PowerPoint Basics:
Create from Blank Slides

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

Did you want: Working with Presentations: PowerPoint 2007,2010,2013,2016 or español

You can easily create a new PowerPoint presentation directly in PowerPoint.

In the steps below, you will start with a blank presentation and then add slides and text. For now we are just interested in getting the information onto slides. Making it pretty comes in the next project!

Style Check

Once you have entered all your text, you can turn on a PowerPoint feature to check to see if you have made good choices. Items with style issues will have a light bulb in the placeholder's corner.

Turn Style Check on and off from Tools | Options.

Remember - Office Assistant must be turned on.

What's included in the style check?

  • Capitalization is consistent
  • Punctuation is consistent
  • Number of font styles
  • Minimum font size for title text and body text
  • Maximum number of bulleted items
  • Maximum number of text lines in title text or in a list item

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Presentations

Before you start...

Project 1: PowerPoint Basics
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    Interface To subtopics
    Create Arrow to Subtopics
    Icon: Step-by-StepFrom Blank Slides
    PrintingTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: PowerPoint FormattingTo subtopics

Project 3: Advanced PowerPoint To subtopics


Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step:Create from Blank Slides

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to open a blank presentation
to save a presentation
to enter title and slide text
to add a new slide
to remove bullets
to add a text table
to change the order of slides
to view the outline
to use Spell Check
to use Style Check
to view Slide Show

Start with:  Icon: PowerPoint with blank document (PowerPoint open to a blank document)

The Story behind this presentation:

World Travel Inc. is a fictional travel agency in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of an anniversary celebration, they offered some of their best customers some special trips.

What you will create:

A simple on-screen presentation to summarize the results of sales from the special anniversary trips.

Open Blank Presentation

  1. If necessary, open PowerPoint. The default blank presentation shows. The Title slide is the only slide in the presentation at this point, as you can see at the left in the Slides tab.
    Icon: PowerPoint 2003 The task pane will show the Getting Started pane.

     PowerPoint window with blank title slide

  2. Icon: Class diskInsert your Class disk into the disk drive.
  3. Click on Button: Save the Save button on the Standard toolbar. Since this presentation has never been saved before, the Save As dialog appears.

    Dialog: Save As - default location is My Documents, default name is Presentation1.ppt

    Default Location: My Documents. (The location of the folder My Documents depends on the version of Windows you are using.) You will change that.

    Default File Name:  Presentation1.ppt. You will always want to change that. What a terrible name!!

    Default File Type: Presentation, with the extension .ppt.

    Icon: Class diskThese lessons will direct you to save your files to a removable disk that we will call your Class disk. Removable disks include floppy disks, Zip disks, and USB flash drives. You can, of course, save your documents to the hard disk if you need to.  Just remember where you saved your file!

    It is normally a good strategy to save to a removable disk when you are working in a computer lab. It allows you to take your unfinished documents with you and work on them at home or on another computer.

    WarningNetwork space: Have you been assigned space on the network for saving your own files? How much space do you have? How and where can you save files? Can you access saved files from any computer on the network?

    WarningNot network space: Any file that you save to the hard disk besides in your assigned documents folder may not be there when you get back. Other users or network administrators may delete stray documents. Keep a back up copy!

  4. Dialog: Save As - Save in: list - Floppy disk driveNavigate to your Class disk drive using the Save in: list at the top of the Save As dialog. (Be sure your Class disk is in the drive!)

  5. Scroll the list of file types that PowerPoint can use when saving a file. It's at the bottom of the dialog - Save as type:. You have a lot of choices! The default choice is Presentation (*.ppt), which is what you want this time.

    Dialog: Save As - list for Save as type

  6. Dialog: Save AsSave to your Class disk as  worldtraveloffer.ppt .

tipIt is a good practice to save your work as you begin, especially if you are modifying an existing file and want to keep the old version, too.

Add Text to Placeholders

  1. Title placeholder: World Travel Inc.Click in the Title placeholder (where it says "Click to add title") and type:
    World Travel Inc.
  2. Subtitle: Report: Special Annivesary TripsClick in the Subtitle placeholder (where it says "Click to add subtitle" and type:
    Report: Special Anniversary Trips

Insert New Slide

The easy way to insert a new slide is to use the New Slide button. Duh!

  1. Click the New Slide button Button: New Slide (2002) Button: New Slide (2003) on the Toolbar to insert a new blank slide with the default slide layout - placeholders for the slide title and for bulleted text.

