How to create a powerpoint presentation

Introduction: How to Create a PowerPoint Presentation

The possible uses of PowerPoint are countless. A slide show can help a teacher teach a lesson, illustrate an event in history, easily display statistical information, or be used for training in corporations. A slide show can be a valuable tool for teaching, sharing and learning. Whether presenting at a conference or convincing your parents to get a puppy, PowerPoint presentations are useful no matter what the topic and help communicate ideas to an audience. The invention of PowerPoint by Gaskins has saved presenters hours of painstakingly handcrafting displays, and created a professional and easy way to relay information. The following are steps on how to create a basic PowerPoint presentation, however certain steps may vary slightly depending upon what version of PowerPoint you are using. This tutorial is specifically using PowerPoint 2007.

Step 1: Launch the PowerPoint Program

When you launch the PowerPoint program, you may be prompted to pick what kind of document you want to create. Choose to create a blank presentation. If it does not ask you this, a blank presentation will automatically launch.

Step 2: Choosing a Design

The next thing you want to do is decide what design you want for the presentation. To do this, go to the ‘Design’ tab at the top of the page. Scroll through all the options and decide which one looks best for the presentation you want. To get a preview of what the design will look like before applying it to the presentation, hover over the design you want to preview. This design will be automatically continued throughout the rest of your presentation. Once you have more than one slide, you can add a different design for just one slide. To do this, select the slide you want to change the design on by clicking on it. It will pop-up as the big slide in the screen. Then you can right-click the design you want for this slide and select ‘Apply to Selected Slide’. It will appear on that slide, but will not change the design of the other slides.

Step 3: Create Title Page

Click the first box that says ‘Click to add title’ and add the title of your presentation. Click the bottom box to add your name, or any other subtitle that you choose. Once you have your text in the boxes, you can change their font, size, color, etc. with the toolbar options at the top. You can change the size of the text box by selecting it, and then dragging the corners of the box. To move the text boxes, select the box, and move your arrow over the border of the box. A four-arrow icon will appear, and clicking with this icon will allow you to move the text boxes wherever you choose.

Step 4: Add More Slides

Chances are, you are going to need more than one slide. There are a few ways you can add more slides. Notice that there is a separate area to the left of the screen where your first slide is located. The first way to add a slide is to right-click the area under where your first slide is located and select ‘New Slide’. A new slide will appear. The second way to add another slide it to click ‘New Slide’ in the toolbar above the slides. This button is divided into two parts,. The top will insert a new slide with a default layout. You can also click the bottom half of this button, which will allow you to choose what type of layout you want. You can choose a slide with two text-boxes and a title, one text-box, only a title, and many other options. You will see your new slide appear to the left under the first, as well become the large slide that you can edit. The design you picked earlier will have carried over to this slide. The design will carry over for the rest of the slides you create unless you decide to change just one, like described earlier. The guideline layout you chose will appear, and you can then add in your information.

Step 5: Add Charts, Pictures, Graphs, Etc.

If you want to insert a chart, picture, graph, or any other graphic, click on the ‘Insert’ tab at the top of the window. Here you will see buttons of all the options of what you can insert into your slide. Click the designated box and insert what it is you want to have on that slide. A second way you can insert pictures and graphs is when you have an empty text or image box. Little pictures of the same options you saw in the toolbox will show up in the middle of the box, and you can click any of these to insert as well. Once you have your chart or picture, you can add a border or edit it however you want in the ‘Format’ tab.

Step 6: Add Transitions

To add transitions in between your slides, click the ‘Animations’ tab at the top of the page. Here you can scroll through all the options of transitions, and hover over them to see a preview. Select the slide you want the transition applied to, and then click the transition you chose. You can do this for every slide, selecting the same or different transitions.

Step 7: Changing the Order

Once you have all your slides made, you can change the order of the slides. To do this, click and drag the slides from where they are to where you want them in the order. Another possibility, which is particularly useful if you presentation is longer, is to click the ‘Outline’ button. You can find this small button above the left area where all your slides are located smaller, directly to the right of the ‘Slides’ button. Here you will see a list of all your slides and you can click and drag your slides to where you want them.

Step 8: Play the Presentation

Once you have all your slides completed and in the order you want, view your slideshow. Click the ‘Slide Show’ tab at the top of the page and select ‘From Beginning’. You can go through your entire slideshow, and change slides by clicking or pressing the right arrow. A shortcut to this is pressing F5. Congratulations! You have now made a PowerPoint presentation.

