Creating Your First Slide Show

Open PowerPoint and start a new presentation. Save it with the name Dress for Success First Presentation.

Exercise 1: Look at the Areas of the PowerPoint Window

Open PowerPoint. PowerPoint opens in its default view, called Normal view. There are several panes in this view. There’s the main slide pane in the middle, where you add text and other content to the slide. Its placeholders have default text, such as Click to add title, which disappears when you type.

On the left, you see the area with the single slide thumbnail in it at the top. This is the Slides tab, which looks either like this, with tab labels:

Slide Outline

About the Outline tab     This tab is another place you can type slide text, if you want to organize your textual content off the slide, as part of an outline. Text you type on the Outline tab is also added to the slide.

At the bottom of the window you see the notes pane, which has the default text Click to add notes.

Click to Add Notes

Exercise 2: Type Text

Title Slide/Slide 1

Make sure the Slides tab is the one that’s on top in the left of the window. On this tab, you see one slide thumbnail, and it’s selected. This single slide, always added by default to a new presentation, is a title slide. It has areas for a title and subtitle. It’s ready for editing in the main slide pane in the center.

Title Slide

Start by typing a title and subtitle: On the slide, click in the top text area (the title placeholder), which has a dashed border and the text Click to add title. The text disappears. In the title placeholder, type How to Dress for Success .

Click in the placeholder below this one (or press CTRL+ENTER on the keyboard to get to the next placeholder), and type a subtitle. For this exercise, you’ll put the subtitle on three lines: Type Presented By.

Look at the slide thumbnail on the Slides tab, on the left side of the window. While the text there is small, you can see that text has been typed on the slide, something like this:

Dress for Success

Exercise 3: Add New Slides

In this exercise you’ll add a slide and see the default slide layout for it. Then you’ll add a slide and choose the layout yourself first. After that, learn another way to insert a slide and learn how to change a layout.

Slide 2

The slide that’s in the show is a title slide; its Title Slide layout includes a title placeholder and a subtitle placeholder, as you saw. When you add a new slide, PowerPoint uses a different default slide layout that’s geared for the main slides in the show.

On the Ribbon with the Home tab selected, in the Slides group, look for the New Slide button and click it at the top Top of New Slide, not on the arrow.

New Slide

A new slide is added below the title slide. It becomes the selected slide on the Slides tab, so you see its large version in the slide pane.

The new slide (slide 2) has the layout you saw in the lesson: a title placeholder plus a big placeholder that has both text and a bunch of icons, and that supports a whole range of content. This layout is what PowerPoint adds by default for a slide following the title slide.

Title Slide with Text

Slide 3

Now add a slide and choose the layout yourself. On the Ribbon, in the Slides group, click the arrow next to New Slide Bottom of Slide. You see a gallery of layouts for the new slide, with the Title Slide and Title and Content layouts being the first two. The latter is the default layout that’s on your current slide.

Study the layouts for a minute to see what’s there. Click the Comparison layout.

Comparison Slide

The new slide has this layout, which has two content placeholders that you can use for text or non-text items. Each has a placeholder above it where you’d put heading-type text.

Comparison Slide

Slide 4

Insert a new slide another way. With the third slide still selected, press ENTER. You get a fourth slide. Note that this one inherits the slide layout of the slide that precedes it.

Now change the layout of the slide you just inserted. Right-click the slide 4 thumbnail in the Slides tab, point to Layout on the menu, and click the Title only layout.

Title Only

Slide 4 now has the Content with Caption layout, which has a content placeholder (the one with the icons) on the right. The slide title for this one is at the top on the left, and there’s an additional text placeholder below that, for body text.

Exercise 4: Navigate and Add More Text

Put more text on the slides. As you do so, you’ll move from slide to slide and learn some ways of navigating within the window.

Slide 2

Move to slide 2 by clicking its thumbnail on the Slides tab. (You can click any slide thumbnail to move to that slide.) Click in the title placeholder of slide 2, and type Tips for Guys. Here is now what your second slide should look like:

Slide 2

Slide 3

To move to slide 3, click the slide 3 thumbnail on the Slides tab, or try another way: Click the Next Slide button Next Slide at the bottom of the scroll bar on the right side of the slide. The slide 3 thumbnail is selected, and that slide shows in the slide pane.

Change the slide layout of this slide to Title and Content, the same layout of slide 2.

Click in the title placeholder of slide 3, and type a title Dressing Tips for Gals. Your slide should now look like this:

Dressing for Success

This time, move to the next slide by pressing the PAGE DOWN key.

Slide 4

On slide 4, type a title; Make a Good First Impression.

You now have the beginnings of a slide show, and a sense of how to move from slide to slide while starting to add text.

Exercise 5: Use Text Indents and Formatting

Add more text and work with it.

Slide 2

Display slide 2 (navigate there in the way you find comfortable: press PAGE UP twice, or click slide 2, for example).

On the slide, click the big placeholder below the title, in the text that says Click to add text. The default text disappears so that you can type your own text.

For the first bullet, type What you will need Press ENTER. A second bullet appears. (Note that the icons you’d use to insert pictures and other things disappeared when you typed.)

To indent this bullet to a second text level, a subpoint, press TAB. The second bullet is further indented, and the bullet character changes from a dot to a dash. Type Dress Shirt for this subpoint.

Press ENTER again. This puts the pointer at a new line for a second subpoint. Press TAB so that you indent the text to a third level (the bullet is now a gray bullet), and then type Suit Jacket.

You now have three levels of text, each with a unique bullet style and a different text size.

Three Level Bullets

But let’s say you want this third point to be a top-level bullet, not a third-level subpoint. How do you get it into that top-level text position? Put the pointer at the start of the text, and press SHIFT+TAB. The text moves outward one level. Press SHIFT+TAB again to move it all the way left.

