letters, apply the Character Spacing tool to selected text. The example below shows the word "Indianapolis" with Normal, Very Tight, Tight, Loose, and Very Loose kerning, respectively.

Example of Kerning
Example of Kerning, or Character Spacing

Change Case ToolHave you ever typed something only to realize that it should have been all in uppercase, or lowercase, or that your Caps Lock key was on? Don't retype it—use the Change Case tool!! To change the case of selected text, choose the appropriate option from the Change Case tool: Sentence Case, lowercase, UPPERCASE, Capitalize Each Word, tOGGLE cASE.

Font Color ToolTo apply a different color to selected text, click the Font Color tool. The band of color displaying beneath the "A" will be the color applied. To choose a different color, click the drop-down arrow beside the Font Color tool.

To access additional Font options, click the diagonal arrow in the lower right corner of the Font group. In the dialog box (see example below) you can choose some of the same options available to you through individual tools. In addition, you can select from a variety of underline styles and colors, and additional formatting including super- and subscript.

Font Dialog Box
Font Dialog Box

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Paragraph Group

Adding Bulleted and Numbered Lists

Bullets and Numbers ToolsWhen you add a new slide without selecting a Layout, you are presented with a slide ready to create a bulleted list. To create a numbered list rather than a bulleted list, click the number tool.

To add text to a bulleted list, click in the main Placeholder and begin typing. Each time you press ENTER, the cursor is automatically placed in the next bullet point. If the text you type in a bullet point is longer than a single line, the text will automatically wrap to subsequent lines and indent appropriately. It's important to use the bullet tool rather than attempting to control spacing with the spacebar.

Each new bullet appears "grayed out" prior to the first character being typed. This is because the bullet will not appear on the slide unless it has accompanying text.

7x7 Rule: each slide should contain no more than seven (7) bulleted points. Multiple-line items should have no more than 2-3 lines each. You should decrease the number of bulleted points in proportion to multiple-line entries. This rule of thumb keeps your slides easier to read by making them less crowded, and helps you avoid the temptation of decreasing the font size and narrowing the margins in order to add more text to slides.

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Changing a List's Indent

Decrease/Increase Indent ToolTo create subsequent indented levels, make sure the cursor is in the line in which you want the next level to begin, then click the Increase List Level tool. Each consecutive point will remain on the current level until you click the Decrease List Level tool to return to a previous level or the Increase List Level tool to indent one level further.

To change the type of either the bullets or numbers, click the drop-down arrow beside the tool and make a new selection (see example below). Also in this dialog box, you can specify the colors of your bullets or numbers, change the size, or select a picture bullet.

Bullets and Numbering Dialog Box
Bullets and Numbering Dialog Box

You can also make other customizations including using symbols as bullets. NOTE: if you choose a font that is not installed on the computer on which you are giving your presentation, the presentation computer will choose the "closest" font to the one you chose, and the result may not be one you like since some rather strange characters can result. You can ensure that the fonts you use are available to you during your presentation by packaging your presentation and choosing to embed the TrueType fonts. Both Symbol and Wingdings fonts are standard on most computers and should display as you intended. Non-TrueType fonts will not display on the presentation computer unless they are installed on that computer.

NOTE: When you change the bullet style, every subsequent bullet on that slide, whether promoted or demoted, will have that style until you change to something else, change back to the default, or change to a different slide.

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Altering Line Spacing

Line Spacing ToolTo contract and expand spacing of selected paragraphs, click the Line Spacing tool. By default, lines are single spaced. Generally there is little need to increase line spacing; however, when you run into a situation where you need a little more room, you can contract the line spacing by making a new selection from the drop-down arrow beside the Line Spacing tool. Be careful not to overuse this tool since plenty of "white space" is important for readability.

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Creating Columns

Column ToolTo change the layout of selected text into multiple columns, click the drop-down arrow beside the Columns tools and choose the number of columns you want. This can be a very useful feature after typing a bulleted or numbered list, then deciding that it would look better if spaced in multiple columns rather than a single column.

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Changing the Appearance of Text

In addition to changing the appearance of text with the use of tools in the Font group, you can also change the appearance through tools in the Paragraph group.

Text Direction ToolTo change the direction of selected text, make a selection from the Text Direction tool. NOTE: vertical text takes more space than the Placeholder provides in horizontal orientation; therefore, you will need to expand the Placeholder vertically to allow the text to adjust as needed. Review the examples below:

Original Text Changed Text Placeholder Resized
Examples of Text Direction Changes
Redirected Text Examples

Align Text ToolIn addition to the standard alignment options of left, center, right, and justify, the Align Text tool allows you to specify how the text aligns vertically within the Placeholder.

