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6 Simple Parts for Beginners to Create a PowerPoint Presentation

Last Updated: December 19, 2022 Fact Checked

Creating a New PowerPoint

Creating the title slide, adding a new slide, adding content to slides, adding transitions, testing and saving your presentation.

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Darlene Antonelli, MA . Darlene Antonelli is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. Darlene has experience teaching college courses, writing technology-related articles, and working hands-on in the technology field. She earned an MA in Writing from Rowan University in 2012 and wrote her thesis on online communities and the personalities curated in such communities. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 4,308,644 times. Learn more...

Do you want to have your data in a slide show? If you have Microsoft 365, you can use PowerPoint! PowerPoint is a program that's part of the Microsoft Office suite (which you have to pay for) and is available for both Windows and Mac computers. This wikiHow teaches you how to create your own Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on a computer.

Things You Should Know

  • Templates make it easy to create vibrant presentations no matter your skill level.
  • When adding photos, you can adjust their sizes by clicking and dragging in or out from their corners.
  • You can add animated transitions between slides or to individual elements like bullet points and blocks of text.

Step 1 Open PowerPoint.

  • If you don't have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, you can use the website instead of the desktop app. Go to https://powerpoint.office.com/ to use the website version.
  • You can also use the mobile app to make presentations, though it's easier to do this on a computer, which has a larger screen, a mouse, and a keyboard.

Step 2 Select a template.

  • If you don't want to use a template, just click the Blank option in the upper-left side of the page and skip to the next part.

Step 3 Select a theme if possible.

  • Skip this step if your selected template has no themes available.

Step 4 Click Create.

  • If you're creating a PowerPoint presentation for which an elaborate title slide has been requested, ignore this step.

Step 2 Add a title.

  • You can change the font and size of text used from the Home tab that's in the orange ribbon at the top of the window.

Step 3 Add the subtitle.

  • You can also just leave this box blank if you like.

Step 4 Rearrange the title text boxes.

  • You can also click and drag in or out one of a text box's corners to shrink or enlarge the text box.

Step 1 Click the Insert tab.

  • On a Mac, you'll click the Home tab instead. [1] X Research source

Step 2 Click New Slide ▼.

  • Clicking the white slide-shaped box above this option will result in a new text slide being inserted.

Step 3 Select a type of slide.

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

Step 4 Add any other slides that you think you'll need.

  • Naturally, the title slide should be the first slide in your presentation, meaning that it should be the top slide in the left-hand column.

Step 1 Select a slide.

  • Skip this step and the next two steps if your selected slide uses a template that doesn't have text boxes in it.

Step 3 Add text to the slide.

  • Text boxes in PowerPoint will automatically format the bulk of your text for you (e.g., adding bullet points) based on the context of the content itself.
  • You can add notes that the Presentation will not include (but you'll still be able to see them on your screen) by clicking Notes at the bottom of the slide.

Step 4 Format the slide's text.

  • You can change the font of the selected text by clicking the current font's name and then clicking your preferred font.
  • If you want to change the size of the text, click the numbered drop-down box and then click a larger or smaller number based on whether you want to enlarge or shrink the text.
  • You can also change the color, bolding, italicization, underlining, and so on from here.

Step 5 Add photos to the slide.

  • Photos in particular can be enlarged or shrunk by clicking and dragging out or in one of their corners.

Step 7 Repeat this for each slide in your presentation.

  • Remember to keep slides uncluttered and relatively free of distractions. It's best to keep the amount of text per slide to around 33 words or less. [2] X Research source

Step 1 Select a slide.

  • Slide content will animate in the order in which you assign transitions. For example, if you animate a photo on the slide and then animate the title, the photo will appear before the title.
  • Make your slideshow progress automatically by setting the speed of every transition to align with your speech as well as setting each slide to Advance . [3] X Trustworthy Source Microsoft Support Technical support and product information from Microsoft. Go to source

Step 1 Review your PowerPoint.

  • If you need to exit the presentation, press Esc .

Step 5 Make any necessary changes before proceeding.

  • Windows - Click File , click Save , double-click This PC , select a save location, enter a name for your presentation, and click Save .
  • Mac - Click File , click Save As... , enter the presentation's name in the "Save As" field, select a save location by clicking the "Where" box and clicking a folder, and click Save .

