PowerPoint 101: The Ultimate Tutorial for Beginners

Carla Albinagorta

You haven’t worked before with PowerPoint? Don’t worry, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe you have been worried about other things. Or maybe you just need a little refreshment on your PowerPoint basics. Either way, it’s always wise to look for help when you’re not sure about something. You’ll get everything you need to know for making a simple presentation in this PowerPoint tutorial for beginners. It is a pretty intuitive software, so you won’t have much problem getting the hang of it. So, are you ready for a quick PowerPoint 101 class?

PowerPoint 101

Although this article will be focused on the basics of the basics, you’ll find links here and there on how to improve certain specific aspects. Just keep on reading!

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What is PowerPoint?

First things first. PowerPoint is a presentation software that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. Chances are that you probably already have PowerPoint installed on your computer, even if you have never used it before. So why not take advantage of it?

PowerPoint is an incredible tool to design not only presentations but many other things. Infographics, videos, business cards , you name it! However, it’s most extended use is definitely to create presentations. Whether it is for your client, your boss, or your team, PowerPoint allows you to create a customized audiovisual aid to accompany you while you’re speaking in public. What you want to include in your PowerPoint slides it’s up to you. Images? Graphs, diagrams, charts? A summary? A bullet-point checklist? There are unlimited options, and it’s up to you and your imagination to figure out what you can do.

Precisely because there are so many options it can be hard to know where to start. But that is what this article is all about!

Just a quick note before we start with the PowerPoint basics. In this tutorial, I’ll be using PowerPoint 2016 as an example. However, this 101 guide is useful for both older and newer versions. While certain elements might not be in the exact same order, everything has remained pretty much the same, so don’t worry about it. Even if you’re using PowerPoint for Mac, all the features are still the same.

PowerPoint 101: starting your presentations

Once you open up PowerPoint, you’ll see the Home Menu. If you have ever used any of the other Microsoft Office software, like Word or Excel, you’ll probably find this familiar. In short, this is the main page where you can select to create a new presentation or open an older one.

On the lower side of the screen, you’ll find your recently opened PowerPoint files. This option is great for saving some time. If you don’t find the presentation you’re looking for, you can click on the Open option at the left bar of the screen. There you’ll find even older files, and if you still can not find it, you can open the File Explorer with “ browse ”.

PowerPoint tutorial for beginners

If you want to start a completely new presentation, you have two options. You can create a blank presentation and design it from scratch. This is great if you need something very specific. Or if your brand or company has a really strict visual line or color palette that you need to stick to. This option definitely takes more time, but it’s not impossible either. If you know the basic rules of design , everyone can make a good PowerPoint deck.

The other option is to use a template. This is a great option for those looking for something quick but that still has a clean look. Templates are a whole world on their own, so let’s get into PowerPoint templates basics.

What is a template and how to use them

A template is a pre-made design that you can use for your own means. Templates can be incredibly specific. For example, templates for a SWOT analysis, or a marketing report. But they can also be very general, like having several slides with a similar design. General templates are meant to fit the necessities of many, so you can organize your information in them how you see fit. Templates are great because all the design work is already done, and you only have to update the content.

Templates are not exclusive to just PowerPoint. Word, Excel, and thousands of other softwares use templates too. However, since PowerPoint’s main function is to present something in front of an audience, it’s no surprise that is the one that uses templates the most. When doing a presentation, you need to catch your audience’s attention and engage them. An aesthetically pleasing presentation not only helps you make sure you’ll get everyone’s attention. A well-designed presentation helps convey the information in more efficient ways, and can even showcase an image of yourself or your brand.

By using a template you’ll be sure that, even if it’s not a tailor-made presentation design, your presentation still has a clean look. There are thousands of presentation templates completely at your disposal. If you click the “ More templates ” option, you’ll be redirected to the whole Microsoft office library. You can use the search bar to look for more specific and better-suited templates for your presentations. If you click on any of them, you’ll get a preview of what the template is about. Once you have picked the one you want, you just need to click on the “ Create ” icon, and you’re ready to go!

PowerPoint free Templates by 24Slides

If even with that you don’t find a template that you like, don’t worry! There are many places online exclusively dedicated to PowerPoint templates. Our Templates by 24Slides site , for example, has thousands of templates ready for you to use. Our designers specialize in business and corporate PowerPoints, so you will find a much bigger catalog for specific business models and reports. You just need to register, and you’ll be ready to download freely every single template you want.

PowerPoint 101: the Workspace

Once you have selected your template (or the blank presentation) you’ll be redirected to PowerPoint main workspace. You may feel overwhelmed by all the options and icons, but it’s actually fairly easy. If you follow this quick PowerPoint 101 tutorial, you’ll be able to identify and use the basic ones.