Additional text options, accessed through the drop-down arrow beside the Align Text tool, allow you to choose to fill text with color, gradient, pictures, or text. You can also choose to outline text in color, choose the style of the outline, shadow your text, or add 3-D effects.

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Drawing Group

Adding Shapes, Text, and Symbols

Shapes ToolsThe Shapes tools gives you many different types of shapes that you can add to your presentation slide. You can scroll through the shapes one line at a time by clicking the down arrow or open the entire shapes menu by clicking the down arrow with the line above it. The Shapes tools are organized into categories including lines, rectangles, basic shapes, block arrows, equation shapes, flowchart symbols, stars and banners, call-outs ("talking balloons"), and action buttons.

The top section of the tool is categorized as Recently Used Shapes (see the example above), so the tools in it will re-sequence as you use them.

To add a shape to your slide,

  1. Select the shape.
  2. Press and drag the cursor, which will be in the shape of a crosshair.
  3. When the object is the size you desire, release the mouse button.

TIP: To draw a straight line or arrow, or a perfect square or circle, hold SHIFT as you press and drag.

Most shapes will be filled with the default fill color, but you'll see in a minute how to change that.

Prior to adding a shape, most of the tools in the Drawing group are grayed out. After adding an object the remainder of the Drawing tools are active and an additional tab is included on the Ribbon— Drawing Tools : Format. This toolbar (shown below) provides quick access to many of the tools that you will use with objects. This toolbar will "hide" when an object is no longer selected, only to reappear when you again select an object.

Drawing Tools
Drawing Tools Toolbar

Shapes, in addition to the handles that indicate the object is currently selected, will also have two other icons displaying on the border. You saw the rotate tool previously in the section on Layouts. The second icon is the re-shape icon and appears like a yellow diamond. To alter the basic appearance of a shape, press and drag the re-shape tool (see the example below):

Samples of Shape and Altered Shape
Shape and Altered Shape

Text ToolOne of the relocated tools in Office 2007 is the Text tool, which you will now find within the Shapes tools. It is also located in the Insert tab's Text group. To insert text on a slide other than in a Placeholder,

  1. Click the Text Tool.
  2. Press and drag the cursor over the slide to create a Text Box.
  3. Type in the box.

NOTE: Any text you type in a Placeholder will show in Outline View; text inserted via the Text tool is treated as an object and will not display in the outline.

Symbol ToolA tool that is used hand-in-hand with the Text tool is the Symbol tool located in the Insert tab's Text group. To add a symbol, the cursor must be in a Placeholder or Text Box. Select the desired symbol from the dialog box.

NOTE: If the computer on which you are giving an on-screen presentation does not have the font installed that you use during development to create the symbol, a substitution will be made by the computer system itself. This can greatly impact symbols used in a presentation. Therefore, when packaging the presentation to a folder or CD, be sure to check the Embed TrueType fonts option to ensure that any TrueType fonts you have used will display on the presentation computer. Both Symbol and Wingdings fonts are standard on most computers and should display as you intended. Non-TrueType fonts will not display on the presentation computer unless they are installed on that computer.

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Ordering and Grouping Objects

Arrange ToolAs items are added to a presentation slide, they often "stack," which can result in an object or text being obscured. There are also times when you want to stack objects in order to "build" an object during a presentation, discussing each object or text item point-by-point. The Arrange tools include two very important ones: Order Objects and Group Objects.

The Order Objects tool lets you choose how the objects are layered in order to display the way you want. In the example below, notice how some of the photos overlap one another and how the text is layered on top of two of the photos.

Example of Layered Objects
Example of Ordered Objects

To order the layers,

  1. Select an object.
  2. From the Arrange tool, choose to move the layer to front, to back, forward, or backward.

After you have built a series of layered objects, you want them to "stay put." By grouping multiple objects, you can move or resize them as a single entity rather than manipulating their individual components. Look at the two examples below:

Example of Multiple Items Example of Multiple Items Grouped
Example of Multiple Items and Multiple Items Grouped

In the example on the left each element has its own border and handles, and some are stacked or ordered. If you were to move or resize any one of the objects, the placement of some objects might need to be adjusted. By selecting each of the objects then grouping them, as in the example on the right, the entire group can be resized as a single unit or the entire group shifted to a new location on the slide.

NOTE: Text that you include in a grouped object will not change point size if you re-size the grouped object, and the text may wrap differently to conform to the re-sizing. You may need to decrease the size of the font.