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • If you save your PowerPoint presentation in .pps format instead of the default .ppt format, double-clicking your PowerPoint presentation file will prompt the presentation to open directly into the slideshow view. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can still use Apple's Keynote program or Google Slides to create a PowerPoint presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

  • Your PowerPoint presentation (or some features in it) may not open in significantly older versions of PowerPoint. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Great PowerPoint presentations avoid placing too much text on one slide. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Create a Powerpoint Handout

  • ↑ https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=DBDCE00C929AA5D8!252&ithint=file%2cpptx&app=PowerPoint&authkey=!AH4O9NxcbehqzIg
  • ↑ https://www.virtualsalt.com/powerpoint.htm
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/set-the-timing-and-speed-of-a-transition-c3c3c66f-4cca-4821-b8b9-7de0f3f6ead1#:~:text=To%20make%20the%20slide%20advance,effect%20on%20the%20slide%20finishes .

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy  and Ctrl+V to Paste  from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read my guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

NOTE: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read my guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read my guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read my article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read my guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read my guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

9 Tips for Making Beautiful PowerPoint Presentations

Ready to craft a beautiful powerpoint presentation these nine powerpoint layout ideas will help anyone create effective, compelling slides..

How many times have you sat through a poorly designed business presentation that was dull, cluttered, and distracting? Probably way too many. Even though we all loathe a boring presentation, when it comes time to make our own, do we really do any better?

The good news is you don’t have to be a professional designer to make professional presentations. We’ve put together a few simple guidelines you can follow to create a beautifully assembled deck.

We’ll walk you through some slide design tips, show you some tricks to maximize your PowerPoint skills, and give you everything you need to look really good next time you’re up in front of a crowd.

And, while PowerPoint remains one of the biggest names in presentation software, many of these design elements and principles work in Google Slides as well.

Let’s dive right in and make sure your audience isn’t yawning through your entire presentation.

1. Use Layout to Your Advantage

Layout is one of the most powerful visual elements in design, and it’s a simple, effective way to control the flow and visual hierarchy of information.

For example, most Western languages read left to right, top to bottom. Knowing this natural reading order, you can direct people’s eyes in a deliberate way to certain key parts of a slide that you want to emphasize.

You can also guide your audience with simple tweaks to the layout. Use text size and alternating fonts or colors to distinguish headlines from body text.

Placement also matters. There are many unorthodox ways to structure a slide, but most audience members will have to take a few beats to organize the information in their head—that’s precious time better spent listening to your delivery and retaining information.

Try to structure your slides more like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the right

And not like this:

Presentation slide with headline template and beach images on the left

Layout is one of the trickier PowerPoint design concepts to master, which is why we have these free PowerPoint templates already laid out for you. Use them as a jumping off point for your own presentation, or use them wholesale!

Presentation templates can give you a huge leg up as you start working on your design.

2. No Sentences

This is one of the most critical slide design tips. Slides are simplified, visual notecards that capture and reinforce main ideas, not complete thoughts.

As the speaker, you should be delivering most of the content and information, not putting it all on the slides for everyone to read (and probably ignore). If your audience is reading your presentation instead of listening to you deliver it, your message has lost its effectiveness.

Pare down your core message and use keywords to convey it. Try to avoid complete sentences unless you’re quoting someone or something.

Stick with this:

Presentation template with bullet points

And avoid this:

Presentation template with paragraphs

3. Follow the 6×6 Rule

One of the cardinal sins of a bad PowerPoint is cramming too many details and ideas on one slide, which makes it difficult for people to retain information. Leaving lots of “white space” on a slide helps people focus on your key points.

Try using the 6×6 rule to keep your content concise and clean looking. The 6×6 rule means a maximum of six bullet points per slide and six words per bullet. In fact, some people even say you should never have more than six words per slide!

Just watch out for “orphans” (when the last word of a sentence/phrase spills over to the next line). This looks cluttered. Either fit it onto one line or add another word to the second line.

Red presentation slide with white text stating less is more

Slides should never have this much information:

Presentation slide with paragraphs and images

4. Keep the Colors Simple

Stick to simple light and dark colors and a defined color palette for visual consistency. Exceptionally bright text can cause eye fatigue, so use those colors sparingly. Dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background will work well. Also avoid intense gradients, which can make text hard to read.

