User:Rewood/Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows XP

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What is PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is an application that assists the user in quickly creating clear and professional presentations. It can be used for dozens of different types of presentations and allows quick and easy creation. The presentations can be displayed in a meeting, e-mailed, used as overhead projector slides or put on the web.

Getting Started

To open PowerPoint, consider the type of machine you are on. First try going to the Start Menu in the lower left hand corner. Select 'Programs'. Move down in the list of Applications until you find PowerPoint. Click once. If you have a Window with applications displayed (the Novell Application Launcher) on your machine, browse through "All" or look under "Unity Applications" and the Office Applications menu. PowerPoint should be listed there along with other Microsoft Office applications. Once opened PowerPoint will start by asking you what you would like to do.

You can choose to start a new blank presentation, a new presentation with a design template, a new presentation with help from the AutoContent Wizard or to open an existing presentation. If you choose to open an existing presentation you will have the opportunity to browse for the file you would like to use. Click "ok" once you have selected an option.


The basic layout for PowerPoint is similar to that of Excel or Word. For assistance with what each of the icons on your toolbar represents, click here. There are a few icons that are native to PowerPoint. You should see an option on the toolbar that says "Common Tasks". By clicking on that drop down menu you can quickly choose to create a new slide, view slide layout options or apply a design template to your presentation. When you select one of these options, a window will open to display all of the choices for each.

For example, when you select "New Slide" you will see 24 new slide layout options. PowerPoint also have over 40 types of design templates to choose from. When you select one form this menu it will apply the design to all the slides in your presentation. This changes the view to display the formatting options being used on each slide. PowerPoint text is set to change in increments. Selecting these buttons will increase or decrease the size in these increments.

Quick click to add a new slide. Text option next to 'Bold' and 'Italics'.

Another series of icons that are very useful are located not at the top of the screen, but along the bottom, below the presentation.

The first is the option for the basic layout or Normal view. This is the view by default and has the presentation slide available for editing on the right and a list of all slides on the left.

The second is the Outline view. This takes the points for each of your slides and puts them into a general outline format.

The third is the Slide view which displays the current slide full screen.

The fourth option is the Slide Sorter View. This displays mini- images of each slide on the screen in the order which they appear in the presentation. In this view you can click on a slide and drag it to change it's order in the presentation.

The fifth and final option is the Slide Show option. Click on this to view the slide show starting with the slide that you are currently on.

You might also want to notice that at the bottom of the screen is another toolbar; this one is for drawing.

Creating a Presentation

When you begin a new presentation you have a number of options. You can choose to open a blank presentation, a presentation with a background template or use the Auto- Content wizard.

The Basics

Choosing a blank presentation will immediately take you to the slide layout menu. This menu has dozens of options for the layout of your slide. Your first slide will probably be a heading slide which means you will have a basic slide with text displayed in the middle. The subsequent slides can be one of many different types. You can choose to have just text, text with pictures, charts and graphs etc. Once you have selected the layout you want to use you can simply click on the area you want to add to and begin typing.

The "Text" area is generally setup to display your text in points, with bullets of some kind. If you do not want bullets, or if you want sub- sections of your points, use the "indent" options shown in the toolbar (and as seen below). When you are ready for a new page, click on the new slide button or look under "Common Tasks" as shown above. Continue doing this until you have completed the presentation. you should see the text applied to the presentation in Outline form on the left.

Using a Template

You can choose a template when opening a new document. When the template option is selected, the browser will pop- up and display over 20 ready made templates available for use in your presentation. Once one is selected you can create the presentation in the same way discussed above, though each slide will come with that template design on it.

The template will also apply specific colors based on a color scheme assigned to the template. The color of text can still be changed as will a normal presentation, but the template colors will be displayed before the rest of the color spectrum. To change the default colors for the template, go to Format- Slide Color Scheme. There will be other color schemes available to choose from, or you can click on a tab to choose to create your own color scheme.

If you choose to use a blank presentation and decide to add a template later go to Format- Apply Design Template. The designs can be viewed in the browser pop- up and will immediately apply to all the slide already created. Using the Auto- Content Wizard The Auto- Content wizard walks the user though the steps of creating a presentation. When selected you will see a pop up window that will allow you to choose options to customize the presentation.

To begin, the user can choose a presentation type. The presentations are listed (as shown above) by category. The options for a preset presentation type include:

  • Brainstorming
  • Business Plan
  • Certificate
  • Communicating Bad News
  • Company handbook
  • Company Meeting
  • Employee Orientation
  • Facilitating a Meeting
  • Financial Overview
  • Generic Group
  • Homepage
  • Introducing a Speaker
  • Managing Organizational Change
  • Marketing Plan
  • Motivating a Team
  • Presenting a Technical
  • Report Products and Services
  • Overview Project
  • Overview Project Post- Mortem
  • Recommending a Strategy
  • Reporting Progress or Status
  • Selling a Product or Service
  • Selling an Idea
  • Training

The next step in the wizard will ask you what the output type will be. The options are for a basic on- screen presentation, a web presentation, overhead slides in color or black and white, or 35mm slides.

The final step will be to customize the slides. The wizard will ask for the title of your presentation. and also footer information, such as the date and presentation coordinator. This information will be displayed on each slide.You can also choose to include the date of last update and the slide number on each slide.

When you click finish, a complete presentation will be available. Rather than details, this presentation will have explanations of what should be included on each slide.