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How to create a powerpoint presentation

Lesson 5: Creating and Opening Presentations


PowerPoint files are called presentations. Whenever you start a new project in PowerPoint, you'll need to create a new presentation, which can either be blank or from a template. You'll also need to know how to open an existing presentation.

To create a new presentation:

  1. Select the File tab to go to Backstage view.

How to create a powerpoint presentationClicking the File tab

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Creating a new presentation

To open an existing presentation:

  1. Select the File tab to go to Backstage view.
  2. Select Open.

How to create a powerpoint presentationClicking Open
How to create a powerpoint presentationClicking Browse

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Opening a presentation

If you've opened the desired presentation recently, you can browse your Recent Presentations instead of searching for the file.

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Recently Presentations

To pin a presentation:

If you frequently work with the same presentation, you can pin it to Backstage view for easy access.

  1. Select the File tab to go to Backstage view. Click Open. Your Recent Presentations will appear.
  2. Hover the mouse over the presentation you want to pin. A pushpin iconwill appear next to the presentation. Click the pushpin icon.

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Pinning a presentation

How to create a powerpoint presentation

The pinned presentation

You can also pin folders to Backstage view for easy access. From Backstage view, click Open, locate the folder you want to pin, then click the pushpin icon.

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Pinning a folder

Using templates

A template is a predesigned presentation you can use to create a new slide show quickly. Templates often include custom formatting and designs, so they can save you a lot of time and effort when starting a new project.

To create a new presentation from a template:

  1. Click the File tab to access Backstage view.
  2. Select New. You can click a suggested search to find templates or use the searchbar to find something more specific. In our example, we'll search for Business presentations.

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Searching for templates

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Selecting a template

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Creating a new presentation with a template

It's important to note that not all templates are created by Microsoft. Many are created by third-party providers and even individual users, so some templates may work better than others.

Compatibility mode

Sometimes you may need to work with presentations that were created in earlier versions of PowerPoint, such as PowerPoint 2003 or PowerPoint 2000. When you open these types of presentations, they will appear in Compatibility mode.

Compatibility mode disables certain features, so you'll only be able to access commands found in the program that was used to create the presentation. For example, if you open a presentation created in PowerPoint 2003, you can only use tabs and commands found in PowerPoint 2003.

In the image below, you can see that the presentation is in Compatibility mode. This will disable some PowerPoint 2013 features, such as newer types of slide transitions.

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Compatibility mode

To exit Compatibility mode, you'll need to convert the presentation to the current version type. However, if you're collaborating with others who only have access to an earlier version of PowerPoint, it's best to leave the presentation in Compatibility mode so the format will not change.

You can review this support page from Microsoft to learn more about which features are disabled in Compatibility mode.

To convert a presentation:

If you want access to all PowerPoint 2013 features, you can convert the presentation to the 2013 file format.

Note that converting a file may cause some changes to the original layout of the presentation.

    Click the File tab to access Backstage view.

How to create a powerpoint presentationClicking the File tab

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Converting the presentation to the newest file type

How to create a powerpoint presentation

Saving a new version of the workbook

A PowerPoint has two methods for creating a slide presentation:

  • Choose a theme template
  • Create a blank presentation (this method is covered in Unit 3)

PowerPoint software has built in and free online pre-designed templates that contain various color schemes and pre-arranged elements in a slide, eg. text and graphics. Select a template and PowerPoint will format the entire presentation according to that template.

Steps to choosing a theme template:

  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. At the PowerPoint window, click the File tab, then click New.
  3. The Available Templates and Themes screen will appear, click on an available template or download a free template from the online templates.
  4. Once you have selected the desired template, it will be displayed in normal view. New slides can be added as needed.

Tips & Tricks

A theme template can be added to a presentation before, during or after you have added the presentation content.

To apply various templates to a presentation, click the Design tab, then click on the desired template in the themes group.

Create a New Slide

Whether you are using a pre-made theme template or working from your own design, it is very easy to insert a new slide.

  1. In the slide pane click on the slide where you would like the new slide to appear below.
  2. Click on the New Slide button located on the Home tab in the Slides group.
  3. The new slide should appear below the selected slide. If you want to add a new slide between two, select the first of the two slides and click New Slide.
  4. Notice the New Slide button contains a New Slide button arrow. Click on the arrow to view different slide layouts. Another way to change the slide layout is by clicking on the Layout button located in the Slides group. The slide layout option determines the position of the objects on a slide. Simply click on the layout you want to use and it will appear in the slide pane.

Create Slide Content

Entering text and images into your presentation slide is easy and fun. When using the theme template the first slide to appear in Normal view is called the Title Slide.

