PowerPoint Basics:

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

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

The Navigation Pane at the left of the PowerPoint window shows the Outline or thumbnails of the Slides.

View: Normal with Outline

Normal view with Outline

View: Normal with Slides

Icon: PowerPoint 2002 Normal view with Slides (thumbnails)


Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Presentations

Before you start...

Project 1: PowerPoint Basics
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    Interface Arrow to Subtopics
      Views Arrow to Subtopics
        Icon: Step-by-StepSlide Pane
        Icon: Step-by-StepSlides Thumbnails
        Icon: Step-by-StepOutline
        Icon: Step-by-StepNotes
        Icon: Step-by-StepSlide Sorter
        Icon: Step-by-StepSlide Show
        Icon: Step-by-StepPrint Preview
        Icon: Step-by-StepMasters
      Task Pane
      Smart Tags
    CreateTo subtopics
    PrintingTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: PowerPoint FormattingTo subtopics

Project 3: Advanced PowerPoint To subtopics


Outline in Navigation Pane

What can you do with the outline?

  • Select a slide, which will then display in the Slide Pane.
  • Change the order of the slides by dragging the slide's icon Icon: Slide (Outline view) .
  • Select multiple slides to copy, move, or delete.
  • Edit and format slide text.
  • Change the order of bullet points.
  • Move text between slides.

What can't you do with the outline?
    (Use Slides Thumbnails instead.)

  • Run animations and transitions.

Navigation Tabs

You can switch between Outline and Slides by clicking the tab at the top of the Navigation Pane. The tabs will show either words or icons, depending on the size of the window.

Tabs: Navigation Pane - text

Text labels in large windows.

Tabs: Navigation Pane - icons

Icon labels in small windows.

Icon Step-by-Step


 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to change which slide is shown in the Slide Pane
to expand and collapse the outline
to show and hide formatting in the outline
to edit in the outline
to change slide order

Start with:Icon: Class disk, issues.ppt from your Class disk

Outline: Switch Slide Shown in Slide Pane

  1. Selecting a slide in the outline displays the slide in the Slide Pane.If necessary, open issues.ppt again.
  2. Click on the Outline tab in the Navigation Pane.

    The outline displays, usually with all levels expanded. The panes resize to show more of the outline.
    By default the outline will use the same formatting as the slides.
  3. Select each slide's icon Icon: Slide (Outline view) in the outline in turn. This works just as well as the thumbnails for switching the slide in the Slide Pane. Cool!
  4. Click on each slide's title in the outline. That works, too.
  5. Click in the body text of each slide. Still works!
    Icon: TroubleIf a slide's body text is not showing, click the Button: Expand outline Expand All button on the toolbar.

Manage the Outline's Look

Two useful buttons are on the Standard toolbar help you manage how your outline displays. These buttons are also in the Outlining toolbar, which you will work with later.

Button: Show Formatting Show Formatting: Toggles the outline's formatting between using the same formatting as the slides and using a default format.

Button: Expand Outline Expand all: Toggles the outline between showing just the slide titles and showing all the placeholder text.

  1. Outline without slide formattingClick on Button: Show Formatting the Show Formatting button on the Standard toolbar. The outline changes to use the default outline formatting.
    Do you see the difference? The most obvious difference is that the titles are not as large as before. Bullets are just the standard ones.
    Sometimes the formatting on the slide makes the outline hard to read or unnecessarily large. The default outline formatting is always readable!
  2. Click on Button: Show Formatting the Show Formatting button again. The outline again uses the same formatting as the slides.

  3. Outline collapsedClick the Expand All button: Expand outline button on the toolbar to collapse the outline. This button toggles the expansion and collapse of the outline.
  4. Click on  Button: Expand outline the Expand all button again and all the text is back again.

Outline: Edit

The last slide, #5, will be used to open a discussion period with the audience. You need to change the title to reflect this. You will make a few more editing changes, too.

