Slide Basics

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

Customizing slide layouts

To change the layout of an existing slide:

  1. Select the slide you want to change.
    Selecting a slideSelecting a slide
  2. Click the Layout command in the Slides group on the Home tab. A menu will appear with your options.
    Layout commandLayout command
  3. Choose a layout from the menu. The slide will change in the presentation.
    Choosing a layoutChoosing a layout

To delete a placeholder:

You can easily customize your layout by deleting unwanted—or extra—placeholders from any slide.

  1. Position your mouse on the dotted border of the placeholder so it changes to a cross with arrows cursor with directional arrows.
  2. Click the border to select it.
    A selected placeholderA selected placeholder
  3. Press Backspace or Delete on your keyboard. The placeholder will be removed from the slide.

To add a text box:

Text boxes allow you to add to your current layout, so you can place text wherever you want on your slide.

  1. From the Insert tab, click the Text Box command.
    Text Box commandText Box command
  2. Your cursor will turn into an upside-down cross text box cursor.
    Text Box cursorText Box cursor
  3. Click, hold, and drag your mouse to draw a text box. A text box will appear.
    A text boxA text box

Explore our Text Basics lesson to learn more about inserting and using text boxes in PowerPoint 2010.

To use a blank slide:

For more control over your content, you may prefer a blank slide—a slide without placeholders—over one of the existing layouts. Blank slides can be customized by adding your own text boxes, pictures, charts, and more.