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Outline to Presentation in PowerPoint 2007

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS PowerPoint

Looking to create a presentation based on a document that you already have complete?

Dreading the time it takes to transfer the key information to the presentation slides?

Does the document use heading styles that would allow for the program to create an outline?

Is it these titles, formatted in a heading style, that are to become the basis for the presentation?

Are you using PowerPoint 2007?

If the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes and yes then good news because life just got a bit easier.

Well, actually, even if you don’t have heading styles applied you can use this trick – it just may not create slides as cleanly as you might like. (For some basic information on heading styles click here.)

Moving on…

PowerPoint 2007 has a handy option when inserting new slides into a presentation…it’s labeled as “Slides from Outline“.

Outlines are created by programs such as Word using the styles given to different text.

If everything is in Normal text then each paragraph would be considered an entry on the outline.

If you’ve wisely used header styles then the header information dictates the hierarchy of the outline.

Either way – this technique can be used to create slides from your document saving you time and energy when it comes to transferring information from a document to a presentation.

The entire “trick” is in how you insert new slides into the presentation.

Instead of blindly clicking the New Slide button located on the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the bottom half of that button.


As you can see, at the very bottom there’s a choice for inserting Slides From Outline, choose it. (Don’t worry – your document doesn’t actually need to be in outline form. PowerPoint pulls the document information and creates the outline then puts those elements onto slides.)

From there you’ll be asked to locate the file containing the information.

With that done you’ll be returned to PowerPoint where you’ll find the new slides created, each containing a title corresponding to an element of the document outline.

That’s all there is to it – you simply need to add whatever content is to be highlighted from each section and you’re work is done.

While this one doesn’t exactly build the presentation for you it does very rapidly get things moving in the right direction.

~ April

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