30 Ultimate PowerPoint tips and tricks.
Updated for 2020.
This video is the ultimate compilation of PowerPoint tips and tricks to enhance your skills using Microsoft PowerPoint.
I've combined long established tips and tricks featured in previous versions with prominent new ones Microsoft added in 2019 and 2020.
You'll find these tips and tricks useful whether you're using PowerPoint for the first time or just wanting to enhance your PowerPoint skills.
For the complete list of contents, please refer to the description of this video.
Let's get started.
#1 Stock Images.
In 2020 Microsoft added stock images to PowerPoint for office 365.
It's available under the Insert tab, Pictures, Stock Images.
Here you'll find thousands of royalty-free images that you can insert into your presentation.
Select between stock images, cut out people, icons, and stickers.
Choose one from the list or select from a category of different choices and you can insert it into your presentation.
Then it's resizable, movable however you want.
Add some stock images to your presentation.
#2 Remove Background.
PowerPoint comes with a great tool to remove the background on images.
So let's say we insert a picture from our stock image list and we'll select this bird.
You'll see that this picture has a bird in the foreground and a background that we want to remove.
So let's go into the Picture Format which becomes available anytime you click on an image and the first option is to remove the background.
Click that and it highlights in color all of the background image around that object.
It's not perfect so we're going to mark areas to keep like right here where it's missing part of his wing.
It does a pretty good job once you click on it and now that we have this set, click Keep Changes and it removes everything in that colored area.
Now you have an image with nothing in the background.
#3 Edit Shape.
If you've inserted a shape into your PowerPoint presentation, did you know that you can customize the shape even more.
Once it's selected you have an option here for Edit Shape and Edit Points.
Click on any corner and now you can drag and move the points to change the shape even further.
When it's all done, click outside and you have a customized shape to fit your needs.
#4 Morph Transition.
Morph is a great tool to use to transition from one slide to the next.
Let's say we duplicate this slide.
Click on the second slide and we want it to transfer these two images from one side to the other.
We'll go to the Transition and hit Morph and now you'll see that transition from one slide to the next.
When you're in your presentation that's the action that will occur.
#5 Enhanced Morph.
We've seen how we can morph from one object to the next by doing a duplicate slide and taking the object and moving it and then going to Transition, Morph and it moves that object from one place to the next.
Let's say the second object we didn't want the same square and instead we wanted it to be a circle.
Now when we do the transition morph, it doesn't work like we expected it to.
It just transitions from one object to the next and doesn't do a smooth transition between the two but there is a solution where you can make this work.
Go to the first object, click on it, under the home tab look under arrange, and there is a Selection Pane.
This tells you the name of the object that we've selected.
To do an enhanced morph you just need to use two !! and a name so that's what we're going to call that object.
Now we're going to go to the second object and we're going to name it the same thing.
Now that they're the same name when we do the Transition Morph it does a smooth transition between the two and that's how you do enhanced morph.
#6 Ctrl-Drag to Copy.
If you hold the Ctrl key down and drag an object it makes a copy.
This works for text too.
#7 Design Ideas.
You can take a boring presentation and turn it into something much better by using design ideas it's available on the home tab just click on design ideas and PowerPoint takes text from your presentation and transforms it into different layouts choose one of the recommendations and it updates your slide you can also add pictures as part of your slide presentation and design ideas will use that picture as part of the recommendations as well it's a great tool to enhance your PowerPoint presentation and it's available with a click of a button.
If you need to add a 3d barcode to anything in your PowerPoint presentation go to the insert tab choose get add-ins and search for qr for office this brings up the add-in app that generates 3d barcodes click add and from the menu you can choose between a url a secure url a mailing address a telephone number a text message geolocations or do a custom code for a url just type it in and it creates the barcode you can expand the size change the colors change the background and when you insert it it adds it into your PowerPoint presentation that barcode is now scannable by any phone or device that can scan 3d barcodes and it will take you to this link this get add-ins feature is available in any of the office 365 current versions of PowerPoint.