If you’re presenting on behalf of your brand, check what your company’s brand guidelines are. Companies often have a primary brand color and a secondary brand color , and it’s a good idea to use them in your presentation to align with your company’s brand identity and style.

If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next presentation, check out our 101 Color Combinations , where you can browse tons of eye-catching color palettes curated by a pro. When you find the one you like, just type the corresponding color code into your presentation formatting tools.

Here are more of our favorite free color palettes for presentations:

  • 10 Color Palettes to Nail Your Next Presentation
  • 10 Energizing Sports Color Palettes for Branding and Marketing
  • 10 Vintage Color Palettes Inspired by the Decades

No matter what color palette or combination you choose, you want to keep the colors of your PowerPoint presentation simple and easy to read, like this:

Red presentation slide with white text stating keep the colors simple

Stay away from color combinations like this:

Gray presentation slide with black and neon green text examples

5. Use Sans-Serif Fonts

Traditionally, serif fonts (Times New Roman, Garamond, Bookman) are best for printed pages, and sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are easier to read on screens.

These are always safe choices, but if you’d like to add some more typographic personality , try exploring our roundup of the internet’s best free fonts . You’ll find everything from classic serifs and sans serifs to sophisticated modern fonts and splashy display fonts. Just keep legibility top of mind when you’re making your pick.

Try to stick with one font, or choose two at the most. Fonts have very different personalities and emotional impacts, so make sure your font matches the tone, purpose, and content of your presentation.

Presentation slide with various examples of fonts

6. Stick to 30pt Font or Larger

Many experts agree that your font size for a PowerPoint presentation should be at least 30pt. Sticking to this guideline ensures your text is readable. It also forces you, due to space limitations, to explain your message efficiently and include only the most important points. .

Red presentation slide with 30 point white text

7. Avoid Overstyling the Text

Three of the easiest and most effective ways to draw attention to text are:

  • A change in color

Our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out, but use these changes sparingly. Overstyling can make the slide look busy and distracting.

White presentation slide with black text and aerial view of a pool

8. Choose the Right Images

The images you choose for your presentation are perhaps as important as the message. You want images that not only support the message, but also elevate it—a rare accomplishment in the often dry world of PowerPoint.

But, what is the right image? We’ll be honest. There’s no direct answer to this conceptual, almost mystical subject, but we can break down some strategies for approaching image selection that will help you curate your next presentation.

The ideal presentation images are:

  • Inspirational

Ground view of palm trees and airplane flying over

These may seem like vague qualities, but the general idea is to go beyond the literal. Think about the symbols in an image and the story they tell. Think about the colors and composition in an image and the distinct mood they set for your presentation.

With this approach, you can get creative in your hunt for relatable, authentic, and inspirational images. Here are some more handy guidelines for choosing great images.

Illustrative, Not Generic

So, the slide in question is about collaborating as a team. Naturally, you look for images of people meeting in a boardroom, right?

While it’s perfectly fine to go super literal, sometimes these images fall flat—what’s literal doesn’t necessarily connect to your audience emotionally. Will they really respond to generic images of people who aren’t them meeting in a boardroom?

In the absence of a photo of your actual team—or any other image that directly illustrates the subject at hand—look for images of convincing realism and humanity that capture the idea of your message.

Doing so connects with viewers, allowing them to connect with your message.

Silhouettes of five men standing on a bridge on a foggy day

The image above can be interpreted in many ways. But, when we apply it to slide layout ideas about collaboration, the meaning is clear.

It doesn’t hurt that there’s a nice setting and good photography, to boot.

Supportive, Not Distracting

Now that we’ve told you to get creative with your image selection, the next lesson is to rein that in. While there are infinite choices of imagery out there, there’s a limit to what makes sense in your presentation.

Let’s say you’re giving an IT presentation to new employees. You might think that image of two dogs snuggling by a fire is relatable, authentic, and inspirational, but does it really say “data management” to your audience?

To find the best supporting images, try searching terms on the periphery of your actual message. You’ll find images that complement your message rather than distract from it.

In the IT presentation example, instead of “data connections” or another literal term, try the closely related “traffic” or “connectivity.” This will bring up images outside of tech, but relative to the idea of how things move.

Aerial view of a busy highway

Inspiring and Engaging

There’s a widespread misconception that business presentations are just about delivering information. Well, they’re not. In fact, a great presentation is inspirational. We don’t mean that your audience should be itching to paint a masterpiece when they’re done. In this case, inspiration is about engagement.

