PowerPoint for Beginners - How to Use PowerPoint

Beginner's Guide to PowerPoint 2010

Businessman making presentation in front of screen
Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty Images

First Things First: What is PowerPoint? - Why Would I Want to Use PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is a software program to enhance your oral presentation and to keep the audience focused on your subject. It operates like an old-fashioned slide show, but uses modern technology in the form of computers and digital projectors rather than a slide projector of old.  PowerPoint 2010 is the latest version of this program as of this writing.

1) What's New in PowerPoint 2010?

For those of you who got on board with PowerPoint 2007, this version of the program will look very familiar. However, there are some new additions to PowerPoint 2010 in terms of features, and some subtle additions in terms of slight changes to existing features in PowerPoint 2007.

2) The 10 Most Common PowerPoint 2010 Terms

This quick list of the ten most common PowerPoint terms is a great tool for those new to PowerPoint 2010. If you are upgrading from PowerPoint 2003, there are a few new entries to be aware of.

3) Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2010

Each page in a PowerPoint presentation is called a slide. PowerPoint presentations run just like the slide shows of old, only they are broadcast through a computer instead of a slide projector. This PowerPoint 2010 tutorial will show you all the different slide layouts and slide types.

4) Different Ways to View PowerPoint 2010 Slides

Slides in any PowerPoint 2010 presentation can be viewed in a variety of ways. Use the slide view that is right for the task at hand.

5) PowerPoint 2010 Background Colors and Graphics

Backgrounds can be added to individual slides or all slides in the presentation. Backgrounds for slides can be solid colors, gradient colors, textures or pictures.

6) Design Themes in PowerPoint 2010

Design themes were first introduced in PowerPoint 2007. They work in a similar way as the design templates in earlier versions of PowerPoint. A really nice feature of the design themes, is that you can immediately see the effect reflected on your slides, before making your decision.

7) Add Clip Art or Pictures to PowerPoint 2010 Slides

PowerPoint 2010 offers you a number of different ways to add clip art and pictures to a presentation. Perhaps the easiest way to do so is to select a slide layout that contains a placeholder for content such as clip art and pictures.

8) Modify PowerPoint 2010 Slides

All slides and slide layouts in PowerPoint 2010 can be modified to your specifications.  Most slide modifications are as simple as a few clicks of the  mouse.

9) Add, Delete or Rearrange PowerPoint 2010 Slides

Just a few mouse clicks is all that is needed to add, delete or rearrange slides in a presentation. This PowerPoint 2010 tutorial will show you how to rearrange the order of your slides, add new ones or delete slides that you no longer need.

10) Slide Transitions in PowerPoint 2010

Slide transitions add movement to your slides as they change from one slide to the next.  This is not to be confused with animations, which add movement to the objects on the slides.  Animations will be covered in the next tutorial.

11) Adding Animation to PowerPoint 2010 Presentations

The term animation is used in PowerPoint to describe the motions that are applied to the objects on the slides, and not the slides themselves. One object or several objects on a slide can be animated.

12) Favorite PowerPoint 2010 Features

I thought it would be fun to write about my favorite PowerPoint 2010 features and ask you to do the same. Here are my three favorite features (new and old) in PowerPoint 2010. And, please share your favorite feature(s) too.

Was this page helpful?