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PowerPoint 97 Basics

Table of Contents

Learning 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, prepare for 35-mm slides, or deliver an on-screen presentation. Only the on-screen presentation allows you to use the full range of PowerPoint's features.

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 stuff too much information on each slide.

For more information on creating effective visuals, including PowerPoint presentations, and using color effectively see, Creating Effective Visual Aids (NOTE: This is in PowerPoint format).

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Getting Started

When you start PowerPoint, the new presentation dialog box offers four choices:

New Presentation Dialog Box

New Presentation Dialog Box

AutoContent Wizard walks you through a series of questions designed to elicit information about you and the type of presentation you are making. The wizard then builds a dummy presentation that will guide you in developing the content of the presentation.

Template allows you to establish the background and color scheme from the available templates prior to beginning work in the new presentation. Template choices are generally easier to make after you have opened the new presentation because you can better see the characteristics of each template before making a selection.

Blank presentation opens a new presentation with no template.

Open an existing presentation displays your system's file window so that you can move to the location of a previously saved presentation file and open it.


After you have opened a new presentation, PowerPoint displays the New Slide dialog box containing several AutoLayouts. AutoLayouts provide a pre-determined layout for each specific type of slide. They provide consistency throughout the presentation. Each layout depicted is described in the lower right corner when you click the layout. This sample New Slide dialog box shows the Title Slide selected (denoted with the thick border).

New Slide Dialog Box

New Slide Dialog Box

Page Setup

PowerPoint assumes that you will be delivering an on-screen presentation. If you are using PowerPoint for development but will be creating 35-mm slides, you should size the presentation for that medium before beginning development. 35-mm slides are wider than on-screen presentations; if you develop slides before setting the page size, you run the risk of your slides not looking the way you want them to look.

Page Setup Dialog Box

Page Setup Dialog Box

To size your presentation for 35-mm slides:

  1. From the menu, choose FILE : Page Setup.

  2. In the Page Setup dialog box, click the drop-down box beside Slides sized for. Choose 35mm Slides. Click OK.

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Identifying Toolbars

You can accomplish most tasks in PowerPoint either through menu choices or via a toolbar. Generally, you will find the toolbars easier and quicker to access once you are comfortable with their functions.

Common Tasks

Common Tasks Toolbar

To add a new slide, click New Slide. New slides are added below the current slide.

The Slide Layout Tool applies, or re-applies, the selected layout and uses almost the same dialog box as New Slide. Slide Layout reapplies the selected AutoLayout style and is useful when you've moved Placeholders or decided to change the format of a slide and need to return to (or apply) a specific layout format. To apply or re-apply a layout, click Slide Layout and make your layout choice.

To change template style, click Apply Design. All slides in your presentation will have the newly chosen design applied, and any charts you've created will be updated with the new color scheme.


View Toolbar

The View Toolbar is located in the lower left corner of the screen and lets you quickly move through different views of the presentation:

Slide view for graphical development
Outline view for textual development
Slide Sorter view of a thumbnail of each slide
Notes Page view of a thumbnail of each slide + notes area
Slide Show displays on-screen presentation


The Text Toolbar allows you to make choices affecting highlighted text:

Text Toolbar

Text Toolbar


The Drawing Toolbar contains the tools (each is described in detail later in this tutorial) to incorporate objects into a presentation:

Drawing Tools Toolbar

Drawing Tools Toolbar

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Inserting New Slides

New Slide Tool New slides are added AFTER the current one. To add a new slide below the current one, click New Slide. Then choose the layout of the new slide from the New Slide AutoLayout dialog box.

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Using Placeholders

All but two of the AutoLayouts supply pre-selected places called Placeholders in which to insert text. It is IMPORTANT to insert text into each "title" Placeholder because PowerPoint uses that information to help you orient yourself during presentations when you need to move to a different slide and when scrolling through the presentation in Slide View during development.

Sample Placeholder

Sample Placeholder

By using Placeholders, the presentation will have consistent spacing each time you use a slide with that type of layout.

To type in a Placeholder, click anywhere within the dotted line box and begin typing. If you do not need to use a particular Placeholder, there is no need to delete it; unused Placeholders do not display in the presentation.

To move a Placeholder,

  1. Click the Placeholder dotted line box to select it.

  2. Move your cursor near the edge of that box until the cursor is a four-headed arrow.

  3. Press and drag the Placeholder to the new location.

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Understanding Apply to All and Apply

On many dialog boxes, when making option selections in PowerPoint, you will see two choices: Apply to All and Apply. If you choose Apply to All, each slide in the presentation will change according to the selections you made, both existing and future slides. If you choose Apply, you will affect only the slide you are currently viewing.

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Applying Design Templates

PowerPoint calls its built-in color schemes Design Templates. You can apply a Design at any point during development, but most of you will prefer to establish the Design from the outset so that you see the effects of your development. You can change your mind and apply a different Design at any time.

To apply a Design, click Apply Design Apply Design Tool

Though you can apply only a single Design to a presentation, you still can affect the appearance of individual slides within the presentation by altering the slide color scheme and the background. You can find these two options under the Format menu.

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Setting Up Slide Masters

The Slide Master allows you to make design decisions that will then affect every slide in the presentation. 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 (see working with the slide background), but each new slide will follow the Slide Master specifications.

Sample Slide Master

Sample Slide Master

You should set up the Slide 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 Slide Master will display on every slide in the presentation in the location that you placed it on the Master.