You can also drag text to indent it or decrease its indent. Point to the bullet for the text you just moved left. Look for the four-headed pointer:

MOve Bullet

Drag this pointer to the left, until it’s under the D in “Dress shirt,” and you’ll see a gray vertical bar that lines up with the Dress shirt bullet. . Release the button, and the text is now a second-level bullet point.

Two more ways to move bulleted list are by using a button on the Ribbon. In the Paragraph group, click the Decrease List Level button Decrease Indent once to move a bulleted item to the left. To Increase List Level use theIncrease List Level button Increase Indent, which moves the item to the right.

Exercise 6: Work with Text AutoFit

PowerPoint automatically shrinks text to fit it into the placeholder if paragraph length starts to exceed available space. In these steps, see how AutoFit works.

Slide 2

On slide 2, in your second main bulleted point press the ENTER key to put your cursor on the line below Suit jacket. Type the remaining items shown below, using the second bullet point as used above:

Bullet List

After the text shifts, you’ll see a button to the left of the placeholder. This is the AutoFit Options button. When you point to it, its ScreenTip appears. Click the button and view its menu. You have several alternatives here if you don’t want PowerPoint to reduce the list’s font size or line spacing.


You can click Stop Fitting Text to This Placeholder to undo the adjustment PowerPoint just made. The list will revert to its original spacing and size. You can also choose to split the list across two slides or into two columns, and keep the original font size and spacing. On the menu, click Change to two Columns. If your text items are briefly worded, this might be your solution.

Note, too, that you can turn off AutoFit altogether, so it won’t apply to any of your lists. You may wish to do this if you want to keep the font size and line spacing exactly the same on every slide. You can do this and still get the options to help you manage text that spills over.

To do so, let’s work with the AutoFit Options button again. On the Quick Access Toolbar, in the top left of the window, click the arrow next to Undo, and click Columns Dialog as the thing to undo. This will take you back to the point where the button was displayed.

Undo Columns

The list reverts to a single column, and the AutoFit Options button is there, on the left of the list’s placeholder. It will stay until you’ve taken an action to fit the list into the placeholder.

Click the AutoFit Options button, and this time choose Control AutoCorrect Options at the bottom of the menu.

In the AutoCorrect dialog box, look at the section called Apply as you type. It shows you all of the automatic formatting that’s currently activated (the selected check boxes). To turn off text AutoFit for all body text (as opposed to title text) placeholders, clear the check box next to AutoFit body text to placeholder by clicking it. Click OK.

Back on the slide, the AutoFit Options button is still there. Display its menu. You still get all those options to split the list into two and so on, but what’s gone are the top two, the one to apply text AutoFit and the other to stop text AutoFit. No automatic reduction happens now because you’ve turned the feature off.

However, anytime text spills outside a placeholder, you’ll get the AutoFit Options button with the menu options you see now.

On the AutoFit Options button menu, click Change to Two Columns.

Change to Two Columns

This is how slide 2 should now look.

Two Column Bullet LIst

Tip You can change options in the AutoCorrect dialog box at any time. To open it, click the Microsoft Office Button Office Button (upper-left corner of the PowerPoint window); click PowerPoint Options at the bottom of its menu; click Proofing, and click AutoCorrect Options in the top portion of the window.

Slide 3

Go to slide 3 and type the list shown below formatted to two columns:

:Dress for Success List

Exercise 7: Type and View Notes

You will now type speaker notes. Below the slide pane is the notes pane. Its default text says Click to add notes. To make the notes pane bigger so it’s easier to see what you’re typing, point to the top of the notes pane and look for the pointer to change to a double-headed arrow Enlarge Notes Area. This is called the split bar. Drag the split bar upward to make the notes pane a little bigger.

Click on Slide 2. Click in the notes pane and type :Look Like Press ENTER.

On the new line, type Show Pics

Turn this text into a bulleted list. First, select it. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Bullets button Bullet List


Now see how the notes look in Notes Page view. To open Notes Page view, on the Ribbon, click the View tab and then in the Presentation Views group, click Notes Page Notes Page.

This view gives you an idea of what to expect when you print the notes. Check this view as you work to see all your notes formatting and make sure your text is fitting into the notes page. (You’ll get more detail about printing in the lesson “Proof, print, prep for the show.”)

On the notes page, the slide is reproduced at the top and your notes appear in the placeholder below that. You can type text here and apply formatting, too.

Notes Page

On the notes page, click within the notes text you’ve already typed; the text placeholder’s border appears (dashed border in the bottom half of the page). To see your notes text a little better, zoom in on it. Use the Zoom slider in the lower right of the PowerPoint window, dragging it toward the Zoom In button \ :

Zoom In

Put the pointer at the end of the second line and press ENTER. Type a third bullet point:Good Practices

Bullet List

To restore the zoom to what it was, click the Fit slide to current window button Fit Slide to the right of the Zoom slider.

Important     The placeholder on the notes page marks how much room you have for the notes. If your text exceeds the placeholder, it will get cut off when you print. In the notes page, you can shorten it until it fits.

To return to Normal view, click the Normal button Normal Button, to the left of the Zoom slider.

Back in Normal view, in the notes pane you’ll see the additional text that you typed on the notes page while in Notes Page view.

Earlier you dragged the split bar to make the notes pane larger. Now reset the panes in Normal view so they are at their original sizes. On the Ribbon, the View tab should still be displayed. Click and hold the Normal button, Normal Buttonand press CTRL at the same time. The panes will be resized.

Tip     PowerPoint has a view called Presenter View, which is available when you have dual monitors. It allows you to view your notes on-screen on a separate monitor as you present. See the Quick Reference Card for additional resources that describe this view.

Resave your document.