"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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Introduction to Power Point

Developed by

Helen Rallis & Al Roline

These guidelines were designed as the first of two lessons on creating Power Point Presentations (guidelines to this second lesson can be found online at http://www.d.umn.edu/~hrallis/5413su00/HowTo/PP/PP2.html) In this first lesson you will learn to do the following

Overview of topics in these guidelines:

  1. Opening the Power Point program
  2. Viewing Power Point Presentations
  3. Creating Slides
  4. Changing the design of slides (apply design)
  5. Inserting and formatting text
  6. Inserting text boxes
  7. Moving and resizing text boxes and objects
  8. Inserting Clip Art
  9. Inserting Photographs, video clips, and sound
  10. Drawing your own graphics
  11. Changing the color of an object
  12. Creating build effects
  13. Creating transitions
  14. Printing
  15. Using the AutoContent Wizard

Free: Download Power Point Viewer (for PCs) -- to show a Power Point Presentation even if you don't have the Power Point program

Opening the Power Point program:

Click on the Start button at the bottom left corner of your screen and scroll up to Programs. Move to the pointer right to find the Microsoft PowerPoint icon in the list of programs. Click on the Microsoft PowerPoint icon. This will open a small screen, called a dialogue box:

opening screen choices

This screen prompts you to make a selection from the following:

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Viewing PowerPoint presentations

Slide Views:

Power Point presentations can be shown in 5 different views. To see the sample presentation in each of these views, click the View menu. This will list the following views:

Practice using each of the views. You can switch between view options either by using the View menu or clicking on the small view buttons shown at the bottom left of the screen.

icon of view buttons

When you hold the selection arrow over them the name of the view will appear, making it easier for your to locate the view you want.

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Creating Slides

Open the PowerPoint program (as described above), or, if you already have the program, from the File menu (top left of the screen), select new. A new presentation dialog box appears. Select the icon that says blank presentation and click the OK button.

A New Slide dialog box appears, showing you the choices of slide layouts. Move the pointer over each of the slide choices, clicking once on each (don't double click as this will create a slide). As you click on each slide the name of the slide format appears in the gray box on the right. Explore the different layout options that are available.

screen shot of choose auto layout

Create a title slide:

Since the first slide of a presentation is usually the title slide, start your presentation by double clicking on the title slide. A title slide will appear. The words Click to add title and click to add sub-title are shown in dotted boxes. Click on the first box and type in the name of your presentation. Then click in the next box, this time typing in your name and any other information you might want to include in the sub-title box.

Adding a new slide:

You can do this in a variety of ways:

This will take you to the new slide dialog box (see above) and you can now choose the format for your next slide. Example: Title slide, bulleted slide, graph slide, 2 column text slide, text and clip art slide.

Bulleted list slide:

  1. Add a bulleted list slide. The first step is to type in a title for the slide. Tip: Use the same format for all slide titles, so if if you capitalize the title on one slide, do this on all slides, or use lower case on all.
  2. Click in the add text box and type the first point. Notice that a bullet appears in front of the phrase.
  3. Press the enter key. A new bulleted line appears.
  4. To change the bullet appearance:
  5. Click on the Format menu and select bullet. This will produce a Bullet dialog box that enables you to choose the bullet symbol, color, and size. When you click once on a symbol, an enlarged image of the bullet will appear so you can see what it will look like. When you have found one you like, click the OK button. Experiment with different bullet formats.
  6. If you want to indent items within a bulleted list to create a sub-list, select the items you want to indent and then click on the demote button on the tool bar.

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Changing the design of slides (apply design):

PowerPoint comes with a series of slide designs. You can change the design of the slides by:

  1. Clicking on the apply design icon on the on the formatting toolbar at the top of the screen. When you do this a Presentations Designs dialog box appears.
  2. Click on designs in the list to preview what they look like (a small picture of the design will show in a window when you click once on a design name). When you find one that you like, click the apply button.
  3. Even though the design you have chosen may look good on your computer screen, it may not necessarily be effective when projected on a screen (the font on some designs is difficult to read). You should therefore check this before giving a presentation, or if this is not possible, select a design that you know works well, such as dark text on light background, or white text on black background.

Tip: If you intend to print handouts of your slides (usually 3 or 6 slides per page), you can preview what your slides will look like in black and white by clicking on the black and white icon on the formatting toolbar at the top of the screen (when printed in black and white, some slide designs make it very difficult to read the text).

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Inserting and formatting text:

Once you have created a slide you can type text in the pre-formatted text boxes provided on the slide, or you can create text boxes. For pre-formatted text boxes:

  1. Click in the text box and begin typing. The font size, color, and style will be predetermined by the presentation design that you have chosen (Later you can experiment with changing the Presentation Design and notice how the font changes). You can change the font, but do so with caution as the default has been selected for what works best for each slide layout and design.
  2. To change font size: Drag across the words you wish to reformat, then from the format menu bar select font. This will bring up the Font dialog box which allows you to change the font, font style, size, effects, and color.

