Orderly Outlines

Okay, PowerPoint, this should stump you. Let's say I'm doing a presentation on music. I've got slides on everything from Abba to
Gwen Stefani to the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I want to make sure I don't have too much Rock and Roll and not enough Blues in my presentation. Is there an easier way to plan than just clicking from slide to slide?

Yep. It's called Outline View, and it's designed for viewing the titles and text of all your slides in one, easy to scroll page. Let me show you how it's done...

What is Outline View?
In Outline View, your presentation appears as an outline, made up of titles and main text from each slide. Because you can see all your presentation in one window, rather than one slide at a time, it's an ideal place to plan, organize, or edit your presentation.

This Outline View thing sounds swanky. How do I do it?

Switching to Outline View
To switch to Outline View, click the Outline Tab in the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint window.

Outline View Button

This is what you should see in Outline View:

Outline View

Note: When you go to Outline View, the outlining toolbar is useful for working in this view. Go to the View menu, click Toolbars, and select Outlining.

Outline Toolbar

When viewing all these slides in Outline View, I may realize something's missing. Like in that example of the Music Presentation, what if I realize Jim forgot a slide for Beethoven? Can I add a slide in Outline View?

Adding a slide to your outline
You can add a new slide in Outline View the same way that you do in Slide View.

    1. Click the Insert menu, and select New Slide. 

    2. A new slide will appear. You can change the slide layout by going to the Slide Layout window and clicking on a layout.

    New Slide

You can also add new slides quickly by using the Enter key. To add a new slide right after a slide title:

    1. Place your cursor at the end of a slide title.

    New Slide

    2. Press the Enter key. A new slide icon will appear in your outline.

What if, in Outline View, I want to add text to a slide? What if my favorite band keeps changing drummers? I'll want to mention that.

Adding text to your outline
If you want to add text to a slide that you created previously, click an insertion point in the outline and start typing.

If you want to add text to a new slide you've created in Outline View, follow these steps:

    1. Type a title beside the slide icon.

    2. After the slide title, press the Enter key. PowerPoint adds a new slide.

    3. Click the Demote button on the outline toolbar to convert the new slide to a text object.

    demote button

    4. Type your text.

    Added Text

    5. To add another bullet point, press Enter.

Note: With the exception of the title slide, any text you add will be formatted as a bullet point.

Also, PowerPoint, what if I need to look at just the slide titles to get a broad view, without getting bogged down in the content of each slide?

Moving around in Outline View
When you are in Outline View, you see all the text that appears on your slides. However, PowerPoint lets you collapse the view, so you see only the outline titles. Use this option if you want to print an outline of your presentation, or if you want to check the logical flow of your slide titles without the distraction of extra text.

To collapse all the slides in your outline:

    1. On the Outline Toolbar, click the Collapse button. The slide text for all the slides will disappear.

    Collapse button

To expand all of the slide titles again:

    1. Click the Expand button on the Outline toolbar. The text for all the slides will appear again.

    Expand button

While I'm at it, how do you move from one slide to another? In my Music Presentation, let's say I've been checking out Louis Armstrong, and now I want to check out Benny Goodman.

Oh, I love Benny Goodman. There's nothing like Big Band music to get me jumping. And on that note, let me tell you how to jump from one slide to the next.

Jumping from one slide to the next
To move from one slide to another in Outline View, click anywhere on the slide you want to move to.

Moving slides using Arrow keys

Quick Quiz