Slide Basics

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

Customizing slide layouts

Sometimes you may find that a slide layout doesn't exactly fit your needs. For example, a layout might have too many—or too few—placeholders. You might also want to change how the placeholders are arranged on the slide. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to adjust slide layouts as needed.

Adjusting placeholders

To add a text box:

Text can be inserted into both placeholders and text boxes. Inserting text boxes allows you to add to the slide layout. Unlike placeholders, text boxes always stay in the same place, even if you change the theme.

  1. From the Insert tab, select the Text Box command.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Text Box command
  2. Click, hold, and drag to draw the text box on the slide.

    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Drawing the text box
  3. The text box will appear. To add text, simply click the text box and begin typing.

    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The new text box

Using blank slides

If you want even more control over your content, you may prefer to use a blank slide, which contains no placeholders. Blank slides can be customized by adding your own text boxes, pictures, charts, and more.

While blank slides offer more flexibility, keep in mind that you won't be able to take advantage of the predesigned layouts included in each theme.

To play the presentation:

Once you've arranged your slides, you may want to play your presentation. This is how you will present your slide show to an audience.

  1. Click the Start From Beginning command on the Quick Access toolbar to see your presentation.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Start From Beginning command
  2. The presentation will appear in full-screen mode.
  3. You can advance to the next slide by clicking your mouse or pressing the spacebar on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move forward or backward through the presentation.
  4. Press the Esc key to exit presentation mode.

You can also press the F5 key at the top of your keyboard to start a presentation.