The title slide is the slide that is used to introduce the presentation to the audience. It has two text placeholders for text: title text placeholder and sub-title text placeholder. Placeholders are the building blocks for a PowerPoint slide.

To insert text in a placeholder, left click inside of the textbox and begin typing. Once you have entered text, click outside the text box to see how your text looks. The placeholder then becomes an object. An object is any item on a slide that can be manipulated. Objects are the building blocks that make up a slide. A text object can moved around and repositioned on a slide.

A object is selected when there is a gray, bold outline around the object, and when the cursor turns into a cross. Around the selected object are small white circles that are called sizing handles. You can drag the handles to position the object.

To apply formatting to text inside an object, select the text with your cursor, then click on the Home tab and in the Font group add text attributes such as bold, underline, and italics. The Paragraph group, located next to the Font group, contains commands that allow you to change the alignment of text, insert numbers or bullets to lists, and indent text.

You can also edit your text by accessing the Font dialogue box by clicking the Font group dialogue box launcher. (The dialogue box launcher is the small button containing a diagonal arrow that displays in the lower right corner of the group.) The Font dialogue box includes special effects such as: double strikethrough, superscript and subscript.

Another quick and easy way to format slides is by using a slide master. A Slide Master will reduce the steps needed to format all the slides in a presentation. Any changes made in the slide master will affect all slides in the presentation. This allows for consistency in any presentation.

When you choose a theme template PowerPoint automatically adds a Slide master. To format the slide master click the View tab and then choose Slide Master located in the Presentation View group.

A slide master appears in the slide pane and in the Outline/Slide pane. The largest thumbnail in the pane is the slide master and the other thumbnails represent associated layouts.Click on the master slide or a specific layout to apply formatting or themes. Once formatting changes have been made click on Close Master View to return to the normal view.

For more information on Slide Masters take this link to Microsoft Tips for using Slide Masters.

Multi Level Bulleted Lists

PowerPoint allows information to be displayed as multilevel bulleted lists. Bulleted lists are used in PowerPoint to display levels of importance within the presentation. Various slide layouts in the Slide Layout task pane contain bullets. To add multi levels to a bulleted list you need to choose the appropriate layout.

The first-level bullet will be displayed under the title placeholder. Once you have typed your text next to the first-level bullet press Enter on your keyboard. The new first-level bullet automatically appears. Press Tab on your keyboard and the first-level bullet becomes a second level bullet. Press Shift + Tab this will decrease the indent and bring the bullet back to first level.

Another method to add levels to your presentation is by clicking the decrease list level or increase list level buttons on the Paragraph group in the Home tab.

You can customize the bullets in your presentation by selecting the Bullets and Numbering dialogue box from Paragraph group located in the Home tab. Select the bullet text, click on the drop down arrow next to Bullets or Numbering, click on Bullets and Numbering, then choose the from the pre-designed bullets.

Now that you are able to create a presentation let us move on to view and save presentations.

These steps let you add titles, text, designs, and images

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    You can make your next classroom or office presentation stand out by creating slides in PowerPoint, a simple process anyone can learn with a little practice.

    Getting Started

    When you first open PowerPoint, you’ll see a blank “slide” with space for a title and a subtitle in different boxes. You can use this page to begin creating your presentation right away. Add a title and subtitle in the boxes if you want, but you can also delete the boxes and insert a photo, graph, or another object onto the slide.

    Creating Slides

    How to create a powerpoint presentation

    Here is an example of a title in the “title” box, but instead of a subtitle, there's a photo in the subtitle box.

    To create a slide like this, click inside the “Title” box and type a title. The “subtitle” box is a container for inserting text, but if you don’t want a subtitle there, you can remove this box by clicking on one edge to highlight it and then hitting “delete.” To insert a picture into this space, go to “Insert” on the menu bar and select “Picture.” Choose a photo from your saved photo files in locations such as “My Pictures” or a flash drive.

    The picture you select will be inserted onto the slide, but it may be so big that it covers the entire slide. You can select the picture and make it smaller by moving your cursor to the edge of the photo and dragging the corners inward.

    The powerpoint presentation is ubiquitous, but just because everybody does it doesn’t mean everybody does it well. Here are some tips to help you save your audience from “death by PowerPoint.”
    • Use the slide master feature to create a consistent and simple design template. It’s fine to vary the content of your slides (e.g., bulleted list, 2-column text, text & image), but be consistent with other elements such as font, colors and background.

    • Simplify and limit the number of words on each screen. Use key phrases and include only essential information.
    o Generally no more than 6 words a line
    o Generally no more than 6 lines a slide
    o Avoid long sentences
    o Larger font indicates more important information
    o Font size generally ranges from 18 to 48 point
    • Limit punctuation and avoid putting words in all capital letters. Empty space on the slide will enhance readability.