To access the Slide Master, choose VIEW : Master : Slide Master.

Text Guidelines

To make font changes, highlight the guide text that you want to change, then make the changes using the tools on the Text Toolbar. For example to change the title text to 44-point Helvetica, highlight the words "Click to edit Master title slide," then choose Helvetica and 44 from the font face and type size boxes, respectively.

When making choices about fonts in the presentation, keep these guidelines in mind:


The Slide Master shows you the default location of any date, slide number, or textual footer that you choose to use.

NOTE: When you apply a Design Template, these default locations may be hidden behind the Design itself, so wait until you have applied it before making any footer choices.

To insert text into the footer, click in the Footer Area text box, then type your text. Be sure to format the text with any size, font, and color choices you may desire before leaving the Slide Master.

If the default location is not visible,

  1. Click the Text Tool Text Tool

  2. Click on the slide where you wish the text to begin.

  3. Begin typing.

  4. When you're finished typing, click anywhere outside the text box.

You can then click on the border of the box and press and drag it to a new location if necessary.

To insert a date,

  1. Choose VIEW : Header and Footer.

  2. Click in the Date and time checkbox.

  3. Choose either Update automatically or Fixed.

  4. Click the checkbox if you prefer that the date and time not be displayed on your title slide.

To insert a slide number,

  1. Choose VIEW : Header and Footer.

  2. Click the checkbox for Slide Number.

  3. Click the checkbox if you prefer that the slide number, date and time not be displayed on your title slide.

To insert objects, images, and diagrams that will appear on each slide in your presentation, create or insert the object, size it, and move it to the location on the Slide Master where you want it to display on each slide.

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Creating Custom Design Templates

While PowerPoint comes with a variety of Design Templates, you can also create custom templates. To create a custom template,

  1. Open a blank presentation with a Title Slide AutoLayout.

  2. Choose VIEW : Master : Slide Master.

  3. Design the slide the way you wish the template to look, making any color, image and font choices you desire.

  4. Choose FILE : Save as.

  5. In the Save as type drop-down box, choose Presentation Template (*.pot).

  6. In the File name text box, type a name for your new template.

  7. If you want your Custom Template to display in the same list with PowerPoint Design Templates, you must locate the folder/directory in which they are located on your system. On my system, they are located in the following folder sequence: Program Files / Microsoft Office / Templates / Presentation Templates. Your system may be similar.

This will save the slide as a .pot file (rather than a PowerPoint .ppt file) and will make it available for you to apply as a Design Template in future presentations. Return to Slide View by clicking on Slide View on the View Toolbar.

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Altering Template Appearance

Although you can not apply more than a single Design Template to a presentation, there are other options for varying the appearance: changing the slide's Standard Color Scheme, changing the individual items' color scheme and omitting items from the background.

Slide Color Scheme

In the slide Color Scheme dialog box, the Standard tab allows you to choose a pre-determined Color Scheme by clicking on the desired choice.

Slide Color Scheme Dialog Box

Slide Color Scheme Dialog Box

The Custom tab allows you to selectively change the colors of the applied Design's features.

Custom Color Scheme Dialog Box

Custom Color Scheme Dialog Box

NOTE: You may want to take note of the default colors before changing item colors because it is sometimes difficult to determine from the sample exactly what type of objects/features may be affected by your color changes and you may want to return the colors to the default choices.

  1. Click the colored box next to the feature you wish to change.

  2. Click the Change Color button and make your color selections.


The Background dialog box allows you to make changes to the "wallpaper" of the slide. The drop-down box allows you to change colors, patterns, gradients, and other fill effects.

Slide Background Choices Dialog Box

Slide Background Choices Dialog Box

Every object on a Slide Master, including the design on the Design Template itself, is considered a Master Item. You can choose not to display Master Items on any, or all, slides by clicking the option to Omit background graphics from master. You can not selectively omit items on a single slide.

To omit all Master Items, choose FORMAT : Background. Click Omit background graphics from master.

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Navigating during Development

To navigate through the slides during development, you will use the Scroll Bar on the right of the screen. Press and drag the Slider to move continuously through the presentation. An indicator shows the slide you are currently passing and the title of that slide. Release the Slider to move to the indicated slide.

Sample Slider Image

Sample Slider Image

To move one complete slide forward or backward, click the appropriate double-headed arrow at the bottom of the Scroll Bar.

All AutoLayouts but two (Blank and Large Object) have a Placeholder for Title. The Slider demonstrates one reason why it is important to always use a layout that contains a Title Placeholder and to always title each slide—the title helps orient you to the location within the presentation.

Navigation Tools In addition, the bottom left corner of the PowerPoint screen shows the current slide, out of the total number of slides, as well as the name of the Design Template applied to the presentation.

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Creating Bulleted Lists

To create a bulleted list from the AutoLayout, choose the Bulleted List layout. Click in the main Placeholder and begin typing. Each time you press ENTER, the cursor is automatically placed in the next bulleted point. If the text you type in a bulleted item is longer than a single line, the text will automatically wrap to subsequent lines and indent appropriately.

Each new bullet appears somewhat "greyed out" or dim prior to you typing the first character in each item. This is because the bullet will not appear on the slide unless it has accompanying text.

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.