#9 Filled Map.
You can create a map in PowerPoint using data in a table.
Just go to the Insert tab, click on Chart, and from the menu select Map.
Hit OK and it inserts it into your PowerPoint presentation.
This table represents the data that shows up in your map.
Let's remove some of the data from the list here and you can see that it updated to just North and South America.
Let's get rid of those two and now it shows a map of just the united states.
You can enter just states in here and it updates the map to reflect that data.
You can use countries, regions, cities, zip codes, or any other location specific data that can be mapped and a nice feature is you can select from the list up here of chart styles.
So for a quick method to show a map in your PowerPoint presentation use Filled Map.
#10 Dictate and Translate.
Brand new in PowerPoint is an option to dictate text directly into a text box.
Just go to Insert, Text Box.
Set it up somewhere on your screen and then click inside.
Now click on Dictate and wait for it to record your voice.
“This is a test of PowerPoint dictation”.
You can also choose from a variety of different languages to record.
Translate is available from the Review tab.
Just highlight some text and click the Translate button from the menu.
It brings up the translator and converts it into any language that you choose.
Here you also have a number of languages to choose from.
Choose one and then hit Insert and it replaces the text with that new language.
You can reverse the translation and insert it back.
Dictate and Translate adds a new dimension to how you handle text in your PowerPoint presentation.
#11 Quick Alignment.
The quickest method to align objects on a slide is to select all of them, come up to the Arrange button on the Home tab, select a line, and then choose whether you want to align to the left, center, or to the right.
This aligns them all in the same location and then you can also align the distribution vertically or horizontally, which makes the spacing between them even.
The other options to be aware of is if you have one object over another and you want to move the order.
Come to the Arrange and you can choose to bring something to the front or move it to the back.
That changes the layering of objects on top of each other and if you have multiple objects that you want to combine into one choose Group from the menu.
Now they move and act as one object.
So remember, all the quick alignment options are available under this menu Arrange.
#12 Ink to Text.
PowerPoint comes with a great drawing tool that you can convert ink into text or shapes.
Just pick Draw from the menu, select a pen, and write some words on the screen.
Now choose the Lasso and select that area and click the Ink to Text button.
That converts it to text.
Now the key is make sure you turn off the Draw tool and now you can select this text and even edit it just like a regular text box.
You can also convert Ink to Shapes and this time we're going to draw some shapes like a square.
We'll call that #1.
We'll do a circle and we'll call that #2 and let's do a triangle and we'll call that #3.
Now lasso those and we'll choose Ink to Shape and that converts them all to shapes.
We'll turn the drawing tool off and now you can select each one of those and move them around as needed and even edit them with the text inside.
You can also work with math.
Let's draw an equation and we'll lasso that and do Ink to Math.
It converts to text similar to the Ink to Text option but it knows about math and formulas.
You can also use the Ink Equation Editor.
You can write a formula and it fills it in on the fly.
Insert it into your presentation and you can drag it where you want.
It also has an equation menu where you can select from different formulas and operators if you don't want to type them in yourself.
So if you need to work with math in your presentation that's a great tool.
There's one final option from this menu and it's Ink Replay.
If you draw something you can do Ink Replay and it replays the whole drawing that you created.
This can be used for some animation in your presentation.
Obviously this works best with a pen device that you can handwrite but you get the idea.
Eyedropper allows you to apply a specific color to multiple objects on your PowerPoint presentation.
Let's select multiple objects by holding down the Ctrl key and if you go to the Shape Format menu under Shape Fill.
Let's choose the Eyedropper and now we're going to select this red color and it fills all those objects with that color.
You can do the same thing with the Shape Outline and it applies that outline color to all the objects we've selected.
Eyedropper is available in a bunch of different locations like under Shape Effects, Glow.
So if you need to select a color from your screen use the eyedropper.
#14 Chart Animation.
You can add animation to your charts in your PowerPoint presentation.
