How to Make an Outline for Powerpoint

By Katelyn Kelley

Information entered on PowerPoint slides has a built-in hierarchical order that lends itself to outline format, and PowerPoint offers as one of its view modes an outline view that is convenient for working with large presentations. Viewing slides in outline view takes less space on the screen, and slide items can be rearranged with a simple click-and-drag action. The outline text of the presentation can also be printed and used as speaker's notes or copied and pasted into another application.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Step 1

Open PowerPoint and open the slide presentation you want to make an outline from or create a new slide presentation by clicking and typing in the text placeholders on the Title slide that appears when you open the application.

Step 2

Use the New Slide button at the top of the screen to add additional slides to the presentation if necessary and enter information on them.

Step 3

Press the Tab key to create levels and sub-levels in the bulleted information on your slide with indentation. This builds the structure of the outline for the presentation.

Step 4

Hold down the Shift key and press the Tab key if you wish to "outdent" an item on the slide.

Step 5

Click the Outline tab (Windows) or outline view button (Macintosh) to view an outline of the slide presentation.

Step 6

Click and drag on the small slide icons next to a slide title in the outline to rearrange them. Click and drag the bullet items below each slide title to rearrange them or move them to different slides.

Step 7

Click the Office menu (Windows) or the File menu (Macintosh) and choose Print.

Step 8

Choose "Outline View" (Windows) or "Outline" (Macintosh) under the "Print What" category in the Print Dialog box to print just the outline of the slides.

Step 9

Click the "Preview" button to see what the printed version of the outline will look like.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you click and drag to select the outline text while in Outline view, you can copy and paste the text into another application, such as a word processor.