(You can also change the font color by clicking on the font color button on the drawing tool bar (at the bottom of the screen) and the font size button on the formatting toolbar at the top of the screen).

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Inserting text boxes:

Typically presentations include text in the form of bulleted lists. However, you may want to add text someone else on the slide (separate from the bulleted list). To do this:

  1. Click on the Rectangle icon near the bottom of the screen. rectangle iconThis will change your cursor to a "plus" sign.
  2. Click anywhere on your slide and, without releasing the left mouse button, drag a rectangular box about 2 inches square.
  3. Click on the Text Box icon text box iconnear the bottom of the screen, and then click on the box you just created in step 2. This will highlight the box and place a text cursor on the box.
  4. Type in the box. (Note:You may find that the text overflows the box and is generally ugly.)
    Double click on the highlighted edge of the box. This opens a Format AutoShape dialog box. Select the Text Box tab, and then check the little box saying Word wrap text in autoshape. Click OK.
  5. You can fit the text in the box either by changing the box size or by changing the font size:
    1. Changing the box size: With the box highlighted, click once on one of the tiny square boxes along the border of the box and drag it to the desired size.
    2. Changing the font size: Select the text in the box by triple-clicking any word in the text. On your toolbar above the slide, change the font size by selecting a smaller number than the one currently listed.

Copying box (or any object)

  1. It is often easier to create a single box, get it the way we want, and then simply copy the box and replace the text for subsequent boxes. You can duplicate any object by selecting it, copying it to the clipboard, and pasting it to your slide. Here's how you go through the process with this box:
  2. Select the box by clicking somewhere on its edge. If you can see the cursor flashing in the box, the box is not selected. You need to select the box by clicking somewhere on its border.
  3. Select Copy from the Edit menu. (Hint: You can also click on the Copy icon copy iconon your toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C)
  4. Select Paste from the Edit menu (or click on the Paste icon paste iconor use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V). This pastes a copy of the original box on the screen.
  5. You can then move copy of the box to any place on the slide by clicking on it and dragging it.

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Moving and resizing text boxes and objects:

  1. To move any object, click and hold down the mouse button so that the pointer turns into a 4-way arrow. Then drag the object to the desired destination and unclick to "drop" the object.
  2. To resize a box or object, click and drag on one of the top, side, or corner boxes (handle bars). resize handles icon
  3. The top and side ones make the object narrower or shorter (and do not keep the original proportions of the object). The corner handlebars enable you to reduce the object size while maintaining its original proportions.

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Inserting clip art:

Clip art refers to pictures that can be inserted into presentations. Power Point comes with a library of clip art. This can be inserted in a variety of ways:

  1. Click on the Clip Art icon in the tool bar clip art icon
  2. From the Insert menu, select Picture and then follow the arrow to the right and select Clip Art.
  3. If you are using a Text & Clip Art slide, there will be a a clip art box on the slide. Double click the clip art icon on this slide.
  4. Any of the above options will open the clip art gallery dialog box. You can view all categories or select one category from the list.
  5. Double click on your choice of clip art (or click on it once and then click the OK button). This inserts the image on your slide. If necessary you can then resize it and drag it to a different place on the slide.

For additional clip art (outside of PowerPoint):

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Inserting photographs, video clips, and sound:

To insert photographs, video clips, or sound, you follow a similar procedure to inserting clip art (see above).

From the Insert menu, select Picture and then follow the arrow to the right and select From File.You will be prompted to identify the source of the picture. Locate the drive and folder in which you have the picture/video/sound (best to keep it in the same folder as the rest of your power point presentation). Alternative option for photographs: Open the picture, copy it (using edit -- copy), switch to your power point presentation, and paste the photo into the slide.

(Note: Inserting photographs, video clips, or sound is covered in detail in the Intermediate Power Point Workshop)

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Drawing your own graphics:

To can insert lines, boxes, and an assortment of shapes you will use the drawing tool bar (usually found at the bottom of your screen) .

  1. Autoshapes allows you to create a variety of shapes:
    screen shot of auto shapes choices
    Select from the list and then move the pointer onto the slide. The pointer will turn into a cross. Click with the cross at the point where you want to draw the shape and drag across the screen, then release. You can then resize the object using the handlebars, or change the object color (see "Changing background color of the box" and "Moving and resizing text boxes and objects" above).
  2. arrow iconThe arrow is for drawing different kinds of arrows. Click on this and then move the pointer onto the slide. The pointer will turn into a cross. Click with the cross at the point where you want your arrow to begin and drag across the screen, then release. To choose the style of the arrow, click on the arrow that you have drawn and then select the arrow style icon from the tool bar:

    arrow style icon
    Click on the style of your choice from the list that appears.
  3. line iconThe line is for drawing lines, and works in the same way as the arrow. You can also change the line style by using the line and dash style icons found on this same tool bar.
  4. shadow iconThe shadow and 3-D tools are for creating shadow and 3-D effects on other images. To use these you first have to draw an autoshape or a box using the rectangle or oval tools
  5. Click on the rectangle or oval rectangle icon and follow the same steps as you would for drawing an autoshape (see above). Once you have drawn your image on the screen, click on it and then select either the shadow or 3-D icon. Make your selection from the shadow or 3-D choices that appear.

