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Power Point:  Presentation Power

When you open PowerPoint you will get a  Tip of the Day or Assistant depending on the version.  For the first few times of program use this is a valuable tool.  It will soon get to be an irritant.  At that time you can turn it off by checking the box in the lower left corner.  If you ever want it back, click Help menu and choose Tip of the Day.  Once you have passed the tip box, the PowerPoint dialog box appears and awaits your instructions.  If you click on the close button (x in right corner) the Office Assistant box closes.  If you need it again for help click on the Question mark on the tool bar.



Notice that this does not look new.  Menu and Tool Bars are familiar Windows items and PowerPoint looks very familiar if you have used Windows programs before.



Decide what you want to communicate to a group and in what visual format.  This is important because it will drive the entire decision-making process in creating your PowerPoint presentation.  What do you want to say?  How can you make your point clear?

PowerPoint has four options.  The choice you make will effect the course of the presentation.  The top three options are courses for creation a presentation.  The fourth option allows you to view and edit a previously created presentation.

·       AutoContent Wizard—leads you through the process of building a presentation by asking you pertinent questions, formats, your responses, turns them into a slide program outline where you enter specific text.  PowerPoint does the work for you with this option.

·       Template—gives you a model slide on which to build a presentation.  You enter content which is plugged into the pre-designed format.

·       Blank Presentation—this allows you to create your own presentation from scratch.  You design the background and fill in your own information.  This is for the creative and to a certain extent the more experienced with PowerPoint.

Depending on which option you choose, PowerPoint will lead you through a variety of dialog boxes to create your presentation.




Option One—The AutoContent Wizard

This option makes you decide what your presentation topic is and what kind of presentation you will create.  It creates an outline for you to complete.  Microsoft designed this wizard to help you organize your content.  Select AutoContent Wizard and

1.     Click AutoContent Wizard or double click the AutoContent name or icon.

2.     The first box introduces you to the wizard.  Click the Next button or press Enter.

3.     The second box requires information.  Your are asked what you will talk about and what kind of information you are going to present.  Type in your name.  In the last box type any additional information that you want to include to identify you and your presentation.  Click the next button or press Enter.

4.     The third box required you to select the kind of presentation that you want.  You can pick from the choices or select other buttons to look at other options.  Select your option and click Next or Enter.

5.     The next box selects the visual type. Click your choice then select Next or Enter.

6.     Now select the type of presentation you are creating (slides, overheads, computer) and what type of handout you will use.  Click Next or Enter.

7.     The final wizard box gives you directions to follow to finish your presentation.  Click the Finish button to exit the wizard.

Your presentation now appears on the screen in slide view.  To add your own text, click the text you want to replace and type in your own words.

You may note the PowerPoint does not fill up the entire work area.  Click the Maximize button on the PowerPoint work screen.  When you finish your presentation, click the save icon.

Option Number Two—Templates

 This is not a wizard.   You will select from a list of pre-made templates and it creates first slide for you.  It leaves the content and the rest of the presentation up to you.  It will supply the same design for the entire presentation.  Again, you need to plan out your presentation before you begin so that you know where you are going.

1.     Select Template.  Click the option button and click OK or double click on the option name or icon.  This opens the new presentation dialog box.

2.     You will find several different tabs to choose from and many different templates to try.  Click a tab to bring it to the front of the box.  Click a template icon to sample what it looks like in the Preview area. 

3.     Once you have found the template you want, double-click on its icon or highlight it and click OK.  The slide appears on screen ready for you to fill in information.

4.     Once you finish filling in the first slide, click the New Slide button on the Toolbar or on the status bar to add another slide based on the same template.

 Option Number Three:  The Blank Presentation

 The last option is the Blank Presentation.  This enables you to build your own presentation from scratch. 

1.     Click Blank Presentation and OK or double-click the option name or icon.  This opens the New Slide dialog box.

2.     Click a layout and the OK button.

3.     Once you have a format, you can fill in the text, pictures, or format the slide any way that you wish.  Ready for another slide—click New Slide icon or New Slide form the insert menu.

Moving Around

Center of screen is the presentation window (work area).  Around the window are the typical toolbars, scroll bars and status bars that you are familiar with in other Windows programs.  At the left of the screen near the bottom are  some View buttons for changing the view in PowerPoint.  The choices are Slide View, Outline View, Slide Sorter View, Notes Page View, and Slide Show View.  Click and look at the different views.

 Outline View    Notes Pages


Slide Show    Slide View       Slide Sorter

What about all the Toolbars in the presentation window.  There are many different toolbars available for viewing with the presentation window.  Go to View, Toolbars, to see all the available toolbars that can be active.

Best Screen for Viewing

The best screen for creating a presentation is the outline view.  This view allows text to be entered and viewed in miniature as the slide is created.  If avoids all the moving between slides in slide view.  In outline view you can use the scroll bar.  To see the slide click the slide icon next to the subject name.  When you are in slide view you have to click the previous slide or next slide in order to move around.

Outline View is also the best place to Edit your presentation.   Select the text you want to change or position your cursor where you want to type and make the change.

·       To rearrange presentation text, drag the slide icons in front of the subjects to the new location where you want them to appear.

·       To add a new slide, move your pointer and click it at the end of the last line before the place where you want the new slide.  Click the New Slide button.

·       To delete a slide, click the slide and press the Del key.

·       The Outline Toolbar, which can be activated from the view/toolbar menu, will be displayed vertically on the left side of your screen and has buttons that will help edit your work.

The only drawback is that you cannot see your slides.  You have to switch to slide view to get the big picture.  You can edit in all the views and the slide sorter is probably the best for rearranging the order of your presentation.

To finally see how it looks, switch to Slide Show View.  Click the slide show icon and advance through your presentation.  To move press the up arrow or click the mouse.  To stop the show press ESC.


·       PowerPoint has four different options for building a presentation.

·       The AutoContent Wizard leads you step by step through the creation of a presentation.

·       Use the Template option to choose a pre-designed presentation layout.

·       Use the Blank Presentation to build your own form scratch presentation.

·       Use the Open and Existing Presentation option to open a previous work to use or edit.

·       Use the view icons to change how you view your presentation.

·       PowerPoint makes it easy to edit and add to  your presentation.


Return to Presentations Handout


This page was updated on:  04/10/02