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Getting Started with PowerPoint

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

You have just launched PowerPoint and want to get started to design your presentation. You notice that your design panel defaults to a plain white title page but you want to add some style to your presentation. Let's get started.

Setting up your desktop:

In the left hand panel of your screen, choose to have the thumbnails panel show by clicking on the Slides tab. This will allow you to see a layout of all of your slides as you design them.
On the right hand side of your screen, the task panel has defaulted to the New Presentation selections. Click on General Templates to open the template dialog box. Scroll through the many design choices and pick one that suits your presentation. You will see a thumbnail replica of each of the template choices to get an idea of what each of them look like. Remember the principles of effective design when making your selection.

Once you have made your template choice, the task panel defaults automatically to the slide layout view. Use this view to select from a variety of slide layouts as you proceed through designing your presentation.

Starting with your title slide, note that the slide layout has place holders for your title and any sub-title. Type your presentation title and sub-title, if any into the place holder by clicking inside of it. Notice that the design template selects a proper font size and color consistent with your template style choice.
Chose an appropriate slide layout for your 2nd slide. Clicking on the new slide button found on your formatting toolbar will add a slide with bullet point layout. Alternatively, you can use the task panel to select another type of layout. To select a new slide using the task panel, click on the dropdown arrow for the slide layout you want and choose "New Slide" from the menu choice. Avoid clicking on the middle of a slide layout choice as it will change the layout of your active slide. Note that each layout choice has place holders in which to put your design elements.
Continue to select a new slide layout for each slide in your presentation.

Once you have completed all of the slides you want for your presentation, it is a good idea to view it in the slideshow view. Choose from three methods to enter into the slide show view.
Click on the slideshow view button found in the lower left hand corner of the PowerPoint desktop. Remember this view button starts the slideshow from the active slide displayed on your screen. So, if you want to start your slideshow at the beginning, make sure you are on the title screen before clicking on the slideshow view button.
Press F5 to activate the slideshow. The F5 key will always start your slideshow at the title or first screen in the presentation.
Click on the Slideshow menu and select View Show. This method will also always start you slideshow at the title or first screen in the presentation.

As you view your presentation in the slideshow for the first time, you are likely to see places where you want to make edits. I strongly suggest that you complete your review of the presentation noting each slide that you want to edit. You can, however, cancel the slideshow view at any time by pressing the escape button on your keyboard. During the edit phase of creating your presentation, you might consider activating the miniature
slideshow feature while you are editing so that you can immediately see the impact of the edit on the slide show.

PowerPoint has a variety of more advanced features but if you follow the above steps, you will have a good head start on creating a solid basic presentation.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Nunn for details.

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