PowerPoint’s main screen is divided into three big parts. The first one, and the bigger one, is the Slide Editor . Here it is where you’ll make any changes to the slide you’re currently working on. You can add text, images, graphics, videos, and so on.

Slide Editor PowerPoint 101

The second part is the one on the left side of the screen: the Slide Thumbnail View . These small images are a representation of all the slides you currently have in your presentation. It would be uncomfortable to have all of them opened at the same time. This is why the thumbnail view option exists. When you click on any of them, the selected slide will be the one appearing at the Slide Editor area. You can go back and forward between slides as you wish by clicking on the thumbnail view.

Slide Thumbnail PowerPoint 101

You can also add, delete, and duplicate slides in the Thumbnail View. If you right-click any of your thumbnail slides, you’ll get a menu with these options.

Finally, the third part of the screen is the Tabs and Ribbons . You’ll find this in the upper part of your screen, right on top of the Slide Editor and the Thumbnail View. Each of the tabs (Home, Insert, Design, Transitions, Animations, Slide Show, Review, View and Help) opens its own ribbon. And in the ribbon, you’ll find different options concerning its topic.

Tabs PowerPoint tutorial for beginners

PowerPoint basic commands: the Tabs

The PowerPoint tabs are the control desk of your presentation. The changes and addition that appear in your Slide Editor will be thanks to a command from this area. Since PowerPoint functions are too many, they’re organized in Tabs . These tabs group together similar functions so it’s easy for you to find exactly what you’re trying to do easier. In short, they group PowerPoint commands into categories.

You can come a go between tabs as you please and according to your needs. Once you click on a Tab, it will open its ribbon , and there you’ll be able to see all the functions related to that particular category.

In this PowerPoint tutorial for beginners you will have an overview of all the tabs. But, we will only go through the most basic commands. PowerPoint is great precisely because it’s so versatile and has so many design options. But going through all of them would take years. Still, here you’ll find a general overview of what you can find in each ribbon.

The Home Tab has the most common and basic commands of PowerPoint. This is the tab you’ll probably be using the most if you’re designing your own presentation from scratch. It allows you to add new slides and change the text characteristics (font, size, boldness, etc., ust like in Microsoft Office Word).

PowerPoint 101 Home Tab

In short, what you’ll find in this ribbon is all about how you want to show your written content . How big do you want your text to be? What color? How do you wish it is arranged in the slide?

This tab is exactly what its name says it is. In this ribbon you’ll find all options concerning adding a new element to your slide. It can be a picture you have store in your PC, or one you’ve found online. Maybe you want to add geometric shapes to your presentation, or WordArt lettering so your title stands out. If you have a lot of data, you might want to add a chart or diagram to show it in a more visual way. You can also add videos or audio . There are many options, so it all depends on how much time you spend tinkering with it.

PowerPoint 101 Insert pictures video

One important footnote: To be able to write text to your slides, you need a text box . So if you’re designing your presentation from scratch, remember to go first to this tab and add a text box to start writing! Most pre-made slides layout that you can pick already have text boxes, but it’s always good to know how to add more in case you need it.

If you want to know more about how working with these elements in your presentation, you can check out this Ultimate Guide To Using Images, Videos, And SmartArt Graphics In PowerPoint .

This is the tab you want to go to if you want to customize the look of your presentation. It offers you a wide range of pre-made designs so you can give your presentation look more polished. Even better, you can tune the color palette and overall style (fonts, effect, etc.) the design you chose.

PowerPoint 101 design

If you’re doing your own background, this one is also the tab for you. Just go to Design > Variants > Background Styles > Format Background. With this, a background menu will appear that will help you customize your background to make it exactly as you want it to be.

Making a background on your own can be very time consuming, though. Check out these background templates you can download for free. Or if you are sure about doing it all on your own, this great article on how to work with PowerPoint backgrounds .


Transitions refer to the way it looks when you go from one slide to another. By default, the next slide will simply “appear”. But PowerPoint offers you so many options to change slides. Some are really classic, like wiping the old slide to present the new one. Others are really over the top, like the origami effect. If you click on any of the transitions, you’ll see a preview on how it would look when presenting.

PowerPoint 101 transitions

This ribbon controls the way the elements of your slide appear (or disappear). By default, all elements will appear all together as soon as you change slides. But PowerPoint gives you many options in case you want to highlight something, go point by point, or any other thing you want to showcase.

PowerPoint 101 animations

Animations and transitions can seem exciting at first, but be careful with them! It can make a presentation slow and unprofessional if there are too many on them. For PowerPoint beginners following this 101 tutorial, the best advice is probably to keep it as clean and simple as possible. But if you want to know more on how to use animations on your presentation, check out this article on how to work with animations in PowerPoint .

