How to Make an Index in PowerPoint

By Aaron Parson

Write your own index in a PowerPoint slideshow, or for a faster alternative, create a table of contents from the outline.

Unlike Word, PowerPoint 2013 doesn't include a tool to help generate an index. To index keywords in a presentation, you'll have to find and note each word's appearances manually, and optionally add links. Creating a table of contents offers a faster alternative if you need to only index card titles and bullet points.


To index presentations with a lot of text more quickly, use Word's indexing tools instead. Paste the contents of each slide onto a separate page in Word, so that the page and slide numbers match, and then create an index there.

Write an Index

Step 1

Add a new slide to the end of your slideshow, and title it Index. Right-click the main text box on the slide and choose Format Shape.

Step 2

Add columns.

Open the Text Options section on the sidebar, click the Textbox icon and press the Columns button. Increase the number to add columns to your text box. The more columns, the more entries fit on one slide, but the less horizontal space you'll have for each. Setting the number to 2 or 3 works well in most cases.


To fit even more entries onto one slide, lower the font size on the Home tab.

Step 3

Add index entries.

Type the words for your index alphabetically, one per line, and add the slide numbers after each. As each column fills, PowerPoint automatically moves to the next column.

Use the Find window (Ctrl-F) to search for the slides where each keyword appears. The slide previews along the left side of the screen also help you locate words in your slideshow.


  • Alphabetize indexes that get out of hand by pasting the index into Excel and sorting. To paste the sorted index back into PowerPoint, right-click in the text box and press T to select Keep Text Only.
  • Zoom in the slide previews along the left side of PowerPoint by placing the mouse over the previews, holding Ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel up.

Step 4

Link to slides in the presentation.

Select a slide number written in your index and click Hyperlink on the Insert tab. Choose Place in This Document, select a slide and click OK to create a link. Repeat to link any or all of the slide numbers in your index.


Save time by copying a slide number with a hyperlink and pasting it other places in the index.

Add a Table of Contents

Copy the outline.

PowerPoint's Outline View lets you copy slide titles and bullet points in bulk, making tables of contents much faster to create than indexes. Open the View tab and choose Outline View. Select the entire outline and press Ctrl-C to copy it.

Paste the outline (Ctrl-V) into a text box on a blank slide, add slide numbers and tabs as needed, and you've got your table of contents. Optionally, add hyperlinks using the method in the index section.


To copy the outline without including bullet points, right-click the outline after selecting it and choose Collapse.