After creating, sizing, and layering the objects as desired, to select multiple objects,

  1. Hold SHIFT then click each object that you want to include in the group. Handles will be displayed on each object selected. Release the SHIFT key AFTER you have selected each of the objects to be grouped.

    NOTE: If you have trouble clicking an object that is mostly obscured, try using your mouse: position your mouse pointer outside the farthest edge of the group then press and drag—everything that is encompassed within the selection will become selected.

To group the selected objects, from the Arrange tool, choose Group Object.

TIP: If your object is very complex, you may find it beneficial to group your object components incrementally. When you finish a subset of the final object, group the components you have finished. Then you can continue building additional components, knowing you won't accidentally move or re-size the portion you have completed.

To manipulate individual components of grouped objects, you must ungroup them. To ungroup an object, select it, then from the Drawing group, choose ARRANGE : Ungroup. After editing, you can choose Re-group.

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Changing the Appearance of Objects

There are several ways to alter the appearance of objects, and PowerPoint makes it easy by providing a wide selection of "preset" tools help you. As with text, the object you want to change must be selected before you can choose a tool from the menu and select an option. Remember from the Layouts section that selected objects have Handles displayed on the border of the object.

To apply a Quick Style to a selected object,

  1. From the Drawing group, click the drop-down arrow beside Quick Styles (see example below).
  2. Click the style you want to apply.

Sample of Quick Styles
Example of Quick Styles

This tool is also the perfect opportunity to point out a new feature in Office 2007: Live Preview. As you mouse over any of the styles, you will see the object change to show what it would look like if that style is applied. This allows you to "try it on" before actually applying the option. The Live Preview works with many areas of Office 2007 applications including fonts, font sizes, other special effects, and designs.

When you draw solid objects (such as squares and circles), they fill with an automatic color. Shape Fill allows you to choose a different color or no color, or to fill your object with a picture, gradient, or texture.

To fill a selected object, click the Shape Fill tool then select the color you want.

To remove the fill color from the selected object, click the Shape Fill tool and choose No Fill.

To fill a selected object with a picture, click Shape Fill and choose Picture then browse for a picture stored on your computer.

To fill a selected object with a gradient or texture, follow the same steps but choose Gradient or Texture (see examples below). You can choose from one of the displayed choices or click the "More" option at the bottom of the screen for additional choices.

Sample of Gradients Sample of Textures
Sample Gradients and Textures

Shape Outline allows you to choose the color or no color, the line weight, and line style of a selected object. In the example below, the oval was filled with a photograph (one of the options mentioned above) then a colored border and outline selected:

Sample Photo Fill and Border
Sample Photo Fill and Border

PowerPoint's Shape Effects include: Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, Bevel, and 3-D Rotation.

Sample of Fill Effects Soft Edges Sample of Fill Effects Glow Sample of Fill Effects Reflection Sample of Fill Effects Shadow
Soft Edges Glow Reflection Shadow

Note that some object effects can be "layered" while others will hide a previously applied effect. Experiment and have fun!

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Editing a Presentation

To search for a word or phrase in the presentation,

  1. Click Find.
  2. Type the word or phrase you want to search for.
  3. Click Find Next.
  4. You can choose to match case (meaning that "home" and "Home" would be two unique search terms and results) and/or find whole words only.
  5. You can also choose to switch to the Replace function from this dialog box.
  6. When you're finished, click Close.

To find and replace a word or phrase,

  1. Click Replace.
  2. Type the word or phrase you want to search for.
  3. Type the word or phrase you want to exchange the search term for.
  4. As with the Find function, you can choose to match case and/or find whole words only.
  5. Choose to replace single instances of the term(s), or Replace All instances of the term(s)
  6. When you're finished, click Close.

Another option within the Replace tool is Replace Fonts. This tool works exactly like the find and replace words except that you can change font faces. For example, change every instance of the Arial Font to Times New Roman.

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Insert Tab

Insert Tab
Insert Tab

Working with Tables

Table ToolTo insert a table into a slide, click the Table tool then press and drag to specify how many rows and columns you initially want in the table. As you make your selection, PowerPoint will add a table of those dimensions to the slide. In the example below, notice that a table grid of 5 columns by 4 rows has been highlighted by the Insert Table tool; on the slide itself, PowerPoint has inserted a 5x4 table.