    • Use contrasting colors for text and background. Dark text on a light background is best. Patterned backgrounds can reduce readability of text.
    • Avoid the use of flashy transitions such as text fly-ins. These features may seem impressive at first, but are distracting and get old quickly.
    • Overuse of special effectssuch as animation and sounds are distracting and may make your presentation seem less than serious.
    • Use good quality images that reinforce and complement your message. Ensure that your images maintain their impact and resolution when projected on a largerscreen.
    • If you use builds, have content appear on the screen in a consistent, simple manner; from the top or left is best. Only “build” screens when necessary to make your point because they can slow your presentation.
    • Limit the number of slides. Presenters who constantly “flip” to the next slide are likely to lose their audience. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute.
    • Learn to navigate your presentation in a nonlinear fashion. PowerPoint allows the presenter to jump ahead or back without having to page through all the interim slides.
    • Know how to and practice moving forward AND backward within your presentation. Students may ask to see the previous screen again.
    • If possible, view your slides on the screen you’ll be using for your presentation. Make sure they are readable from the back row seats. Text and graphics should be large enough to read, but not so large as to appear “loud.”
    • Have a Plan B in the event of technical difficulties. Remember that transparencies and handouts will not show animation or other special effects.
    • Don’t read from your slides. The content of your slides is for the audience, not for the presenter.
    • Don’t speak to your slides. It’s very easy to be distracted by the content on your screen. A minor exception to this guideline is a need to draw your audience’s attention to a specific part of your slide. For example, you could use a pointer to identify a trend in a graph. Otherwise, there’s simply no reason to show your back.

    Whether for work or private, use slideshows to get your message across

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    In This Article

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    When you’re ready to present your PowerPoint slides to others, look no further than PowerPoint’s slideshow feature. Use this tool for all kinds of slides, but those containing photos work best for most viewers.

    Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, and PowerPoint for Mac.

    Before You Begin

    Before you create slides for your slideshow presentation, decide how long to make the slideshow, how it should flow, and the pictures you’ll use.

    • Length: A slideshow can be as long or as short as you need. The length of the slideshow should be appropriate for the topic and for your audience’s attention span.
    • Outline: It’s always smart to start with an outline; it helps you visualize your slideshow. An outline can be as simple as the list of topics you want to cover.
    • Pictures: Choose photos that are clear and tell a story.

    How to Make a Slideshow on PowerPoint

    With PowerPoint’s Photo Album, select the pictures and PowerPoint creates the basic slideshow. Fill your slides with informative text and harmonizing background music, then turn your collection of slides into a self-running photo slideshow with music that can play as a video or be stored on a CD.

    When you’re ready to make a photo slideshow with music, PowerPoint gets you up and running quickly. To get started, select Insert > Photo Album > New Photo Album.

    Here’s how to add and format pictures for the slideshow using the Photo Album:

    Add pictures

    Select File/Disk and select the images you want in the picture slideshow.

    Enhance photos

    Place a checkmark next to the picture you want to enhance and change the orientation, contrast, and brightness. You’ll see the changes in the Preview window.

    Add text boxes

    To add a slide for text, select the image in the album list you want the text to follow and select New Text Box.

    Rearrange slides

     Place a checkmark next to the picture you want to move and select the Move Up or Move Down arrows.

    Choose a picture layout

     Select the Picture layout down arrow and choose how you want the pictures to appear in the slideshow.

    Frame the pictures

     Select the Frame shape down arrow and choose a frame style. You’ll see a preview in the Album Layout area. This option will not be selectable if the picture layout Fit to slide is enabled.

    Select Create when you’re finished.

    Your photo slideshow is created in a new file. Add text to the slides and change the look of each slide.

    How to Play Music During the Slideshow

    Play music in the background during your slideshow to offer an audio counterpoint to all the visuals. The background music starts automatically with the slideshow and plays during all the slides.

    To add background music to your presentation, select Insert > Audio > Audio on My PC, choose a music file, then select OK.

    The audio icon appears in the middle of the current slide. To move it, drag it to a different place on the slide. When the audio icon is selected, the Playback tab appears. Select Play in Background and make changes to the audio file. Here are some suggestions.

    • Preview the music: Select Play to hear what the music will sound like during your slideshow.
    • Shorten the duration: Select Trim Audio to remove parts of the beginning and end of the music file.
    • Adjust the volume: Select Volume to make the background music louder or softer.

