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Dyson College of Arts and Sciences


Word Perfect
Microsoft Office - including, especially, MS Word 7 and PowerPoint for presentations and materials for fonts, graphs, and other graphics (Handout for MS Word 6 available in Computer Resource Center / See PowerPoint guide and assignment below.)

Notes on PowerPoint (Jeanine Meyer)

PowerPoint is a tool for creating sets of slides (also called charts) for presentations. The slides can be viewed online or printed to be made into transparencies (foils) for an overhead projector. PowerPoint, like many productivity tools today, has so many features that new users may not recognize that it is possible to do quite useful work with just a small set of functions of the product. It is especially important to recognize that the important part of a presentation is the content-your content. You do not want your audience to leave only remembering the colors on the slide or the transitions.

How to start and how to create a simple (plain) set of charts
Warning: Exactly how PowerPoint starts may vary depending on the version and the installation.

  • Start PowerPoint (from an icon on the Windows desktop or by pushing the Start button. PowerPoint may be in a folder called MS Office).
  • You may get a dialogue box with a Tip of the Day. If so, click on OK or Continue or close the box by clicking on the X in the upper right corner.
  • You may then view a new dialogue box that gives you two groups of choices: creating a new presentation by various ways or opening an existing presentation. Click on Blank presentation in the first group. When you return to PowerPoint to continue work on a presentation, you will click on the “Open an existing presentation”.
  • You will immediately get a screen called AutoLayouts. You will see this screen for all new slides. Pick the layout you want. You can scroll down. For a first slide, this will generally by the first AutoLayout, which shows a space for text for a main title and then for subtitles and, possibly, author’s name and information. Click on OK.
  • Click in each of the box or boxes and then began to write your text. When you are done and click outside the box, your text and/or the background for the text may change colors.
  • When you are done (realizing that you can always return and make changes), click on
  • Insert and then New Slide.
  • You get the AutoLayout menu again. This time, pick another layout.
  • Continue. (See below for possibilities involving different media.) You may use the scroll bar to go back and forth. You will see the slide number in the lower left, for example, Slide 2 of 3.
  • You can insert a new slide at any point, by clicking on Insert and then New Slide. The slide numbers adjust.

How to view slides: slide sorter, slide show, outline

PowerPoint has a facility for viewing little pictures of the slides, also called thumbnails or snapshots. This is called Slide Sorter.

  • You can invoke it by clicking on View and then Slide Sorter or clicking on the icon at the lower left side that shows 4 rectangles.
  • You return to regular slide view by clicking on a single slide OR by going to View and then Slide.
PowerPoint also has a facility to show the whole slide on the monitor. This is what you do for making an online presentation. (We will not discuss the issue of projection either through LCD projectors that fit on top of regular overheads or special monitors. Just be warned that these can pose problems. Sometimes the quality requires that you dim the room lights. We advise always making a backup set of foils AND also be prepared to give your talk without slides, preparing handouts for the audience.)
  • Click on the icon in the lower left that looks like a movie screen OR click on View and then Slide Show.
  • You click anywhere with the mouse to advance or click on the back arrow to go backwards.
  • You return to Slide view by reaching the end OR clicking on the Esc key.
PowerPoint also allows you to view the slides in the form of an outline. This form is compressed in comparison to the others and can be a convenient way of starting your presentation or reviewing it.
  • Click on View and then Outline.
  • Return to normal slides by clicking on View again and then Slides.

How to use the built-in slide designs

PowerPoint comes with a library of templates for slides. When you first open PowerPoint, you can start with a Blank presentation as we indicated above or you can click on Templates to access the Presentation Designs or AutoContent Wizard to get a a basic outline for a presentation. We suggest trying Templates:

  • Click on Templates. You get a Window of icons with different names.
  • You need to click on an icon to see what it looks like.
  • When you find one you like, click on OK.
  • CAUTION: if you will be printing these slides on a black-and-white printer, you need to think about what they will look like in that form. You specify black-and-white printing at the time you print.
  • Proceed with your first chart as above.
  • If you have already written some or all of your slides and now want to add a fancy slide design OR change the design, do the following:
  • Click on View, then Master, and then Slide Master.
  • Click on Format and then Apply Design
  • You get a window for selecting a file. The directory is listed in the upper left. The directory you want is Presentation Designs (under Templates under Microsoft Office). You may need to move around in the files to get this directory.
  • Select a design by name. (The names are not particularly meaningful, but over time, you may learn some of them.) You will get a pop-up menu. Click on show and you will see the design.
  • When you find a design you like, click on Apply.
  • Returning, the system will still be showing the Master slide. Click on View and click on Slide to get back to regular slides.

How to print full slides; 2, 3 or 6/page; notes

There are several choices for printing:

  • Click on File and then Print.
  • For full copies of all slides, select the options ALL and Slides (for the Print What) .
  • For full copies of some slides, change the ALL option to what you want. This may be current slide or Slides, with the numbers of the slides typed into the space.
  • For compressed formats, such as 2, 3 or 6 to a page, use the scroll bar to change where it says Print What. These compressed formats are useful for handouts. Members of your audience can take notes on these pages, especially the 3 to a page.