To create subsequent levels, make sure the cursor is in the line in which you want the next level to begin, then click the Demote Button Sample Demote Button

Each consecutive point will remain on the current level until you click the Promote Button to return to a previous level or click the Demote Button to indent one level further Sample Promote Button

Bullet Styles

Although you can set Bullet Styles in the Slide Master, you also can change the bullet style on any slide or on any bulleted point. When you change the bullet style, every subsequent bullet, whether promoted or demoted, will have that style until you change back to the default.

NOTE: Sometimes it is difficult to remember exactly what the default bullet style was, so pay close attention to the selected bullet before proceeding with any changes.

To change the bullet style, make sure the cursor is in the line of text in which you wish to change the bullet, then choose FORMAT : Bullet. Your choices include any symbol font installed on your system.

Keep in mind, however, that if you choose a font that is not installed on the computer from 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. The "safest" choice is to use the Symbol or Wingdings font, both of which are standard on most computers.

Adding / Removing Bullets

Bullet Tool The Bullet Tool is a toggle. Click it once to place a bullet at the beginning of the current line of text (the one in which the cursor is flashing). Click it again to remove the bullet. This way you can add bullets to text you have typed without using the Bullet AutoLayout. Bullets inserted using this method will not show in Outline View.

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Working with Text

Any time you wish to make formatting changes to text, you must highlight the text to be changed. Making a selection from the Text Toolbar affects the highlighted text only. In addition to the standard text formatting tools of font choice and size, bold, italics, and underline, you also can align text left, center, or right. Other special tools are described below.

NOTE: Be wary of using specialized fonts; only TrueType fonts can be embedded and "taken with you." If the computer on which you are giving an on-screen presentation does not have the font installed that you used during development, a substitution will be made by the computer system itself.

Shadowed Text

The Shadow Text Tool places a slight shadow behind the text. Although the effect is not prominent, this is an excellent tool to use to give more definition to title text. You should NOT shadow all body text since this makes it very "muddy" to read.

Sample Shadowed Text

Sample Shadowed Text

To shadow text,

  1. Type type text to be shadowed.

  2. Highlight the text.

  3. Click the Shadow Tool Shadow Tool

Increase / Decrease Paragraph Spacing

Increase and Decrease Paragraph Tool The Increase and Decrease Paragraph Spacing Tools expand and contract paragraph spacing, respectively. Generally there is little need to increase paragraph spacing; however, when you run into a situation where you need a little more room, you can contract paragraph spacing using the Decrease Paragraph Spacing Tool. Be careful not to overuse this tool since plenty of "white space" is important for readability.

Format Painter

The Format Painter Tool picks up any formatting applied to existing text and applies that same formatting to any text it is "painted" over. The two pieces of text do not have to be on the same slide.

To use the Format Painter,

  1. Highlight the text containing the formatting you desire to "pick up."

  2. Click the Format Painter Tool Format Painter Tool

  3. Press and drag over the text as you would to highlight it. The formatting will be applied.

After the formatting is applied the tool will de-select.

To apply formatting to multiple selections of text without needing to click the Format Painter between each application, double click the Format Painter. The Painter will remain the selected tool until you click it to de-select, allowing you to press and drag over multiple sections of text, applying the same format to each.

Increase / Decrease Font Size

Increase and Decrease Font Size Tool You can increase or decrease the font size of highlighted text by clicking on the Increase Font Size or Decrease Font Size Tool, respectively. Size increments and decrements by the standard font sizes

Text Colors

Current Font Color Selection You choose text colors with the Font Color Tool located in the Drawing Toolbar. Highlighted text will change to the color displayed in the band beneath the A.

To make additional color choices or to see additional non-scheme colors you have used in this presentation, click the drop-down arrow beside the A:

Font Color Choices

Font Color Choices

Word Wrap

Whether text is in a Placeholder or a textbox, you can narrow or widen the width of the box to affect where the text wraps by dragging the box border. Make sure the cursor looks like a two-headed arrow to affect the Placeholder width; a four-headed arrow will move the placeholder.

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Drawing Objects

Drawing Toolbar To draw a line, an arrow, a square, or a circle, select the appropriate tool from the Drawing Toolbar. When you move the cursor over the slide, it will be a crosshair. Press and drag the cursor to insert the object. The larger an area you drag, the larger the object will become.

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


To alter any PowerPoint object, you first must select the object. When you click the object, you will see Handles around the perimeter of the object. This lets you know exactly which object you will be affecting.

Sample Handles

Sample Handles


To delete an object, click to select it, then press DELETE.

Fill Colors

When you draw solid objects (squares and circles), they will fill with the automatic color. The underline under the Paintbucket is the current fill color.

To fill an object with the current fill color, select the object, then click the Paintbucket Tool Paintbucket Tool

To change the current fill color, drop down the arrow beside the Paintbucket and make a new selection. There are also additional options under Fill Effects, including choosing no fill color at all.

Alternate choices for Fill Colors

Alternate Chocies for Fill Colors

Fill Effects

Gradients Sample Gradients Fill Effects
Textures Sample Textures Fill Effects
Patterns Sample Pattern Fill Effects
Photos Sample Photo Fill Effects

Line Effects

Each drawing object has an outline the color of the automatic color. The underline under the Line Color Tool is the current line color. To outline an object with the current line color, select the object, then click the Line Color Tool Line Color Tool.

To change the line color, drop down the arrow and make a new selection. Other options with the Line Color Tool include color and patterns similar to the Fill Tool.

