Starting a new presentation from scratch is a daunting task.
Let PowerPoint do as much of the work as possible. Early on, working in the
Outline Pane will help you reduce repetitive tasks. Or, if the text exists in
Word format, convert that Word document into slides! Either way, you’ll have a
quick start on your presentation.

Outline Pane

Use the Outline pane for a quick start. First, open a blank
presentation and click the Outline tab, where you’ll see a single slide. Click
to the right of that slide and enter a name for the slide, which the slide then
uses as its title.

Press [Enter] and PowerPoint will add a new slide. Name the
slide and continue in this manner until you’ve added the appropriate number of
slides with titles. Using the Outline Pane, you can quickly assemble a skeleton
presentation or build each slide as you go.

While working in the Outline Pane, you can use the following
keyboard shortcuts to promote and move slides:

  • [Alt]+[Shift]+[Right
    Arrow] turns the current slide into a bullet point for the previous slide.
  • [Alt]+[Shift]+[Up Arrow]
    moves the current slide or bullet point up one slide.
  • [Alt]+[Shift]+[Down Arrow]
    moves the current slide or bullet point down one slide.
  • [Alt]+[Shift]+[Left Arrow]
    turns the current bullet point into a slide.

Using these shortcuts in the Outline Pane, you can work more
efficiently as you add new slides to a presentation.

Convert Word document

If the text you’re presenting already exists in a Word
document, don’t copy and reformat, don’t recreate -convert. Now, let’s run
through this technique in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. If the Word document that
    contains your presentation text is open, close it.
  2. Open a new PowerPoint
  3. In PowerPoint, click the
    Home tab, click the New Slides dropdown, and choose Slides From Outline.
  4. In the resulting dialog,
    locate and open the Word document that contains your presentation text.

If you’re still using 2003, open the Word document and
choose Send To from the File menu. Then, choose Microsoft Office PowerPoint.
Doing so will launch PowerPoint and copy the document’s text to slides.

Without the appropriate planning and setup, there’s no
guarantee that this conversion trick will work as expected. That’s because this
technique relies on your use of Word’s built-in heading styles:

  • PowerPoint converts
    Heading 1 text into slide titles.
  • PowerPoint converts
    Heading 2 text into bullet points.
  • PowerPoint converts
    Heading 3, Heading 4, and Heading 5 into subsequent bullet points,
  • If the Word document
    doesn’t use the built-in heading styles, PowerPoint will position each
    paragraph on a slide.

If you want an idea of how the text will convert, view the
Word document in Outline view by clicking the View tab and then choosing
Outline from the Document Views group. The pane to the left will display the
styles, so it’s easy to see with a quick glance which elements PowerPoint will
convert. This way you can alter styles before converting, if necessary. If the
results aren’t what you want, simply return to the Word document, modify the
style application, and try again. Most likely, the results will need a bit of
tweaking regardless, but it’s quicker to adjust the results than to begin from
scratch. Download the example Word Doc.