Just select a chart, go to the Animations tab, select an animation like Float-In and you can see that the whole chart floats into your presentation.
Click on this Animation Pane and you can see the animations that are in effect but right now let's add an effect option and choose by Series.
This floats each series in one at a time.
You can also choose by Category and that brings the entire category in one at a time.
Other options available by Element in Series, or by Element in Category.
You can adjust the duration.
So to spice up your chart use Chart Animations.
#15 Alt-Shift Order.
If you have a list and you need to change the order of those items just highlight the one you want to move, hold down the Alt-Shift keys and hit the Up Arrow to move it up and the Down Arrow to move it down.
That's a quick trick to change the order of items in a list.
#16 Quick Access Toolbar.
In the upper-left corner of all the Office apps is the Quick Access Toolbar.
This gives you quick access to some of the common functions that you want to access from within the program and in this case it has Save and Undo and some other items available.
If you click this Down Arrow you can customize this Quick Access Toolbar.
First you can select from a number of common features by just turning them on and off but you can also come down here to More Commands and select from popular commands to add to the Quick Access Toolbar.
For example, if we wanted to add the Eyedropper Text Fill hit OK.
It now adds that to the Quick Access Toolbar and you can just go directly there when you want to use that function.
Some of the common ones i like to add is Quick Print and also Spelling so that you can check the spelling of text that you insert in your PowerPoint presentation.
Just remember you can customize this toolbar any way you want and it is available in all of the Office apps.
#17 Smart Lookup.
Smart Lookup is a feature in PowerPoint that allows you to select text and look up information about it from the web.
For example, in this presentation let's select the Covered Call text, go to the Review tab, click on Smart Lookup.
It looks this information up on the web and provides a definition, different web results, and even pictures, and within each one of these you can select See More Results and it provides other information.
You no longer need to copy and paste any information into a web browser.
You can just do smart lookup directly from your PowerPoint presentation.
#18 Slideshow Tricks.
There are a number of keystrokes available while you're in a presentation to help communicate your message.
You can hit F1 to see the list of options.
Some of the more helpful ones is W to white out your screen.
Hit it again and it brings it back.
B blacks out your screen and B again brings it back.
Ctrl-P brings up a pointer where you can circle and draw lines and arrows anywhere in your presentation.
Hit the E and it erases.
Ctrl-P again turns that off.
Ctrl-I brings up a highlighter where you can highlight different areas of your screen.
Ctrl-I again turns that off and E erases.
The plus key zooms in.
Minus zooms out and if you hit it all the way out it shows you all of your PowerPoint slides or you can select and go directly to one.
Minus again to go back.
Hit a number and Enter to go directly to that slide.
Two-Enter takes me to the second slide.
One-Enter takes me to the first.
Hit Ctrl-L to bring up a laser pointer.
Hit it again to turn it off.
These are just some of the shortcuts available to help control your presentation while in presenter mode.
#19 Animate Images.
Did you know you can add motion animation to an image.
Let's select this bird.
We'll go up to Animations.
In the pull-down menu select Custom Path and now we're going to select and draw the direction that we want this bird to move.
Double-Click at the end and there's your animated motion.
You can also come up here and click this button to edit the settings for that custom path.
We can have it Auto Reverse when it's done.
We can set sound and do other triggers at the end.
You can also set the timing.
Let's say we want to move this from two seconds to five and we'll hit OK.
Now it's moving at a slower motion and then reversing the direction when it's done.
You have a great deal of flexibility about motion animation and you can do this with any image.
#20 Instant Photo Album.
It's really simple to create an instant photo album using some of your pictures.
Just go to the Insert tab, choose Photo Album, choose File Disk, and then select all the images that you want to insert into your photo album.
Choose these options.
You can make them all black and white, you can have them fit to the slide, but the defaults generally work well.
Hit Create and it instantly created your photo album complete with slides for each picture and if you want to improve the look a little bit use your Design Ideas and select from a format that makes it look nice.
It's that simple.