To change line style, dash style, and arrow style, click on these tools, respectively Line Tools

Object Effects

To place a shadow or 3D effect on an object, select the object, then click the tool selection 3D Shadow Tool

AutoShapes and WordArt

If you're not particularly artistic, AutoShapes and WordArt can come to the rescue. To use AutoShapes

  1. From the Drawing Toolbar, click the drop-down arrow beside AutoShapes, then select the shape type.

  2. Click the shape you want. The cursor will change to a cross-hair as you move the mouse across the slide.

  3. Click on the slide where you want to place the shape.

  4. Move the object, change its size or color it as desired.

Autoshapes Tool

Autoshapes Tool

To use WordArt,

  1. Click the Word Art Tool Word Art Tool

  2. From the WordArt Gallery (see sample below), click the design you want, then click OK.

WordArt Gallery

WordArt Gallery

  1. In the Edit WordArt Text box, type your text. You can also change the font face and type size, or add bold or italics. Then click OK. The art will be placed in the center of the slide and is nearly always smaller than you would like—press and drag the handles to enlarge the object to the desired size.

Many of the WordArts also have one or more small yellow diamond-shaped handles (see example on sample below). You can press and drag any of these to distort the shape of the object:

Samples of WordArt

Samples of WordArt

To change the colors in WordArt, make sure the object is selected, then choose FORMAT : WordArt and make your selections.

Text Tool

To insert text on the slide other than in a placeholder,

  1. Click the Text Tool 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.


To move an object on the slide, select it, then move the cursor over the object until you see the four-headed arrow along with the cursor. Press and drag the object to the location you need it.

NOTE: Be sure it is a four-headed arrow rather than a two-headed arrow. Two-headed arrows re-size objects.

To move a text box, move the cursor over the frame of the text box; if you move the cursor within the box, it will change to an insertion point so that you can type or edit text.


To rotate any object, including a text box,

  1. Click the Rotate Tool Rotate Tool

  2. Click the object to be rotated.

  3. You will see small green disks in place of the normal handles on the object. (See sample below.)

Sample Rotated Text

Sample Rotated Text

  1. As you move the cursor over the disk, it will change to a looped circle. Position the loop over one of the green disks and press and drag to the desired rotation.

  2. Click the Rotate Tool to deselect it.


When you layer objects, occasionally they are ordered incorrectly. To affect the order of the layers,

  1. Select the layer you want to affect.

  2. Choose DRAW : Order.

  3. Move the layer forward, backward, to front, or to back.

Sample Layered Slide

Sample Layered Slide

Grouping and Ungrouping

Often after you have created multiple objects and layered them in the sequence you need, 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.

To group multiple objects,

  1. Size each individual object as necessary.

  2. Layer objects as necessary.

  3. Each object must be selected prior to grouping. To select multiple objects, hold SHIFT then click each object. You will see that each object clicked will become selected and the handles of each will be displayed. Release SHIFT after you have selected each of the objects to be grouped.

  4. From the Drawing Toolbar, choose DRAW : Group. You will see that the objects' individual handle-sets will be combined, leaving a single handle-set for the grouped object.

Sometimes, if your object is very complex, you will find it beneficial to group your object components incrementally. When you finish a subset of your 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.

Text that you include in a grouped object will not change point size if you re-size the grouped object, however, word-wrapping will adjust as necessary to conform to the re-sizing.

To manipulate individual components of grouped objects, you must ungroup them. To ungroup an object, select it, then from the Drawing Toolbar, choose DRAW : Ungroup.

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Using Images and Other "Clip Art"

PowerPoint comes with a library of "clip art" that includes traditional clip art, as well as videos, photographs, and sounds. You can also insert graphics from other sources into a presentation.

To access PowerPoint's ClipArt Gallery, click the Clip Art Gallery Tool Clipart Gallery Tool

To use a Gallery ClipArt image, select the image and click Insert. ClipArt images will be inserted in the center of the slide. You can move, enlarge, or reduce them.

You can further manipulate PowerPoint objects by ungrouping them. Ungrouping an imported object such as ClipArt will convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing, and you will lose any linking information. However, it is unlikely that ClipArt will hold any linked information.

To change the colors of a PowerPoint clipart,

  1. Select the artwork, then from the Drawing Toolbar, choose DRAW : Ungroup. You will most likely be astounded at the number of individual components making up the object since some objects can be ungrouped multiple times if they were built with incremental grouping.

  2. Select the component you wish to re-color, then click the Painbucket and choose the fill color or effect you wish to use. You could also choose to change the line color Painbucket image

  3. After you have completed altering the object's components, you can re-group the components. Because it is highly unlikely you can click to select each component without missing one, you will need to select all of them a different way.

To select multiple objects using the mouse,

  1. Position your mouse cursor beyond the corner of the object to be re-grouped. Make sure you start far enough beyond the objects to catch all of the components.

  2. Press and drag diagonally across the objects to select all the components. Make sure that you do not mistakenly include an object in the selection that you don't want to be selected. (You may have to try this step several times, it is a bit tricky to master.)

  3. After all the components are selected, from the Drawing Toolbar, choose DRAW : Group (or Regroup).

Linked Files

Sounds, video clips, and photographs (as well as these types of files you gather from outside PowerPoint) are inserted as linked objects. This means that you must place these files in the same folder as the presentation, then insert them into the presentation AFTER they are in that folder. This lets PowerPoint "find" the file during the presentation.

