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powerpoint tricks woman looking over her shoulder

Microsoft PowerPoint is a fantastic application for making compelling presentations. At times, though, it can seem a little clunky or like it’s working against you. Who hasn’t experienced the frustrating task of trying to select an object that is underneath several other objects? You end up having to move everything out of the way, which is super inconvenient. To help, I am going to share a few PowerPoint tricks that you can use today to simplify your PowerPoint experience.

Also See: 5 Microsoft  SharePoint tips for new users

Reading View

When you want to take a quick peek at how your presentation is going to look for your audience, use Reading View instead of Slide Show. It increases the slide size significantly and doesn’t take over your computer in the process. It is also great for when you are sharing presentations over Skype for Business. You get there by going to the View tab, and in presentation views on the left, choose Reading View. There is also a handy shortcut in the lower right hand corner of the PowerPoint window.

powerpoint tricks reading view

Selection Pane

Use Selection Pane when you want an easy way to select or arrange the objects on your slide. You can name each object as you build your slide so they are easy to identify later. You can even turn objects on and off by using the eye button next to each object name. Find the Selection Pane on the Home tab, under Arrange.

powerpoint tricks selection pane

Increase number of undos

You are probably familiar with Undo, and its keyboard shortcut, Ctrl-Z. It gives you the power to test out ideas without affecting your presentation. But sometimes, when you get really far off course and have to go back several steps, Undo stops working. You can increase the number of undos on the Advanced tab of PowerPoint Options. You get there by going to File, Options, click on the Advanced tab and maximum number of undos is under the editing options section at the top.

powerpoint tricks increase number of undos

Duplicate an object

Instead of using Copy and Paste to create a second option, hold Ctrl, and then click and drag to create a duplicate. This works for any object and even for creating new gridlines.

Merge Shapes

PowerPoint allows you to combine shapes to create just about anything you can dream up. This feature is really helpful when you want to create something that isn’t in the stock shape options. The Merge Shapes tool can be found in the drawing tools tab when you click on an object. To activate the Merge Shapes tool, you must select two objects. The order you select the objects can change the effect, so keep that in mind when you are testing this feature out.

powerpoint tricks merge shapes

Compress Pictures

Have you ever created a beautiful presentation that you wanted to share with your colleagues, only to find out the file size is enormous and you can’t email it? This is usually caused by the high-resolution images in your presentation. You can compress the pictures to get your file size down without losing quality. To find this tool, click on a picture and on the picture tools tab at the top, there is a button that says Compress Pictures on the left. This feature lets you pick the resolution that fits your needs and if you want to apply this to all pictures in the presentation. But beware, if you choose all pictures, it will include logos and wordmarks and you probably don’t want the resolution on those to decrease at all. Once you’ve clicked ok on the Compress Pictures box, just save your presentation and the files size should go down significantly.

powerpoint tricks compress pictures

Enjoy these PowerPoint tricks, and enhanced skills!

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