Add speaker notes to your slides

When you are creating a presentation, you can add speaker notes that you can refer to later while delivering the slide show to an audience.

During your presentation, the speaker notes are visible on your monitor, but aren't visible to the audience. So the Notes pane is the place to store talking points that you want to mention when you give your presentation.

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Add notes while creating your presentation

The Notes pane is a box that appears below each slide. (It is outlined in magenta in the picture below.) An empty Notes pane will prompt you with text that says, Click to add notes. Type your speaker notes there. If you don’t see the Notes pane or it is completely minimized, click Notes on the task bar across the bottom of the PowerPoint window (also marked in magenta in the picture below).

Shows the speaker Notes pane in PowerPoint

If your notes exceed the allotted length of the Notes pane, a vertical scroll bar appears on the side of the pane. In PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2016, you can also enlarge the Notes pane by pointing your mouse at the top line of the pane and then dragging upward after the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow.

What the notes look like in Presenter view

When your computer is connected to a projector and you start the slide show This button starts a slide show, beginning from the first slide in the presentation. , Presenter View appears on your computer's screen, while only the slides appear on the projector screen. In Presenter view, you can see your notes as you present, while the audience sees only your slides:

Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016, with a circle around the Speaker Notes

The notes appear in a pane on the right. The text should wrap automatically, and a vertical scroll bar appears if necessary. You can also change the size of the text in the Notes pane by using the two buttons at the lower left corner of the Notes pane:

Change the size of the text in the Notes pane in Presenter view

Presenter view isn't something you have to create. PowerPoint cobbles it together it for you by gathering the notes you've typed for each slide and pairing them with a set of controls for navigating through your presentation.

By default, PowerPoint is set to use Presenter view when you run a slide show. You can change this setting on the Slide Show tab of the PowerPoint ribbon:

The Presenter View option is controlled by a check box on the Slide Show tab of the ribbon in PowerPoint.

Read Start the presentation and see your notes in Presenter view for more details about how to see and use Presenter view.

Print speaker notes

See Print slides with or without speaker notes.

See Also

Print slides with or without speaker notes

Start the presentation and see your notes in Presenter view

Transfer slides from one presentation to another

Add notes to your slides

To add notes to your slides, do the following:

  1. On the View menu, click Normal.

  2. Select the thumbnail of the slide you want to add notes to.

    Shows a slide selected in the thumbnail pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

  3. The notes pane will appear beneath your slide. Click where it says Click to add notes and type whatever notes you'd like to add.

    Shows the notes pane in PowerPoint 216 for Mac

  4. To hide the notes pane, click the Notes button Shows the Notes button in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac on the task bar. To show the notes pane again, click it again.

View your notes while you present

If you want to view your notes while you're presenting but make sure your audience only sees what you've put on the slide itself, use presenter view. Here's how:

  1. On the View menu, click Presenter View.

  2. You'll see the main slide that you're presenting, a preview of the next slide, and any notes you've added for the current slide below the preview of the next slide.

    Shows notes in Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

    Your audience will only the slides that you're presenting in your presentation, and not your notes.

See Also

Print your slides and handouts

Use presenter view in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Add a note

In normal view, you can add notes directly under the slide as you create your presentation.

  1. In the navigation pane, click the slide you want to add notes to.

    1. On the View menu, click Normal.

    2. In the top of the navigation pane, click the Slides  Slides tab  tab, and then click a slide. Depending on the width of the navigation pane, you will either see the Slides named tab and Outline named tab  named tabs or the Slides  Slides tab and Outline  Outline tab icon tabs.  

  2. Click in the notes pane located below the slide, and then type your note for the current slide.

    Tips: 

    • If you don't see the notes pane, drag the bar that is located below the slide.

    • You can apply text formatting such as bold, italic, and underline to the notes. Text formatting is visible in presenter view and notes page view.

Take meeting notes while you present

In presenter view, any speaker notes that you made for a slide when you created the presentation appear on the left side of the notes pane. You can also type meeting notes while you present.

  • Click inside the notes pane on the right, and then type your notes.

    Note: When you exit presenter view, the meeting notes appear below the speaker notes for that slide.

Change or format a note on a slide

You can change the text or format a note while you create a slide or before you print handouts that contain both slides and notes. You can apply text formatting such as bold, italic, and underline to the notes. Text formatting is visible in presenter view and notes page view.

  1. In the navigation pane, click the slide that you want to add notes to.

    1. On the View menu, click Normal.

    2. In the top of the navigation pane, click the Slides  Slides tab  tab, and then click a slide. Depending on the width of the navigation pane, you will either see the Slides named tab and Outline named tab  named tabs or the Slides  Slides tab and Outline  Outline tab icon tabs.  

  2. On the View menu, click Notes Page.

  3. Do any of the following:

    To

    Do this

    Modify notes

    Click in the notes pane, and then type your changes.

    Format your notes

    Select part or all of the text in the notes pane, and then make the formatting changes that you want.

    Text formatting such as bold, italic, underline, and bulleted lists appears under notes in both presenter view and normal view. Font formatting such as font size, font type, and font color only appears under notes in presenter view. Some changes that you can make in notes page view—for example, WordArt or images—are included in printed handouts but do not appear in normal view or presenter view.

See Also

Print your slides and handouts

Deliver your presentation

PowerPoint Online lets you create speaker notes, but it doesn't have the ability to show you speaker notes while you're presenting your slide show.

Create speaker notes

  • On the View tab of the ribbon, in the Show group, select Notes On the View tab of the ribon, in the Show group, select Notes. .

    The pane appears across the bottom portion of the PowerPoint window, with cursor blinking, ready for you to begin typing.

    The Notes pane appears across the bottom portion of the window.

The size of the Notes pane can't be changed, but a vertical scroll bar appears on the right side if your notes exceed the allotted size of the pane.

See speaker notes while presenting

Currently you must use a desktop version of PowerPoint to see speaker notes while you're presenting.

Print speaker notes

If you're an Office 365 subscriber and your presentation is stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, you can print your speaker notes. See Print your PowerPoint slides, handouts, or notes for more information.

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