    How to Set up the Slideshow

    Once your slides are finished, it’s time to set up the slideshow. Start by deciding whether to show the slideshow in a window or full screen.

    To set up the slideshow, select Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show and choose one of the following:

    • Browsed by an individual (window): Run the slideshow automatically and inside a window. This option works best when you save the slideshow to a CD.
    • Browsed at a kiosk (full screen): Run the slideshow automatically and at full-screen size. This option works best when you convert the slideshow to a video.

    Select OK when you’re finished.

    How to Add Timings to Each Slide in the Slideshow

    Now it’s time to decide how long each slide will appear in the slideshow. To begin, select Slide Show > Rehearse Timings. The slideshow displays in full screen with a Recording toolbar and a timer.

    While timing your presentation, use the Recording toolbar to advance through the presentation.

    Select Next (arrow pointing to the right) to go to the next slide when the desired timing has been reached.

    Select Pause to start and stop the timing.

    Select Repeat to restart recording the time for the selected slide.

    When you’re finished and have set the time for the last slide, close the Recording toolbar.

    Select Yes to keep the recorded slide timings.

    How to Edit Timings on a Slide

    If you need to increase or decrease the time for your slideshow, change how long slides appear during the slideshow.

    To change the timing for a slide:

    Select View > Slide Sorter.

    Select Transitions.

    In the Advance Slide After text box, enter how long the slide should appear in the slideshow before proceeding to the next slide, then press Enter.

    The new timing applies to the slide.

    How to Create a PowerPoint Video Slideshow

    The easiest way to distribute and play your slideshow is in video format. This way, anyone can view your slideshow no matter what computer or device they use.

    To convert a slideshow into a video:

    Select File > Export.

    Select Create a Video.

    To force a smaller file size, select the Full HD drop-down list and choose a lower quality.

    Select Create Video.

    Select the destination folder and give the video a descriptive file name.

    Select Save. It may take a few minutes to process the file and create the video.

    How to Save a Slideshow to a CD or Other Removeable Media

    To create a presentation that can be watched on any computer and can be stored on a CD or other removable media:

    Select File > Export.

    Select Package Presentation for CD > Package for CD.

    Type a name for the CD.

    Select Copy to Folder or Copy to CD and follow the on-screen directions.

    In this article, we’ll see how we can create a presentation using Apache POI.

    This library gives us a possibility to create PowerPoint presentations, read existing ones, and to alter their content.

    2. Maven Dependencies

    To begin, we’ll need to add the following dependencies into our pom.xml:

    The latest version of both libraries can be downloaded from Maven Central.

    3. Apache POI

    The Apache POI library supports both .ppt and .pptx files, and it provides the HSLF implementation for the Powerpoint ’97(-2007) file format and the XSLF for the PowerPoint 2007 OOXML file format.

    Since a common interface doesn’t exist for both implementations, we have to remember to use the XMLSlideShow, XSLFSlide and XSLFTextShape classes when working with the newer .pptx file format.

    And, when it’s required to work with the older .ppt format, use the HSLFSlideShow, HSLFSlide and HSLFTextParagraph classes.

    We’ll use the new .pptx file format in our examples, and the first thing we have to do is create a new presentation, add a slide to it (maybe using a predefined layout) and save it.

    Once these operations are clear, we can then start working with images, text, and tables.

    3.1. Create a New Presentation

    Let’s first create the new presentation:

    3.2. Add a New Slide

    When adding a new slide to a presentation, we can also choose to create it from a predefined layout. To achieve this, we first have to retrieve the XSLFSlideMaster that holds layouts (the first one is the default master):

    Now, we can retrieve the XSLFSlideLayout and use it when creating the new slide:

    Let’s see how to fill placeholders inside a template:

    Remember that each template has its placeholders, instances of the XSLFAutoShape subclass, which could differ in number from one template to another.

    Let’s see how we can quickly retrieve all placeholders from a slide:

    3.3. Saving a Presentation

    Once we’ve created the slideshow, the next step is to save it:

    4. Working With Objects

    Now that we saw how to create a new presentation, add a slide to it (using or not a predefined template) and save it, we can start adding text, images, links, and tables.

    Let’s start with the text.

    4.1. Text

    When working with text inside a presentation, as in MS PowerPoint, we have to create the text box inside a slide, add a paragraph and then add the text to the paragraph:

    When configuring the XSLFTextRun, it’s possible to customize its style by picking the font family and if the text should be in bold, italic or underlined.

    4.2. Hyperlinks

    When adding text to a presentation, sometimes it can be useful to add hyperlinks.