Insert Table
Example of Insert Table

Like the Drawing Toolbar described above, the Table Tools toolbar remains hidden until a table is selected then you are presented with the Table Tools Design toolbar (shown below):

Table Tools Design Toolbar
Table Tools Design Toolbar

With the Table Tools Design, you can

To add a row to an existing table,

  1. Select the table.
  2. Position your cursor in the last cell of the last row.
  3. Press Tab.

To add a new row or column to an existing table,

  1. Click in the cell of the row or column beside which you want to add a new item.
  2. Right-click your mouse and from the pop-up menu, choose INSERT.
  3. Choose Insert Row Above or Below, or Insert Column to the Left or Right.

To merge two or more cells,

  1. Press and drag with your mouse to highlight the cells you want to merge.
  2. Right-click your mouse and from the pop-up menu, choose Merge Cells.

To delete a table,

  1. Click on the border of the table to select it (you will know that you have selected the entire table when the ruler is "open" rather than only the width of a cell showing in white).
  2. Press Delete.

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Inserting Images

Picture ToolTo add a picture from a file on your computer, click the Picture tool and browse for the picture you want to add. When you have located the picture, click Insert.

When the picture is selected, PowerPoint will display the Picture Tools Format toolbar (shown below).

Picture Tools Format Toolbar
Picture Tools Format Toolbar

You have many options within this toolbar— and is a great toolbar to simply play with for a while to check out the various options. You can alter the brightness and contrast, add effects, layer and group, align, and rotate. See examples below:

Inserted Picture, Original Inserted Picture, Recolored Inserted Picture, Framed Inserted Picture, Filled
Original Picture Recolored Picture Framed Picture Filled Picture (Shape)

Crop ToolTo crop a photo (to "cut off" the edges of it to remove extraneous information), select the photo then click the Crop tool. Press and drag the edge markers to "focus" the area of the photo you want to retain then press Enter.

NOTE: cropping in PowerPoint is not the same as cropping in an image editing application such as Photoshop. The areas of an image in PowerPoint that are cropped are still there, only hidden; if you were to reselect the Crop tool and reverse the dragging, the previously hidden portions of the image would reappear. In an application such as Photoshop, elements that are cropped are permanently discarded. The implications for this in PowerPoint is that the complete file size is still adding to the file size of the presentation; if you use a large photo (say, one taken at full size by a digital camera) and crop it so that only a small portion of the original is displaying, you are creating an inefficient presentation file.

A final tool that you should take note of is Compress Pictures. In the Options button of this dialog box, you will see that there are 3 compression rates: Print (220 ppi [pixel per inch]), Screen (150 ppi), and E-mail (96 ppi). By default when a presentation is saved, PowerPoint automatically compresses included pictures at the E-mail compression rate. If you want the included pictures to be saved at a better quality (and thus increase the total size of your presentation file), choose one of the other options. If you routinely want to save your pictures at the higher quality, deselect the "Automatically perform basic compression on save" option.

Clipart Tool To locate clip art, photographs, movies, and sounds stored in the Microsoft Clip Organizer, click the Clip Art tool. This pane will open on the right side of the slide's development area. Type a search term and click Go. Results will be returned in a list at the bottom of this pane.

To insert a clip into your slide, click the thumbnail preview of the image or sound icon.

You will notice that when the clip is selected on the slide that you have access to the same Picture Tools Format toolbar described in the previous section.

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Creating Complex Diagrams

Smart Art ToolPowerPoint's tool for creating diagrams is called SmartArt. It contains predefined diagrams for lists, processes, cycles, hierarchies, relationships, matrices, and pyramids. When you select the SmartArt tool, PowerPoint will display a dialog box with all of the options. Click once on the thumbnail to see a close-up and text description (see example below).

Smart Art Dialog Box
SmartArt Dialog Box

To add a diagram to your slide,

  1. Click the thumbnail to review the diagram type from the SmartArt dialog box.
  2. When you find the one you want, cick OK.

With the SmartArt diagram selected in the slide, PowerPoint displays the SmartArt Tools Design toolbar (see below):

SmartArt Tools Design Toolbar
SmartArt Tools Design Toolbar

As with other tools in PowerPoint 2007, this toolbar provides you a wide range of additional options in working with your diagram. Options include changing the layout and colors of the diagram as well as applying pre-formatted styles.

The example on the left below shows a Venn diagram as it was inserted into a slide. Notice that one of the objects is already selected (denoted with the handles) and ready for you to begin typing text that will be inserted into that object.

Also notice that the entire diagram is grouped. On the left edge of the grouped object is a new icon. Clicking the right-pointing arrow opens a dialog box (see the example on the right below) into which you can type text that will be added to the diagram. Notice that even though in the text dialog box, the main words in each object are shown with a bullet, that bullet does not display on the object itself. However, if you add second-level bullets, they do display on the object. PowerPoint automatically adjusts the size of the text in all objects as you type so that the size is consistent.

