What Is a PowerPoint Deck?

By Carol Finch

Learn what makes up a deck in PowerPoint and find out how to create and order a basic presentation deck.

In PowerPoint, a deck is another name for the series of slides that make up your presentation file. When you create a presentation, you start with a single slide and then add others, ultimately building a deck of slides that contains all your information. The slide you're working on appears on the screen; the full deck appears as thumbnails on a task pane at the side of the screen. PowerPoint has a variety of slide layouts and designs, and it allows you to shuffle the order of slides in the deck.

Creating a PowerPoint Deck

Step 1

When you open PowerPoint, it shows a single white title slide by default. To change the presentation's design, apply a template theme.

Open the Design tab. To preview a theme, hover your mouse over a design. When you find a design you like, select it to apply it. PowerPoint applies the theme to the current slide and any new slides you add.

Select the arrow in the Variants area.

To customize the template theme, go to the Variants area and select the down arrow.

Use Variants options to customize the template theme.

Use the Colors, Fonts, Effects and Background Styles options to customize the theme. Select an option to apply the change.


  • To change a theme, go to the Design tab and select a new theme.
  • To return to the default theme, select Office Theme.
  • To customize the slide's background without using a theme, open the Design tab and select Format Background in the Customize area.

Step 2

Select the arrow by New Slide to open the slide menu.

To add a slide to a deck, select the Home tab and then select the New Slide down arrow.

Select a layout for the slide you want to add.

Choose a slide layout from the list to insert the new slide.


  • PowerPoint adds a new slide below the current slide. To add a slide between two existing slides, go to the thumbnail task pane and select the slide that should appear before the new slide.
  • To add a new slide with the same format as the previous slide, select the New Slide button rather than the down arrow. This doesn't work for the first slide you add after the title slide, as PowerPoint adds a default slide at this point.
  • To change the layout of a new slide, select it in the thumbnail list and select Layout in the Slides section of the Home tab.
  • To delete a slide, select it in the thumbnail menu and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Organizing a PowerPoint Deck

Shuffle the Deck in Slide Sorter

Step 1

Select Slide Sorter to open a sort view.

Open the View tab and select Slide Sorter. All the slides appear on the screen in their current order.

Step 2

Drag the slide to change its position in the presentation.

Select the slide you want to move and drag it to its new position. Repeat for any other slides you want to reposition.

Step 3

Select Normal to close the Slide Sorter.

Select the Normal button on the View tab to return to the regular presentation view.

Change Order in the Task Pane

Step 1

Select the slide you want to reposition.

Select the thumbnail of the slide you want to move.

Step 2

Drag the slide up or down in the list.

Drag the slide to its new position.


To change the order of slides, use the Slide Sorter tool or rearrange them in the thumbnail task pane.