    Once we have created the XSLFTextRun object, we can now add a link:

    4.3. Images

    We can add images, as well:

    However, without a proper configuration, the image will be placed in the top left corner of the slide. To place it properly, we have to configure its anchor point:

    The XSLFPictureShape accepts a Rectangle as an anchor point, which allows us to configure the x/y coordinates with the first two parameters, and the width/height of the image with the last two.

    4.4. Lists

    Text, inside of a presentation, is often represented in the form of a list, numbered or not.

    Let’s now define a list of bullet points:

    Similarly, we can define a numbered list:

    In case we’re working with multiple lists, it’s always important to define the indentLevel to achieve a proper indentation of items.

    4.5. Tables

    Tables are another key object in a presentation and are helpful when we want to display data.

    Let’s start by creating a table:

    Now, we can add a header:

    Once the header is completed, we can add rows and cells to our table to display data:

    When working with tables, it’s important to remind that it’s possible to customize the border and the background of every single cell.

    5. Altering a Presentation

    Not always when working on a slideshow, we have to create a new one, but we have to alter an already existing one.

    Let’s give a look to the one that we created in the previous section and then we can start altering it:

    How to create a powerpoint presentation

    5.1. Reading a Presentation

    Reading a presentation is pretty simple and can be done using the XMLSlideShow overloaded constructor that accepts a FileInputStream:

    5.2. Changing Slide Order

    When adding slides to our presentation, it’s a good idea to put them in the correct order to have a proper flow of slides.

    When this doesn’t happen, it’s possible to re-arrange the order of the slides. Let’s see how we can move the fourth slide to be the second one:

    5.3. Deleting a Slide

    It’s also possible to delete a slide from a presentation.

    Let’s see how we can delete the 4th slide:

    6. Conclusion

    This quick tutorial has illustrated how to use the Apache POI API to read and write PowerPoint file from a Java perspective.

    The complete source code for this article can be found, as always, over on GitHub.

    You can create a complete PowerPoint presentation with the PPT API. Creating a complete presentation programmatically allow you to use different templates for the same content. To get started, see Create a Presentation Programmatically.


    getMasterNames Get names of slide masters for presentation
    getLayoutNames Get names of layouts for presentation slide master
    getTableStyleNames Get table style names for presentation
    find Search a presentation
    add Add text box, table, or picture to slide
    replace Replace text, tables, or pictures in a slide
    find Search slide for content
    add Add paragraphs to content placeholder
    replace Replace content placeholder or content
    add Add paragraph to text box
    replace Replace text box paragraphs
    add Add content to text box placeholder
    replace Replace text box placeholder content
    replace Replace table placeholder with table
    replace Replace picture placeholder with picture
    pptview Open Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or convert it to PDF
    rptview Display report or presentation


    mlreportgen.ppt.Presentation Create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation container
    mlreportgen.ppt.Slide Presentation slide
    mlreportgen.ppt.ContentPlaceholder Placeholder for slide content
    mlreportgen.ppt.TextBoxPlaceholder Placeholder for slide title
    mlreportgen.ppt.PicturePlaceholder Placeholder for slide picture
    mlreportgen.ppt.TablePlaceholder Placeholder for slide table
    mlreportgen.ppt.TextBox Text box
    mlreportgen.ppt.Paragraph Formatted block of text (paragraph)
    mlreportgen.ppt.Text Text to include in a presentation
    mlreportgen.ppt.ExternalLink Hyperlink to location outside of presentation
    mlreportgen.ppt.InternalLink Hyperlink to a slide in a presentation
    mlreportgen.ppt.Picture Picture to include in presentation
    mlreportgen.ppt.Table Table in presentation
    mlreportgen.ppt.TableRow Table row
    mlreportgen.ppt.TableEntry Table entry
    mlreportgen.ppt.ColSpec Formatting for table column
    mlreportgen.ppt.ColWidth Table column width

    Examples and How To

    • Create a Presentation Programmatically

    Use the MATLAB API for PowerPoint (PPT API) to generate a presentation.

    Create a MATLAB ® program to generate a PowerPoint presentation.

    A PowerPoint template specifies the fixed content and default layout and appearance of the slides in a presentation.

    To add a slide to a presentation, use the PPT API to add slide based on a slide layout defined in the PowerPoint presentation template.

    To use the PPT API to add, or replace, content in a PowerPoint presentation:

    You can create a Text object using an mlreportgen.ppt.Text constructor, specifying a character vector.

    To create a Paragraph object, use the mlreportgen.ppt.Paragraph constructor.

    Create a table using an mlreportgen.ppt.Table object.

    To create a picture for a presentation, use the mlreportgen.ppt.Picture constructor.