    Default new slide

    The Navigation pane at the left now shows 2 slides - the Title slide and a blank slide.
    The Task Pane on the right changes to Slide Layout, with the Title and Text layout selected. This layout has placeholders for the Slide Title and for a bulleted list.

    At this point you could choose a different layout if you wished. For this presentation, the default Title and Text layout will work fine.

  2. Type in the Title placeholder:  Goals  
  3. Type in the Text placeholder the list items:
    Offer to 200 frequent/high volume customers
    Schedule 100 people
    Schedule 40 other trips as a direct result of offer
    Total sales of $250,000

    When you press the Enter key to create a new line, PowerPoint automatically adds a bullet. Handy!!

    Slide: Goals

  4. With the Goals slide selected, insert another new slide by clicking the New Slide button. A blank slide appears after the selected slide.
  5. Type in the Title placeholder: Success? Yes!
  6. Type in the text placeholder:

    # people > Goal by 24
    Total sales > Goal by $19,000!  

    Slide: Success - initial state

    Hmmm. This information does not really need to be in a bullet list. You can remove the bullets.

Remove Bullets

Bulleted text is not always what you need. But there is no standard layout that has a placeholder for non-bulleted text. It's a good thing that you can remove some or all of the bullets easily.

  1. Slide: Success? Yes!Put your cursor in the first bulleted line and then click on Button: Bullet list the Bullets button. The bullet vanishes and you have a plain text paragraph.
  2. Repeat for the other two lines.

Text Table

When your information needs to be in rows and columns, you can either insert a table or create a text table using tabs and spaces. This time you will create a text table, just to see what that involves. A regular table may be a better choice. Be aware, however, that the contents of a normal table will not show up in the Outline of the presentation.

  1. Insert another new slide.
  2. Title the slide: Results
  3. Enter the text below in the bullet list placeholder. Use tabs and blank spaces to get the text columns to line up neatly. This is harder to do than in Word because there is no way to see where the tabs and blank spaces are. No Show Marks button!
    Trip # Trips # People    Total sales 
    Tahiti 6 50 75,000
    NZ 5 30 90,000
    World 2 4 24,000
    Other 6 40 80,000
    Totals 19 124 $269,000

    Slide: Results

    Bullets galore! You don't need bullets for the column titles or the totals! Let's remove those.


  4. Results slide - two bullets gone. Columns titles shifted leftRemove the bullet from the first and last rows.
    Rats! The spacing changes when you remove the bullets. How annoying!
    Your slide may have different spacing than the illustration.

  5. Results slide after fixing lineup changesAdjust the spacing by typing in or deleting blank spaces to make the columns line up again. A tiny change caused a lot of work. (A regular table would not behave this way!)

Reorder Slides: Thumbnails

The last slide you created should really come before the Success slide. You need to change the order of the slides, which is easy to do using the Slides thumbnails.

  1. Animation: Move a slide to new positionIf necessary, in the Navigation pane at the left, click on the Slides tab and then on the 4th slide (Results) to select it. A dark blue border surrounds the selected thumbnail.
  2. Drag the thumbnail of the last slide up. A black line indicates where the slide will be put if you drop.
  3. Position the black line between slides 2 and 3 and drop. The slide is moved and is now before the Success slide.
    Icon: MouseClick the illustration at the right to see an animation of the action. The animation will run 5 times. Click again to run it again.

View Outline

  1. Outline of presentationClick on the Outline tab in the Navigation pane. The panes change dimensions to give you more space for the outline.
  2. Read the outline. Your text table data is all here. If the pane is too narrow, the data won't be neatly lined up.

    Is that a good thing? That would depend on your table, wouldn't it?  

Spell Check

Before you decide that you are done for the day, you had better check your spelling! PowerPoint will not check your grammar. You won't usually use complete sentences on your slides anyway.

To see how this works, let's make sure that there are some errors to find! If you have mis-typed other words, you will find them now. This is a good thing!

  1. Outline shows spelling errorsFrom the outline, delete the letter l  from the titles of the first three slides, making them read:  Word Trave Inc. ,  Goas ,  Resuts 
    PowerPoint puts a wavy red line under the words that it thinks may be wrong.

