What Is PowerPoint? What It’s Used For and How To Start Using It?

By Tech Guides | October 13, 2019

PowerPoint is a full-featured presentation program that is used by millions of people around the world. PowerPoint is used to design presentations for a variety of mediums including computer-based display shows, overhead projection transparencies, and 35 mm slides. You can add sound and animation to your slides to achieve a high level of impact. PowerPoint gives you the ability to prepare paper-based presentations and handouts for your audience.

ms power point

You can also package and distribute your presentations with a PowerPoint Viewer. You can even package and distribute your presentations in PowerPoint 4.0 (16-bit) format, so those people who are still using Windows 3.x can run your presentations. As with the other Office programs, PowerPoint makes use of all of the features available to programs designed specifically to run with a 32-bit operating system such as Windows10, 8, 7, XP,  95/98 and NT.

When acquired as part of Office, PowerPoint uses a number of shared Office resources. This includes fonts, ClipArt, spelling resources, AutoCorrect, Internet Explorer, and more. Like all other Office programs, PowerPoint can integrate documents and information created by other Office and Windows programs.

For example, you can insert Excel spreadsheets or Word tables directly into a PowerPoint slide. You can also export a slide presentation to a Word document with the click of a button on PowerPoint’s Standard toolbar. The ease and flexibility of performing these operations is impressive.

How To Start PowerPoint In Windows

  1. Click the Office Shortcut Bar’s New Office Document button and double-click the Blank Presentation icon to create a new PowerPoint document.
  2. (Click the General tab if it is not already selected to see the Blank Presentation icon)
  3. Click the Office Shortcut Bar’s Open Office Document button and from its directory select an existing PowerPoint presentation that you want to edit.
  4. Use the Windows Start menu to start PowerPoint by selecting Microsoft PowerPoint from the Programs menu.
  5. Select a PowerPoint document from the Windows Start menu’s Document option. Windows recognizes that PowerPoint created the presentation document, starts PowerPoint, and loads the presentation file automatically. (The Start menu’s Document option holds a list of your most recent work.)
  6. Click the Office Shortcut Bar’s PowerPoint button to create a blank presentation. Depending on your Office Shortcut Bar’s setup, you might not see the PowerPoint button.

open ms powerpoint

Unlike the other Office products, PowerPoint begins by offering a Wizard-like template query that you can select for the type of presentation you want to create. Press Esc to get rid of the opening dialog box that teaches you about the PowerPoint screen.

Fig Shows the opening PowerPoint screen. Your screen might differ slightly depending on the options that you chose during installation. If your PowerPoint offers a list of options such as opening an existing presentation or creating a new one, select the option that creates a new presentation.

Understanding Presentation and Slides

The primary purpose of PowerPoint is to help you design, create and edit presentations and printed handouts. A presentation is a set of screen(slides) that you present to people in a group or workbook tutorial. Because PowerPoint provides a wide variety of predefined templates, you don’t have to be a design specialist to create good-looking presentation.powerpoint slides

Note: A Presentation is a set of screens that you share with a group of people as slide show. A Slide show is a preview of your presentation slides, one at a time, controlled, manually or viewed in a timed presentation.

PowerPoint slides can contain information from the following:

  • Data you type into PowerPoint, including text, charts, graphs, and graphics.
  • Word documents
  • Word document outlines
  • Excel worksheets
  • Excel graphs and charts
  • Access databases
  • Publisher publications
  • Graphics programs that you use to crate and edit graphics.
  • Other Software Programs whose data you import into PowerPoint.

How To Create a New Presentation In PowerPoint

The first Fig shows the opening window that you see when you start PowerPoint and begin a new presentation. The figure shows several design templates that contains layouts you can use (templates are stored in files that contain the .pot extension) The design template works well for creating a PowerPoint presentation one slide at a time, but the design template might not be the best place to begin in many instances. The AutoContent Wizard , covered in the next section, is sometimes a better place to start.

powerpoint new presentation

The AutoContent Wizard

Perhaps the best place to begin creating a new presentation, particularly if you are new to PowerPoint, is the AutoContent Wizard . This Wizard contains a sample presentation with sample text and a selected design. Use the Wizard’s dialog boxes to select a design that best suits your needs.

The AutoContent Wizard is a presentation design wizard that contains sample data from which you can select and edit to create your customized presentation.

  1. Start PowerPoint 2000.
  2. Cancel the New Slide dialog box.
  3. Select File, New to display the New Presentation dialog box.
  4. Click the Presentations tab to display several samples presentations.
  5. Double-Click the icon labeled AutoContent Wizard to start the AutoContent Wizard’s question-and-answer session.
  6. Answer the AutoContent Wizard’s questions to design a presentation shell the best fits your application’s requirements.

The AutoContent Wizard selects the best choice from among these template styles after you complete the Wizard.

  • Brainstorming
  • Business Plan
  • Certificates
  • Communicating Bad News
  • Company Meeting
  • Corporate Financial Overview
  • Corporate Home page
  • Corporate Handbook
  • Employee Orientation

All these AutoContent Wizard templates are available to you if you don’t want to run the wizard first. PowerPoint supplies two styles for each template: One for an online Intranet or Internet PowerPoint presentation, and one for a standalone PowerPoint presentation known as a standard presentation.

After PowerPoint creates the presentation outline, you have to fill in the details. Click any slide’s icon in the left column of the presentation outline that the AutoContent Wizard produces to edit that specific slide.

Creating Presentation Using Design Templates

If you start PowerPoint 2000 and select File, New, PowerPoint 2000 presents you with the New Slide dialog box. The New Slide dialog box contains several templates that you can use to start your presentation’s first slide. Display the New Slide box whenever you need to create a new slide for a presentation.

powerpoint templates

A presentation contains one or more slides, so you need to display the New Slide dialog box every time you are ready to add the next slide to the presentation . To display the New Slide dialog box at any time , click the New Slide option in the Common Tasks menu.

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