    In a presentation, you can create an internal link, from one slide to another slide, or an external link to a location outside of the presentation.

    You can use the PPT API to update content programmatically in an existing PowerPoint presentation.


    • Presentation Formatting Approaches

    Format a presentation by using style sheets, format objects, or format properties.

    Plenty of folks aren't Microsoft PowerPoint wizards, especially small business operators or those suffering from unavoidable time-crunch situations. To help, we asked some pros for tips on how to quickly build great PowerPoint presentations.

    How to create a powerpoint presentation

    1. Consider Free Stock Art and Template Options

    The biggest problem with creating Microsoft PowerPoint slide decks is that it is common for people to use the same default themes and styles, which means a lot of presentations look nearly identical in a sort of bland and generic way.

    “Consider using free or affordable stock photography to freshen up your presentation, said Joanna Liu, Senior Presentation Consultant for Stinson Design, an agency that specializes in creating professional presentations. Liu said a brief web search on royalty-free photography websites can yield great images that can help you create more impactful presentations.

    “You don’t have to pay a lot of money for a good stock photo, but it can make a great impact and is preferable over commonly-used images that have become cliché,” said Liu.

    2. Get Inspiration From Attractive Slideshows

    Creating slideshows in PowerPoint requires a mix of creativity, technical proficiency, and artistic flair. That said, if there are outstanding slide decks that you’ve seen and that have left a lasting impression on you, then use those as a template for your own presentation. But don’t forget to add your own elements for nuance and personality.

    Clear, impactful, and attractive slideshows tend to leave a lasting impact so emulating a proven design that works beats having to start from scratch.

    “You can be inspired by colors, layouts, and transitions used on other slideshows to successfully develop your own deck,” Liu pointed out.

    3. Play With Different Fonts

    The correct font can make or break a presentation as well as set the tone of the information the slideshow conveys.

    “Fonts are one way to add personality to a slideshow,” Liu said. “You can download free fonts, and play with their color, formatting, size, and spacing for the desired impact.”

    Designers can do a lot with one font and suggest that you limit the number of fonts used in a slideshow to no more than two. “Just make sure that, if you use non-system fonts, meaning fonts that aren’t native to your PC, [make sure you] save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF,” said Kristy Lam, a marketing strategist for Stinson Design.

    Saving as a PDF file ensures that the printed slides can be viewed as intended even on PCs and devices that may not have the fonts you used.

    4. Keep Things Simple

    “People don’t need to go all out or over the top when they build presentations. Simplicity is a better choice,” Liu says. Some tips to keep things simple include recycling the slide’s layout to make it fit the different slides.

    “It doesn’t need to be super complicated,” said Liu. “Use the same layout but add different photos, or add some colors or icons to create a variance.”

    It is also important not to fill up slides with too much information. The average deck is between 20 to 25 slides, but in some instances, that’s restrictive. The key is creating a balance, according to Liu.

    “Stick to one point or one key message per slide,” said Liu, “but if you need to break up text over multiple slides, then go ahead and do it, even if it takes you over 25 slides.”

    5. Use Slides as Guides

    “The focus in the presentation should be on the presenter and not the slides,” Liu said, adding that being cognizant of your audience and how the delivery of the presentation is going will be more critical to your success than a well-designed Microsoft PowerPoint slide deck.

    Slides should serve as guides for presenters to tell their story and add color to their presentation. “The audience will likely be reading the slides, as well as taking down notes, so there’s no need to read the slides to them point by point. Add value by elaborating on the slides,” she added. “You’re telling a story, the slides are your guide.”

    6. Improve Your Skills With Online Courses

    While Microsoft has continuously improved PowerPoint to be user-friendly and intuitive, getting tips and training from experts can go a long way to creating unique and engaging slide decks in less time.

    Online course portal Udemy offers some notable PowerPoint courses worth looking at. There’s Beginner to Pro in PowerPoint: Complete PowerPoint Training, which promises techniques to help build slides two to three times faster, and will help users fast-track 80 percent of everything they can do in PowerPoint.

    Advanced PowerPoint users can take their expertise to the next level with the PowerPoint 2016 2019 – Master PowerPoint presentation and Advanced PowerPoint Training, which are intermediate-to-expert-level training courses.

    Have any questions you need answered about Microsoft PowerPoint presentations? Join the [email protected] business community on LinkedIn, and you can ask vendors, other professionals like yourself, and PCMag’s editors.