Is your audience asking themselves questions? Are they coming up with new ideas? Are they remembering key information to tap into later? You’ll drive a lot of this engagement with your actual delivery, but unexpected images can play a role, as well.

When you use more abstract or aspirational images, your audience will have room to make their own connections. This not only means they’re paying attention, but they’re also engaging with and retaining your message.

To find the right abstract or unconventional imagery, search terms related to the tone of the presentation. This may include images with different perspectives like overhead shots and aerials, long exposures taken over a period of time, nature photos , colorful markets , and so on.

Aerial view of a cargo ship

The big idea here is akin to including an image of your adorable dog making a goofy face at the end of an earnings meeting. It leaves an audience with a good, human feeling after you just packed their brains with data.

Use that concept of pleasant surprise when you’re selecting images for your presentation.

9. Editing PowerPoint Images

Setting appropriate image resolution in powerpoint.

Though you can drag-and-drop images into PowerPoint, you can control the resolution displayed within the file. All of your PowerPoint slide layout ideas should get the same treatment to be equal in size.

Simply click File > Compress Pictures in the main application menu.

Screenshot of how to compress a picture

If your presentation file is big and will only be viewed online, you can take it down to On-screen , then check the Apply to: All pictures in this file , and rest assured the quality will be uniform.

Screenshot of how to compress an image

This resolution is probably fine for proofing over email, but too low for your presentation layout ideas. For higher res in printed form, try the Print setting, which at 220 PPI is extremely good quality.

For large-screens such as projection, use the HD setting, since enlarging to that scale will show any deficiencies in resolution. Low resolution can not only distract from the message, but it looks low-quality and that reflects on the presenter.

If size is no issue for you, use High Fidelity (maximum PPI), and only reduce if the file size gives your computer problems.

Screenshot of compression options for your image

The image quality really begins when you add the images to the presentation file. Use the highest quality images you can, then let PowerPoint scale the resolution down for you, reducing the excess when set to HD or lower.

Resizing, Editing, and Adding Effects to Images in PowerPoint

PowerPoint comes with an arsenal of tools to work with your images. When a picture is selected, the confusingly named Picture Format menu is activated in the top menu bar, and Format Picture is opened on the right side of the app window.

Editing a PowerPoint slide with an image of a businessman walking up stairs

In the Format Picture menu (on the right) are four sections, and each of these sections expand to show their options by clicking the arrows by the name:

  • Fill & Line (paint bucket icon): Contains options for the box’s colors, patterns, gradients, and background fills, along with options for its outline.
  • Effects (pentagon icon): Contains Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format and Rotation, and Artistic Effects.
  • Size & Properties (dimensional icon): Size, Position, and Text Box allow you to control the physical size and placement of the picture or text boxes.
  • Picture (mountain icon): Picture Corrections, Colors, and Transparency give you control over how the image looks. Under Crop, you can change the size of the box containing the picture, instead of the entire picture itself as in Size & Properties above.

The menu at the top is more expansive, containing menu presets for Corrections, Color, Effects, Animation, and a lot more. This section is where you can crop more precisely than just choosing the dimensions from the Picture pane on the right.

Cropping Images in PowerPoint

The simple way to crop an image is to use the Picture pane under the Format Picture menu on the right side of the window. Use the Picture Position controls to move the picture inside its box, or use the Crop position controls to manipulate the box’s dimensions.

Screenshot of picture format options

To exert more advanced control, or use special shapes, select the picture you want to crop, then click the Picture Format in the top menu to activate it.

Screenshot of how to crop an image

Hit the Crop button, then use the controls on the picture’s box to size by eye. Or, click the arrow to show more options, including changing the shape of the box (for more creative looks) and using preset aspect ratios for a more uniform presentation of images.

Screenshot of how to change the shape of an image

The next time you design a PowerPoint presentation, remember that simplicity is key and less is more. By adopting these simple slide design tips, you’ll deliver a clear, powerful visual message to your audience.

If you want to go with a PowerPoint alternative instead, you can use Shutterstock Create to easily craft convincing, engaging, and informative presentations.

With many presentation template designs, you’ll be sure to find something that is a perfect fit for your next corporate presentation. You can download your designs as a .pdf file and import them into both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation decks.

