Slide Basics

Understand the basics of working with PowerPoint slides and PowerPoint slide templates, including changing views and slides.

Slide basics

Video: Slide Basics in PowerPoint 2010

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Every PowerPoint presentation is composed of a series of slides. To begin creating a slide show, you'll need to know the basics of working with slides. You'll need to feel comfortable with tasks such as inserting a new slide, changing the layout of a slide, arranging existing slides, changing slide view, and adding notes to a slide.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

About slides

Slides contain placeholders, which are areas on the slide that are enclosed by dotted borders. Placeholders can contain many different items, including text, pictures, and charts. Some placeholders have placeholder text, or text you can replace. They also have thumbnail-sized icons that represent specific commands such as Insert Picture, Insert Chart, and Insert ClipArt. In PowerPoint, hover over each icon to see the type of content you can insert in a placeholder.

PowerPoint slide with placeholdersPowerPoint slide with placeholders

About slide layouts

Placeholders are arranged in different layouts that can be applied to existing slides or chosen when you insert a new slide. A slide layout arranges your content using different types of placeholders, depending on what information you might want to include in your presentation.

In the example above, the layout is called Title and Content and includes title and content placeholders. While each layout has a descriptive name, you can also tell from the image of the layout how the placeholders will be arranged.

Slide layout menuSlide layout menu