Different Ways to View Slides in PowerPoint

Use different views to design, organize, outline, and present your slideshow

Businesswoman preparing audio visual presentation in conference room
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Many people spend all their time in the Normal view when working on their PowerPoint presentations. However, there are other views that are useful as you put together and present your slideshow. In addition to Normal view (also known as Slide view), you'll find Outline view, Slide Sorter view, and Notes Page view.

Information in this article applies to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013; PowerPoint for Office 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Design Slides in Normal View

Normal view, or Slide view as it is often called, is the view you see when you start PowerPoint. It is the view where you'll spend most of your time in PowerPoint. Working on a large version of a slide is helpful when you're designing your presentation.

Screenshot showing the Normal view in PowerPoint

Normal view displays thumbnails of each slide, the slide where you enter your text and images, and an area to keep presenter notes. 

To return to Normal view at any time, select View > Normal.

The four slide views are located on the View tab. Toggle between them to compare views.

Organize a Presentation in Outline View

In the Outline view, your presentation is displayed in outline form. The outline contains the titles and main text from each slide. The graphics are not shown, although there may be a small notation that they exist. You can work and print in either formatted text or plain text.

Screenshot showing Outline View in PowerPoint

Outline view makes it easy to rearrange your points and move slides to different positions. Outline view is useful for editing purposes. And, it can be exported as a Word document to use as a summary handout.

To view an outline of your presentation instead of thumbnails, select View > Outline View.

Rearrange a Presentation in Slide Sorter View

Slide Sorter view shows a miniature version of all the slides in the presentation in horizontal rows. These miniature versions of the slides are called thumbnails.

Screenshot showing Slide Sorter view in PowerPoint

Use Slide Sorter view to delete or rearrange your slides by dragging them to new positions. Add effects, such as transitions and sounds, to several slides at the same time in Slide Sorter view. And, add sections to organize your slides. If you are collaborating with colleagues on a presentation, assign each collaborator a section.

To locate the Slide Sorter view, select View > Slide Sorter

Keep Presentation Prompts in Notes Page View

When you create a presentation, add speaker notes that you refer to later while delivering the slideshow to your audience. Those notes are visible to you on your monitor, but they aren't visible to the audience.

Screenshot showing Notes Page view in PowerPoint

Notes Page view shows a small version of a slide with an area below for speaker notes. Each slide is displayed on its own notes page. Print these pages to use as a reference while making a presentation or to hand out to audience members. The notes do not show on the screen during the presentation.

To locate the Notes Page view, select View > Notes Page.