PowerPoint 2013 Tutorial

Learn the basics of using PowerPoint by following this PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

When you run PowerPoint 2013 you will be presented with the start screen. On the left will appear a list of all the presentations you’ve worked on recently, while in the middle of the workspace you will see a list of templates on which to base a new presentation you might want to create. There is also the option of just creating a simple blank presentation that has no styling: click on Blank Presentation in the top left.

Let’s go ahead and create a presentation based on a template. We’ll choose the Slice template and click on it.

Select a template
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A window will open that allows you to preview different colour options using the thumbnail images in the top right, before you click on the Create button to create your new presentation.

Create a presentation
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Your presentation will open with a default title slide you can use to title the show. There is a textbox at the top for you to add a title: click in it and start typing. You can also add a subtitle using the box below.

It’s a good idea to save your presentation at this point, so press ctrl + s. If it’s a new presentation you’ll have to name it and find a location for it, and if it’s an existing presentation, ctrl + s will just save your changes. You’ll see the name of the presentation in the title bar at the top of the workspace.

But look: the font used for the title is wrong. Let’s change the font by selecting the text (click and drag over it), go to the Home tab and in the Font group, use the Font selector to change the font.

Font Selector

You can see other useful font controls in the font group, like colour, size, bold, italic etc. so you do have a lot of control over how your text looks.

That’s the title slide sorted out. Let’s add some more slides to flesh out your presentation. Also on the Home tab is the Slides group. Click on the top half of the New Slide button and a title and content slide will be added. If you click on the bottom half of the button, you get a choice of what slide layout to use.

New Slide Button

This time, there is a title text box and a content text box. The title is for the title of the slide and in the content text box you can add pretty much anything: text, pictures, charts etc. The icons in the centre of the box are there to help you add different kinds of content quickly.

Add Content Icons

Hover over each icon to see a tooltip that tells you what it does. Let’s add a picture by clicking on the Picture icon (bottom left). Use the Insert Picture window to navigate to where your picture lives, select it and click Insert.

With the picture selected, you will see the Picture Tools Format tab. This tab is one example of a contextual tab; a tab that only appears in the ribbon (the container that holds commands that runs horizontally across the top of your workspace) when certain elements are selected. Using this Format tab you can add different styles and effects to your picture.

Did you remember to save your changes? Use ctrl + s on your keyboard.

If you look to the left of the workspace you can see a vertical list of all the slides in your presentation.

Slide List

If you want to jump to another slide in your presentation, click on it. Note that when adding new slides, the new slide is always added after the one that is currently selected.

Let’s now preview what our presentation will look like for our audience when we run it for real. Press F5 on your keyboard. This starts the slideshow from the first slide. To jump to the next slide, either click on the slide or press Enter on your keyboard. You can return to the previous slide by pressing the backspace key. There are also controls at the bottom of the currently displayed slide that help you navigate too. When you want to stop the slideshow, press the escape key.

That was a lightning fast quickstart guide to PowerPoint 2013. Stay tuned for more in depth tutorials, and check out the other ones we already have on the site.