Can You Invert a PowerPoint?

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Putting together a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation involves adding text, images or videos, but on occasion, manually manipulating the objects on the screen can lead to a more custom slideshow. Although some presentation creators may have relied on formatting techniques such as inversion in other programs, it's not an available option in PowerPoint.


The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers two different direction-related definitions for "invert" – to turn something upside down and to reverse its order. Another inversion practice is rendering something in the opposite colors of its original. In some software programs, inverting is a clickable option off of a toolbar or ribbon. Microsoft PowerPoint doesn't offer an inversion option for its slides, but there are a few creative workarounds to implement something in the same vein.

Color Inversion

In a graphic design program, color inversion usually involves taking an image and rendering it with the opposite colors on a color scale or, in some cases, making a photograph look as if it is an overexposed negative. In PowerPoint, manual color inversion is possible, but it is nowhere near an exact science. You'll have to make guesses about the colors used throughout the presentation and eyeball their opposites. For example, if you're using a white background, clicking the "Design" tab, selecting the "Background Styles" menu and clicking through to black is probably the best bet. Trying to gauge exact shading such as ecru to jet or eggshell to ebony is really not possible. The same formatting issues apply to colored text in PowerPoint. To change text color, use the "Text Color" button on the "Home" tab.

Slide Orientation Inversion

Slides with text boxes and images inserted onto them may be inverted directionally, but slides using themes from the "Design" ribbon or images imported as backgrounds through the "Background Styles" button may not. To invert a text box – or turn it upside down – click the text box and a small green dot appears. Twirl the dot 180 degrees until the text box is upside down. The same functionality applies to images, which also have the green dot. To flip a picture as a mirror image, click the picture to bring up the "Picture Tools" tab. Click the "Rotate" button on the ribbon and click "Flip Horizontal." Text boxes do not permit mirror-image inversion.

Slide Order Inversion

Inverting the order of slides is probably the easiest of the three workarounds, though users performing this process will have to pay keen attention to the way they shuffle the slide deck. In this kind of inversion, you're basically flip-flopping the order of the slide deck so the last slide is first, the second-to-last slide becomes the second slide and so on. The easiest way to do this is to click the "View" tab at the top of the PowerPoint screen. Click the "Slide Sorter" button and the screen changes to a mini storyboard of your presentation. Note what is on the very first slide, usually the presentation title. Then, click and drag the very last slide and drop it before the first slide. All slides shuffle down one place. Repeat with the newly last slide (which was previously the second-to-last slide) and drop it between the new first and new second slides. Continue until the original first slide is now the last and the entire slide deck has been inverted.

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