Outline your next presentation in Word

Office365_April24_BPresentations are an integral part of almost any role in business. While the information conveyed in these presentations varies, every presentation follows a general structure. This structure, or outline, can be time consuming to layout in Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Did you know that there’s an easier way to create these outlines using Microsoft Word?

Here’s how to use Word to create a PowerPoint presentation.

How does this work?

The idea here is to use Word to establish the outline and basic text of a PowerPoint presentation. This outline can then be opened in PowerPoint and converted into slides. The way the program does this is through the use of heading styles in Word. Assigning a different heading style (we’ll explain how below) will create the outline of your presentation. For example, Heading 1 will be the title of each slide, while Heading 2 becomes the text.

There are two ways you can create an outline. Here’s both:

Using Outline view

  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. Click on View in the menu bar and select Outline.
  3. Type your outline – enter the title of each slide, hit Enter to create a new entry. You can also enter the text in the slide under each title.
  4. Select each line and hit either Promote or Demote (they look like the indent text buttons, and are located in the Outline menu bar).
  5. Click on File and Save As when you have finished the outline.
  6. Name the file and under the Format section select Rich Text Format (.rtf). You can also just save the document as a normal Word File, but saving as a .rtf file will ensure that PowerPoint can read the outline properly.

Using Heading styles

  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. Enter your outline. The best way to do this is to enter the slide title, hit enter and insert the body/bullet points. Don’t leave empty spaces as these may be read as empty slides.
  3. Highlight the first title and look at the main ribbon for the Styles section. Press the down arrow beside the box that says body and select Heading 1.
  4. Highlight the related body text (if any) and press Heading 2. This should be just below the Heading 1 option above.
  5. Repeat for the rest of the slides.
  6. Click on File and Save As when you have finished the outline.
  7. Name the file and under the Format section select Rich Text Format (.rtf). You can also just save the document as a normal Word File, but saving as a .rtf file will ensure that PowerPoint can read the outline properly.

Creating the presentation

When you are ready to create the presentation you can:

  1. Open a new PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Create the title slide and in the navigation bar (left side of the window), click on it.
  3. Click on the gray arrow beside New Slide which is located in the Home bar, under the Slides section.
  4. Select Insert Slides from Outline.
  5. Locate the outline file you saved and double click on it.

The slides should automatically be created below the title slide. If you didn’t apply any formatting to the text, it will likely show up in a slide on the left-hand side with no spacing. You will have to go in and edit it.

By creating an outline in Word first, you can cut down the time needed to format and edit slides in PowerPoint. Of course you will have to edit the slides and add color, themes, images, etc. But, this should help you create more professional presentations.

If you are looking for more tips on PowerPoint, Word or any of the other Office programs please contact us today.

 

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