Congratulations you've made it through two-thirds of the tips and tricks list.
The rest will continue in 15 seconds but please take a moment right now to subscribe to Sele Training and click the bell icon to get notified when new videos are released.
Don't forget the entire 30 tips and tricks list is in the description of this video with hyperlinks to each.
Now let's get back to it.
#21 Reuse Slides.
You can add slides to your presentation directly from another PowerPoint file by selecting Reuse Slides from the Home tab.
It shows a list of recent PowerPoint files.
Click on one and select each slide you want to insert into your presentation.
In the left pane position the location where you want the slide inserted.
If you scroll to the top of the slide list and uncheck this Use Source Formatting option, when you insert a slide it will convert the slide to match the format of the slide above your insertion point.
In office 365 you'll also see recent PowerPoint slides that have been shared with you from other team members.
This feature makes it easy to collaborate on team presentations.
So save yourself some time and use the Reuse Slide feature.
#22 Link to Excel.
Let's say you have an excel chart and you want to link it to PowerPoint.
Just click on your chart, do Ctrl-C to copy.
Go over to PowerPoint and do Ctrl-V to paste.
Now before you do anything else click on this link and make sure you select one of these two entries with the chain representing the link to Excel.
You have a choice between using your destination theme or use the source formatting in your PowerPoint presentation.
We'll go ahead and use the destination theme and link the data.
Now when you right-click you can edit the data and it takes you back to Excel where the source of the data is.
So let's say we change this number right here from 15 down to 6.
When we go back to PowerPoint the data is updated.
Change it back to 15 and it's updated there.
It's now linked between Excel and PowerPoint.
Just remember, make sure that you've saved your Excel spreadsheet so that there's a file that it can link to and make sure that you select one of these two chain options.
That's all there is to it.
#23 Animated GIF.
You can create a custom animated gif to use in your PowerPoint presentations or in other applications.
Let's start by inserting a Smartart and we'll choose this Gear tool but you can use any graphics that you want or create your own.
We'll label these A, B, and C and then we're going to duplicate this slide and we'll take each one of these and rotate it part of the way.
Now we'll duplicate this slide again and we'll rotate it again and you get the idea.
Create some motion for your graphics that you'll create into a gif.
Now we're going to go to File, Export, and choose Create an Animated GIF.
You can set the resolution and the speed between each slide.
When you're ready create the gif and we'll choose a name and hit Save.
Now to see how that works let's create a new slide and we'll make it a blank and we're going to insert a picture from this device.
Choose our test and there's your animated gif.
#24 Layered Images.
Another form of animation of images can use layering.
Let me show you how this works.
I'm going to insert a picture from the Stock Images and we're going to find a mountain scene.
Let's select this one right here and insert it.
Let's crop it to the aspect ratio of 16:9 so that it fits nicely into the frame.
Now I'm going to right-click and duplicate this slide and on the second slide I'm going to remove the background.
We want to remove all of this area here but we want to keep everything here.
We'll keep the changes and now I'm going to Ctrl-C to copy, go back to our first slide and paste it over the top.
We'll line it up just right and now we have two layered images.
Let's add a third layer.
Let's insert Stock Images this time we'll pick the moon and let's select this one right here and insert it and I'm going to crop that one but I just want the area around the moon.
Now let's remove the background on that image as well.
Keep those changes and we'll take the moon and move it down here in the corner.
Now we want this moon to move up so I'm going to go to Animations and from this menu I'm going to pick the Up Animation and you can see that it moves from this location to this one.
Let's move this up a little ways farther and when you look at the Animation Pane this is what that's going to look like.
But with layering we want the moon to be behind the one image and in front of the other one so if you go back to Home and Arrange, the Selection Pane you can see the three images in order.
This one is the picture of the moon.
We want to move that down behind the other picture so it's in between the two in the layer.
Now when we go back to play it you can see that it raises behind the image.
Now let's double-click here.