SmartArt Venn Diagram Sample SmartArt Venn Diagram with Text
SmartArt Venn Diagram after Insertion SmartArt Venn Diagram with Text

To add text to an object (or change from the pre-selected object), click the object and begin typing OR open the text box and type in the bulleted outline.

To indent, add a new bullet (second level),

  1. Position your cursor in the text box at the end of the line that is to contain the sub-points.
  2. Press Enter to get a new bullet.
  3. Press Tab to indent the bullet.
  4. Begin typing.

To add an additional primary bullet and thus a new object,

  1. Position your cursor in the text box at the end of the line above which you want the new item added.
  2. Press Enter to get a new bullet and a new object.
  3. Begin typing.

To close the text box, click the yellow box with the x in the upper right corner of the box (not your PowerPoint slide!)

To resize a SmartArt object, press and drag on the series of three dots shown in the object's border. The size of the text will automatically adjust larger or smaller as you resize the object group.

To delete a selected SmartArt object, press Delete.

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Inserting Charts

Chart ToolTo insert a chart into PowerPoint, click the Chart tool. Select from the chart types shown in the left pane, then click the specific chart format desired from the right pane and click OK.

PowerPoint will:

  1. Insert a chart of the specified type into your slide:
Chart with Dummy Data
  1. Open Excel with the dummy data included:
Excel Chart with Dummy Data
  1. Open the Chart Tools Design toolbar:

Chart Tools Design Toolbar
Chart Tools Design Toolbar

To add data to a chart, edit the Excel spreadsheet. When you have completed editing the data, close Excel by clicking on the X in the upper right corner. NOTE: the data is edited in Excel, but saved with the PowerPoint file.

To edit the selected chart (and therefore, the data), click the Edit Data tool in the Chart Tools Design toolbar.

To change the selected chart type or to apply formatting, use the tools in the Chart Tools Design toolbar.

To delete the selected chart, press Delete.

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Including Links

Links ToolsYou can add hyperlinks and actions to Powerpoint slides, but they must be "fastened to" an object or text.

To add a hyperlink to a selected object, click the Hyperlink tool and paste or type a complete URL—including the http://— into the text box. You won't see any difference on the slide during development, but during a presentation slide show, the cursor will change to a hand shape when you mouse over the object. Click the object to start your browser and go to that URL. NOTE: You must have an active Internet connection to access the Web site.

When you add a Hyperlink, you are actually setting a PowerPoint Action. Actions can be things like hyperlinking to a Web site, running a program, or playing a sound. You can specify how the action occurs, whether by mouse click or mouse over.

Hyperlinking can also enable you to do really cool things during a presentation like jumping to a different slide or starting a Word document. To add these types of hyperlinks, add an object or text to your slide, then click the Action tool and make a selection from the Hyperlink to drop down box. And, why, I can hear you thinking, would I want to do that? Because:

Linking to Slides
Example of a PowerPoint Action

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Adding Headers and Footers

Header and Footer ToolTo add a header and footer, click the Header & Footer tool. In the dialog box, choose to add elements to slides in your presentation and/or to the Notes and Handouts pages. Slides do not provide the option to add Headers.

To add a date and time, click to add a checkmark in the box. The preview section of the dialog box in the lower right corner will shade the footer box representing where the date and time will be added to your slide.

Dates and times can be set to update automatically or remain fixed.

To include a slide number on each slide in your presentation, check to select that option.

To include a footer, click in the checkbox and type the text you want to appear on each slide.

To choose not to display footer information on the title slide of your presentation, click the box.

You can choose to apply these changes to the current slide (Apply) only or to all the slides in your presentation (Apply to All).

The Notes and Handouts tab have almost the same options except that you can specify text for a Header, and the slide number is replaced with a page number. Changes made to the Notes and Handouts are applied to all pages of your presentation including the title slide.

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Inserting Media Clips

Media Clips ToolsTo insert a movie clip, click the down arrow below Movie. Choose whether the movie is located on your computer or whether you want to choose a movie from the Microsoft Clip Organizer. The video icon will be placed in your slide and the Movie Tools Options toolbar will be displayed. Options include previewing the clip, controlling the volume, choosing whether the video is started automatically or on mouse click, playing full screen, looping, and rewinding after playing.

To insert a sound click, click the down arrow below Sound. With the Sound from File and Sound from Clip Organizer have the same options and settings as described above with the videos.

To play a track from an audio CD,

  1. Insert the CD into your CD drive.
  2. From the Sound drop-down option, choose Play CD Audio Track.
  3. Specify the starting and ending tracks as well as the starting and ending minutes:seconds.
  4. Choose whether the track will begin playing automatically or when clicked.

