PowerPoint Views

By default, when PowerPoint is first launched, it runs in its Normal view, indicated at the bottom left of the screen by the depressed first button in Illustration of PowerPoint's Views toolbar the small views toolbar.  The normal view provides a what-you-see-is-what-you-get mode for working with your slides. As the default view, its operations are discussed at some length in these pages.  But it is useful to consider the useful alternatives offered by PowerPoint's other view options.

Outline View

Illustration of PowerPoint's Views toolbar One of the most practical views is the Outline view, which can be activated by clicking on the second option in the views toolbar.

Illustration of PowerPoint in Outline View

In the Outline view, the screen is predominantly occupied by a list of the slide titles and the bulleted items that are a part of those slides. (Images, tables, and charts are not part of this list, though they are visible in a preview window situated in the upper right corner of the screen.) Along the left edge of the screen you should see the Outlining toolbar: if it is not visible, you can bring it to the screen by selecting View|Toolbars|Outlining .

Illustration of menu path to showing a toolbar

The outlining view provides a mechanism that allows you to focus on the content and arrangement of the points you'll be addressing in your presentation, without the rest of PowerPoint 's layout elements interfering with your concentration.

In the outline view, everything you type falls within a hierarchical list, with slide titles represented flush left (with a little slide icon), and bulleted list items appearing at various levels of indentation. Every time the Enter key is pressed, a new item is created at the previous level of indentation. Then pressing Tab or Shift+Tab demotes or promotes the item to the status of a bulleted item, a sub-item, or a new slide, depending upon what the current level is.

In addition, the buttons on the outline toolbar can be brought into play:

Illustration of Promote Item button Promote item--this increases the significance of the item on the slide: a sub-item moves one step up in the hierarchy; an item can be made to be a slide of its own

Illustration of Demote Item button Demote item--this decreases the significance of the item on the slide: a slide can be made a bullet; a bulleted item can be made a sub-item)

Illustration of Move Item Up button Move an item up--this lets you nudge bulleted items up in and between slides, and, if the outline is collapsed [see below] it will even let you shift the position of a slide upwards in the presentation

Illustration of Move Item Down button Move an item down--this lets you nudge bulleted items down in and between slides, and, if the outline is collapsed [see below] it will even let you shift the position of a slide downwards in the presentation

Illustration of the Collapse button Collapse--this collapses all sub-headings and bulleted items on the currently selected slide

Illustration of the Expand button Expand--this expands all sub-headings and bulleted items on the currently selected slide

Illustration of the Collapse All button Collapse All--this collapses all sub-headings and bulleted items on all slides

Illustration of the Expand All button Expand All--this expands all subheadings and bulleted items on all slides

The Outline view and toolbar together provide a powerful means of arranging and ordering your information and ensuring that the presentation flows in a clear, logical fashion.

Slide View

Illustration of PowerPoint's Views toolbar The Slide View is represented by the third button on the Views toolbar in the lower left corner of the PowerPoint screen. The Slide View is so much like the Normal view that it won't be discussed much here: it provides a larger view of the slide (which is great if you need a more detailed view), but it does so at the expense of reducing the outline to a set of slide numbers and eliminating the notes view altogether. Working in this view is not recommended.

Illustration of PowerPoint in Slide View

Slide Sorter View

Illustration of PowerPoint's Views toolbar The Slide Sorter View can be genuinely useful: it presents thumbnail images of all of the slides in the presentation and allows, through a simple dragging and dropping operation, a slide to be moved from one place in the presentation to another.

Illustration of PowerPoint's Slide Sorter view

Double-clicking on any given thumbnail in the Slide Sorter View has the effect of opening that slide in the last view that had been used.

To move a slide from one location in the presentation to another, click on the slide you would like to move, and drag it to the destination you would like it to appear in. Then release the mouse button to drop the slide into place, and your new slide sequence will be set.

Slide Show View

Illustration of PowerPoint's Views toolbar The Slide Show View is activated by clicking on the fifth button on the views toolbar. The Slide Show View launches the presentation at the point of the currently selected slide, with the effect of hiding PowerPoint's editing interface. It is useful for previewing your work as you are creating it--details on navigating slides are available in the Giving a Presentation document on this web site.

Note : It is not very elegant to present the final slide show by first launching the presentation in PowerPoint and then clicking on the Slide Show View icon--there's no reason why your audience should have to see PowerPoint's editing interface at all. By saving your final presentation as a PowerPoint Show, you can launch directly into the Slide Show View . See the Giving a Presentation document for details.