How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

Create a basic PowerPoint presentation to share information

From grade school to professional offices, presentations communicate information in a clear and illustrated format. One robust (and prevalent) app that creates presentations is Microsoft PowerPoint. Here's how to make a simple PowerPoint presentation.

The instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, and PowerPoint 2013.

Create a PowerPoint Presentation

Here are the steps to create a basic PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Open PowerPoint. The program may open a blank presentation. If so, select File > New to see the options for creating a new slideshow.

    If you'd like to take a tour of the most popular PowerPoint features, go to File > New, then choose the Welcome to PowerPoint template.

    The New option in PowerPoint.
  2. Select either a Blank Presentation or choose one of the Microsoft-supplied design themes to create your presentation. When you choose a blank presentation, PowerPoint creates a one-slide presentation that starts with a title slide. You can then select the text boxes on the Title Slide to add your text.

    Themes include matching color palettes and fonts to help you create a document with a cohesive look.

    A blank PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Add more slides to your presentation. Go to the Home tab and select New Slide. Or, right-click the Slide Sorter bar in the left pane and select New Slide.

    The New Slide option in PowerPoint.
  4. Change the slide layout, if desired. Go to the Home tab and select Layout. Then, choose options for content layout in your slides, which you can resize or delete as needed.

  5. Repeat these steps until you have enough slides to finish your presentation.

Add Text and Images to a PowerPoint Presentation

Now that you've created the framework of your presentation, you can use some basic operations to make it more interesting.

  1. If you selected a pre-determined layout for a slide that includes text or image elements, click any element. Selecting a text box opens it for editing. You can then type or paste your content into the text box. General content boxes have icons to click to insert objects, including tables, charts, SmartArt, pictures, and video.

    Adding text and objects to a PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Add a text box to a slide. Go to the Insert tab and choose Text Box. Click any place in the slide to place the box. When you begin typing, the Home tab opens with text formatting options such as font, size, bold, italics, color, and alignment. The text editing buttons are only available when a text box is selected.

    To resize a text box, drag (click and hold with a mouse) one of the adjustment handles on the outside of the text box until the text box is the desired size.

  3. Add an image. Go to the Insert tab and find the options in the Images group. Choose from these options:

    • Picture opens a file browser. Navigate to the photo on your computer you wish to use.
    • Online Picture opens a search window. Search Bing for an image online or use OneDrive to access your photos.
    • Screenshot captures part of your screen and adds it to your presentation.
    • Photo Album accesses a group of photos on your computer.
  4. Adding other objects is also done through the Insert tab. You can drag and create shapes, SmartArt, and charts.

Save and Share a PowerPoint Presentation

Don't leave your new presentation without saving it. Also, you may want to share it with someone or put it where you can access it easily.

  1. Save your presentation by selecting File > Save As.

    You can also select Save as Adobe PDF to convert the presentation to a PDF file.

    The Save As option in PowerPoint.
  2. If you use OneDrive, save your presentation to OneDrive for easy access and sharing.

    How to save to OneDrive in PowerPoint.
  3. Select File > Share to see options to share your presentation quickly. Depending on your other software, PowerPoint allows you to share through OneDrive, email, and other options.