Basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint 2013 presentation

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


Choose a theme

When you open PowerPoint, you’ll see some built-in themes. A theme is a slide design that contains matching colors (theme colors: A set of colors that is used in a file. Theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects compose a theme.), fonts (theme fonts: A set of major and minor fonts that is applied to a file. Theme fonts, theme colors, and theme effects compose a theme.), and special effects (theme effects: A set of visual attributes that is applied to elements in a file. Theme effects, theme colors, and theme fonts compose a theme.) like shadows, reflections, and more.

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

PowerPoint 2013 start screen

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

Insert a new slide

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

Insert a new slide

Read more: Add, rearrange, and delete slides.

Save your presentation

  1. On the File tab, click Save.
  2. Pick or browse to a folder.
  3. In the File name box, type a name for your presentation, and then click Save.

Save your presentation

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

Read more: Save your presentation

Add text

Click inside a text placeholder, and begin typing.

Add text

Format your text

  1. Select the text.
  2. Under Drawing Tools, click Format.
  3. Do one of the following:
  • To change the color of your text, click Text Fill, and then choose a color.
  • To change the outline color of your text, click Text Outline, and then choose a color.
  • To apply a shadow, reflection, glow, bevel, 3-D rotation, a transform, click Text Effects, and then choose the effect you want.

Format text

Read more:

Add shapes

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes.
  2. Pick the shape that you want, click anywhere on the slide, and then drag to draw the shape.

Insert a shape

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

Read more: Add shapes.

Add pictures

On the Insert tab, do one of the following:

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

Add a picture

  • To insert a picture from Bing or the Clip Art gallery, click Online Pictures, and use the search box to find a picture.

For example, type ‘Cats’ in the Clip Art search box.

Insert a picture from Clip Art

Here’s a sample of the cat pictures you’ll see:

Sample of cat pictures on the Clip Art site

  • Choose a picture, and then click Insert.

Read more: Insert a picture

Add speaker notes

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

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

Add speaker notes

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

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

Print your speaker notes

  1. On the File tab, click Print.
  2. Under Printer, choose the printer that you want to print to.
  3. Under Settings, next to Full Page Slides, click the down arrow and under Print Layout, click Notes Pages.
  4. Click Print.

Print your speaker notes

Read more: Print slides with or without speaker notes.

Give your presentation

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

  • To start the presentation at the first slide, in the Start Slide Show group, click From Beginning.

Start your presentation from the beginning

 Tip    For information about viewing your notes as you give your presentation without the audience seeing them, see Use Presenter view to deliver your slide show.

Get out of Slide Show view

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

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PowerPoint 2013