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Preview Slide Show Without Leaving Normal View

When you’re editing a complicated slide in PowerPoint and you’ve got a lot of animations to set it’s sometimes difficult to know that it’s all going together as you have it pictured in your mind.

To be sure that it’s coming along as you hoped you’ll want to preview it… so what do you do?

Most people leave the Normal view and actually begin the slide show.

Of course you’ll run into something needs to be adjusted, so now what?

Why you hit Esc, ending the slide show to return to the Normal view, edit the slide and then start the presentation all over again… right?

Well, you could, or you could just change the way you choose to preview the show… maybe there’s some method to preview the presentation without actually starting the slide show?

Yeah, there is, and I vote for that one!

Here’s the deal, PowerPoint has the ability to display the presentation in a small preview window – this smaller window will run the animations, transitions, etc… and show you the finished product without actually forcing you out of the Normal view editing area.


As you can see, I can clearly see the slide I’m editing but I can also see a preview of the show in the upper left corner of my screen.

To get the presentation preview all you need to do is to hold down the Ctrl key then click the Slide Show button located in the bottom (left or right depending upon your program version) of the screen.


Once you’ve got the preview running you’ll find that when you click into PowerPoint (or any other program for that matter) it will just move behind whatever you’re working with. If you need it again you can find it in Windows’ Taskbar as an along with all your other currently running programs.

The really cool part is that you can make changes to your presentation while the preview is up and running in the background. Then, when you click back to it you’ll find that the changes are immediately reflected in the preview with no need to start it over.

Use the Esc key to end the preview – same as any other presetation.

Anytime I can edit my presentation without the constant start and stop business to check my progress is a bonus to me – it’s just more efficient and I’m all doing quality work with a whole lot of efficiency.