PowerPoint 2016: Getting Started with PowerPoint

PowerPoint 2016 is a presentation program that allows you to create dynamic and professional slide presentations. With PowerPoint 2016, you can easily create beautiful presentations from scratch or use one of the many built-in templates and themes. This guide will provide an overview of PowerPoint 2016 and the basic tools you need to create great presentations.

The PowerPoint 2016 Interface

When you first open PowerPoint 2016, you will see the Start screen. From here you can:

  • Create a new blank presentation
  • Choose from a variety of templates
  • Access your recently edited presentations

To start a new presentation, select Blank Presentation. This will open the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint 2016 interface consists of several key components:

  • The Ribbon – Located at the top, the Ribbon contains all the main tools and features you need to create your presentation organized into tabs.
  • Quick Access Toolbar – Located above the Ribbon, the Quick Access toolbar provides shortcuts to frequently used commands like Save, Undo, and Redo.
  • Slides/Outline Pane – Located on the left, here you can view thumbnails of your slides or an outline view.
  • Notes Pane – Located below the main slide area, you can add speaker notes here that only you will see.

Creating New Slides

To add a new slide to your presentation:

  1. Click the Home tab
  2. Click the New Slide button in the Slides group
  3. Select the desired slide layout

PowerPoint includes numerous pre-designed slide layouts that include placeholders for content like titles, text, images, charts and more. Simply click inside a placeholder to add your content.

You can also duplicate existing slides or import slides from other presentations.

Applying Themes

To give your presentation a professional look, you should apply one of the many built-in themes. Themes contain matching colors, fonts, and design effects.

To apply a theme:

  1. Click the Design tab
  2. Click the Themes button
  3. Select the desired theme

Take some time to browse the various themes to find one that fits your content and preferences.

Adding Text

To add text to your slides:

  1. Click inside a text placeholder
  2. Type your text

You can format the text using the tools on the Home tab including options to change the font, size, color and more. You can also add bulleted or numbered lists.

Inserting Images

To insert an image:

  1. Click the Insert tab
  2. Click the Pictures button
  3. Select an image from your computer or an online source
  4. Resize and position the image as needed

Be sure to include alternative text for accessibility. You can also apply various styles and effects to images including borders, reflections, glows and more.

Inserting Shapes

To insert shapes like rectangles, circles, arrows:

  1. Click the Insert tab
  2. Click the Shapes button
  3. Select the desired shape
  4. Customize the shape with colors, effects, text and more

Shapes can be used as decorative elements or to call attention to parts of a slide.

Adding Charts

To insert a chart:

  1. Click the Insert tab
  2. Click the Chart button
  3. Select the chart type you want
  4. Enter your chart data
  5. Customize the chart style, colors and more

Charts allow you to present data visually in your presentations.

Adding Transitions

To add transitions between slides:

  1. Click the Transitions tab
  2. Select a transition effect
  3. Customize the transition speed, sound and more

Use transitions in moderation as too many can become distracting. Subtle transitions often work best.

Adding Animations

To animate text and objects on a slide:

  1. Click the Animations tab
  2. Select the object you want to animate
  3. Pick an animation effect
  4. Customize the animation path, speed, triggers and more

Animations can help present information in a dynamic way but use them sparingly.

Previewing and Presenting

When you are ready to view your presentation as an automated slideshow, click the Slide Show tab and then click From Beginning or press F5. Use the on-screen controls or your keyboard arrows to navigate the slides.

You can also present your slideshow in Presenter View which includes a presentation timer, notes pane, and other useful tools.

Saving and Sharing

When you are done working on your presentation, be sure to save it frequently. PowerPoint 2016 presentations use the .pptx file extension.

You can print handouts, email presentations, export presentations as videos, and more. You can also upload and share your presentations online via OneDrive.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start building your own presentations in PowerPoint 2016! The program includes many additional tools you can learn over time to take your presentations to the next level.