As its name says, this tab is about presenting you PowerPoint. It gives you several options to customize your presentation. As a beginner, however, you’re not very likely to use this tab much.

PowerPoint 101 slide show

This one is another tab that is not used very much by beginners. It has useful options, like checking the slide’s spelling. It also gives you the option to add comments, in case you want to set a note of some specific element, for example.

PowerPoint for beginners

This one is another pretty advanced tab for PowerPoint. It gives the option to change the view of the slides and make handouts from them, among other things.

PowerPoint basics

Finally, there’s the “Help” tab. If you have any problem or question concerning how to use PowerPoint, you may go to this tab to look for a solution. The best thing about it is that in the latest versions, Windows has added a “Show Training” option. You can click on this option to practice your PowerPoint skills. It will download training templates you can work on to improve your PowerPoint basics.

PowerPoint 101 help

A quick note before going any further. When opening PowerPoint, some of the commands in the ribbons might seem unavailable or unresponsive. Their icons will look grey-ish and they will not highlight themselves when you hover the mouse over them.

This is because some functions need something to be selected in order to function. For example, if you want to change the color of a text, you first need to select it. Once you have selected whatever it is you wish to change, the unavailable functions will function normally. It depends on each function, so don’t worry much about it. Just remember that if something isn’t working, try first selecting what you’re planning to change.

Presenting your PowerPoint

After you have work on your PowerPoint, you are now set to give your presentation! But wait. Before you even think about presenting in front of the audience there is one vital thing you should do first. You should always try out your presentation. And the way you do this is to look at the presentation from the exact same perspective your audience will look at it.

You probably don’t want your audience to be distracted by the thumbnails, or the ribbons, or your comments, Those are only for when you’re editing. For the actual presentation, you should always put it on the SlideShow mode. This will make your presentation appear in full screen. You can go through the slides by using the keyboard’s arrows to go forward and backwards. Or you can use your mouse. Each left click will bring the next element, whether it is a picture, an animation or the next slide.

You can access the Slide Show mode though different ways. You can pick the Slide Show tab and pick the first option “From the Beginning”. Or you can pick at the Slide Show Icon at the lower right corner of your screen, right next to the zoom. This one will put in presentation mode which ever you slide are currently working on, so be careful with that!

Presenting PowerPoint 101

To go out from the Slide Show mode, you just have to press the ESC key. Or, you can go all the way through your presentation. After it’s over, it will automatically bring you back to the Slide Editor.

Improve your PowerPoint basics

I hope this PowerPoint tutorial for beginners was useful to you. PowerPoint is such a versatile tool and has so many options that it can be quite intimidating if you don’t know where to begin. It might seem pretty difficult and a slow process at first. But the true lesson of this PowerPoint 101 class is that practice makes perfect. The more you work with it, the more used you’ll get to all the options PowerPoint has to offer.

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It’s true that designing a presentation takes time and effort. And while it’s always useful to know the PowerPoint basics in case you need them, it’ll take a long, long time before they look professionally designed. So why not hire a professional? If you don’t think you can invest the time and dedication necessary to make a good PowerPoint demands, 24Slides have the very best PowerPoint designers that will turn your presentation into a unique, outstanding PowerPoint.

Create professional presentations online

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Basic Electricity

Basic Electricity . Basic Electrical Terms. Voltage: the driving force, potential symbol is V, units are Volts Resistance: resistance to flow symbol is R, units are Ohms Current: a measure of flow symbol is I, units are Amps Power: rate energy is produced or used


Presentation Transcript

Basic Electrical Terms • Voltage: the driving force, potential • symbol is V, units are Volts • Resistance: resistance to flow • symbol is R, units are Ohms • Current: a measure of flow • symbol is I, units are Amps • Power: rate energy is produced or used • symbol is P, units are Watts

Water makes a great analogy for electrical systems. Higher voltage is just like running a pump at higher pressure. Voltage

The fish are swimming in current (water). In a piece of copper wire the electron moves from orbital ring to orbital ring of adjacent atoms. Current (amps)

Resistance (ohms)

Resistance differences

The analogy I R V

Ohm’s Law relates these terms Ohm’s Law: E = I • R I = E ÷ R

Distribution system components Utility Transmits at high voltageto reduce line losses 480, 600,1K, 10K Vac Reduces voltageto useable levels Distributes current andprotects circuits 120, 208,277 Vac Heating cable Uses electricity togenerate heat Subpanel withcircuit breakers Transformer

Standard Voltages • Commercial and industrial facilities • 120, 208, 277, 480, 600 Volts, 3 phase • Residential buildings • 120 and 240 Volts • We differentiate our products by voltage • 120 Volt vs. 240 Volt • 120 Volt products are designed for 100 – 130 Volts240 Volt products are designed for 200 – 277 Volts

