How to Install and Use Add-Ins in PowerPoint

Add-ins are a great way to enhance the capabilities of PowerPoint and improve your workflow. In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to find, install, and utilize PowerPoint add-ins effectively.

What are PowerPoint Add-Ins?

PowerPoint add-ins are supplemental programs that add additional functionality or features to PowerPoint. They allow you to customize and extend PowerPoint beyond what is available out-of-the-box.

Some common things PowerPoint add-ins provide:

  • New design tools (themes, icons, shapes)
  • Content/media insertion (photos, charts, web content)
  • Data integration and analysis
  • Collaboration features
  • Presentation management tools

Add-ins can save you time, unlock creative options, and streamline your workflow – making it easier to build professional, engaging presentations.

Finding PowerPoint Add-Ins

There are thousands of PowerPoint add-ins available, ranging from free to paid. Here are some places to find them:

  • Microsoft Office Store: Microsoft curates popular PowerPoint add-ins in their app store. This is the easiest way to find safe, reputable add-ins.
  • Third-party websites: Many add-ins are available for download directly from their developer’s website. These aren’t vetted by Microsoft but can provide useful niche capabilities.
  • Your organization: Some companies develop proprietary add-ins with custom features tailored to their needs. Check with your IT department to see if any internal add-ins are available.

When evaluating add-ins, read reviews and check compatibility to find the best fit for your purposes.

Installing Add-Ins

Installing PowerPoint add-ins is quick and easy:

  1. Get the add-in file: Either download the add-in from the Microsoft Office store or a third-party provider. It will be a .ppam or .ppa file.
  2. Open the add-in manager: In PowerPoint, go to File > Options > Add-Ins. Click Manage: PowerPoint Add-ins > Go.
  3. Install the add-in: In the add-in manager window, click Add New. Find and select your .ppam or .ppa file, then click OK.

The add-in will now be installed and ready for use!

Using Add-Ins

Once installed, most add-ins can be accessed through:

  • The Add-Ins tab on the PowerPoint ribbon
  • The Add-ins button on the Insert tab
  • Right-clicking to access add-in-provided context menus

The functionality will vary depending on the purpose of the specific add-in. But most add this basic process to use them:

  1. Activate the add-in: Click the add-in’s button on the ribbon to launch it. A pane will open.
  2. Use the interface: The add-in pane provides options and tools. Adjust settings or insert content as needed.
  3. Insert into slides: Add charts, images, text boxes and other elements provided by the add-in into your presentation slides.
  4. Refine placement: Position, resize, or format inserted items to integrate smoothly into slides.

Review each add-in’s documentation to understand its full capabilities and how best to leverage them.

Top PowerPoint Add-Ins

Here are some of the most popular and helpful PowerPoint add-ins:

  • Provides designer-made templates and collaboration tools for building presentations faster.
  • Noun Project: Gives access to an extensive library of icons and images to enhance slides.
  • PowerTools: Adds advanced graphic design options like alignment guides, batch editing, and custom layouts.
  • Pexels: Allows easy embedding of photos, videos, and illustrations from Pexels’ free stock library.
  • LiveWeb: Enables inserting live web content into slides, so they stay up-to-date.

Troubleshooting Add-In Issues

If an add-in isn’t working properly, here are some things to try:

  • Ensure Office and PowerPoint are fully updated
  • Try reinstalling the add-in
  • Check for conflicts with antivirus software
  • Review permissions and security restrictions
  • Disable all add-ins, then re-enable one by one

If problems persist, contact the add-in developer’s technical support for assistance.


The wide range of available PowerPoint add-ins makes it possible to customize your presentations and unlock capabilities that go far beyond the native tools.

Finding add-ins through the Microsoft Office Store or trusted third-party providers gives you options tailored to your specific needs. Installing them is a simple process, and they integrate right into your workflow.

So explore some PowerPoint add-ins and start boosting your productivity today!