    Dialog: Options - Spelling tab - Spelling sectionIcon: TroubleNo wavy red lines?
    This feature is controlled from the Options dialog:  Tools | Options . Be sure there is a check mark beside Check spelling as you type.
  2. Dialog: Spelling - travelIn the outline click to the left of the title on the first slide to select it so that Spell Check will start at the beginning.
  3. Click the Spelling button Button: Spell check on the toolbar. PowerPoint starts checking from the first slide. The first error it finds is  Trave 
    Wait! What about  Word that is supposed to be World? Since Word is an actual word, PowerPoint does not see it as an error. Spell Check will not find this type of error, only words that aren't in its dictionary.
  4. Click on the Change button to accept the first suggested spelling,  Travel . The word is changed and the next spelling error is displayed:  Goas 
  5. Select the word  Goals  from the list of suggestions and click on the Change button.
    This time the correct word was not the first suggestion. Be careful to look at the list!
    The next error appears.
  6. Message: Spell check is completeClick on the Change button to accept the first suggestion,  Results . A message box appears to tell you that PowerPoint thinks it is done.

  7. Outline with spelling correctedCorrect the first slide's remaining error to  World .


  1. Icon: Class disk Click on Button: Save the Save button. Since the presentation had been saved before, it is now saved with the same name and location, without giving you a chance to change those. [worldtraveloffer.ppt ]

TipNew Name or Location: When you want to change the name or the location, you must use the menu  File | Save As... Those three dots ... tell you that the command will open a dialog.

TipReduce File Size: Saving in a new location or with a new name will reduce the file size, sometimes dramatically.

View: Slide Show

It is important to know what your audience will see. The Slide Show view does just that.

  1. If necessary, click slide #1 (the Title slide) to select it.
  2. Views Bar with Slide Show button clickedClick the Button: Slide Show Slide Show button on the Views bar at the bottom left of the PowerPoint window. The presentation opens starting with the selected slide. The presentation covers the whole monitor screen.
  3. Advance to the next slide by clicking on the slide or by pressing the spacebar.
    After final slide in Slide Show, black screen with words "End of slide show, click to exit."After the last slide, the screen goes black. At the top is the instruction "End of slide show, click to exit."

  4. Animation of slide showClick the screen or press the spacebar and your PowerPoint window reappears.
    Refresh this browser window to see an animation of the slide show at the right. [Click the Refresh button on the IE toolbar or press the F5 key.]

  5. Close buttons labeledClose the presentation by clicking Button: Close the Close button for the presentation.

Style Check

Now that your text is all entered, you can check to see if you have been consistent with your capitalization and punctuation and if you have managed your bullet lists well.

Style Check will put a light bulb in the upper left corner of a placeholder when it has a suggestion, but you have to click on the placeholder first. Be patient. It may take a second or two before the light bulb appears.

  1. Dialog: Options - Spelling and Style tab -Style box checkedFrom the menu select  Tools | Options | Spelling and Style .
  2. Check the box beside Check style.
  3. Click on OK to close the dialog.
  4. Menu: Help - Show Office AssistantFrom the menu select  Help |  Show Office Assistant .
    The Office Assistant cartoon figure appears.
  5. View the first slide in the Slide Pane.
  6. Placeholder with light bulb has a style issueEdit the title to make the upper case T in travel into a lower case t. 
    A light bulb Light Bulb - Style Check shows up in the corner of the placeholder.
  7. Office Assistant: Stlye CheckClick on the light bulb. The Office Assistant presents some choices.
  8. Click on Change the text to title case. The text goes back to a capital T. Isn't this neat??
  9. Check each of the remaining slides for light bulbs and make any corrections that are needed. Be careful. Sometimes you have a reason behind your formatting!

Save as which File Type?

Dialog: Save As - list of file typesPowerPoint can obviously save your work as a PowerPoint presentation. The file name will have the extension .ppt.

You do have other choices, as the list at the right from the Save As dialog shows.

  • Web page - HTML file with images saved in a folder
  • Web Archive - HTML page and all images saved as one file
  • Previous version of PowerPoint -  newer features won't work
  • Design Template - shows in PowerPoint's New dialog or the New task pane for creating new presentations
  • PowerPoint Show - opens directly to the show, instead of for editing
  • Image - choice of formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, WMF, or EMF; choice of saving just the current slide or all slides
  • Outline/RTF - outline saved as a Rich Text Format word processing document.

You now have the bare bones of your presentation. You will format it in the next project to make it more attractive and more readable.

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Copyright 1997-2012 Jan Smith   <jegs1@jegsworks.com>
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Last updated: 30 Apr 2012