Add and format text

Import a Word outline into PowerPoint

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If you've already jotted down an outline of your presentation in Word and now need a quick way to add it to your slides, you can import a Word outline into PowerPoint.

Create an outline in Word

  1. Open Word.

  2. Select View > Outline. This automatically generates an outline and opens the Outlining tools:

    • If your document has headings (any heading levels from H1-H9), you’ll see those headings organized by level.

    • If your document doesn’t have headings and subheadings yet, the outline will appear as a bulleted list with a separate bullet for each paragraph or body text. To assign or edit headings, heading levels, and set up your document structure:

      • Select a bulleted item.

      • In the Outline Level box, select a heading level as needed.

      • When finished or to edit your document, select Close Outline View.

Save an outline in Word

  • To save your document, select Save, name your file, and then select Save once more. Select Close to close your document.

    Note: Your Word document must be closed to insert it into a PowerPoint presentation.

Import a Word outline into PowerPoint

  1. Open PowerPoint, and select Home > New Slide.

  2. Select Slides from Outline.

  3. In the Insert Outline dialog box, find and select your Word outline and select Insert.

    Note: If your Word document contains no Heading 1 or Heading 2 styles, PowerPoint will create a slide for each paragraph in your content.

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Use Outline View to manage headings and arrange text

Create a document outline in Outline View

Import a Word document

Let's open up Word where I have a document that I've been working on.

This is a great way to brain-dump your ideas in a Word document, turn it into an outline, and import it into PowerPoint.

Here's where I've been typing my ideas for my presentation.

Some of these are going to be headings, some of these I'd like to be in my slides as sub-headings.

The key is to turn it into an outline, first, in Microsoft Word.

Like PowerPoint, Word also has an outline view.

Click the View ribbon tab in Word and choose Outline on the left-hand side.

Here's where I can see my entire document as bulleted points.

Like any outline, you can promote some items and demote other items.

Once you create a Level format, that's what PowerPoint uses to create the slides.

Anything that's a Level one element, PowerPoint is going to create a new slide for that.

Anything that's a Level two element, PowerPoint is going to include on a Level one slide.

This is going to be my title slide, Landon Hotel Employee Guide.

At the very top where it says Body Text, I'm going to change this to Level one.

The easiest way to do this is to go through and set all your Level one items first, that is, items that you want on a new slide.

The story behind Landon Hotel I'm going to include on a new slide, so I'll also set that to Level one.

My employee definitions, these can be Level one, as can be my definitions for exempt and non-exempt.

In previous versions of Microsoft Office, it was okay to leave these as it is and PowerPoint would be able to figure out the slide elements.

However, in the newer versions of PowerPoint and Word, we'll need to take these items and designate them as Level twos in order for PowerPoint to be able to correctly place them.

I'm going to highlight these items, and I'll set them to Level two.

Here's my employee definitions.

I'll set these to Level two as well as my definitions here.

You can go back and edit your document at any time by clicking Close Outline View.

This is going to take me back to the document so I can work on it.

You'll notice that anything that's defined as a Level one has been given the style Heading one.

All of my other items have been given Heading twos.

Let's save this and then we'll import it into PowerPoint.

I'll save it to the Desktop so I can find it easily.

I'll call it Outline.

Click Save, and now let's close out of it, and open up a new presentation in PowerPoint.

From the Home ribbon tab, click the down arrow next to New slide and choose Slides from Outline.

It's going to bring me to a browse dialog box, I'll choose the outline that we just saved, and I'll click Insert.

Here you can see that PowerPoint has beautifully aligned everything and created a presentation for us based on our outline.

All the bullet points are in the right place, all my text is in the right place, and everything is ready to go.

At any time I can change the theme, I can change the slide layout, and everything will look fantastic.

This is a very easy way to work with text, get your presentation skeleton outline all done, and then add the visuals.

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