Standard circuit breakers • Provide over-current protection for short circuits only • Trips if current flowing exceeds breaker rating • Typical ratings for heat-tracing applications: • 15, 20, 30, 40 and 50 amp • Manufacturers: • Square D, GE, Cutler-Hammer

Ground fault circuit breakers • In addition to over-current protection, these breakers trip if a small fault current flows to ground • 5 mA level for personnel protection (GFCI) • 30 mA level for equipment protection (GFEPD) • Required for all heating cable circuits by NEC, CEC and by Tyco Thermal Controls • Tyco Thermal Controls recommends 30 mA level equipment protection to avoid nuisance tripping • Selection Guide on Web site shows breakers available for different voltages; available in Tyco Thermal Controls price list

Ground fault breaker operation Circuit Breaker Heating Cable Line A Line B Fault Ground Sensor If currents in Line A and Line B are not equal, some current is going to ground through a fault. The ground fault circuit detects this imbalance and trips the circuit breaker.

Electrical Issues in Heat-Tracing • Maximum circuit lengths • Self-regulating cables draw more current at start-up temperature than at steady-state temperature • Thus, maximum circuit lengths are based on start-up current, not steady-state current • Tyco Thermal Controls calculates maximum circuit lengths to ensure current draw does not exceed breaker rating • Always use the design guide or TraceCalc for circuit lengths • Transformer sizing • Safe transformer sizing is based current draw at start-up temperatures rather than at steady-state • A conservative solution is: transformer load = breaker rating x 0.8 x voltage



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How to Learn PowerPoint Quickly (Complete 2021 Beginner's Guide + Video)

Andrew Childress

What's the best way to get up to speed with a new app? When you open  Microsoft PowerPoint  for the first time, you quickly realize that there are many features and tools. But it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. You need PowerPoint help.

Man giving presentation

In this PowerPoint tutorial for beginners, I'll help you get up and running in Microsoft PowerPoint. You'll learn how to use PowerPoint to build a presentation in less time than you ever thought possible. We'll also cover some PowerPoint best practices to make sure you're doing things the easy way.

Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)

Before you read on, be sure to grab our free eBook:  The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations . It'll help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

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What You’ll Learn About MS PowerPoint in This Guide

This guide is packed with information that helps you learn how to use PowerPoint to build a presentation. Building beautiful slide decks takes a few steps, but each of these sections will help you address those steps. 

Jump ahead to any part of this tutorial guide to start learning PowerPoint specifics:

Table of Contents

How to Learn PowerPoint Quickly (Beginner Tutorial With Tips Video)

Are you ready to start learning PowerPoint? Watch this quick screencast to learn all about what PowerPoint is and how to use it .

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Or, study the complete written tutorial below.

What Is PowerPoint?

Microsoft PowerPoint  is undoubtedly the most popular app used to give presentations. You're likely to see PowerPoint presentations being used for everything from presentations at the world's largest companies to grade schoolteachers sharing lessons.

PowerPoint is often the butt of the joke. Many decry PowerPoint as boring and a crutch for poorly prepared speakers.

Only a bad carpenter blames the tools. And like any tool, PowerPoint is incredibly useful when used properly. Use it as an aid on your speaking engagements to build comfort and drive points visually with your audience.

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In this tutorial, we're going to focus on working inside of PowerPoint to build a presentation. This PowerPoint guide has everything you need to get comfortable in the app. To master the app, we'll talk about and cover the most common steps a rookie PowerPoint user needs to know.

Here are the key actions you'll need to take to build a PowerPoint presentation:

We'll cover each of these in this PowerPoint tutorial so that you can get up and running quickly. 

How to Use PowerPoint's Ribbon

To get up to speed with PowerPoint, it helps to understand the layout of the app. Let's walk through the key menu options so that you can learn PowerPoint quickly. If you understand the way that the app is laid out, you're likely to find any feature you need quickly.

This part of the PowerPoint guide will focus on the interface:

1. The Ribbon

The ribbon menu is found across many of Microsoft's apps, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It lives above the main area of the application.

PowerPoint Ribbon screenshot example

The ribbon contains a series of tabs that you can switch between. Each of these have a unique set of tools to work with your presentation differently. When you switch tabs on the ribbon, you'll see new buttons and options to change your presentation:

Now that you understand the layout, you've got a better idea of how you can jump to the feature you need. Let's dive a bit deeper into how you can use several of these key tabs.

2. The Home Tab

Use it for: a general selection of the most popular tools in PowerPoint.

I usually stay on the Home tab when I'm working in PowerPoint. The reason is because it's got practically every tool you need. From adding a new slide to changing text and paragraph settings, the Home tab is the default for most users.

