Create a basic PowerPoint presentation

This article is a great place to start learning (or remembering) how to use PowerPoint.

By the end of this article, you will have a new PowerPoint presentation, and a solid foundation of knowledge and confidence about using PowerPoint 2010. This article suggests a framework of tasks, including descriptions of each task with hyperlinks to each of the procedures that you can use to build your presentation.

Note: Depending on the complexity of your presentation, you may not need to perform all of the procedures referenced in this article. Although you can perform the procedures in any sequence, the order shown below is recommended.

Links to Help articles

This article contains:

Familiarize yourself with the PowerPoint workspace

A quick tour of working in a PowerPoint window

Name and save your presentation

Procedures on how to name and save your presentation

Add, rearrange, and delete slides

Procedures on how to add, rearrange, or delete slides in your presentation

Add text to a slide

Procedures on how to:

  • Add text to a text box

  • Add text that is part of a shape

  • Add text that is independent of a shape

Apply a template to your presentation

Procedures on how to:

  • Apply a template that is built-in to PowerPoint

  • Apply a template that is created by you and then saved to your computer

  • Download a free PowerPoint template from or a third-party Web site, and apply it to your presentation

    Tip: Applying a pre-made template can save you time.

Apply a theme to add color and style to your presentation

Procedures on how to add color, and format and apply effects to text and other elements in a presentation

Tip: If you have applied a pre-made template you most likely will not want to change the theme colors, fonts, and styles.

Insert a picture

Procedures on how to add a picture or images

Add, change, or delete shapes

Procedures on how to add, change, and delete many different shapes

Insert a screenshot or screen clipping

Procedures on how to insert a screen capture and other content

Create a SmartArt graphic

Procedures on how to create designer-quality illustrations with only a few clicks of your mouse

Add slide numbers, page numbers, or the date and time

Procedures on how to add slide numbers, page numbers, or the date and time to slides, notes pages, and handouts

Create a hyperlink

Procedures on how to:

  • Create a hyperlink to a slide in the same presentation

  • Create a hyperlink to a slide in a different presentation

  • Create a hyperlink to a page or file on the Web

  • Create a hyperlink to an e-mail address

  • Create a hyperlink to a new file

Deliver and distribute your presentation

Provides a link to procedures to the many different methods for which you can deliver or distribute a presentation

View your speaker notes privately, while delivering a presentation on multiple monitors

How to view your presentation and your speaker notes on one computer (your laptop, for example), while your audience views the notes-free presentation on a different monitor (projected on a larger screen, for example), and how to set up Presenter view

Print your slides or handouts

Procedures on how to:

  • Set the slide size, page orientation, and starting slide number

  • Set printing options and then print your slides or handouts

  • Save your print settings

Create and print notes pages

Procedures on how to:

  • Create notes pages

  • Create more space for your notes

  • Add art or formatting to all notes pages

  • Display notes pages on a Web page

  • Print notes pages with slide thumbnails

  • Print notes pages without slide thumbnails

Print your slides

An overview of printing in PowerPoint, and procedures on how to set the slide size and orientation for printing, and how to print your slides

What's new in PowerPoint 2010

Information about the new features in PowerPoint 2010

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