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What Is It?

How can I use it?

PowerPoint is multimedia presentation software.  Part of the Microsoft Office 97 set of programs.  The possibilities are endless:

   Imbedded presentations in Web pages

   Create Web pages

   Internet ready.  Hyperlinks

   Custom shows for specific audiences

   Custom animation

   Presentation conferencing

   Automatic spell check

   Pack and Go option

   Stereo narration to slides

   Ability to create custom templates and layouts

   Ability to present to more than one monitor


How can PowerPoint be used?

        On-screen presentations

   You can present on one monitor, multiple monitors, or using other hardware through television monitors or projection devices.

    ♫   Handouts

   Print handouts in multiple forms

    ♫   Speaker Notes

   Page with slide as in presentation on top and location at bottom of page for you to print your ideas or the script of what you want to say

    ♫   35mm Slides or Overheads

   You can create transparencies in either color or black and white

   You can create 35mm slides which can be processed by photo companies or over the internet to be used in slide projectors

The Display Screen

The screen will look familiar.  The toolbars, button bars, and menu bars are like those in other Office applications. Like other office programs when the mouse slides over a button and is held for a moment, the function of the button is displayed.  The following screen captures show at a glance the commands available on the PowerPoint toolbars and menus.

The Upper Menu


Draw Tools

The Draw Tools toolbar can be placed anywhere on the screen. The toolbar will fit itself where ever you place it, bottom, top, or side.

Viewing Options          

slide        outline  sorter  notes  slide show

Drop-down Menus

File Menu                         

Edit Menu View Menu

Insert Menu             Format Menu
Tools menu

Slideshow Menu                Window Menu            Help Menu 


Customizing Menu


To customize your menu click on the Tools menu and select Customize.  This opens the dialog box where you can decide what you want on your menus and toolbars.  

Viewing Options               

The buttons are located in the lower left corner of the screen.



Slide View

Displays the actual slide in working form allowing you to edit all text boxes and images.


Outline View

Presentation in list format which allows you to edit text very easily.


Slide Sorter


Allows the user to rearrange the order of the slides.  This option visually displays the slide order so presentations sequence is accurate.  From this view slides can be given a transition.  The transition between slides can be altered or added by selecting the slide and transition style. 

Notes Page

This view allows you to view the speaking notes for each slide.  These notes act as a prompt for speakers.  The audience does not see the information on these notes, only the presenter.

Slide Show

Allows the user to begin the slide show.  It will run through all the slides you have created as you click your mouse.  This allows you to see the finished product the audience will see.


Editing Slides

Adding and Deleting Slides

   Add a slide by selecting the New Slide Button or select the New Slide Command from the Insert menu.

   Note the slide will be inserted wherever the insertion point is positioned.

To delete a slide

   View slide that is to be deleted

   From the Edit menu select Delete Slide

Jazz Up the Slides

The change the Color Scheme you must be in Slide View.

   Under the Format menu select Slide Color Scheme

   Click on the color scheme that suits you

   Click Apply to change the slide or Apply to All to change the entire show

Change the Layout

The change the layout again you need to be in slide view (can do in other views but this is easier).

   View slide to be changed

   Format menu, choose Apply Design command

   Choose Presentations

   Select the design you like

   Apply to   apply the style to  your show

Creating Templates and Layouts

This takes time and creativity.  The program gives you pre-made (those Microsoft programmers spent lots of time on this) templates but you can adapt them or create your own.

   Choose the blank presentation page when you begin PowerPoint

   Select the blank slide in the AutoLayout

   On the blank page that appears, insert your own background, text, images and other graphics

   Save the changes to the slide and use them as a template in later presentations.  Choose Save As then select Presentation Template from the Save as Type pull-down menu.

Adding Pictures

Clip Art is included with the program simply from the Insert menu click on Clip Art.  This opens a window full of clip art images.

From File

From the Insert Menu select From File.  This allows you to select a file from a folder.  Search options are in the bottom of the dialog box or you can search manually from the Look in box.  (This is how you use clip art from other programs.)

From Scanner

Select from Scanner.  Follow the scanner instructions and click Insert when completed

From Digital Camera

PowerPoint will pick  up most picture formats including jpeg and gif which are the usual formats for camera pictures.  If you have difficulty use the Insert Picture from File to get a digital camera picture.

Using these methods you can also insert charts, WordArt, Word tables,  and AutoShapes to your slides.

AutoShapes allows you to add re-designed shapes to your slides.  Lines, connectors, arrows, flowcharts, etc., there is a unlimited list of items which can become a part of your PowerPoint presentation.  Your only limit is the time you wish to spend Jazzing up your presentation.

WordArt provides shape and color options for words, giving your words more impact in your presentations.


PowerPoint 97 has the ability to add links to the Internet.  These hyperlinks allow the presenter to jump to favorite Web addresses, other parts of this presentation, another presentation, or another Office document.  To insert a hyperlink

   Select the text or image you wish to format as a hyperlink

   Click on the Insert Hyperlink button located on the Standard toolbar

   When this is selected the Hyperlink dialog box appears, allowing you to insert a Web address or internal path to the link. 

   Select OK when finished.

You can also create a hyperlink using the Insert Menu.


   Choose the slide that requires animation

   Select the image or text to be animated and press

   the Animation Effects button on the Formatting


 This will open the Animation Effects dialog box.  Animation refers to the way the separate items move onto a slice.