Sound, Video Clips and Photos

You insert sound, video clips, or photos, the same way you insert ClipArt images. When you insert these objects, they are inserted in the center of the slide. You can press and drag them to new locations.


You must activate the clip before it will play in the presentation. To activate a clip, click the icon to select it and choose SLIDE SHOW : Action Settings.

You can choose to play the clip by mouse click or by mouseover. If you choose mouse click, you will need to click the icon during the presentation to start it playing. If you choose mouseover, you need to slide the cursor over the icon to start the sound.

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Using Charts

PowerPoint uses Microsoft Graph to let you create simple charts in a presentation. However, creating the charts and graphs are one of the more complex features in PowerPoint with many options. You will need to experiment with charts to see the many options available.

To create a chart, click the Chart Tool. (Or choose the Chart AutoLayout and double click inside the Chart placeholder to create a chart.) Chart Tool

A new window opens showing a dummy spreadsheet, a graph based on that dummy data, and chart menu and toolbar options.

Sample Chart Dialog Box

Sample chart Dialog Box

To insert your own data, replacing the dummy data, type in each cell as you would in any spreadsheet application. As you do so, you will see the graph change to reflect the changes in data. You can also change the chart types, colors and other formatting by making the appropriate menu and toolbar choices.

TIP: If the "spreadsheet" window is obscuring the graph, you can press and drag the colored strip at the top of the window to move it to a new location.

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Creating Hyperlinks

PowerPoint 97 introduces the ability to create hyperlinks within a presentation. Hyperlinks cause the selection of an object to result in a move to a new location or the performance of an action. You can create your own object or choose an AutoShape Action button.

To link an object with an action, select the object, then choose SLIDE SHOW : Action Settings.

In the Action Settings dialog box, select the button "Hyperlink to" then select the destination or action. You can also choose to play a built-in PowerPoint sound during this action and/or to highlight the object as you click it.

Hyperlink Action Dialog Box

Hyperlink Action Dialog Box

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Animating the Presentation

To animate any object on a PowerPoint slide

Preset Animation Dialog Box

Present Animation Dialog Box

  1. Select the object.

  2. Choose SLIDE SHOW : Preset Animation.

  3. Select the animation effect you desire for the selected object.

NOTE: Be careful of using too many effects in any single presentation because they soon become a detraction to rather than an enhancement of the presentation.

Animated Layers

You may find it useful to bring a layered object into a presentation one layer at a time, building it on-screen. To animate a layered object,

Layer Animation Dialog Box

Layer Animation Dialog Box

  1. Build the layered object, ordering the layers as desired as described in the section on layering objects.

  2. Choose SLIDE SHOW : Custom Animation.

  3. In the Custom Animation dialog box, each layer is identified in the Slide objects without animation list. If you don't remember what a particular layer is composed of, click the object in the list; that object appears selected in the preview window.

  4. As you select a layer and click Animate, that layer is placed in the Animation Order list.

  5. Choose whether that layer appears only on a mouse click or after a specified time interval.

  6. Rearrange the order list as necessary.

To choose other effects such as sound effects and how the object appears on the slide during the on-screen presentation, click on the Effects tab.

To animate text,

  1. Click on the Effects tab.

  2. In the Introduce Text section, from the drop-down box, choose whether the text is introduced all at once, by word, or by letter.

To animate charts click the Chart Effects tab. You can choose to introduce the data by series, categories, or elements.

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Using PowerPoint Tools


This tool reads the presentation for keywords that it then checks against the ClipArt Gallery. It identifies both the keyword and the slide on which it appears. You have the option of viewing the ClipArt suggestion then inserting the image into that slide the same way you would insert any clipart object.

AutoClipArt Dialog Box

AutoClipArt Dialog Box

If you close the AutoClipArt prior to inserting a ClipArt image, you will discard any suggestions made by the tool.

Style Checker

The Style Checker checks for spelling, visual clarity, and case and end punctuation. This valuable tool checks to see that the case in each of the Title Placeholders match, whether or not you have included end punctuation, and that each slide is set for maximum readability.

Style Checker Options Dialog Box

Style Checker Options Dialog Box

While you can change the options, the default settings are generally the best for a great presentation.

Slide Miniature

When you choose VIEW : Slide Miniature, a small black and white version of the current slide is displayed on the screen in the corner of the actual color slide.

Sample Slide Miniature

Sample Slide Miniature

To zoom the view of your slide for better close-up work on a portion of the slide, click the drop-down box beside the Zoom Tool and choose the percentage of magnification you need Sample Zoom Tool

Pack and Go

Pack and Go packages together all the files and fonts (TrueType only) used in a presentation. When you intend to run the show on a computer that doesn't have PowerPoint installed, it also packages the PowerPoint Viewer on the disk. (The viewer is a way to display an on-screen presentation without the complete PowerPoint application being installed on the computer.)

The Pack and Go Tool compresses the presentation, creating a single executable file. If the presentation exceeds a single diskette, Pack and Go prompts you for additional disks.

To Pack and Go your presentation, choose FILE: Pack and Go, then follow the screen prompts.

To run the on-screen presentation, copy the Pack and Go executable file onto the presentation computer. Then "unpackage" the presentation by double clicking the executable file.