Home on Ribbon

3. The Insert Tab

When you're working on adding content to a slide, the  Insert  tab has every possible tool to add new content to a slide. Choose one of these types of objects to add it to the slide.

Insert tab PowerPoint ribbon

PowerPoint has a variety of views that are simply different ways to work with the same presentation. Change the view to get a different perspective on your content.

Use views for a different way to edit and build your PowerPoint presentation.

Views tab

In the screenshot below, you can see the difference between the default  Normal  view and  Slide Sorter  view. Normal view shows each slide front and center. Slide Sorter view creates thumbnails that you can drag and drop to reorder the presentation. 

Normal and Slide Sorter views

5. The Design Tab

An attractive presentation can really grab your audience's attention. We use themes and styles in PowerPoint to add visual appeal to the presentation, and the  Design  tab really controls these settings.

Design Tab PowerPoint

On the Design tab, click one of the themes to restyle the presentation. Or, try out a different Style thumbnail to overhaul the color theme.

The Steps to Create a PowerPoint Presentation for Beginners

We've tackled the interface of PowerPoint, so you should be feeling pretty comfortable with how to get around the app. Now, let's talk about the actions you'll find yourself using repeatedly and how you can do that in PowerPoint.

1. How to Add Slides

Think of  slides  as the individual units in your presentation that you can fill with content. To insert a new slide, go to the  Insert  tab on PowerPoint's ribbon. Then, click on the  New Slide  button to add a new slide to your presentation.

New Slide Added

Each of the thumbnails that you'll see on the sidebar represents a slide. Then, you'll add content to each slide.

There's no practical limit to the number of slides that your PowerPoint file can contain. But you should consider how many slides it actually takes to make your point. It's often the 

2. How to Add Content

Content is what defines each slide. PowerPoint accommodates a wide range of content like text, graphs, tables, charts, and more.

The easiest way to add content is to start off by choosing a  Layout,  which you can choose from the  Home  tab.

PowerPoint layouts

These layouts have content boxes that are easy to add your own content to. Simply choose a layout, and then start adding your content.

3. How to Choose a Theme and Style

After you build out your presentation's content, it's a great idea to think about adding visual style. For this, you'll jump over to the  Design  tab, and click on one of the thumbnails for a theme.

PowerPoint theme dropdown

Using a PowerPoint theme is the preferred alternative to adding backgrounds, color and type styles to each slide. Changing the theme typically will adjust the entire presentation simultaneously. This greatly reduces the time involved with building a presentation.

With just these three steps, you've got the repeatable sequence of actions needed to build a presentation. 

How to Power Up PowerPoint

With every creative app I've ever learned, there are always those insider tricks of the trade that you learn many months later. They make you wish that you had known them all along and think about the many hours you wasted on the learning curve.

PowerPoint is no exception to this rule. It's especially important that you can cut to the chase when you're rushing to prepare for your presentation.

The best way to save time on your presentation is to start with a ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">pre-built PowerPoint theme .  And you can find those on Envato Elements, which is an unlimited download service for creatives.

PowerPoint Presentations List on Elements

Discover  ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent"> simple PowerPoint template designs  with powerful features on Envato Elements or GraphicRiver. The right  ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent"> premium PPT template  will help you make a great presentation quickly. 

Browse through these  simple professional presentation designs  that you can use today:  

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Now, most of the files that you'll grab from the Elements PPTX themes will appear to be finished presentations. You might be wondering how to use these pre-built presentations for your own needs.

To use Elements themes, it's really all about cutting it down to the slide designs that you'll use. A premium theme is really about the  ideas  that are included as part of it. Simply use these ideas as starting points that you can add your own content to.

Volt Elements Example

Again, the value of Elements is that you can download as many files as you want while you're a subscriber. And if you stop subscribing, you'll still have the right to use the creative assets you grabbed. It's much faster than building every slide from scratch.

How to Customize a Premium PPT Template Quickly (In 5 Simple Steps!)

When you contemplate how to use PowerPoint, don’t imagine building slide decks from scratch. That’s where premium PPT templates come in. They take the hard work out of using PowerPoint. 

You can take advantage of designer styles in a simple format. That’s the ultimate PowerPoint lesson to take to heart. Let’s look at just how easy it is to customize premium PPT templates in this quick PowerPoint training tutorial!

If you want to follow along, download the beautiful ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent"> Agio PowerPoint template from Envato Elements.

Agio template for PowerPoint lesson

Let's get started:

1. Choose Slides for Your Presentation

Premium PowerPoint PPT templates often include hundreds of handcrafted slides. For you, it’s best to select only a handful to build a slide deck. In PowerPoint, find Slide Sorter on the View tab. 