To have an audio CD track play "behind the scenes" across multiple slides in your presentation,

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above.
  2. With the CD object selected, in the CD Audio Tools Options toolbar, click Hide During Show.
  3. In the Play Track option, drop down the list and choose Play Across Slides.

Before you begin to record a PowerPoint narration, make sure that you are in a quiet room. Be sure to be careful of "ordinary" noises that you don't even notice such as people in the hallway, traffic sounds from the street, fans, and blowers. Remove or buffer personal items that may make noise such as keys or change in your pockets, or bracelets or necklaces that may brush against the microphone.

Most computers have built-in microphones, but you will have a better end-product if you use a headset with an attached microphone so that you block out as much "white noise" as possible. If you anticipate creating many narrations and want the highest quality possible, invest in a uni-directional microphone rather than an omni-directional; this will focus the sound and remove some of the ambient noise.

You also should prepare a script, or at least a detailed outline, prior to making your recording to have a more fluid narration.

To record a sound narration for your presentation,

  1. From the Sound drop-down option, choose Record Sound.
  2. The Record Sound dialog box (shown below) appears.
  3. Type a name for your narration, if you prefer.
  4. Click the Start button: Begin Recording Button
    NOTE: PowerPoint will not provide any sort of alert or "Go" — as soon as you click the Start button it is recording.
  5. When you are finished recording, click the Stop button: Stop Recording Button

To play back a recording, click the Playback button: Playback Recording Button

When you are finished recording, click the OK button. PowerPoint will insert a sound icon in the middle of your slide. You can move the icon to any location you prefer on the slide.

Record Sound
Record Sound Dialog Box

NOTE: PowerPoint narrations do not run as background sound beneath multiple slides. You will need to record the narration for each individual slide. This is helpful because if you flub a recording, all you need to do is delete the sound icon for that particular slide and re-record.

The recorded sound file will be saved with your presentation.

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Design Tab

Design Tab
Design Tab

Now the fun part begins—making your presentation pretty!

To see a preview of how your presentation will look with a specific theme applied, mouse over the thumbnails in the Themes section of the Ribbon. Live Preview will show you how your presentation will look with a chosen theme. You can add a design—or change a design—at any point during your development. NOTE: Text may shift with the application of new designs since layouts vary from design to design; be sure to review your presentation and make any necessary adjustments.

To select additional themes (see example below), click the down pointing arrow with the line above it.

For more themes, click the link for More Themes on Microsoft Office Online. NOTE: The Microsoft site uses Active X and will validate your installation of Office, so you must use Internet Explorer rather than Firefox in order to download additional templates.

Any additional themes you download from Microsoft will be displayed in a new section of the Themes drop-down box in a section called Custom.

The currently applied theme will be displayed in the This Presentation section.

Themes Dialog Box
Themes Dialog Box

To further modify the appearance of your presentation, after applying a theme, choose a new color palette from the Colors drop-down options and specify the fonts.

The graphical elements on a slide are part of the slide's background. To hide the background graphics on a slide, click the checkbox beside Hide Background Graphics.

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Animations Tab

Animations Tab
Animations Tab

To animate a bulleted or numbered slide, the Placeholder containing the bullets or numbers must be selected. From the Animate drop-down list, mouse over the selections to see a preview of how the points will transition during the presentation.

Animate List Drop Down Options
Animate List Drop Down Options

To locate the transitions you are familiar with from previous PowerPoint versions, click Custom Animation at the bottom of the Animate drop-down list. The Custom Animation pane will open on the right side of the window, where you have options not only for how the points enter, but exit as well as emphasis and motion paths.

After making a choice for animation, PowerPoint will apply markers preceding each point in your list to show the animation sequence (see the example below).

To transition your list points so that the second and/or subsequent levels come in separately from the first level,

  1. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the "Content Placeholder" in the Custom Animation pane (shown below on the left).
  2. Click Effect Options.
  3. In the dialog box (which will be labeled with the name of the animation you applied), click the Text Animation tab (shown below on the right).
  4. Click the drop-down arrow beside Group text and select the level of paragraph you desire.
Bullet Sequence, option Bullet Sequence, secondary
Custom Animation Pane List Levels

Notice in the example below on the left that there are only two levels denoted: 1 and 2. This means that all of level 1 will come in first, following by all of level 2. However, in the example shown on the right, the Group Text Animation, "By 2nd Level Paragraphs" was applied. Group 1 will be followed by all of Group 2, then the remainder in sequence.

