PowerPoint 2010

By Chris Dillon. Version 1, 10 September, 2010.

1. Interface

PowerPoint 2010 has a radically different interface from previous versions, such as PowerPoint 2003. For example, where the menus used to be, you will find the ribbon, which is divided into tabs such as File, Home, Insert etc. These tabs in turn are divided into groups. To display more options, click the Dialog box launcher. This is a small icon at the bottom right of some groups.

2. Creating a new presentation

When you open PowerPoint 2010, it presumes you want to create a new presentation.

  • Type its title in the Click to add title box, and your name and an optional subtitle in the Click to add subtitle box.
  • Save your presentation by pressing Ctrl-S.
  • Press Ctrl-M and create an overview slide for your presentation.

3. Basic commands

Click the File tab for basic commands such as New [document] (Ctrl-N), Open (Ctrl-O), Save (Ctrl-S), Print (Ctrl-P) and Close (Ctrl-W). Save As (F12) is used for e.g. creating new versions of presentations, saving a presentation in another format (including the old PowerPoint 97-1003 format) or creating a template (File | New to display the templates available to you). The Options button is found at the bottom of the dialog box which appears when you click the File tab and gives you access to many of PowerPoint’s settings.


  • To move between the slides, use the Page Up and Page Down keys.
  • The Home key takes you to the first slide.

4. Slide layouts

The most common slide is the one with a heading and a bulleted list beneath it.

  • To change the present slide’s layout (without losing data you may have typed in), make sure you have the Home tab in the ribbon selected and click Layout in the Slides group.


Sorting slides

  • Click on the View tab in the ribbon and click Slide Sorter in the Presentation Views group.
  • You can move a slide with the mouse by clicking the slide, holding down the left mouse button and releasing it where you want the slide to go.
  • To delete a slide, click on it and press Delete.
  • To copy a slide, click on it and press Ctrl-C. Go to where you want the copy and press Ctrl-V to paste it.

Outline view

  • Click on the Outline tab in the left pane.
  • If the left pane is not displayed, click on the View tab and then click Normal.

6. Images

Downloading an image from the Internet

  • Right-click the image in e.g. Internet Explorer and select Save Picture As. Rename the image file if necessary. If the file name ends in .jpe, change this to .jpg.
  • To insert an image, select the Insert tab and then Picture. The slide layout with the title but no bullet points, or, for larger images, the blank slide layout. Do not use copy and paste from another application, as this makes the PowerPoint file very large.
  • You can also use scanned images and images from a digital camera, but it is usually necessary to resize these in an application such as IrfanView (see image-editing-with-irfanview), Paint Shop or Photoshop. Be careful about copyright unless the image comes from www.ucl.ac.uk, www.flickr.com/creativecommons, www.istockphoto.com (commercial but very nice!) etc.
  • You can insert pictures in JPEG, GIF, BMP and other formats.

Resizing an image

· Click the image,

· place your mouse over the bottom right corner of the image,

· wait till the mouse cursor turns into a two-headed arrow,

· and hold the left mouse button and drag the corner.

Moving an image

· Place your mouse over the image,

· wait till the mouse cursor turns into a four-headed arrow,

· and hold the left mouse button and drag the image.

Deleting an image

· Click it to highlight it

· and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

7. Creating a text box

You may label pictures by using text boxes.

· Click the Text Box icon (with an A and lines of text) in the Text group on the Insert tab.

· Click and drag to create the text box. It’s worth typing a couple of letters in the box so you don’t lose it!

  • You can resize, move and delete a text box as you would an image.
  • There are also icons for creating lines and arrows.
  • Click on the Shapes button in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab.

8. Inserting sound files

Your file should ideally be in .mp3 format, as e.g. .wav files are large and may slow PowerPoint down.

  • Click on the Audio from File button in the Media group on the Insert tab.

9. Inserting links

· Go to the page you want to link to in your browser.

· Select the Web address of the page in the address bar at the top and copy it by pressing Ctrl-C.

· Click the PowerPoint icon on your task bar (bottom of the screen) to return to PowerPoint.

· Click in the bullet where you want it to go and paste in the Web address by pressing


· If you press the spacebar after the address, it should turn into a hyperlink.