In Slide Sorter view, click and drag on the slide thumbnails to reorder them. Hold down Shift , click, and press Delete to remove unwanted slides. Jump back and start working by clicking Normal on the View tab.

How to create a PowerPoint presentation for beginners

2. Add Your Own Text

The PowerPoint basics include text and images. Adding custom text is one of the easiest and most common edits to make. 

Pre-built layouts include text boxes already arranged on the slide. To add your own words, highlight the contents of any text box. Then, simply start typing. Repeat throughout the presentation. 

PowerPoint basics

3. Add Images

Wondering how to add PowerPoint presentation images? The easiest way is to turn to premium templates with image placeholders. Identify them by finding the image icons on a given slide. Jump to where images are stored on your computer. 

Then, simply drag and drop them onto the placeholder. Not only will all your photos import automatically, they’ll also size and scale to fit perfectly!

How to use PowerPoint presentation

4. Change Object Colors

Changing theme colors is a fast way to adjust the visual look of your slides. For example, change object colors to add a bit of contrast. 

To get started, click on a chart section to select it. On the Format tab, click on the Shape Fill dropdown. You’ll see a color chooser, from which you can apply any color imaginable. 

Microsoft powerPoint tutorial

5. Customize Fonts

No Microsoft PowerPoint tutorial would be complete without customizing fonts. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook text as a design element, but with a few quick edits you can make your words really stand out. 

Highlight a block of text, then go up to the Font section of the Home tab. You’ll see dropdowns to change the font style, size, and color. After that, add quick effects like bold letters, italics, and more!

PowerPoint instructions

PowerPoint Tools to Learn (For Presenters)

The content and design will vary greatly from one presentation next. But, no matter what the goal of your presentation is, there are common tools that every presenter can benefit from using. We've developed PowerPoint lessons for those tools.

Let's focus on the most valuable tools for speakers in this PowerPoint tutorial. I always mention these tools as a way to build confidence and comfort for presenters.

1. Speaker Notes

Forget writing out note cards or keeping a printed outline nearby. Speaker notes are a way to add the things you need to say to each slide.

Speaker notes are added to each individual slide, and the best way to add them is from  Normal  view. Click on  Notes  below the presentation area and type your slide-specific notes.

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Speaker notes will show up in printed copies of your presentation. So, it's easier to build them into PowerPoint instead of scribbling note cards you may lose.

2. Presenter View

Another feature that's a must-use is Presenter View , which is perfect for two screen setups while presenting. While your audience will see the presentation you've built on the projector or LCD screen, you'll have your own private view with speaker notes, upcoming slides, and more.

Turn on Presenter View from the slideshow tab by clicking  Use Presenter View.

Example of PowerPoint Presenter View

Check out a full guide below on getting the most from Presenter View:

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3. Spelling and Grammar Check

There's nothing worse than missing a key typo before you give your presentation. To avoid this problem, it's a great help to run a spelling and grammar check before you give your presentation.

To check for common spelling issues, simply jump to the  Review  tab and click Spelling . PowerPoint will check for the most common issues and allow you to correct them as needed.

5 Tips and Tricks for a Successful PowerPoint Presentation

You’ve learned how to use PowerPoint presentation templates. We walked through a quick PowerPoint lesson to customize them. But you may be wondering: is that enough to deliver a winning PowerPoint presentation? 

Part of PowerPoint training comes from adopting the tips and tricks used by the best presenters. Follow these, and you’ll have a happy (and engaged) audience every time!

1. Have a Clear Objective

Let’s face it: we’ve all endured lengthy, boring PowerPoint presentations that seem to drift without a clear purpose. When you build your own PowerPoint, start with a goal in mind. Typically, that goal will be to inform or persuade an audience. It pays to outline that goal in advance and work towards your objective with a series of clear and concise slides.

It may sound daunting, but you can learn the technique in moments with our full PowerPoint training to help build persuasive slide decks:

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2. Illustrate Concepts With Infographics

A key PowerPoint lesson for beginners is this: never get bogged down trying to talk through concepts. Visual aids are essential, and audiences demand them today. Infographics are a successful presenter’s best friend. Infographics combine information and graphics to create stunning visuals. 

Learn to build them yourself. Or sample from the very best pre-built PPT templates today in our infographic-centric set of PowerPoint instructions:

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3. Use Subtle Animations and Transitions

Animations and transitions: fundamental elements of any deck, they should be used sparingly. When carefully applied, they create beautiful segues between slides. They can also help introduce new ideas in exact sequence. But use too many, and they become obnoxious distractions guaranteed to annoy an audience. 