NOTE: It Has Been My Experience That, At This Time, This Tool Is Not Reliable Enough For Me To Recommend.

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Working in Outline View

Outline View allows you to type presentation text in a more word processing-like environment than does Slide View. As you type in Outline View, you can see a color thumbnail of the current slide. The text you type in Outline View is inserted into Title and Bulleted List Placeholders on the slide.

Sample Slide in Outline View

Sample Slide in Outline View

Graphic objects are not displayed in this view.

Each individual slide is numbered and bullet points are displayed. To demote or promote bullet points, make sure the cursor is in the line you wish to affect, then from the toolbar on the left, use the left and right pointing arrows.

To rearrange the slides, click in the slide you wish to move, then click the up or down directional arrow until the slide is in place.

To collapse and expand the current bulleted slide, click the minus and plus symbols. The primary benefit of this feature is that it is easier to rearrange your slides when you can see most, if not all, of the presentation slides on a single screen.

To collapse and expand the entire presentation, click the lined directional tools.

To see any animation effects you may have already applied to the slide, double click on the slide miniature.

To cancel the animation preview, press ESC.

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Using Notes Pages

Notes Pages show you a small view of the slide and give you room at the bottom to type notes. Notes are great tools to print and refer to as you are delivering an on-screen presentation.

Sample Notes Page

Sample Notes Page

In this view, the slide itself is usually displayed at about 40% in order to show the entire page on the screen. This does not provide a way for most of us to easily read the notes we are typing.

To increase the viewable size of the typing area so you can see what you are typing, click the drop-down box in the Zoom Tool and select the magnification you need to increase the percentage Zoom Tool Set to About 40%

You can also use the VIEW : Master : Notes Master to set up master items on Notes Pages or to change the size of the slide and/or notes areas.

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Using the Slide Sorter

The Slide Sorter shows a thumbnail of each slide in the presentation. From this view, it is easy to rearrange the presentation, make duplicate slides, delete slides, and place transitions into the presentation. To place your presentation in Slide Sorter View, click the Slide Sorter Tool Slide Sorter Tool

The current slide is denoted by a black border.

Current Slide Indicator

Current Slide Indicator

To select a different slide, click the slide you wish to become current.

To duplicate or delete the current slide, choose EDIT : Duplicate (or Delete) Slide.

PowerPoint provides visual indicators beneath each slide showing any slide transition, text animation, or advance timing that you have applied to that slide.

Indicators of Transitions Applied

Indicators of Transitions Applied

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Using Transitions

Transitions determine the effects 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 choose only a transition effect, click the dropdown box beside the words "No Transition" and select a transition. To have other transition choices available to you, click the Slide Transition Tool.

Sample Transition Tool and Drop-down Box

Sample Transition Tool and Drop-down Box

When you click the Slide Transition Tool, the Slide Transition dialog box allows you to choose not only a transition effect from a drop-down box, but also offers other choices that affect your on-screen presentation.

Sample Transition Dialog Box

Sample Transition Dialog Box

TIP: Don't use a different transition on each slide because your audience's attention should remain focused on you and the content, not the effects. If you want to use multiple transitions, a good rule of thumb is to apply a unique transition to each slide in a specific module of the presentation.

Generally, you should leave the Effect Speed set to Fast. This brings in the next content slide quickly and keeps your audience's attention focused on the presentation content.

PowerPoint contains a few built-in sounds. To play a sound as the slide is transitioning, make a sound selection from the Sound drop-down box. Unless you have a well thought out reason for doing so, don't choose to have the sound loop until the next sound; it can become annoying very fast while you're giving a presentation, as well as making it difficult for you to speak over. Also, many presentation locations don't have adequate speakers attached to the computer to allow all of your audience to hear the sound.

Advance determines when the current slide proceeds to the next.

Rehearse Timings

The Rehearse Timing Tool allows you to practice giving an on-screen presentation, regardless of any slide advance timings you may have set previously. The tool times not only the entire presentation, but also each individual slide, as you rehearse. Each time you click the "forward" button, the time is recorded. You must be in Slide Sorter View to access the Rehearse Timing Tool.

Sample Recorded Rehearsal Timings

Sample Recorded Rehearsal Timings

To use the Rehearse Timing Tool, click the Rehearse Timing Tool Rehearse Timing Tool

When you have completed rehearsing, PowerPoint displays the total time for the rehearsed presentation and asks if you want to record the new timings. If you click "Yes," these new timings will replace any slide advance timings you may have previously set for the presentation.

Sample New Timings Dialog Box

Sample New Timings Dialog Box

Bullet Effects

The Text Preset Animation Tool controls how bulleted points appear on the slide during an on-screen presentation. You must be in Slide Sorter View to access the Text Preset Animation Tool.

To animate bulleted points, the slide containing bulleted points must be the current slide. Then click the drop-down box and choose the animation effect you desire.

Bullet Effects Transition Tool

Bullet Effects Transition Tool

Hidden Slides

You can hide slides within a presentation. Hidden slides remain available as part of the saved presentation and are accessible to you during development or in future presentations but do not appear as one of the consecutive presentation slides during a show. You must be in Slide Sorter View to access the Hidden Slide Tool.