Take Your PowerPoint Presentation to the Next Level with Shutterstock Flex

Need authentic, eye-catching photography to form the foundation of your PowerPoint presentation? We’ve got you covered.

With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.

License this cover image via F8 studio and Ryan DeBerardinis .

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Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will review several presentation tips and tricks on how to become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

  • Display one bullet at a time

Avoid unnecessary animations

  • Only add content that supports your main points

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

  • Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

  • He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
  • He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
  • He found made the complex sound simple.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to build powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations and create effective presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to complement your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides below.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty-point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However, by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distraction from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Each slide should try to represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over-explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience to each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid Giving Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side to your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, and arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely take in the information one way. So ask many of them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allow them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answers to the audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engagement.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font sizes, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practice of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

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Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas

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2 Responses to “23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations”

Very great advices!

Greetings ! A compact composed communication for the host to have an impact -VOICE

Thank You ?

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how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

powerpoint tricks

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

  • Creative templates.
  • Data-driven templates.
  • Professional templates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation Template [List-Based]

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AI presentation maker

When lack of inspiration or time constraints are something you’re worried about, it’s a good idea to seek help. Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI presentation maker! With a few clicks, you’ll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs . And it’s totally free!

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

Generate presentations in minutes

We humans make the world move, but we need to sleep, rest and so on. What if there were someone available 24/7 for you? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and ask the AI presentation maker to give you a hand. The possibilities are endless : you choose the topic, the tone and the style, and the AI will do the rest. Now we’re talking!

Customize your AI-generated presentation online

Alright, your robotic pal has generated a presentation for you. But, for the time being, AIs can’t read minds, so it’s likely that you’ll want to modify the slides. Please do! We didn’t forget about those time constraints you’re facing, so thanks to the editing tools provided by one of our sister projects —shoutouts to Wepik — you can make changes on the fly without resorting to other programs or software. Add text, choose your own colors, rearrange elements, it’s up to you! Oh, and since we are a big family, you’ll be able to access many resources from big names, that is, Freepik and Flaticon . That means having a lot of images and icons at your disposal!

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

How does it work?

Think of your topic.

First things first, you’ll be talking about something in particular, right? A business meeting, a new medical breakthrough, the weather, your favorite songs, a basketball game, a pink elephant you saw last Sunday—you name it. Just type it out and let the AI know what the topic is.

Choose your preferred style and tone

They say that variety is the spice of life. That’s why we let you choose between different design styles, including doodle, simple, abstract, geometric, and elegant . What about the tone? Several of them: fun, creative, casual, professional, and formal. Each one will give you something unique, so which way of impressing your audience will it be this time? Mix and match!

Make any desired changes

You’ve got freshly generated slides. Oh, you wish they were in a different color? That text box would look better if it were placed on the right side? Run the online editor and use the tools to have the slides exactly your way.

Download the final result for free

Yes, just as envisioned those slides deserve to be on your storage device at once! You can export the presentation in .pdf format and download it for free . Can’t wait to show it to your best friend because you think they will love it? Generate a shareable link!

What is an AI-generated presentation?

It’s exactly “what it says on the cover”. AIs, or artificial intelligences, are in constant evolution, and they are now able to generate presentations in a short time, based on inputs from the user. This technology allows you to get a satisfactory presentation much faster by doing a big chunk of the work.

Can I customize the presentation generated by the AI?

Of course! That’s the point! Slidesgo is all for customization since day one, so you’ll be able to make any changes to presentations generated by the AI. We humans are irreplaceable, after all! Thanks to the online editor, you can do whatever modifications you may need, without having to install any software. Colors, text, images, icons, placement, the final decision concerning all of the elements is up to you.

Can I add my own images?

Absolutely. That’s a basic function, and we made sure to have it available. Would it make sense to have a portfolio template generated by an AI without a single picture of your own work? In any case, we also offer the possibility of asking the AI to generate images for you via prompts. Additionally, you can also check out the integrated gallery of images from Freepik and use them. If making an impression is your goal, you’ll have an easy time!

Is this new functionality free? As in “free of charge”? Do you mean it?

Yes, it is, and we mean it. We even asked our buddies at Wepik, who are the ones hosting this AI presentation maker, and they told us “yup, it’s on the house”.

Are there more presentation designs available?