Bullet Sequence 1 Bullet Sequence, 2
By First Level By Second Level

The Effect option allows you to choose which direction your objects and text enter and exit the slide, whether sound is applied, and whether the text dims or changes color after entering the slide.

The Timing option allows you to choose whether the animation begins when you click the mouse, with the previous animation, or a specified number of seconds following the last animation.

To delete an animation, select the item number in the Custom Animation pane and press Delete.

In addition to being able to animate individual list items, you can choose to add transitions to a presentation. Transitions determine how one slide changes to the next slide.

Transitions determine the effect applied when you move from one slide to another during an on-screen presentation. You must be in Slide Sorter View to access the Transition Toolbar.

To preview a transition effect, mouse over a thumbnail in the Transition to This Slide group.

To add an effect, click the thumbnail.

From this same group, you can also choose:


Advance Slide determines when the current slide proceeds to the next.

TIPS: For self-running presentations that function similar to a kiosk presentation where your audience may stop, watch, then leave, generally you will want to set the advance to 3-5 seconds. For a self-running presentation where you are speaking in synchronization with the presentation, generally you will want to set the advance to 3-5 minute. Most speakers prefer, though, to advance the slides manually in case their speaking times fluctuate or they stop to address technical issues or address audience questions.

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Slide Show Tab

Slide Show Tab
Slide Show Tab

Slide Show View Tool Slide Show View allows you to view the presentation on your computer monitor as the audience will see it projected. The presentation/show will begin on the current slide. The Slide Show tab (shown above) provides access to additional options.

To show your presentation From the Beginning or From the Current Slide, click the appropriate tool in the Start Slide Show group.

Hide Slide ToolHidden slides remain available as part of the saved presentation and are accessible to you during development or in presentations but do not display as one of the consecutive slides shown during a presentation. Slides that are hidden are denoted with a box around the slide number in the Slides Pane as well as in Slide Sorter view. During a presentation, the Slide Navigator displays the number of a hidden slide in parentheses; this allows you to access a hidden slide when desired but not have it part of the normal progression of the slides.

The Rehearse Timings tool allows you to practice giving an on-screen presentation, regardless of any slide advance timings you may have set previously. The tool records the time of not only the entire presentation, but also of each individual slide, as you rehearse. Each time you advance the slide, the time is recorded.

Rehearse Timings CounterTo rehearse time, click Rehearse Timings from the Set Up group. The presentation will start and will display a counter on the screen as shown in the illustration on the left. When you are finished rehearsing and close the Rehearsal box or reach the end of your presentation, PowerPoint will display a prompt giving you the total time of the presentation and asking whether you want to keep the new slide timings. If you choose to accept the timings, these new timings will replace any slide transition timings you may have previously set for the presentation.

Slide Sorter View ToolPowerPoint will return you to the Slide Sorter View (see example below), which shows a thumbnail of each slide in the presentation. PowerPoint provides visual indicators beneath each slide to show when a slide transition or animation has been applied and the advance timing that has been applied to that slide.

Slide Sorter
View of Slides in Slide Sorter

The current slide is denoteNormal Viewd with a border. To select a different slide, click the slide you want.

To rearrange the presentation, press and drag a slide to a new location.

To change or add a slide transition, select the slide, then click the transition that you want to apply.

To continue working, click the Normal View tool.

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Review Tab

Review Toolbar
Review Tab

To check the spelling in your presentation, click the Spelling tool.

To add a comment to your presentation, click the New Comment tool and type your comment in the note icon that is added to the slide.

To edit an existing comment, click to select the comment, then click the Edit Comment tool.

To review the comments, click the Previous and Next Comment tools.

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View Toolbar

View Toolbar
View Tab

Notes Pages

By default you have a Notes Pane available to you as you're working in Normal view (see Layouts for more information). You can type notes in this pane, but may want to add notes in a larger area or see how the Notes Page will appear when printed.

Notes Page ToolTo view a miniature of the slide and give you room at the bottom to type notes, click the Notes Page. Notes are great tools to print and refer to as you are delivering an on-screen presentation.

To increase the viewable size of the typing area so you can see what you are typing, click the Zoom tool and select the magnification you need.

To increase the amount of space available for notes, resize the Placeholders as needed.

Masters are "blueprints" that determine how every item of that type is formatted. If you find that you are always decreasing the size of the image Placeholder and increasing the size of the text box in your Notes pages, you may want to change the Notes Master so that all future notes pages are organized according to your preferences.

NOTE: masters are presentation-specific. This means that the changes you make to your Notes Master in one presesentation won't carry forward to other presentations.