You can also make your presentation more interactive by including links to other slides in the presentation:

· Type the text for the link e.g. First Slide and highlight it.

  • Click the Hyperlink button in the Links group on the Insert tab.
  • Select Place in This Document in the left pane and then the slide to which you want to link.

10. Templates

  • Click on the File tab and click New to display a list of templates (presentation designs) available.
  • To apply a co-ordinated colour scheme to your presentation, chose a colour scheme with a pastel background and dark text from the designs in the Themes group on the Design tab.
  • If you want to modify one of the schemes, having selected it, click Colors in the Themes group and then Create New Theme Colours.
  • Click the Slide Master button in the Master Views group on the View tab to add anything, e.g. a footer or image, which is to appear on every slide. It can also be used to set the fonts to be used in the presentation. Click the Close Master button on the right to return to normal editing.

11. Animations

“Animations” allow the content of a slide to appear an element at a time after you click the left mouse button. This is useful, for example, as it prevents your audience from reading ahead.

  • Click the part of the slide to which you want to apply the animation (usually the lower part where the bullets are).
  • Click the Add Animation button in the Animations group on the Animations tab. There is also a window containing buttons for some frequently used animtions.

12. Transitions

Transitions are the effects which occur between slides in a presentation.

  • Select a transition on the Transitions tab. Click Effect Options for settings.
  • Click the Apply to All button.

13. Starting the show

  • Select From Beginning in the Start Slide Show group on the Slide Show tab or press F5.
  • Press the spacebar or click the left mouse button to move to the next slide.
  • Press Page Up to go to the previous slide.
  • Press B to display a black slide. Press B again to return to your presentation. You may want to do this to attract the audience’s attention or to use the screen for some other purpose.
  • Return to Normal view, by pressing the Esc key.

14. Handouts

  • Go to the File tab and select Print.
  • Click the Full Page Slides button and select one of the options under Handouts.

15. Settings

File format

Currently many people are unable to read PowerPoint 2010 documents created in the default .pptx file format. The best thing to do is to set PowerPoint 2010 to create documents in the PowerPoint 2003 .doc format.

  • You can do this by going to File | Options.
  • Select Save in the column on the left and PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation (*.doc) in the Save files in this format drop-down box in the panel on the right.

Note that it is at last possible to save a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF file by clicking on the File tab and selecting Save as and then PDF in the Save as type drop-down box.

16. Connecting your computer to the projector

  • Connect the lead from the projector to the Monitor socket on the back of your computer. (If you have an Apple laptop, you need a display adapter. There are several sorts, so it’s best to ask in the shop.)
  • Your computer may have a key to switch the presentation alternately between your computer, your computer and the projector, and just the projector:
  • In the case of a laptop, try holding down the Fn key and pressing F5, F7, F8 or one of the other function keys. It may have a monitor icon (two squares) on it.

· Some remote controls have a choice between Video (i.e. VHS or DVD) and RGB (which actually means computer, i.e. the option you need).

17. Tips

· If you make a mistake, press Ctrl-Z immediately. That should undo it.

· Keep the text on your slides to a minimum

– use bullet points.

· Use upper case letters sparingly – they are difficult to read.

· If you need manually to break a line in the middle of a bullet point, use Shift-Enter (NOT Enter which would create another bullet point).

· Keep slide titles as short as possible.

· Make headings between 36-48pt*.

Why some presentations fail

· more than three fonts or colours in a presentation

· a point size less than 28pt (they wouldn’t be able to read it!)*

· more than six bullet points on a slide

· more than three images on a slide

· too much sound (you could use it once for comic effect…)

* This is not an issue, unless you change the font size defaults.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Note that most PowerPoint 2003 keyboard shortcuts, e.g. Ctrl-S, still work in PowerPoint 2010. PowerPoint 2010 has a good collection of its own shortcuts. One way of accessing them is to press Alt, wait a moment and then press the letters that appear on the keyboard.

To the top left of the ribbon, there is the Quick Access toolbar with commonly used commands such as the Save (Ctrl-S) and Redo (Ctrl-Z).

  • To add a command you use frequently to this toolbar, right-click on the command’s button and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar. (There is also an option to customise the toolbar.)

18. Help

To get help, click the question mark icon on the far right of the ribbon. Click the Search button if you want to limit where PowerPoint searches for help.