How to Make an Outline for Powerpoint

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.

Step

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.

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PowerPoint Opening Screen
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New Slide Button

Step

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.

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Slide with Tabbed/Indented Text

Step

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

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

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Outline Tab and Button

Step

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

Step

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

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

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PowerPoint Print Dialog Box

Step

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.

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Print Preview of the PowerPoint Outline

Step

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