The Briefest Introduction to Powerpoint


These instructions will help you prepare your group and individual presentations. It is the briefest of overviews. Powerpoint does include all kinds of backgrounds and layout options. You may use them if you wish but it is not necessary.


1)    Open Powerpoint

2)    Select ‘Blank presentation’ from on screen box—hit ok

3)    Choose a layout format by double clicking on it (I use the ‘blank’ one in lower right corner)

4)    Click on ‘File’ menu then ‘save as’

5)    Choose your disc or the 'student folder' on the lab computer as the destination and give your presentation a name—this is the name for the whole set of slides, not just the file you are creating


6)    To insert an image-- Click on ‘Insert’ menu, point to ‘Picture’, point and release on ‘From file…’

Images can be those that you have taken, scanned in, or found on the web. Be sure to give proper credit for images that you have borrowed. List the URL or reference information under the image on the slide. All images must be in a '.jpg', '.jpeg', or '.gif' format.

7)    Get into your folder of images in the on screen box (if it is on network space you will have to have opened a connection before step 4)

8)    Click on a file and the preview box will let you see what that image is.

9)    Click on insert to place that file on the slide

The image can be moved by clicking within the image and dragging it. It can also be resized by clicking on the image to select it (get the open boxes to come up around its edges). Then click on an open box and drag the image larger or smaller. Remember that making it much bigger may cause some distortion of quality.

10) More than one image can be inserted onto the same slide.


11) To add text—go to the tool bar at the bottom of the screen and click on the icon that looks like a page (with a letter A on it)

12) Move cursor to screen and click where you want the text—type away!

13) Change fonts/styles etc using the top tool bar

14)  Move the text by clicking to select it and then click and drag to move it


15) To make another slide in the same presentation click on the ‘Insert’ menu and choose ‘New slide’ (or on a Mac just type ‘apple and m’ at the same time) DO NOT use “new” under the file menu—this will start a new presentation

16)  Pick a layout and start a new slide

17)  Before closing make sure to save your presentation


18) To rearrange the order of your slides – click on you presentation to view a slide. You need to get into the slide sorter view. Click on the ‘View’ menu and choose ‘Slide sorter’. You will then see thumbnail prints of all of your slides in the order they appear in the presentation.

19) Click on the slide you want to move to select it (it will become outlined and a cursor will appear to its left) Drag the slide so that the cursor is to the left of its new position


20) To view your presentation—Click on ‘Slide show’ menu and choose ‘View


21) Choose the name of your presentation and hit return

22) To change slides click the mouse





To make manipulation easier during your presentation it is a good idea to insert blank slides whenever you will be talking and not using the projector. That way you can have the program up and running throughout the presentation and do not need to stop and find files just to load up image slides.


Your presentation will go much more smoothly if you have practiced it. Outloud. Get used to how to move from one slide to the next (by mouse or arrow keys). Work out transitions between slides and between speakers. Watch where you stand so that you do not block the slide you worked so hard to make.


Your presentation will also go more smoothly if you have preloaded it onto the desktop of the instructor's bench computer. The first 10 minutes of lab will be used to pre-load and introduce the presentations.


Powerpoint can do lots of other ‘gee-wow’ things. These are not necessary for a good presentation and should be used sparingly. Have fun but do not go overboard!