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How to Import Text Files into your PowerPoint Presentation

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  • 0:06 Creating a Presentation
  • 0:31 Importing Text Files
  • 1:05 Unformatted Text
  • 2:35 A Word Outline
  • 4:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught Geographic Information Systems, statistics and computer programming for 15 years.

You can create a new PowerPoint presentation by importing existing text from a file. Learn about the difference between importing unformatted text and importing an outline specifically created in Word.

Creating a Presentation

You have several options to create a PowerPoint presentation. These include:

  • Create a blank presentation from scratch, then add slides and format the presentation
  • Create a presentation based on a template
  • Import a text file and then format the presentation

In this lesson, we will look at importing a text file.

Importing Text Files

You can type the text for your presentation directly into PowerPoint, or you can import text from an existing file. In general, there are two approaches to this:

  1. You can import unformatted text. Each line of text will become the title of a new slide.
  2. You can import an outline created in Word. This allows you to create the slide titles and bulleted list content.

Let's look at both of these approaches with an example.

Importing Unformatted Text

Unformatted text

Here is an example of a text file in Word. No formatting has been applied to the text. You can save the file in plain text or Word format. Now let's import this text into a PowerPoint presentation.

When you start PowerPoint, click on Open and browse to the text file. In the Open dialog, by default you only see PowerPoint files. Since you want to open a text file, you need to set the file type to All Files. Now you can select the text file and click Open. This will import the text into a new blank presentation.

Each line of text is used as the title of a slide. Now you can modify the existing content or add new content. For example, the first line of text is really the title page. So, you can change the layout of this slide to a title slide.

Slide format

The text on one of the other slides is really the caption for a photograph, so let's apply a more appropriate layout to this slide as well. Since this is a blank presentation, you can quickly improve the design by applying a theme. Click on the Design ribbon and apply one of the available Themes. Once you have a design in place, you can continue adding content.

Importing a Word Outline

Slide Outline

Instead of importing unformatted text, you can also import an outline prepared in Word. Here is an example of an outline. Only very basic formatting is applied. The key to preparing an outline for use in PowerPoint is to apply the appropriate headings. These headings are used to place the text in PowerPoint.

The example here uses two levels. Level one is used for slide titles, and level two is used for bullet points. You can save the file as a regular Word file that preserves the formatting.

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