Let's adjust this so it's a smooth start and end and we'll change the timing to 5 seconds and now we have a smooth transition motion graphics using layering.
#25 Slideshow Loop.
Sometimes you want a PowerPoint presentation to play in a continuous loop.
There's a couple things you need to set up to make that work.
First go to the Slideshow tab.
Click on Setup Slideshow and check this box for Browsed at Kiosk.
Now go over to your Transitions tab and on the After check that box, change it to the amount of time you want it to be on each slide, and Apply to All.
Now when you hit Slideshow – one, two, three, one, two, three and it repeats in a continuous loop.
#26 Embed Fonts.
If you intend to share your PowerPoint presentation with another person or send it to present on a different computer then it's a good idea to use embedded fonts.
This ensures that the fonts are in the file with the presentation.
You can enable this by going to File, Options, Save and check this box for Embed Fonts in the File and hit OK.
Now when you save your PowerPoint presentation it saves the fonts within the file.
#27 Compress Media.
You can insert videos into your PowerPoint presentation but sometimes these files can be rather large.
One thing you can do is go to File, Info, and this Compressed Media option will be available if you have a video in your presentation.
It gives you the option to compress the media down to a smaller size format by adjusting the resolution.
So let's go to HD 720p and you'll see that the initial size is 35.
6 megabytes and it's compressed it down to 29.
Not a huge savings but it depends on the type of file that you're compressing.
Hit Close and now you can save that file and send it to someone.
If you need to adjust the media compression come back in here, choose Undo, and then you can compress it again at a different resolution.
So if you need to reduce the size of your PowerPoint presentation with a video use Compress Media.
#28 HD Video Export.
You're already familiar with presenting your video live but you can also record your video and present it as an exported HD video presentation.
To do that just go to File, Export, and choose Create a Video.
You have choices here where you can set the resolution of your video Ultra, Full HD, or Standard.
You can choose to record timings and narrations.
This opens up your presentation for video editing.
Here you can record, stop, and replay your video.
You can mark different points on your screen with a laser pointer or with a highlighter, change the color of that device, set your audio on and off, turn on video, scroll through your different presentation screens, even refer to your notes, and when you're all done recording close this window and it comes back to your Create Video screen.
If you don't want to record timings and narration just set the seconds between each slide and choose Create Video, give it a name, and hit Save and it exports your video out into a file and now you can share that file as a pre-recorded presentation.
#29 Shape Intersect.
Here's a neat trick to intersect pictures and images.
Let's go up to the Insert, Pictures, Stock Images, and we'll select this boat.
Shrink that down a little bit.
Now I'm going to go to the Insert, Shapes and select one of these stars down here.
We'll draw that around the boat so that it covers it up and here's the trick, you need to click on the image first, hold down the Ctrl key, click on the shape secondly and now go up to Shape Format, Merge Shapes, and choose Intersect and you've just created an image shape intersect.
You can do this with custom shapes as well so let's go back and Insert a Picture from our Stock Images again and we'll pick our bird this time so we'll shrink this down a little bit.
I'm going to go to Insert, Shapes but this time under Lines I'm going to select this one right here.
Then I'm going to draw a line around the outside of this object and when the points connect again it creates a shape.
Now we're going to do the same thing.
Click on the image first, hold the Ctrl key down, select the shape second.
Shape Format, Merge Shapes, Intersect and now we have a cutout of just our bird.
So if you want to get creative with your images use the Shape Intersect technique.
#30 Picture Fill.
It's really easy to add a picture to a shape.
Let's go ahead and insert a shape and we'll pick this circle and we'll go ahead and change the outline to a different color and make it a wider line.
Now if you go to the Shape Fill there's an option here where you can pick a Picture.
We're going to go ahead and select our Stock Images and we'll pick our bird again and that adds a picture to that shape.
Now it is one object that you can move around.
I don't quite like the alignment of that picture so what I'm going to do is click on the Picture Format and we'll do the Crop and now i can edit that image, change the size, and adjust it however i need and now we have our final picture.
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