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    Need to make a PowerPoint for your course? Follow these best practices:

    1. Outline your presentation before you get started (just like you would do for a paper).
    2. Use visuals to enhance what you are saying.
    3. Avoid text-heavy slides.
    4. Use a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation.
    5. Make your slides easy to read.
      • Suggested Font Sizes
        • Slide titles = 36 to 44 pt.
        • Slide text = 28 to 32 pt.
      • Suggested Fonts
        • Times New Roman
        • Arial
        • Any font that is easy to read
      • Use Contrasting Colors
        • Try a dark background with light text, or a light background with dark text
        • Avoid overly bright or neon colors
        • Avoid using similar colors for the background and the text color
    6. Proofread your slides.
    7. If you need to record your presentation, see these Tips for Making a Great Presentation.

    Making a PowerPoint

    Follow these step-by-step guides on how to add certain elements to your PowerPoint presentation:

    Selecting a design theme is an easy way to get your slides to look consistent throughout your presentation. To select a design theme…

    • Click on the “Design” Tab
    • Select a “Theme” you like
    • If you want to change the color of that theme, select a “Variant” of that theme

    Adding a Slide

    To add a slide to your presentation…

    • Click on the “Home” Tab
    • Click on the “New Slide” option (by clicking the downward arrow)
    • Then, select the slide layout you would like to use
      • Popular Slide Layouts include:
        • Title Slide
        • Title and Content
        • Two Content

        Deleting a Slide

        If you need to delete a slide from your presentation…

        • Within the left navigation area, right click the slide you want to delete
        • Then, select “Delete Slide”

        Add an Image to a Slide

        Adding images to your slides can help enhance your presentation because they are more engaging than text-only slides. To add an image to your slide….

        • Find the image you would like to copy into your PowerPoint
        • Select the image
        • Right click the image
        • Select “copy image”
        • Then paste (Ctrl +v) the image onto your slide
        • From there you can adjust the size and placement of the image

        Add Styling to Your Image

        If you wish to add styling to your image to help the image stand out…

        • Select the image you would like to enhance
        • Click on the pink “Format” tab
        • From there, select a “Picture Style” or a border, or picture effects you would like to use
        • Note: all of your image-editing options are within that pink Formatting tab

        You may be asked to add slide notes to your slides as part of your assignment. To do so….

        • Click on “Notes” located on the bottom of your presentation
        • This will open a section below your slide that will say “Click to Add Notes”
        • To adjust how much space you have to write notes, click on the grey line and drag it up or down

        Note : The “Notes” area of a PowerPoint typically serves as private notes for a presenter to reference during a presentation (like index cards). However, when your assignment is a PowerPoint that you will submit, the notes should act as the written component of your assignment. Treat the notes area of each slide as a paragraph of an academic paper. You should include complete sentences that explain and support the main idea on the slide, and include in-text citations for any information from outside sources.

        If you would like to make text or images appear, disappear, or move as you present, consider adding animations to your slide elements. Adding animations allows you to time your information with clicks, so content only appears when you want it to, instead of all at once. To add animations…

        • Click on the “Animations” tab
        • Then select “Animation Pane” so you can see what you will add to your slide
        • Then select the part of your slide you want to animate (image, bullet point, text, etc.)
        • Then select an animation style:
          • Green animations = entrance effect (things appear)
          • Yellow animations = emphasis effect (things move)
          • Red animations = exit effect (things leave/disappear)

          Adding transitions between your slides can help make your presentation seem more polished. To add transitions…

          • Click on the “Transitions” tab
          • Select the style of transition you would like
          • Click on “Apply to All”

          Suggestion: Pick a simple transition like “Cut” or “Fade.” Overly showy transitions can be distracting.

          Some assignments may require you to add narration (you speaking) to your slides. To do this…

          • Click on the “Insert” Tab
          • Select the “Audio” button and select “Record Audio…”
          • Click on the record button (red circle) and record your audio.
          • Once you are done recording, click “Ok.” An audio icon should appear on your slide.

          Suggestion: Move the audio icon to the left bottom corner of your slide (or somewhere where it is seen, but not in the way).

          Another great way to enhance your presentation is to insert a relevant YouTube video onto one of your slides. To do this…

          • Click on the “Insert” tab…
          • Select the “Video” icon, and click on “Online Video”
          • From there you can search YouTube for the video you would like to include on your slide
          • Once you found the video you like, select it and click “Insert”
          • From there, adjust the size and placement of your video

          Note: The video will only play in “present mode” and you need an Internet connection to browse for YouTube videos.

          Proper Formatting & Citations

          Some PowerPoint assignments require you to follow APA or MLA guidelines when designing your presentations. To ensure that your PowerPoint meets the academic-style requirements follow these guidelines: