Guide - PowerPoint for Windows

PowerPoint for Windows

Issue/Environment/User Role

A Student, Faculty, or Staff member using Windows OS would like more information on PowerPoint.


The user is new to the platform, and would like more information on PowerPoint.


New to PowerPoint? Use this guide to learn the basics.mceclip0.png

Your personal designer

Begin with a “Blank Presentation” to get right to work. Or save yourself time by selecting and then customizing a theme or template that resembles what you need. Click “File” > “New”, and then select or search for the theme or template you want.             mceclip1.png

Find recent files

Whether you only work with files stored on your PC’s local hard drive or you roam across various cloud services, selecting “File” > “Open” takes you to your recently used documents and any files that you may have pinned to your list.                  mceclip2.png

Stay connected

Need to work on the go and across different devices? Click “File” > “Account” to sign in and access your recently used files anywhere, on any device, through seamless integration between Office, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint.mceclip3.png

Share your work with others

To invite others to view or edit your presentations in the cloud, select the “Share” button in the top right corner of the app window. In the “Share” pane that opens, you can get a sharing link or send invitations to the people you select.                                                                            mceclip4.png

Your personal designer

If you’re a Microsoft 365 subscriber, let PowerPoint create great-looking slides for you based on the content you’ve added. Select “Design” > “Design Ideas” and then select your preferred layout in the “Design Ideas” task pane. Designer detects pictures, charts, or tables on a slide and gives you several suggestions to pick.                                                                                                        mceclip5.png                mceclip6.png

Add visual effects

Animation and transitions can help make a PowerPoint presentation more dynamic. Select the “Transitions” tab and then select a type. On the “Animations” tab, select an effect from the gallery. Click the “More” arrow to see more options. To see what they look like when completed, select “Preview”. If you want to customize the effect, select the “Effect Options” button on the tab.mceclip7.png

Add captions or subtitles

Transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking, or as subtitles translated to another language. On the “Slide Show” ribbon tab, select “Subtitle Settings” to see languages you can use.       mceclip8.png

Format shapes with precision

Precisely format a selected picture, shape, icon, or object with the comprehensive tools available in the “Format Shape” task pane. To display it, right-click the picture, shape, or object, and select “Format Shape”.                                                                               mceclip9.png

Find whatever you need

Type a keyword or phrase into the “Search” box on the ribbon to quickly find the PowerPoint features and commands you’re looking for, to discover “Help” content, or to get more information online.mceclip10.png

Look up relevant information

With “Smart Lookup”, PowerPoint searches the Internet for relevant information to define words, phrases, and concepts. Search results shown on the task pane can provide useful context for the ideas you’re sharing in your presentations.                       mceclip11.png

Looking for more information?

To download our free Quick Start Guides for your other favorite apps, go to

Explore the new and improved features in PowerPoint and the other Office apps. Visit for more information.

Ready to dig deeper into the capabilities that PowerPoint has to offer? Visit to explore our free training options.

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