Basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint 2013 presentation

PowerPoint presentations work like slide shows. To convey a message or a story, you break it down into slides. Think of each slide as a blank canvas for the pictures, words, and shapes that will help you build your story.


Choose a theme

When you open PowerPoint, you’ll see some built-in themes. A theme is a slide design that contains matching colors, fonts, and special effects like shadows, reflections, and more.

  1. Choose a theme.

  2. Click Create, or pick a color variation and then click Create.

    PowerPoint 2013 start screen

Read more: Apply color and design to my slides (theme)

Insert a new slide

On the Home tab, click New Slide, and pick a slide layout.

Insert a new slide

Read more: Add, rearrange, and delete slides.

Save your presentation

  1. On the File tab, click Save.

  2. Pick or browse to a folder.

  3. In the File name box, type a name for your presentation, and then click Save.

Note   If you frequently save files to a certain folder, you can ‘pin’ the path so that it is always available (as shown below).

Save your presentation

Tip    Save your work as you go. Hit Ctrl+S often.

Read more: Save your presentation

Add text

Click inside a text placeholder, and begin typing.

Add text

Format your text

  1. Select the text.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, click Format.

  3. Do one of the following:

  4. To change the color of your text, click Text Fill, and then choose a color.

  5. To change the outline color of your text, click Text Outline, and then choose a color.

  6. To apply a shadow, reflection, glow, bevel, 3-D rotation, a transform, click Text Effects, and then choose the effect you want.

    Format text

Read more:

Add shapes

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.

  2. Pick the shape that you want, click anywhere on the slide, and then drag to draw the shape.

    Insert a shape

    Tip    To create a perfect square or circle (or constrain the dimensions of other shapes), press and hold Shift while you drag.

Read more: Add shapes.

Add pictures

On the Insert tab, do one of the following:

  • To insert a picture that is saved on your local drive or an internal server, click Pictures on my PC, browse for the picture, and then click Insert.

    Add a picture

  • To insert a picture from the Web, click Online Pictures, and use the search box to find a picture.

For example, type Cats or Cats clip art in the Bing Image Search box.

  • Choose a picture, and then click Insert.

Add speaker notes

Slides are best when you don’t cram in too much information. You can put helpful facts and notes in the speaker notes, and refer to them as you present.

  1. To open the notes pane, at the bottom of the window, click Notes.

    Add speaker notes

  2. Click inside the Notes pane below the slide, and begin typing your notes.

Read more: Add speaker notes to each slide in a presentation

Print your speaker notes

  1. On the File tab, click Print.

  2. Under Printer, choose the printer that you want to print to.

  3. Under Settings, next to Full Page Slides, click the down arrow and under Print Layout, click Notes Pages.

  4. Click Print.

    Print your speaker notes

Read more: Print slides with or without speaker notes.

Give your presentation

On the Slide Show tab, do one of the following:

Get out of Slide Show view

To get out of Slide Show view at any time, on the keyboard, press Esc.

Applies To: PowerPoint 2013

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