How to incorporate sound: existing audio file

PowerPoint allows you to add an icon to a slide that will cause an audio clip to be played. There are several situations: the audio clip exists already and is in the directory that is the specific Microsoft Office archive that PowerPoint expects; the audio clip exists already and is somewhere else on your computer files; the audio clip does not exist. Here are the actions in each case:

1. Microsoft Archive:

  • Click on Insert and then Movie and Sound and then Sound from Gallery. IF a set of sounds has been loaded with your PowerPoint system AND in the place where the PowerPoint systems looks, you will find things such as Applause.
  • Click on your choice. You will return to the slide. You can move the icon around. Double clicking on it will play the audio clip.

2. Audio clip already exists.

  • Click on Insert and then Object
  • Scroll down the type of objects until you see Wave Sound. Highlight Wave Sound.
  • Click on Create from File.
  • You will get a dialogue box with a space to write the full name of the file. You can also browse to the file.
  • NOTE: I found a collection of sounds on my system at Windows/Media/Office97/ This was not where PowerPoint expected.

You can create sounds using tools such as Sound Recorder or Wave Studio. If you do this, remember where you store the file. It is usually a good idea to rename the file from the default name of record.wav. However, if you are ready to record the file immediately, PowerPoint has its own built-in system.

  • Click on Insert and then Object.
  • Scroll down the type of objects until you see Wave Sound. Highlight Wave Sound. Make sure the Create from New option is on. (This is probably the default.)
  • Click on OK.
  • A small window will appear with tape recorder type controls. Click on the red button. (This assumes you have a microphone set up with your computer.). Speak into the microphone.
  • Click on the solid rectangle to stop.
  • Click on File and then Exit & Return to Presentation.

How to incorporate sound: narration

The usual situation with slides is that a person (you) talks and uses the slides to reinforce the message. However, it is possible to set up a PowerPoint presentation to run by itself. These notes will not give all the details for this, but one feature is that narration can be recorded for each slide.

  • Click on Slide Show on the top toolbar.
  • Click on Record narration.
  • You can click on settings to change the type of recording: higher quality takes up more disk space. Click on OK.
  • Click on OK to start recording. You will be shown each slide in succession. When you click the mouse, the presentation will move on to the next slide.
  • When you have gone through all the slides, you will be asked if you want to save the timings. If you do, this will determine the timing for each slide. You can say no, you will need to put timings in another way OR arrange for someone to advance to the next slide.

How to incorporate images from the PowerPoint archive of clip art

[This is similar to incorporating sound.] PowerPoint & Office 97 provide a clip art archive and also provide a facility for you to insert picture files that you have produced or acquired. Clip art generally refers to line drawings, essentially cartoons. See the next paragraph for how to insert a picture created elsewhere.

  • Click on Insert.
  • Click on Picture.
  • Click on Clip Art. When I did this, I received a message that the archive had not been installed, but then the archive opened up. IF you locate the archive, select the one you want and click on Insert.
  • This will take you back to your slide. The picture will be on your slide with boxes (handles) at the corners and edges. A toolbar of drawing tools is also present.
  • You can use the mouse to click-and-drag.
  • You can change the size by clicking and dragging a corner handle.
  • You can change the proportions by clicking and dragging on one of the handles in the middle of the sides.
  • One of the tools on the drawing toolbar (icon paint can against picture) can be used to alter the colors. This is useful if you want to stick to a color scheme.
  • Click outside of the picture to set it in place.
  • You can click on the picture at any time (for example, after leaving this slide, doing something else, and then returning) to adjust the picture.

How to incorporate images from (your) files

You can produce your own cartoons and drawings using a drawing tool such as Paint Shop Pro. You can also acquire images through the use of a digital camera or a scanner. You can also download images from the Web (In Netscape, use the right mouse button and click on an image. You will be given the option to save the image. You may need to rename it to something meaningful to you. Remember where you save it.)

  • Click on Insert.
  • Click on Picture.
  • Click on From File…
  • Use the Windows facilities to find the file you want.
  • Click on Insert Picture.
  • As with clip art from the archive (see above), the picture appears on your slide with boxes (handles at the sides and the corners). A toolbar of drawing tools is also present.
  • You can use the mouse to click-and-drag.
  • You can change the size by clicking and dragging a corner handle.
  • You can change the proportions by clicking and dragging on one of the handles in the middle of the sides.
  • If the picture is a digitized photograph or a scanned image, it is called a bitmap. You will not be able to adjust the color scheme.
  • Click outside of the picture to set it in place.
  • You can click on the picture at any time (for example, after leaving this slide, doing something else, and then returning) to adjust the picture.

How to incorporate a bar graph constructed in PowerPoint

PowerPoint has (at least) two ways to make a simple bar graph in PowerPoint itself.


  • Click on Insert.
  • Click on New Slide.
  • In the AutoLayout window, select one of the layouts that contains a graph and click OK.
  • You now have this layout in Slide view. Double click on the bar graph box. A window will open up with a spreadsheet type of data AND the associated bar graph.
  • Change the data in the spreadsheet. This includes column and row headings and the numbers in the cells. The bar graph will change.
  • Click outside of these boxes. The new bar graph will be part of your slide.
  • Complete the slide. It may need a title and text.

2. The other way to make and incorporate a bar graph is through Insert

  • Click on Insert.
  • Click on Chart…
  • You get the same spreadsheet of data and associated bar graph. Proceed as before to enter your own date.
  • Click outside of these boxes. The new bar graph will be part of your slide.

REMEMBER to save your work, changing the default name to one with meaning for you and putting the file in a directory that you remember.


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