Create a presentation in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac from a Word outline

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You can use an outline in a Word document to create a presentation in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. To set up the slides in a presentation, PowerPoint uses the outline levels or heading styles in your Word document. For example, each line of text that is formatted with the with the Level 1 or Heading 1 style becomes the title of a new slide, and each Level 2 or Heading 2 becomes the first level of text on that slide.

Important: You must apply an outline level or a heading format to the text you want to include in a slide. Any text not formatted as an outline level or heading (for example, text formatted as Normal) will not appear in your PowerPoint presentation.

Note: You can only import an outline that is saved as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Instructions for saving in this file format are included below.

Step 1: Create an outline in Word

Note: If you already have an outline created in Word, simply ensure that outline levels or heading styles are applied to your outline as described in steps 1 through 3, and then proceed to step 4.

  1. Create a new document in Word, and then click Outline on the View tab.

    Outline button

    The Outlining tab and tools appear.

    Outlining tab

  2. Type your outline, and define your slide headings by using the Demote Demote button and Promote Promote button buttons to adjust the levels of indentation.

    Alternatively, you can click the Home tab, and define your slide headings by applying heading levels in the Styles group.

    Heading styles

  3. Format your outline so that PowerPoint can understand which line of text is a slide title, a first-level bullet, a second-level bullet, and so on:

    • Use Level 1 or Heading 1 for slide titles.

    • Use Level 2 or Heading 2 for first-level bullets.

    • Use Level 3 or Heading 3 for second-level bullets, and so on.

  4. Click File > Save As.

  5. In the File Format box, select Rich Text Format (.rtf), and then click Save.

    Saving as an .rtf file

Step 2: Import the outline to create PowerPoint slides

  1. In a new PowerPoint presentation, click the first slide. Or, in an existing PowerPoint presentation, click the slide that you want the outline to appear after.

  2. On the Home tab, click the arrow next to New Slide, and then click Outline.

    Inserting a Word outline in PowerPoint

  3. Locate the outline file (.rtf) that you want to insert, and then click Insert.

    A new slide is created in your PowerPoint presentation for each Level 1 or Heading 1 line of text from your Word document, and bullets are created on those slides for each subsequent level or heading.

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