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Changing the color of an object:

  1. Double-click on the object to bring up the Format AutoShape dialog box. Select the Colors and Lines tab.
  2. Click on the color and select the desired color from the choices that appear, or click on More Colors to give you a wider choice of colors. When you have made your choice, click OK.
  3. Fill Effects: In the Format AutoShape dialog box:
    1. select the Colors and Lines tab, .click on the color and choose Fill Effects.
    2. click on the One Color radio button and move the slider all the way over to Light.
    3. Under Shading Styles, select any of the shading styles you think would be attractive (Hint: click on the radio buttons to see what each of the styles look like, then click on the appropriately shaded box). Click OK and click OK again.

You can also change the color of an object by clicking on the object and then clicking on the Fill Color icon fill icon on the drawing tool bar. Then follow the same steps as above.

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Creating build effects:

Usually you should use build effects only for slides that have separate lines of text and for which it is appropriate to have participants see one line at a time rather than the full text. You may also use this if want images to appear at a different time to the text.

  1. In slide view, have open the slide that you wish to animate.
  2. From the menu select Slide Show and choose Custom Animation. This will bring up the Custom Animation dialog box.

    screen shot of custom animation box
  3. Usually this box is set to default to the Timing tab (if it isn't, click on this). A small picture of your slide appears in the top right window and a list of the objects on your slide in the bottom left window.
  4. Click on the object or text that you want to animate (usually the bulleted text box, which will be called something like, "Text 2." ("Text 1" is usually the page title).
  5. Where it says, Start animation, select animate. It's best to set this to on mouse click if you are going to be giving the presentation (if you want the presentation to loop automatically, choose that option, but for now use the former choice).
  6. Now select the Effects tab.

    screen shot of effects box
  7. Choose the entry animation and sound from the lists (so that items appear one at a time from the direction you choose and making the sound you choose).
    Tip: While it's fun it create presentations that have items appearing randomly and with sound effects, for the audience this is very distracting. It's usually more effective to have items appear as fast as possible from the same direction, without any sound.
  8. If you want a line of text to dim once the next line of text appears, under After animation select the dim color. You can preview what this looks like by clicking on the Preview button. This dim effect helps your audience focus on the point you are discussing, but still allows them to see the whole list.

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Creating transitions:

  1. From the menu select Slide Show and choose Slide Transition. This will bring up the Slide Transition dialog box.

    screen shot of slide transition box
  2. Click on the arrows next to where it says No Transition and select one of the options. Tip: It's usually best to have the slides advance on mouse click rather than automatically and without any sound.
  3. Usually it's best to have the same transitions for all slides, so select the Apply to all button.

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Click on print icon or go to File menu and select print. A Print dialogue box appears, asking you to select what you want to print. Choose from:

(Note: If you provide a handout to participants, it is best to print only 2 or 3 slides per page, to enable people to take notes alongside the slide during the presentation).

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Using the AutoContent Wizard:

Once you select this option, a dialog box will appear and you will be prompted through a series of screens.

screen shot of autocontent wizard
  1. Presentation type: This asks you to select the type of presentation from a list. You can view all, or select by category (choosing from the list of buttons on the left). When you have made your selection, click on the Next button.
  2. Output options: This asks you if you will use the presentation for (a) Presentations, informal meetings, handouts of (b) the Internet, kiosk. Choose the former for now. Click on the Next button.
  3. Presentation style: Make your choice depending on your goal. Usually you'll select On-screen presentation. Also select Yes for printing handouts. Click on the Next button.
  4. Presentation options: Type in the information in the boxes provided. This information will appear on your slides, so you do need to fill it in. Click on the Finish button.

Your AutoContent Wizard slide show appears in outline view. You will use this to enter the content of each slide. This outline prompts you by providing a suggested title for each slide. Under the title a series of bulleted prompts suggest what you could include on the slide.

  1. Creating the presentation: To enter the information you want for your presentation, delete the prompt and type whatever you wish to include.
  2. Deleting slides: You may not want to include one or more of the slides in the outline. Delete the slides you don't want by highlighting the slide icon and then hitting the delete key.
  3. View slides: you are done, or at any point when you are typing in the outline, you can view the slides you are creating by clicking on the Slide View Icon.
  4. Save your presentation (under file menu).

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