From time to time, we’ll be adding more designs. The cool thing is that you’ll have at your disposal a lot of content from Freepik and Flaticon when using the AI presentation maker. Oh, and just as a reminder, if you feel like you want to do things yourself and don’t want to rely on an AI, you’re on Slidesgo, the leading website when it comes to presentation templates. We have thousands of them, and counting!.

How can I download my presentation?

The easiest way is to click on “Download” to get your presentation in .pdf format. But there are other options! You can click on “Present” to enter the presenter view and start presenting right away! There’s also the “Share” option, which gives you a shareable link. This way, any friend, relative, colleague—anyone, really—will be able to access your presentation in a moment.

Discover more content

This is just the beginning! Slidesgo has thousands of customizable templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint. Our designers have created them with much care and love, and the variety of topics, themes and styles is, how to put it, immense! We also have a blog, in which we post articles for those who want to find inspiration or need to learn a bit more about Google Slides or PowerPoint. Do you have kids? We’ve got a section dedicated to printable coloring pages! Have a look around and make the most of our site!

How-To Geek

How to make a microsoft powerpoint presentation read-only.

You can set your PowerPoint presentation to "read-only" to discourage others from making edits to your content. Here's how.

If you want to discourage others from making edits to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or let them know the file you sent is the final version, you can do so by making it read-only. Here's how it's done.

While making your PowerPoint presentation read-only is a good deterrent from having others edit your content, it's easy to unlock a read-only presentation . It's by no means un-editable.

Open the presentation  that you want to make read-only, then click the "File" tab.

File tab in PowerPoint

Next, in the left-hand pane, select "Info."

Info option in left-hand tab

You'll now see a "Protect Presentation" section, which lets you (to an extent) protect against any editing of your presentation. Click "Protect Presentation."

Protect presentation option

Once selected, a drop-down menu will appear with these four options:

  • Always Open Read-Only:  This asks the reader to opt-in to edit the presentation. This prevents accidental edits.
  • Encrypt with Password:  This  password protects your presentation.
  • Add a Digital Signature:  This adds an invisible digital signature to your presentation.
  • Mark as Final:  This lets the reader know that this is the final version of the presentation.

Protect presentation drop-down menu

All of these options are good for protecting the integrity of your Microsoft PowerPoint, but the two we'll need here to make the presentation read-only are (1) Always Open Read-Only and (2) Mark as Final.

Selecting either option will prevent the reader from editing the presentation--unless they opt-in to do so.

If you chose the Always Open Read-Only option, the reader will see this message when opening the presentation:

"To prevent accidental changes, the author has set this file to open as read-only."

Read-only note

If you chose the Mark as Final option, the reader will see this message:

"An author has marked this presentation as final to discourage editing."

Mark as final note

In either case, your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is now set to read-only. However, in both cases, all the reader has to do to edit the presentation is click the "Edit Anyway" button.

Don't start your work presentations by simply saying 'hello.' Here's how to be more engaging in the conference room.

  • I'm a public-speaking expert, and I've trained many executives and senior teams.
  • I tell all of them to stop starting work presentations with a salutation or a "hello."
  • Instead, you should engage your audience by telling a story or asking a question.

Insider Today

I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank you for having me here today," or, "I am so glad to be here" — often followed by their name and professional résumé . Sometimes, if it's an internal meeting, you get the same salutations followed by an agenda slide with bullet points and the presenter narrating it.

As a public-speaking coach who has worked with many executives and senior teams, I know how to make work presentations more engaging. Here's how you should change your approach.

If you stick to your old ways, you aren't leaving a memorable first impression

Your audience is thinking three things when you walk into that conference room or onto that stage: Who is this person, why should I care, and how are they going to solve my problem?

Let's face it: Most people are more interested in how you will solve their problem than in you and your professional résumé. So let's flip the script a bit. Start with the solution to their problem, briefly talk about yourself for credibility, and then give them a reason to care.

Instead, try to capture their attention

Begin your presentation with a hook or a story — something that grabs their attention right from the start. For instance, your hook might be, "Did you know this?" or "What if that?" It could also be a short story that humanizes your services or products.

Most presentations are predictable; wouldn't it be better for both your time and your audience if you could introduce an element of surprise?

Some might feel it rude not to thank the organizer or greet the audience, so I suggest finding another place in your presentation for this. Here's a good structure:

Intro: "What if you could be a more confident and credible presenter? What if you could engage with your audience so they remember your products or services?"