Choices include:

Ø     Drive-in (effect approaches from the right side of the screen)

Ø     Flying (effect causes the object to approach from the left side of screen)

Ø     Laser (effect causes letters to approach one by one with the addition of a laser sound)

Ø     Typewriter (causes the text to approach as if typed with sound)

Ø     Camera (causes the title to appear with the sound of a camera clicking)

Ø     Flash once (causes the title to flash)

Ø     Drop-in (causes the image to drop from the top of the screen)

Ø     Custom animation (allows you to make specific changes to the animation selected for each image)

You can also animate from the Slide Show menu.  Choose Preset Animations, Custom Animations or Animation Preview.


Ø     Select the slide for which sound is needed

Ø     Choose Insert menu and click on Movies and Sound

Ø     Select where you will retrieve the sound from (compact disc, sound file, sound gallery or record your own)

Ø     After you select the file, an icon will appear on the slide.  Click and drag it to the desired location.

Ø     When you click on the icon, you will hear the sound.

Printing the Presentation

·       A printout of miniature slides can be used to get an overall view of the presentation

·       PowerPoint will print in any view by executing the Print command from the File menu

·       Handouts can be printed six to a page, three to a page or 2 to a page.

Making the Presentation

A successful presentation is carefully planned before it is created. 


You can add a narration to the slide presentation.

q      Select the slide to which you wish to add narration

q      Choose Record Narration from the Slide Show menu

q      Select the quality of recording from Settings

q      Start recording.  This will take you to the Slide Show view and allow you to record voice narration as you proceed through the actual presentation.

Custom Soundtrack

¨     Select the Custom Soundtrack under the Slide Show menu

¨     The Custom Soundtrack dialog box appears.  Choose the appropriate options

¨     Choosing the Sound Track option will add sound to the entire presentation, not just the slide you are currently viewing.

Presenting to More than One Monitor

PowerPoint allows you to present to more than one monitor.  You must specify which computer will be the presentation computer or presenter.  To hook up multiple monitors, choose View on Two Screens from the Slide Show menu.

Pack and Go

¨     Under the File menu select Pack and Go command

¨     The Pack and Go Wizard will activate

¨     Click on the appropriate options

¨     Selecting the viewer for Windows95 or NT allows the presentation to be compressed and stored on a 1.44MB disc.  This also allows the presentation to be viewed on other computers that have not been preloaded with PowerPoint.

¨     When all options have been selected, press Finish and your presentation will be Packed for movement to another computer

Troubleshooting—Common Problems in PowerPoint

Problem—As I add text I can’t stop the program from adding bullets each time I press the RETURN key.

¨     To remove the bullets, click on the Bullet button

Problem—The animations are not working

¨     Animations only work in Slide Show view. 

Problem—When a chart is added, it covers the entire slide.

¨     You must size the chart.  Select it and grab a handle to resize it to the size that you desire.

Problem—Some of my menu options are gray and nothing happens when I click them.

¨     They are not active because they can’t be used at the current time.  If you are not working on a picture, then the drawing tools are dormant (grayed out).

Problem—Which mouse button should I use?

¨     The left mouse button is the traditional button used to command the program.  Windows95 uses the right mouse button and will deliver pop-up menus that pertain to whatever you are currently pointing the mouse arrow.

Problem—I can’t see the toolbar buttons. 

¨     Open the View menu and click Toolbars.  Choose Large Buttons at the bottom of the Toolbars dialog box and click OK.

Problem—I did not intend to delete a slide.  How can I restore it?

¨     Immediately after you delete a slide, you can click on the Undo button on the Standard toolbar or choose Edit, Undo OR Control + Z

Problem—I cut something that I didn’t want to cut!

¨     If you haven’t moved your insertion point, simply click the Paste button or press Control + V.  If you have moved in the document try the Undo button or Control + Z.

Problem—I don’t want to put text where a placeholder exists in the layout slide but I like that slide layout.  What do I do?

¨     If you leave a placeholder empty it will not show in your Slide Show

Problem—When I click insert Microsoft Word Table button nothing happens.

¨     Even though the button appears on the toolbar, it will not work unless you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer.

Problem—I inserted a slide in the wrong location.  How do I move it?

¨     Choose View, Slide Sorter to change the Slide Sorter view.  Drag the slide to the location you want.

Problem—I am in Outline view and everything just disappeared.

¨     Don’t panic.   You should see a shaded underline under each of the slide titles.  You have clicked on the Show Titles button.  To display the hidden details, click the Show All button.

Problem—PowerPoint is determined to tell me that my name is misspelled.  How do I correct this?

¨     By adding your name or any frequently used or unusual word to the dictionary and you will no longer be treated as a misspelling

Problem—How do I get out school logo into my computer?

¨     Use a scanner to create an electronic file.  Once your image is on disk, you can insert it and manipulate it just like any other piece of clip art.

Problem—I don’t have a color printer.  Will my colors show up well in black and white?

¨     To ensure that your colors don’t translate poorly, make sure you’ve checked the Black and White check box on the Print dialog box from the File menu.  Printing in Black and White eliminates the guesswork and you know that your handouts will be readable.

Problem—No sounds come out of my computer and I have them in my slide presentation.

¨     Sound effects only are available on computers that have installed soundcards.  IF the computer makes other sounds, then there may be a hardware problem.

Problem—How do I determine what type of installation to choose?

¨     For most people a Typical installation is fine.  The Custom Installation lets you pick and choose to install the features you want.  If you don’t have much space on you hard drive choose the Compact installation which uses the least space.  Help will not be available and you will need to keep the CD in the drive to use Clip Art, Sounds and other features.

Problem—Why do I have to use Uninstall to remove components?  Why can’t I go to DOS and delete?

¨     Software is so complicated now that removal of one innocent looking file can crash your whole hard drive.  Many programs use the same files so it is very important to allow the software manufacturer uninstall components and not damage other programs on you computer.  SetUp removes components that you no longer need while leaving the parts of the program that you still want to use.


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This page was updated on:  04/10/02