To hide a slide, make sure it is the current slide, then click the Hide Slide Tool Hidden Slide Tool

Hidden slides display in Slide Sorter View with a slash through the slide number. Slide View does not differentiate between hidden and non-hidden slides, and all are displayed. During presentation, however, hidden slides are passed over unless specifically chosen by you through the Slide Show Navigator Sample Hidden Slide Indicator

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Printing the Presentation

When you print a presentation, you have several options. You can print all the slides, the current slide, or a range of slides. Ranges can be comma separated or dash separated, i.e., 2, 3, 5-9.

You can choose the format of the printed output.

Print Dialog Box

Print Dialog Box

If you choose to print two slides per page, each page will contain half-sheet views of two consecutive slides. Printing six slides per page will print six equally sized consecutive slides on each page. These options don't include space for note-taking.

To give definition to printed slides, you can choose to frame the slides. This prints a simple box around each slide.

If you are printing a color presentation on a black and white printer, the printer will interpret all the colors as shades of gray. This usually results in a very "muddy" appearance. The better choice is to click the Pure Black & White printer option. The printer then will eliminate the background shading. You will lose some detail with this method, but the text will be much more readable and the graphics of acceptable quality.

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Giving an On-screen Presentation

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, so if you want to view the presentation from the beginning, be sure to move to the first slide prior to selecting the Slide Show View Tool. To change to Slide Show View, click the Slide Show Tool Slide Show View Tool

When you are giving an on-screen presentation, as you move the mouse, the show controls become visible in the lower left corner. This allows you to access navigation and other tools. These controls are nearly invisible 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 the show controls, click anywhere within the show controls rectangle Sample Show Controls

Navigation during the Presentation

During a presentation, you can navigate to a different slide in the presentation by making a selection from the Slide Show Controls menu. You can move to the Next or Previous slide. You can also move directly to a slide by choosing its Title from the list.

Sample Presentation Navigation Menus

Sample Presentation Navigation Menus

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.

The current slide is denoted with a checkmark beside the title of the slide.

Meeting Minder

Meeting Minder is way of jotting down notes and tasks during an on-screen presentation. During a presentation, to access Meeting Minder, click the Show Controls and choose Meeting Minder. You can then type notes, assign tasks, and identify due dates. You could also choose to record Meeting Minutes, by clicking on the Meeting Minutes tab.

Meeting Minder Dialog Box

Meeting Minder Dialog Box

PowerPoint inserts any action items that you included in Meeting Minder on a new final slide at the end of your presentation. This makes notes and tasks recorded during the presentation available for review at the end of your presentation. If you need to permanently keep these notes, be sure to save your file before exiting PowerPoint and turning off your computer.

Meeting Minder Action Items Sample

Meeting Minder Action Items Sample

Speaker Notes

During a presentation, you can record notes via the Show Controls. The notes you add are recorded on the Notes Page for that slide. To record notes, from the Show Controls, choose Speaker Notes. Keep in mind that your notes are visible to the audience while you are typing them even if you have not chosen to print Notes Pages for your audience.

Sample Presentation Speaker Notes

Sample Presentation Speaker Notes

On-screen Notes

During a presentation, you can "mark" on a slide with the Pen Tool. To create slide "marginalia," from the Show Controls, choose Pen. You will see the cursor change to a pencil. Press and drag the mouse to "mark" on the slide. Any markings made with the Pen remain on the slide only as long as it is the current slide.

Sample of On-Screen Marginalia

Sample of On-Screen Marginalia

To change pen colors, from the Show Controls, choose Pointer Options : Pen Color, then choose the color you want. You must make pen color selections before you select the pen to "mark" on the slide.

You must change from the pen to a regular cursor before the presentation can progress. To remove the pen and return to a regular cursor, from the Show Controls, click Arrow.

Pausing the Presentation

During a presentation, you may want to pause your presentation to take time for discussions. You have two choices.

Pause Show Controls Sample

Pause Show Controls Sample

To return to your presentation from either of these two options, from the Show Controls, choose Resume.

To end the presentation prematurely, from the Show Controls, choose End Show. You can also end the presentation by pressing ESC.

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Combining Presentations

You can combine presentations, or copy already existing slides from one presentation into another presentation. To work with two presentations simultaneously,

  1. Open both presentations.

  2. Choose WINDOW : Arrange All to display both presentations side-by-side on the screen.

  3. Notice that each presentation has its own Navigation Toolbar in the lower left corner of its respective window. Put each presentation in Slide Sorter View.

Sample of Two Presentations Open Side-by-Side

Sample of Two Presentations Open Side-by-Side

  1. Use the Scroll Bar to navigate through each presentation until you can see the slide you want to copy in the original presentation and the location in the destination presentation where you want the slide placed.

  2. Press and drag the slide from one presentation to the other. NOTE: You will not be able to drag the slide if the original presentation is in Slide View and the destination presentation is in Slide Sorter View.

When you press and drag, you remove the slide from the original presentation. If you want to keep the original presentation as it was, do NOT save it when you close the presentation. An alternative is to right click on the slide to be moved and choose COPY, then click in the destination presentation and paste it.

Notice that "transplanted" slide takes on the characteristics of the receiving presentation, including the color scheme. Any charts contained in the transplanted slide will be updated to reflect the colors of the destination presentation.

Sample of Copied Slide

Sample of Copied Slide

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Putting the Presentation on the Web

Quite often after making a PowerPoint presentation, your audience will request the presentation itself, in addition to any handouts you may have given them. A solution is to put the presentation on the Web.