  1. Scroll, if necessary, until you can see Slide #5: Ethics.
  2. Click on the outline for Slide #5: Ethics. The slide appears in the Slide Pane.

    Slide #5: Ethics

  3. In the outline, click in front of the  the slide title "Ethics" and type so that the full title is:  Discussion: Ethics
     The slide changes as you type.

    Slide #5: Discussion: Ethics (edited)

  4. Outline: Slide #5  with text selectedSelect a whole line:
    Click in the outline
    to the left of the bulleted line "Is the action Right, Wrong, Criminal?" The whole line is selected.
  5. Slide #5 after deleting a line and repositioning the placeholder.Delete line:
    the Delete key. The line vanishes and the other line of text moves up in the outline and on the slide in the placeholder.
    There is an extra space to the left of "Can".
  6. Space deleted on Discussion: Ethics slideDelete space:
    the Delete key to delete the leading space.
    Text is under the imageLooks good in the outline now. But part of the text is under the image. You cannot fix this from the outline.

  7. Text placeholder over imageClick  on the slide in the text "Can an activity...".

    The placeholder border appears with diagonal borders. The top of the image is hidden by the text line. Odd effect, but temporary!
  8. Drag placeholderMove placeholder: Move your mouse pointer over the border of the placeholder and drag upwards.
    The border changes to dots. A dashed line shows where the placeholder will be if you drop.
  9. Text and image no longer overlapDrop when the dashed line is at the edge of the colored bar with the title.
    The placeholder moves up and the text and image no longer get in each other's way.
  10. Click in the blank area at the bottom of the outline to hide the placeholder border again.
    The slide's looks a bit unbalanced but it's OK for now.

Outline: Change Text Order: Drag

You can drag text in the outline to a new location on the same slide or on a different slide. If the slides are not neighbors, you might find cut and paste easier.

  1. Slide: Privacy - bullet item #4 selectedScroll, if necessary, to see Slide #3: Privacy in the Outline.
  2. Select item #4, "info collected only ..." by clicking at the left of the text.
  3. Slide: Privacy - after moving bullet itemDrop pointDrag upward and drop at the beginning of item #2.
    The item is moved and the list is renumbered.

Outline: Change Slide Order: Drag

You can change the order of slides in the outline as well as from the Slides thumbnails. Usually this is easier if you collapse the outline first. Dropping in the middle of a slide's outline can make a mess of your outline!

  1. Outline: Privacy being moved in outlineWith the outline still expanded, click on the icon Icon: Slide (Outline view) for Slide #3: Privacy. All of the outline for the slide is selected.
  2. Drag up until the drop line is in the slide Security, just above the line "Damage: to data or equipment, including viruses and worms."
  3. Outline: Privacy dropped - includes bullets from Security nowDrop. Whoops. The outline points on the Security slide below the drop point are now on the Privacy slide! Error!!
  4. Undo your move. Dragging while all the points are showing can mess up your slides!
  5. Collapsed outlineCollapse the outline by clicking Expanded outline the Expand All button.

  6. Reordered outlineDrag the slide icon for Privacy up above Security and drop. Ah! The slides are in a new order.
  7. Expand the outline again by clicking Button: Expand outline the Expand All button. Excellent! The text on each slide remained in place.
  8. Undo your move.


  1. Icon: Class diskFrom the toolbar click on Button: Save  the Save button. (Be sure your Class disk is still in the drive.) The presentation is saved with the same name, to the same location. [issues.ppt]

Icon: TroubleProblem:
You have some text in a text box that you want to show in the outline.

Solution: You must move the text into a placeholder. There is no way to convert a text box into a placeholder.

Icon: TroubleProblem: Placeholder or Text Box?
You cannot tell by looking at the box whether the text is in a placeholder or in a textbox.

Solution 1: Check the outline. If the text is in the outline, it's a placeholder.

Solution 2:  (easier!) Right click the text and see what the popup menu offers:
                      Format Placeholder  or  Format Text Box .

TipText in textboxes that you create or in AutoShapes does not show in the outline.