Moderation is the name of the game here. Read our full Microsoft PowerPoint tutorial on animations to use them with confidence:

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4. Be Interactive to Engage the Audience

No matter how compelling your narrative, you can’t simply talk to an audience and expect full participation. Instead, you need to engage your audience. A quick and fun way is with a quiz slide. They get the audience involved and help your slide deck stay focused. 

Even better: pre-built templates make it a breeze. They're PowerPoint instructions inside a PPTX file. Get started building interactive quizzes in PPT today with our guide on how to create PowerPoint quizzes:

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5. Close Strong for an Enduring Message

The very best PowerPoint presentations make a great first impression. But equally (and perhaps even more) important is the winning last impression. It’s critical to conclude with a strong close. Leave on a memorable anecdote, recap your key points, or make a big “ask.” All these techniques and more help to ensure a strong close.

Don’t go it alone. We’ve created expert PowerPoint training on building a strong close. Check it out here:

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More Beginner PowerPoint Tutorials (Free to Learn Online)

This PowerPoint tutorial helped you get off the ground with using Microsoft PowerPoint. You learned the steps for creating slides and the shortcut to a better presentation with pre-built themes.

At Tuts+, we've been building out a series of PowerPoint tutorials that can help you build your presentation skills. Check out all these PowerPoint tutorials for free. One ideal place to start is the PowerPoint Ultimate Tutorial Guide that we've developed. If you're feeling nervous about giving a presentation for your job or freelance practice, try out more of these tutorials like the ones below.

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Microsoft PowerPoint Premium Online Courses

One of the best ways to learn is by watching a complete PowerPoint presentation built from start to finish. PowerPoint training creates polished presenters. Seeing a presentation come together will teach you the tricks you need to confidently build your own presentations.

At Tuts+, we've built a library of courses that do just that. Think of them as the "PowerPoint for dummies" selections for beginners. These are complete courses that include all the PowerPoint knowledge you need to craft a slide deck that tells your story.

These PowerPoint tutorials are included for free if you already subscribe to Envato Elements. The same subscription gives you PowerPoint instructions to become a presenter. You'll learn to use templates that help you jump ahead in building your presentation and build them in less time than you ever thought.

Course Example for PowerPoint

Need Help? Grab Our Making Great Presentations eBook (Free)

You can find more information in our new  eBook on making great presentations . Download this PDF eBook now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

It'll help you master the presentation process, from: initial creative ideas, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

Get Started Using PowerPoint Today

Presentations can be daunting to take on, but a bit of knowledge about Microsoft PowerPoint can ease the process. We've got tutorials that show you how to create a PowerPoint presentation, for beginners. Jump to the following links to speed up your learning process and spend less time in PowerPoint:

Editorial Note : This post was originally published in 2017. It's been comprehensively revised to make it current, accurate, and up to date by our staff—with special assistance from Andrew Childress .

Andrew Childress

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PowerShow.com is a leading presentation sharing website. It has millions of presentations already uploaded and available with 1,000s more being uploaded by its users every day. Whatever your area of interest, here you’ll be able to find and view presentations you’ll love and possibly download. And, best of all, it is completely free and easy to use.

You might even have a presentation you’d like to share with others. If so, just upload it to PowerShow.com. We’ll convert it to an HTML5 slideshow that includes all the media types you’ve already added: audio, video, music, pictures, animations and transition effects. Then you can share it with your target audience as well as PowerShow.com’s millions of monthly visitors. And, again, it’s all free.

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Become a presentation pro with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint templates

Microsoft PowerPoint templates offer the widest range of design choices, which makes them perfect for modern and sophisticated presentations and pitches. PowerPoint themes allow for a variety of presentation topics, giving you the freedom to choose the best presentation template design for your project. Microsoft offers a wide variety of PowerPoint templates for free and premium PowerPoint templates for subscribers of Microsoft 365. Each of our templates for PowerPoint allow for stylized charts and graphs while still maintaining a professional tone. Host a healthcare seminar, teach a high school course about dinosaurs, design a fashion magazine, or bring back the 1980s with a retro pitch deck. Anything you choose will be supported by PowerPoint, even if we haven't thought of it yet. While Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation templates are all professionally designed and require only the lightest touch when filling in your relevant data, they can also be heavily modified. If you prefer a more hands-on and involved approach with your presentations, each PowerPoint template is easily customizable and allows you to change anything and everything to suit your exact needs.

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Microsoft PowerPoint

Get it now with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Device screen showing a presentation open in PowerPoint

Get the PowerPoint mobile app ¹

Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon

Interact naturally using voice, touch, and ink

Easily ink onto a slide, then convert handwritten notes into text and make hand-drawn shapes perfect in seconds.

Nail your next presentation

With Presenter Coach, practice your speech and get recommendations on pacing, word choice, and more through the power of AI.

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Be on the same page

Always know where you are in the editing process. With the while you were away feature, track recent changes made by others in your decks.

