MS-PowerPoint / Getting Started

Beginning a New Presentation

You have got two basic choices when it comes to creating a new presentation:

You can start from scratch, using a blank canvas.
If you are familiar with earlier incarnations of the PowerPoint program, or if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of PowerPoint quickly, then you will probably want to choose this option.

You can create a new presentation based on an existing template, theme, or presentation.
A template is a generic presentation file designed for you to reuse. Complete with themes, background images, and even generic content (such as page numbers and placeholder text), templates let you jump-start your presentation by giving you everything you need except your specific content. If you are creating a presentation for your local school board, for example, then you will need to add the content that describes your findings, conclusions, and suggestions.

Templates are the better option when you need to crank out a presentation in a jiffy. PowerPoint comes with a handful of professionally designed templates and themes, but you can also create presentations based on a template, theme, or presentation that you have previously created, or one that you have found online and downloaded onto your computer.

Creating a New Presentation from Scratch

When you launch PowerPoint, the program starts you off with a brand-new presentation cleverly named Presentation1.

PowerPoint calls this a "blank" presentation even though technically it's not blank at all: It contains placeholders for the first slide's title and subtitle.

Typically, you dive right in, adding a look and feel, text, pictures, and so on to the blank presentation PowerPoint hands you. But if you've closed or saved your freebie, here is how you create an additional blank presentation:

  1. Select Office button New. The New Presentation window appears.
  2. On the left side of the New Presentation window, make sure the Blank and recent option is selected. If it's not, click it to select it.
  3. In the New Presentation window, double-click Blank Presentation or you can click Blank Presentation and then click Create. Either way, a new blank presentation named Presentation2 (or Presentation3, or Presentation4 depending on how many new presentations you have created since you launched the program) appears in your PowerPoint workspace.

Because folks typically want to create a new presentation either from scratch or based on a favorite (and, therefore, recently used) template, the Blank and recent option is automatically selected. But you can choose instead to create a presentation based on an existing presentation, or on a theme or template you've created or downloaded from the Web.

(Short Key) To create a new blank presentation without going through the New Presentation window, press Ctrl+N.

[Contents] [Next]