To complete the presentation, simply work through each slide replacing the suggested information with the details applicable to your presentation. Each bullet should already be in place for you, but you can add or remove the bullets as well as adding and removing slides as needed. While working with this presentation you can still do all the things mentioned above such as change the slide layout, change the design template of adjust the slide color scheme. This will change all the slides in the presentation but will not affect the text.

Presentation Options

Under the Slide Show menu there are a number of ways to customize your side show.

To begin, check out "Set Up Show".

Set Up Show

This allows the user to specify a few of the basic options for how the show will run. Here are the choices for how the slide show will run (full screen or not), if it will loop or run only once, which slides will be presented in the show, and what will trigger each slide. You will probably notice here that there are options for narration, animation and the use of timings and other options. Your show, if you decide, can be completely self- sustaining and does not need someone to run it if you don't want it to, or do not have the personnel for it.

The Projector Wizard will help you to connect to a projector in the case that the show will be displayed with one.

Rehearse Timings

This will run the slide show from the beginning with a window in the corner that allows the user to decide when the slides will switch. This window shows how many seconds have elapsed since the slide came up and since the show started. You can time your entire presentation down to the second.

Record Narration

This will allow the user to record narration for the slide show. It does require a microphone and software that comes with it in order to make the recording properly and apply it to the show. This can be a somewhat complex proposition and it is sometimes better to let the presentation speak for itself.

Preset Animation

This is a short menu to the different types of animation available for the slides. In order to apply certain types of animation and to specify where and when they should run look at the following two options.

Custom Animation

This will give you a window with a great deal of options for customizing the animation that can be applied to each slide in your presentation. The options at the top of the page are for the heading and each point of text on the slide (also called "objects"). You can select any of the "objects" and then use the tabs below to customize things.

The first tab allows you to apply a specified amount of time that your "object" is displayed. It will also allow you to adjust the order of the objects as they are displayed.

The second tab (shown above) allows users to choose an animation type, where that animation originates from, a sound affect if desired and gives options for the properties of the text after they complete the animation. You can also choose how the objects come in. You can choose to have them all display at once, or have the heading come in followed by each point or line of text.

The third tab, Chart Effects, is only applicable if you have created a chart or table.

The final tab is for Multimedia settings. These are options for pausing and stopping the slide show in the middle of the presentation. The Preview button will allow you to preview the slide you are working on with all the animation you have chosen.

Slide Transition

While the last option was for animation on each slide, this menu is for animation of the slide itself. These options will decide how each slide is presented. This menu allows you to choose and effect. This animation, rather than affecting the text, will determine how, and at what speed, the whole slide comes into view. There are also options here for what will trigger the slide change and what sounds (if any) will accompany the new slide. These options can be set for one slide (the one you are looking at when the window is open) or you can choose the "Apply to All" button in the far upper right hand corner.

Using Charts and Tables

There are several ways to insert a chart or table for the purposes of explaining your presentation. If you have an existing chart or graph, you can insert it anywhere on a slide by clicking Insert- Chart. It will insert into the middle of the slide but can be moved anywhere on the slide and can be made larger or smaller.

Also under the "Insert" menu there is a Table option. This will allow you to choose a size of your table and when the table appears, so should a "Tables and Borders" toolbar (if it does not, simply go to View- Toolbars and select the toolbar you want to use). You should be able to type in the table freely, as well as move and resize it. The Tables and Borders Toolbar will help you to format the table.

Finally, many people prefer to use their own charts. This is easy to do in PowerPoint with the assistance of the Draw Toolbar. This toolbar is at the bottom of the window, or of course can be found by going to View- Toolbars. Using this toolbar you can create various shapes, connect them with lines and arrows and add text and images. You can also easily shade and apply other formatting to these objects and it is easy to make a table that looks nice and professional.

Don't forget to look under "Auto- shapes". This menu has a bunch of odd shapes, lines and arrows that can be very handy.

Saving and Printing

When saving a PowerPoint presenatation you have several options. Files can be saved as presentations, as web pages, or as a folder of images of each slide.

When saved as images you can then apply each image to an overhead slide or enlarge them and disply them in other ways if a projector or computer is not avaliable.

When printing, you have even more alternatives. Start by going to File- Page Setup. The page can be setup based on how it will be printing. The "Slides sized for:" option includes the following choices:

  • On- Screen Show
  • Letter sized paper
  • A4 sized paper
  • 35mm slides
  • Overhead transparencies
  • Banner

There is also an option for Custom in which you can choose the wideth and height options as displyed below the menu. You can also choose to number the sildes in printing. The "number slides from" option will allow you to avoind numbers on the first few introductory slides. You can also elect the orientation of the slides as they are printed or the Outline.

The options for "Notes" and "Handouts" will be explained below. The option under file for "Print" will pop- up a window like the one below: The main options at the top of the page are for selecting the printer as one would normally see. You can also, as is common, choose how many pages and what pages are used.

Below that you will see options for "What" is printed.

The defualt option is just to print the slides themselves, one slide per page. It you would prefer you can select to print Handouts or Notes Pages.

Handouts will display multiple slides per printed page.

The "Slides per page" option will let you chose the number of slides to be displayed per page; 2, 3, 4, 6 or 9 slides per page.

The Notes option will display three slides per page with lines availiable for notes to the right of the slide view. Once you have made all the decisions about how you want your slides to print, simply click "OK". If you want to print to something other than paper, check to be sure that your printer and paper can accomodate it, select what you are printing to on the "Print Setup" page, then print as normal.