Task management with PowerPoint and Microsoft 365

See how task management in Microsoft 365 works as an integrated experience that lets you assign, manage, and complete tasks across your favorite apps including PowerPoint.

Ready to create great presentations with Microsoft 365?

See more from microsoft powerpoint.

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Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows

The go-to presentation tool for business and leisure.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Professionals have long trusted its power and functionality to put their best foot forward. Students find it helpful as they create presentations for school projects and homework. PowerPoint 2016 is Microsoft’s latest version with new features and streamlined automation. This tool is ideal for anyone creating an impressive presentation, either with all the bells and whistles or with a simple and minimalist style. Suggested design templates help those who are not as tech savvy, while also being incredibly customizable for those who know their way around the interface. It currently occupies 95% of the world’s presentation software, solidifying its place as the industry standard. Using this program is sure to take your presentation to the next level.

Make your slides shine

Microsoft PowerPoint stays ahead of the curve as it releases innovative new features, still remaining the tried and true presentation software of the industry.

Some of PowerPoint’s newest and most innovative updates are only available to O365 users. Those with Office 365 also have access to Microsoft’s mobile apps, including PowerPoint for mobile, automatically syncing projects across all of your devices. PowerPoint via Microsoft Office Online allows users to collaborate within a presentation simultaneously, streamlining workflow and fostering teamwork. The latest version also offers templates in over 40 categories including business cards, calendars, flyers, photo albums, business plans, and of course business presentations.

Microsoft stays relevant with their Office Blog where users can connect with experts, see what’s new, and get the most out of their software. Microsoft provides support for large-scale presentations and offers tips on various subjects to improve user success and satisfaction. Within the software program itself, easily navigate PowerPoint’s toolbars to achieve the desired presentation. Business collaboration is upgraded with the ability to use @mentions within slide comments to notify others when you need their input.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature for business users is PowerPoint’s ink conversion capability. Users can draw directly within the “Draw” tab and PowerPoint will convert it to standard shapes. Sketch out an organizational chart within a slide and the ink converter will turn it into actual shapes and text. This takes on-the-fly edits and brainstorming to a whole new level. This feature, like many, is only available to Office 365 subscribers using Windows 10 version 1511 or later.PowerPoint is not just for your average work project though. With new features like 3-D animation and updated slide transitions, students and hobbyists can get creative as they showcase their information. PowerPoint consistently runs smoothly and quickly.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016’s “Help” feature is enhanced from previous versions, which novices will find handy. All users are subject to Microsoft’s standard privacy policy. They do not use email, chat, files, or other personal content to target ads to users, a welcomed differentiator from other large companies such as Google and Instagram. Microsoft collects search data, location services (when activated), and stored sign-in and payment data (when authorized). Users can log into their Privacy dashboard to adjust settings, clear browsing, search, location, voice, media, and product activity. Microsoft seems committed to keeping privacy controls in the hands of its userbase.

Where can you run this program?

Microsoft Office 365 2019 (subscription) and PowerPoint 2016 (software installation only) are compatible with Windows 10 or macOS. The 32bit version is automatically installed but users can manually choose the 64bit download.

Is there a better alternative?

Google Slides and Apple Keynote are the two biggest competitors to Microsoft PowerPoint. The first and biggest difference between these three is that Microsoft PowerPoint is a paid software and Google Slides and Apple Keynote are both free.

There are also some additional capabilities that come included with Keynote but are an upgrade for PowerPoint users. Google Slides allows you to present via Chromecast, Airplay, or Hangouts, never having to connect any wires. Other than that, the abilities of each program are mostly similar, with some additions and deletions here and there.The big tradeoff lies in familiarity vs free.

Is it worth the learning curve to try Keynote or Slides? Most large companies and those with formal presentation needs will feel safer staying close to home with what they know, which is PowerPoint. With new features added with nearly every monthly release update, Microsoft simply adds to a program you already know, facilitating easier adoption.

Microsoft PowerPoint has been and will continue to be the presentation software front runner for the foreseeable future. For important presentations for business and school, reliability cannot be left up to chance. Making the leap from PowerPoint to another program may introduce risk when the stakes are already high. People like what is working for them and Microsoft is a brand people can trust.

Should you download it?

Yes. Most business professionals and students are working with Microsoft Office products like PowerPoint already. You may be wondering if the O365 subscription is worth it or if you can get by with similar, free programs. That depends on your needs. Download an O365 subscription with Microsoft PowerPoint if you need a familiar, fast, and ever-evolving presentation software. Go for Google Slides if you are willing to work through a learning curve, adapt to a new interface, and if there will not be a negative reception of non-Microsoft products at your school or office. You cannot go wrong with Microsoft.

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