If you already know how to use previous versions of PowerPoint, you will have to re-orientate yourself for PowerPoint 2007. There have been several major changes in the interface. This tutorial was originally created for Office XP but has been modified to relate to the new version.

You have probably heard the adage, "A picture is Worth a Thousand Words!". That is undoubtedly the premise behind PowerPoint, Microsoft Office's visual presentation program. In addition to being entertaining, a multi-color visual presentation is a very effective way of getting an idea across to an audience, whether the audience is a classroom of students or a group of potential business clients.  The ease with which someone with minimal technical skills can put together a professional looking visual presentation is one of the reasons PowerPoint has been used for lectures, trade shows, and even court cases.

This tutorial will take you through some basic steps in putting together a simple, but effective presentation.

Before you begin you should collect any graphics, images, photographs, and any other information  that you are planning to use for your presentation.


Create an outline! 

Organize your thoughts just as you would an English essay.  I don't want to spoil the fun, but you really need the get your thoughts organized and your message straight before you put it into multi-media form.

Once you get your outline together you will have an idea on how many slides you will need, and which graphics would be best suited to support and enhance your presentation.

As with most forms of communication, keep in mind that the purpose of your presentation will be to do one or more of the following:

To Inform, Convince, Persuade, or Entertain

Getting Started:

When you open PowerPoint instead of the traditional "File Edit View... menu you will see the new Office 2007 ribbon bar. Clicking on the Office Button will bring up a somewhat familiar window.

Templates and Themes will be covered later in this tutorial.

Although the layout is unlike previous versions, Office 2007 applications do share this common interface.

The default page opens to the "Home" page with two pre-defined Text Boxes.  A Text Box is different than a paragraph or a Table in that it can be re-sized or moved pretty well anywhere on the page, regardless of what seems to be in it's way. Text boxes can also hold images. 

The Home ribbon displays the most common operations - changing Font appearance, Paragraph formatting, Drawing tools, etc.

The Slides pane shows you a sequential list of the slides created so far.

Using Templates & Themes:  

When you open a new project with PowerPoint by clicking "New" a window will appear giving you a choice of several pre-configured themes and templates. You can also create your own design.  Either way, try to stick with a common theme - don't switch colors and themes to the point where you lose visual continuity.

If you are doing a business related project remember that anything you do in terms of presentation is part of the 'branding' process, so it might be an idea to use colors that coincide with corporate or logo colors.

Also, keep in mind that the overall look of your presentation should reflect the nature of the idea that you are trying to get across, (humorous, serious, historical, technical, etc.).

Refer to:

This demo presentation is for a fictitious wooden toy business, and would be used for a self-running trade show kiosk.

I will ultimately create custom graphics for the project, but for now I chose the "Trek" theme, as it has a natural look and suits the maple and oak hardwoods used in the businesses products.

Colors and themes can also be chosen from the Design ribbon. Colors can be selected from the Colors drop-down window. If you can't find a pre-defined color scheme you can create your own by selecting Create New Theme Colors.

To add a Text Box make sure that you are in the Insert ribbon. Click on the Text Box icon and drag a text box in the desired location. 

To relocate the Text Box move the icon over one of the borders until it changes to the four-side icon, then click and drag to the new location.
Text style, size, color etc. can be modified by going back into the Home ribbon.

To insert a picture got to the Insert tab and select from Picture, Clip Art. etc., depending on your source.

Browse your computer for the image file, then select Open to place the picture.

Once the image is placed it can be moved with the mouse or 'nudged' with the keyboard arrow keys.

Refer to Creating a Feathered Image Effect if you want to use the 'feathered-edge' image effect shown.

An image can be re-sized by dragging one of the corner 'handles'. Any of the four middle handles will 'skew' (distort) the object.

You can change the front-to-back, (Layer) order of text or images by selecting one of the Arrange buttons of the Format ribbon. In this example I placed the image behind the text.

Text alignment and formatting are handled from the Home ribbon in the same manner as in MS Word.

Adding New Slides:  

There are a few ways to add a new slide. One way is to select the New Slide button from the Home ribbon.

You can choose from a selection of templates in the pop-up window that appears.

Another way to add a new slide is to Right-click on the slide thumbnail and choose from the pop-up window that appears.

At this point you could skip the next few steps and continue adding the necessary slides to complete your presentation.

The next few steps will go over some customizing techniques.

Customizing - Applying your own styles:
With a little bit of work in CorelDraw and PhotoShop I created some custom graphics, which will also be used on the business web site.  The familiarity of the color/graphics scheme will help in the business identification/branding process.  (See: Logos) Also, for the little bit of extra work up front, you can end up with a totally unique appearance for your presentation.

It's nice to have pre-defined templates, but the flip-side is that there could be a million other PowerPoint presentations out there that look almost identical to yours!


You can create a new Slide Master  which can become a template for your entire presentation.

These are the two images that I will import into the new Slide Master.

The Custom graphic is a wood grain pattern that I applied a faded edge effect to using PhotoShop. This will form the left edge of each page.

I created the Custom header for the title page  using CorelDraw. A smaller version of the same image will be used as a common footer image on each page.

In the View ribbon select Slide Master.

An new tab will appear called "Slide Master".

While still in Slide Master view Click on the Insert tab.

Click on Picture and in the window that appears, browse for the background image you want to use.

The background image can be moved around and resized just like any other image, but it should be created as close as possible to it's required finished size.

With the Format tab selected you can use the Send to Back button under Arrange.

To return to the normal view go back to the Slide Master ribbon and select the Close Master View button.

This is the finished title page using the customized Master Slide, an imported graphic for the heading, and an imported graphic highlighting the company's products.

Another shortcut, if you don't want to bother with templates, is to duplicate an existing slide.  After you have set up a slide the way you like it, right-click and choose Duplicate Slide from the pop-up window.

At this point the presentation could be considered complete and ready to go. It will have default transitions and effects already applied to it.  To make a `free-standing` presentation `go to File `Save As` and choose PowerPoint Show. This creates a self-running show that can be played on another computer, even if the PowerPoint software program is not installed.

Next - Adding Effects