Notes Master ToolClick the Notes Master (see example below). In the toolbar, remove the checks from any Placeholders such as Header, Footer, Page Number, etc. that you do not want to appear on your Notes Pages. Click the Placeholders' border and resize as desired. When you're finished, to exit the Master View, click Close Master View.

Notes Page Master
Notes Page Master

To view how your notes pages will look printed in black and white or grayscale, click the appropriate tool.

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Slide and Handout Masters

As mentioned above, masters allow you to make design decisions that will then affect each slide or page in the presentation. There is a Slide Master associated with each presentation that is created; PowerPoint 2007 contains masters for a number of Layouts. Layouts can all be different, but all Layouts associated with a single presentation will contain the same Theme (color scheme, fonts, and effects).

You can make decisions about text, including placement, font styles and sizes; bullet styles; footers; objects; and images. Individual slides can deviate from the master by including or excluding graphics, for example, but each new slide will follow the master specifications.

You should set up the master before building any slides. When you create the master first, all slides you add to the presentation will be based on that master. If, however, you build slides before establishing the master, some items on the slides may not change to conform. Any text or object you place on the master will display on every slide in the presentation in the location that you placed it on the Master.

To access the masters, click Slide Master.

To select a different color scheme for your theme, click the Colors tool and choose a different palette.

To choose different bullet types (see example below),

  1. Click in the line you want to change and right-click.
  2. From the pop-up menu, choose Bullets and make a new selection.

To change the color or size of the bullet, click Bullets and Numbering at the bottom of the pop-up window.

Master Slide
Master Slide

Remember: Any change or addition you make on the Master will appear on each slide in your current presentation; any element you delete from the Master will no longer appear on each slide in your current presentation.

When you are finished modifying the Slide Master, click the Close Master View tool.

To make changes to your Handouts Master, click the Handouts Master tool. You may want to include Headers and Footers, in particular, so that they print on each page of your handout.

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Giving an On-screen Presentation

Show ControlsWhen you are giving an on-screen presentation, as you move the mouse, the show controls become visible in the lower left corner; as you mouse over any icon, it is colored. These controls are nearly invisible (the example illustration on the left is contrast-enhanced to allow you to see the icons more easily) because they take on the characteristics of whatever background you have chosen for that slide, but always appear in the same location, so you'll get used to spotting them.

To access a control, click the icon.

Show Control Left Arrow Show Control Right Arrow Proceed sequently through the presentation backward and forward, one slide at a time
Show Control Menu Specify a specific slide to go to, or choose to "white screen" or "black screen"
Show Control Pen Annotate or add highlights to your slide

To use the Show Menu to go easily to a specific slide, each slide should have text placed in a slide's Title Placeholder so that you can read the name of the slide in the menu.

If there are more slides than will fit at one time in the window, it adds a scroll bar.

The title of each hidden slide will show on the navigation list, identified with parentheses around the slide number. This feature allows you to include supplemental information slides, but not access them unless specifically needed. Notice in the example below that the first slide (which is also the current slide and denoted with a check and highlight) has a title, but the remaining two slides do not have titles.

Slide Show Menu, Slide Titles
Slide Show Menu, Slide Titles

To temporarily pause your presentation without losing your place and to focus your audience's attention on something other than the presentation, from the Slide Show Menu, choose Screen : White Screen or Black Screen.

To end the show, from the Slide Show Menu, choose End Show OR press the ESC key on your keyboard.

The pen controls allows you to annotate your slides during a presentation.

Slide Show, Pen Annotations
Slide Show, Pen Annotations

To use your mouse as a ballpoint or felt tip pen, from the Slide Show Menu, choose Ballpoint or Felt Tip Pen, respectively. In the example above, the "Blue Mtns" and arrow were created with the Ballpoint Pen and the word trees created with the Felt Tip Pen. Change your ink color by making a selection from the Ink Color menu.

To highlight something on the the slide as I have the word "Inserted" in the example, choose Highlighter then press and drag your mouse cursor over the area to be highlighted.

To delete pen marks on a slide, choose the Eraser then press and drag over the marks to delete. Choose Erase All Ink on Slide to delete all annotations on the current slide. It is not necessary to delete all marks if you simply want to discard them when you are finished delivering the presentation.

To "put away" the pen and return to a regular cursor, from the Slide Show Menu, click the Pen and choose Arrow.

After you have added annotations, when you exit the Slide Show, PowerPoint will prompt you to ask whether you wish to discard the annotations. If you choose Keep, then the marks will become a permanent part of the slides on which they were added. If you choose Discard, the slide will remain unmarked.