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Microsoft PowerPoint is a program that allows you to create a slide show presentation that can incorporate text, graphics, and sounds. This introductory lesson will show you the basics of creating a short presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Getting Started
The Tool Bars
Creating a Slide Presentationt
Viewing Your Presentation
Editing Your Presentation
Saving Your Presentation and Exiting PowerPoint
Presenting a PowerPoint Slide Show

Getting Started

To open Microsoft PowerPoint, begin at the Start menu, and select Programs: Microsoft Office: Microsoft PowerPoint.

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The Tool Bars

The top of the PowerPoint screen consists of four "bars." The first of these is the Title Bar, which displays the program you are running (Microsoft PowerPoint), and the filename of the presentation you are currently viewing in brackets (in this case, Presentation1).

The Menu Bar

Just below the Title Bar are the menu headings (File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Slide Show, Window, and Help). By clicking on any of these headings, you will see that each contains a variety of tasks that will help you alter your PowerPoint presentation. For this exercise, we will be using tasks in the File, View, and Format categories.

The Button Bars

Below the menu bar, there is a line of buttons, or icons, that serve as shortcuts for common editing tasks. This is the Standard Toolbar.

The button bar below this is the Formatting Toolbar. This contains text editing functions, including the fonts and type size menus, and buttons that allow you to change the style and alignment of your text in just one click.

The Common Tasks Box

When you open PowerPoint, a "floating" menu box titled "Common Tasks" should appear somewhere on your screen. This contains three essential design tasks: New Slide, Slide Layout, and Apply Design. You can click on the title bar and drag this box to sit anywhere on your screen for ready use; or you can "dock" it like the other tool bars by clicking on the title bar, dragging it toward the top of your screen, and releasing when it assumes the elongated bar shape.

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Creating a Slide Presentation in PowerPoint

After launching PowerPoint, a dialog box will appear that asks you to choose what type of presentation you wish to open. For this lesson, you will be creating a short presentation from scratch, so click on the button next to "Blank Presentation", and click on OK to begin creating a new presentation.

The Title Slide

Once you have chosen to work with a blank presentation, a dialog box appears giving you several different slide choices. Click once on any graphic, and the type of slide represented will be displayed on the right side of the dialog box. Select the Title Slide (first graphic), and click OK.

A template for a title slide will appear. Follow the instructions on the template, and click on the first text box. A border will appear around the box, indicating that it is active, and a cursor will appear. Type:

Smith College 2000

Then click on the subtitle text box, and type:

A Modest Proposal

As you can see, the text is automatically centered, and the type size adjusted properly for your presentation title.

Bulleted List Slide

For your second presentation slide, you will need a bulleted list to represent your ideas. Click on New Slide in the Common Tasks box, and you will again be given the New Slide dialog box. Select the Bulleted List graphic, and click on OK.

Click on the title text box, and type:

Facilities Proposed for the New Millenium

Now, click on the list box below that. You will notice that the first bullet appears faded until you begin to type. Each time you hit [Enter], a new bulleted item will automatically be created. Type the following:

24 Hour Ice Cream Shop [Enter]
Parking Garage with Valet Service [Enter]
Day Spa and Sauna

This is your PowerPoint presentation! Now let's do some editing.

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Editing Your Presentation

PowerPoint contains a wide variety of editing and drawing tools, preset designs and animation, and other options to create an eye-catching slide show. In this lesson we will use just a few of the many tools available in PowerPoint.

Slide Sorter View

At the bottom left of your PowerPoint screen, you will notice a small button bar:

These are the shortcuts for the various views in which you can work with your presentation. They are (from left to right), Slide View (which we are now using), Outline, Slide Sorter, Notes Page, and Slide Show. Click on the third button to change your presentation to Slide Sorter View. This will enable you to see an overview of your entire presentation. You can also edit your presentation in this view.

Add a Slide

We now want to place an additional slide between slides one and two.

  1. Click the mouse pointer between slides one and two. A vertical line will appear in that spot.
  2. Choose New Slide in the Common Tasks box.
  3. Select another Bulleted List slide and click OK. A blank slide will appear in the location you indicated.
  4. Click twice on the new slide to edit. (This will return you to Slide View.)
  5. Ignore the title text box, and click in the list box. Hit [Enter] and type:
    14 Students Can't be Wrong!

Changing Bullet Styles

To change the bullet in slide 2 to a check mark, first make sure that the list text box is still active (a scored border should encase the box).

  1. Click on Format on the menu bar, and choose Bullet. A dialog box will appear:


  2. Click on the arrow button to the right of the Bullets from: field, and choose Wingdings. See example in illustration above.
  3. Select the checkmark on the bottom row of the symbol set, and click OK.
  4. A checkmark replaces the bullet on slide 2.

Apply a Design to Your Presentation

Now you want to add a flashy design to your slides to make your presentation more exciting. To do this, first make sure you are in Slide Sorter view.

  1. Select Apply Design from the Common Tasks box. A dialog box will appear giving you a listing of different designs for you to choose from.
  2. Click once on the filename to preview the design in the window at the right of the dialog box.
  3. For this lesson, we will be using fireball.pot, so find that filename, select it by clicking once, and click on Apply. The design will be applied to all the slides in your presentation!

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Viewing your Presentation

Running the Slide Show
Now that you are finished, you can test your presentation in Slide Show view.

  1. Select slide 1 by clicking on it once.
  2. Click on the Slide Show view button, (you can also change views under View on the menu bar). The first slide of your presentation should now fill your screen.
  3. To bring up the next slide, you can either click the left mouse button, hit the space key, or hit [Enter]. This is how you will run your slide show when giving your presentation to an audience.

When you click on the last slide, PowerPoint will return you to the previous view.

Adding Preset Animation

Having viewed your entire presentation, you now want to animate your bulleted list slide (slide #3), so that each bullet item appears individually as you introduce the idea in your presentation.

  1. To add the desired effect to the bulleted list, first make sure that you are in Slide Sorter View.
  2. Select slide 3 by clicking once on it. A border will appear around the slide.
  3. Click the down arrow on the Preset Animation button on the formatting toolbar. A menu will appear giving you a variety of options for text effects. For this lesson, you will scroll down the menu, and choose Wipe Right.


  4. To test your animation, click on Slide Show view. The slide you are editing will fill the screen. Each time you click in the left mouse button (or hit [Enter], or the space bar), the bulleted list items should materialize individually from the right side of the screen. When the slide presentation has been completed, you will be returned to Slide Sorter view.

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Saving Your Presentation and Exiting PowerPoint

  1. To save your presentation click on the File menu and select Save As, giving you the Save As dialog box. Your home directory should appear in the Save In field in the upper right of the dialog box.
    Example: lsmith on 'Otelia\Lo_home\...
  2. If you wish to save your spreadsheet to a diskette, click on the arrow to the right of the Save In field, and choose 3 1/2 floppy (A:) from the menu.
  3. Name your spreadsheet in the File Name field at the bottom of the dialog box, retaining the .ppt extension.
  4. Click on OK to accept drive choice and filename.
  5. Close PowerPoint by clicking on the File menu and choosing Exit.

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Presenting a PowerPoint Slide Show

To present your slide show to an audience you will need:

  • A PC with PowerPoint or PowerPoint viewer
  • A computer projection system
  • Your presentation file/s on diskette, or loaded on the presentation PC

If you are interested in incorporating a PowerPoint slide show into a classroom or professional presentation, call the User Support Center at x4487 for more information.

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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Stoddard Hall   |  Northampton, MA 01063
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 |  Last updated January 10, 2013

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