Placing a presentation on the Web can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  1. Place the presentation file itself (the .ppt file) on your web server. In this option, you would place a hyperlink on a web page, referencing the PowerPoint file.

    For example, assume that you have a web file called "home.html" and a PowerPoint presentation called "snow.ppt."

    In the home.html file, create a link: <A HREF="snow.ppt">Winter '99 PowerPoint presentation</a>. When the reader clicks on the words "Winter '99 PowerPoint presentation," depending on how his/her computer is configured, the presentation either opens directly in PowerPoint or prompts the reader to save the file.

    This option gives the reader full control over a copy of the presentation, exactly as you created it.

  2. The second option is to use PowerPoint's HTML wizard to prepare an HTML version of the presentation that you can then place on a web server. This option is presented next.

HTML Wizard

To save your presentation as HTML,

  1. To start the HTML wizard, choose FILE : Save as HTML.

  2. In the Start dialog box, click Next.

  3. In the Layout selection dialog box, to accept the default selection of New Layout, click Next.

  4. Next, the Wizard asks you to select a Page Style. To accept the default choice of Standard, click Next.

  5. In the Graphic type dialog box, unless the presentation is primarily full-color photographs, keep the default selection. To accept the default of GIF - Graphics Interchange Format, click Next.

  6. Since you don't necessarily know the details of your reader's monitor and computer, in the dialog box requesting information on sizing your graphics according to monitor resolution, keep the selection of 640 x 480. I recommend that you select a graphic width of 1/2 width of screen, but no more than 3/4 width of screen. Click Next.

  7. The information you supply on this screen will appear on the index (or starting) page of the HTML/PowerPoint presentation. This is a good way for you to give the reader information on how to contact you. If you choose to enter an E-mail address and/or a home page URL, each of these items will be made into a clickable link for the reader. To accept your information, click Next.

HTML Wizard Contact Screen

HTML Wizard Contact Screen

  1. Next, you will be asked to make choices concerning colors for your text and buttons. I recommend that you keep the default selection, Use browser colors. Click Next.

  2. In the Button Style Selection dialog box, select your preferred button style. Click Next.

  3. The wizard next asks you to define your layout and offers four possibilities. Because the space available on-screen for viewing is wider than it is tall, the horizontal choices are better. Furthermore, because most people are more accustomed to navigation information appearing on the left, click the first option in the second line. You can also choose to include any Slide Notes. Click Next.

  4. You're almost there! Now you will choose the location of the HTML folder. The PowerPoint HTML Wizard will create a graphic file, a text file, and an HTML file for each slide in your presentation. In addition there are navigation buttons created. Each of these files will be placed in a new folder, named according to the presentation itself. This dialog box is simply requesting information about the location of this new folder that it will create. Click Browse and search for the folder in which you wish this new folder to be made. (See sample below.) The directory where your web files will be stored MUST appear in the Look in window, not just appear in the listing in the main window. Click the folder name to highlight it. Then click Select. Now click Next.

Sample Save As Dialog Box

Sample Save As Dialog Box

  1. A pop-up box will ask if you want to save these HTML settings for future use. Since we used primarily default choices, it is not necessary to save them. Click Don't Save.

  2. The final step is to click Finish. Depending on the size of your presentation, this could take several minutes. PowerPoint will return a message indicating The presentation was successfully saved as HTML. Click OK.

The Presentation on the Web

To test the web files, start your web browser, and choose FILE : Open Page. Browse for the folder where you stored the web presentation. When you select the index.html file, the presentation will open as a local file for you to review.

The index.html file that the Wizard created will look similar to the sample below. Notice that it created links for the E-mail address and home page. The reader can also choose to Click here to start or can choose to go to any specific slide. The slides indicate another reason why it is important to title each of your slides in the Title Placeholder.

Sample First Page of PowerPoint to HTML

Sample First Page of PowerPoint to HTML

Below you can see the first slide of the presentation as it appears on the web. Notice the design decisions you made concerning graphic size (1/2 width) and button style and placement (left of image). Also notice the extra buttons the HTML Wizard placed on the page, index (the first page of the presentation), home (the URL you selected for your home page), and text.

Sample HTML/PowerPoint Slide

Sample HTML/PowerPoint Slide

Remember that you will still have to move your PowerPoint/HTML files to a web server in order to make the presentation available for public use. For assistance with FTP (file transfer) see, Using WS_FTP.

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Animating PowerPoint Design Templates

You've learned a great deal about creating an effective PowerPoint presentation. Here's the piece that will separate your presentation from all the rest: animating PowerPoint's own design templates.

Drawing upon your knowledge of using Slide Masters, of grouping and ungrouping objects, of re-coloring objects, and animation, you can add your own personal touches to PowerPoint's own Design Templates.

For the most effective animation, choose those designs that contain concrete objects, such as twinkles, tropics, and theater, rather than blended and shaded designs.

To animate template designs,

  1. Choose VIEW : Master : Slide Master.

  2. Click in an empty place on the slide (not in a text box).

  3. From the Drawing Toolbar, choose DRAW : Ungroup.

  4. Press ESC to deselect all the objects.

  5. Click on the object you wish to animate (remember you can group objects to have them function as a single entity.)

  6. Choose SLIDE SHOW : Custom Animation.

  7. Choose your animations options.

  8. Animate any other objects you desire.

You can download a sample PowerPoint presentation to see an animated Design Template.

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