Top ten time-saving tips – PowerPoint

Top Ten time-saving tips – PowerPoint
Improve your PowerPoint skills

Here's our top ten tips to help you get your presentations created faster, and to take you from a simple PowerPoint user to a PowerPoint super-user.

1: Test your slides with random text

Adding random text to your slides can help you test fonts and spacing, but it can be a pain creating the random text. However Microsoft introduced an undocumented feature in PowerPoint 2010 that lets you achieve this with just a few keystrokes.

First place your cursor in the text box you want filling with random text, now enter "=rand()" in the text box and press the enter key, and automatically three paragraphs of five lines each, of random text will magically appear.

If you want random latin text then substitute "=lorem()" for "=rand()".

2: Speed up production with a Slide Master

The slide master enables you to make global changes to all your slides with just one change to the slide master.

To get access first open a blank presentation, and then, on the View tab, in the Master Views group, click Slide Master.

By editing the slide master you can

  • change font colours and styles for every slide
  • add a clipart or picture to every slide
  • add a footer or date to every slide

3: Create a default presentation template

If you would like to create presentations using a standard background -- perhaps with your businesses colours, fonts and logo on each slide then you need to specify a default presentation theme.

To create a new default presentation theme that will start up immediately when you start PowerPoint, first go to the Design tab and navigate to the Themes section. Now right-click a theme and choose the Set as Default Theme option.

From now on whenever you create a new presentation, PowerPoint will open it with your businesses standard theme.

4: Copy a design theme to another presentation

Rather than recreate the wheel, why not use a design theme you created earlier, and simply copy the design theme from one presentation to a new presentation.

First, open both your source and destination documents. Go to the View menu and click the Arrange All button so you can see both at the same time: Now, select the source deck and click on the thumbnail of the slide you want to copy the theme from. Once selected, click the Format Painter icon, which is located next to paste on the Home tab.

Now click on the destination deck and then click the thumbnail of the slide you want to receive the theme.

You may need to click twice: Once to select the target deck and a second time to apply the format to the thumbnail.

5: Create a photo-based presentation with just a few clicks

There are many ways to add photos to PowerPoint presentations. However, if your whole presentation is about photos, you can use the photo album feature in PowerPoint, which makes the whole process fast and easy.

To create a photo album first click on the Insert tab, in the Images group, click the arrow under Photo Album, and then click New Photo Album. You will now be presented with the Photo Album box. You can then add as many pictures as you want, and optionally add captions for the pictures, and change the layout and theme for the album.

Once you've added all of your pictures click on Create and your photo album will open. To edit the photo album click on the Insert tab, click the arrow under Photo Album, and then click Edit Photo Album.

6: Reformat all of your document text with one click

If you want to tweak multiple text blocks in your presentation, you can either; select each block and laboriously individually change the font colour, size, and style, or you can do it in one click using the Format Painter to apply changes to all of your text.

The Format Painter icon is located next to paste on the Home tab. First click on the text you want to select, then double click on the icon to select the format painter, the cursor should change to a paintbrush, then click on the text you want to alter.