Credibility: "My name is Meridith, and I've been coaching entrepreneurs and executives on how to speak with spark for over a decade, and I am really excited to be here. I want to thank [insert name] for inviting me to share the afternoon with you."

Solution: "Today, I will give you three ways to make your audience remember your products and services, helping you stand out in a competitive market. Let's get this party started!"

You could also try to form a personal connection

Often, presentations lack a personal touch. Try sharing a relevant personal anecdote or experience that relates to your topic. This not only makes your work presentation more relatable but also helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, you could say: "When I was younger, I often hid in the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me because I didn't want to sound stupid or have the wrong answer. Later in life, I discovered acting and improv comedy . It was through the practice of these two art forms that I developed my confidence and learned how to engage more courageously with others. Today, I will give you solutions for how you can also better engage your audience with spark."

Try to encourage interaction

At the very least, you should try to engage your audience from the beginning — whether in person or on virtual calls. You can ask a thought-provoking question or propose a challenge that involves them directly. This approach shifts the dynamic to more interactive and engaging sessions.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you can make your presentation memorable and impactful immediately. And you'll most likely get a larger return on your investment of time and energy.

In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are increasingly shorter than ever, it's crucial to grab and hold your audience's attention from the very beginning. By doing so, you set the stage for a more engaging and productive interaction. So challenge yourself to break free from presentation norms and embrace a style that resonates deeply with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

Watch: A public speaking champion reveals 3 keys to nailing your business presentation

how to make powerpoint presentation ppt

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Tech Advisor

How to get Microsoft PowerPoint for free

Need to create a digital presentation? There are loads of options to choose from.

Google Slides, Apple Keynote, Canva and Prezi are all worth considering, but there’s one app that probably comes to mind first.

Microsoft’s PowerPoint remains the go-to for many people, combining ease of use with an excellent range of features.

But there’s one big problem: you usually need to pay to access the app. This starts $149.99 / £119.99 for a standalone version alongside other Office apps, or £79.99 / $99.99 per year as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription.

However, the good news is that there are three totally free (and legal) ways to use PowerPoint totally free of charge. Here’s what you need to know.

Option 1 – Web version

Accessing Microsoft PowerPoint and other core Office programs is free via the web, and all you’ll need is a Microsoft account.

Head over to office.com and click ‘Sign in’ to enter your details. If you don’t yet have an account, choose ‘Sign up for the free version of Office’ and follow the instructions.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Once that’s complete, you’ll be taken to your main office homepage. From the left pane, choose ‘Create’ then ‘Presentation’ to open a new PowerPoint document.

As you can see, there’s also the option to create documents in Word and PowerPoint here, alongside Outlook and a free version of Microsoft Teams. These are all ‘Web Apps’, meaning you can only use them via your browser and not a desktop app. When you work on a file here, it will be saved to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

In fact, you probably have Google to thank for this software being available in web app form. Its free Docs, Sheets and Slides software and their integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay.

Check out our guide to the best cloud storage services to see how both compare to the rest of the competition.

The web version of PowerPoint is a more stripped-back version of the software, so the comparison to Google Slides is more reasonable than the full desktop program. Nonetheless, both services should provide everything a casual user is looking for.

Option 2 – Use on mobile

Perhaps again in response to Google, Microsoft’s Office mobile applications are completely free and available across modern mobile devices.

You can download the Microsoft PowerPoint app for Android and iOS . While Microsoft understandably reserves some premium features for its Office 365 subscription, the mobile apps are still very capable and offer integration with OneDrive.

Option 3 – Check if your school or workplace gets it free

Many employers offer Microsoft 365 apps to their employees free of charge. Even if your work email address ends with the name of the company you work for, it may still be used to sign into a Microsoft account. Of course, you may be working in an office job where Excel and the like are already the defaults.

If your school has signed up to Microsoft 365 Education, all staff and students should be able access Office apps for free. To check, enter your education email address on the Microsoft website .

But if your school isn’t yet signed up and you’re in a position to change that, compare plans and begin the sign-up process here .

Learn more in our separate article: Do students get Office 365 for free?

Related articles

・ How to get Microsoft Word for free

・ How to get Microsoft Excel for free

・ Microsoft 365 buying guide

How to get Microsoft PowerPoint for free

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