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Combine Content from Multiple Presentations in PowerPoint

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  • 0:02 Why the Need to Merge?
  • 1:24 Using the Reuse Slides Command
  • 3:28 Using Drag and Drop…
  • 4:41 Tip!
  • 5:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

As you create new presentations in PowerPoint, you may want to use slides from existing presentations. This lesson will discuss the benefits of and steps to merging presentations. Also, we will learn how to view multiple presentations at the same time.

Why the Need to Merge?

When you begin creating your PowerPoint slides, you might find that you have existing slides in other presentations that you want to insert into your new presentation. Let me start by giving you an example.

Let's say that, like myself, you're a teacher, and one of the subjects you teach is music. This week the topic is the Beatles. But only one hour each day is slotted for music, so you will need all five days to cover the lesson. You want to break up the lesson into five topics, and you want to use PowerPoint to help present the information.

This will mean five different PowerPoint documents. However, starting with a blank slate each time will be time-consuming. There are new slides, such as the introduction, or the lesson outline, maybe even a title slide, and probably a few others that you want in all five presentations.

This is where merging multiple presentations or reusing slides from another presentation becomes a big help and a definite time-saver. Some of our slides will only need to be created once, then we can insert them into the other presentations when we need them. Let's take a look at how the process works. In this lesson, I'm going to demonstrate two different ways to make this happen. You decide which steps you like best.

Using the Reuse Slides Command

All right, we'll assume we already have created our Monday's presentation, so let's move on with Tuesday's. In our case, we will start with a new presentation, but these same steps apply if you had an existing PowerPoint document and wanted to add slides from another presentation.

So first, begin by opening a new PowerPoint document, and click on the Insert tab. Then, expand the New Slide command by clicking on the More icon, or the upside-down triangle.

Next, choose the Reuse Slides command; it's located at the bottom of the options list. A dialogue box or panel will open on the right side of your slide. Then, click on Browse, and choose Browse File.

Navigate to the presentation that has the slides that you want to merge into your existing presentation. Open the presentation, and a second list of slides will appear in the dialogue box.

Click on the slide that you want to merge (or copy over) to your existing presentation. If you want to copy all slides, right-click anywhere in the dialogue box and choose Insert All Slides.

And just a note: when you click on Browse, you will notice another option to Browse Slide Library. This option is great for slides that you want to have access to quickly and use any time, often, and throughout all your presentations. One of the perks to the Slide Library is that the slides can be stored on your computer, a network, or even a shared computer for other people to access. And this is handy when you have a company that wants certain slides the same throughout any presentation created for the organization.

In the video, you can see we merged the first three slides from Monday's presentation into our new presentation for Tuesday (please see the video at 03:10). We will use these three slides in all five presentations for the week, and we only need to create them once. If we need to, we can make some minor changes to those slides as well.

Using Drag and Drop with Multiple Windows

The second way to merge slides from one presentation to another is using the drag-and-drop function. You can select a slide and copy it over to a different presentation. This is my preferred way to merge slides, but you be the judge. In order to use this option, I first need to explain how to view two presentations on your screen at the same time using multiple windows.

Under the View menu, there is a sub-group of commands called Window. You could say that having one presentation up on your screen is one window. To view two presentations at the same time requires that we open a second window and so on.

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