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PowerPoint Tips from A to Z
by Kathryn Jacobs

Autoshapes to ZZZ's - This article presents quick tips for you to keep in mind while using PowerPoint:

A. Autoshape - Use them, customize them, fall in love with them!

B. Backgrounds - Keep them consistent by using the master slides.

C. Clip Art - Use wisely and appropriately. Give credit when credit is due.

D. Distribute - Send your presentations on to others on a CD, or via email or the web.

E. Explore and Experiment - It is the best way to learn. Ask questions when you aren't sure.

F. Fast saves - Turn them off. Now. Why? They will corrupt your documents.

G. GIFs - A type of graphic file which allows transparency and automation. Remember that the automated ones only work in 2000 and later.

H. Help - Find it here on, on the recommended links pages, and in the newsgroup.

I. Insert - Insert your graphics and sounds to prevent linkage problems.

J. Jump - Jump to a specific slide when running your presentation by typing in the slide number, followed by the enter key.

K. Keep a backup - You will be glad you did when your file becomes corrupt or someone accidentally deletes it.

L. Linking files - When you do have to link to a file, be sure the file is in the same folder as the presentation. Send the file on when you distribute the presentation.

M. Move - You can move your slides around using drop and drag in the outline view or the slide view.

N. Notes view - Designed for speaker notes, also useful for student notes. Don't save your presentation while in notes view, as this is a known cause of presentation corruption.

O. Outline - An ordered list of the text in your placeholders. Allows you to change the depth and location of text on PowerPoint slides.

P. Placeholders - The pre-built places Microsoft lets you put text and objets. This text can be automated to allow visibility a line at a time. Yes, you want more - we all do!

Q. Quit - your presentation when you are done with an editing session. But PLEASE don't forget to save it!

R. Resist - Overdoing the sounds, graphics, transitions, and builds in a presentation will cause your audience to watch for the bells and whistles instead of the content.

S. Send to Word - A menu option found on the File menu, this option lets you create handouts quickly, format those handouts, and not waste as much paper.

T. Textboxes - A way to add more text to slides. But remember, the text in a textbox will come in all at once, unlike the text in a placeholder which can be automated.

U. Undo - Quick fix for mistakes!

V. Visit - Visit this site regularly for tips and techniques. Sign up for the ezine so you can receive update notifications automatically.

W. W key - When pressed while a presentation is running, will white out the screen and put the focus on you. Pressing the B key will black out the screen. Press the key again to continue your presentation.

X. Red ones - When they appear in your presentation it means PowerPoint is having a problem with your graphics. If you are using a Novell network, this will happen to you.

Y. "Y not Check the Help function? It is easy to use and has lots of answers!"

Z. ZZZZZ - Follow the advice here and your audience won't be catching any zzzzz's during your presentation!

Printed by permission of Kathryn Jacobs. For more Power Point information, help, and links, visit


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