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Modifying Your PowerPoint Presentation's Slide Order

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  • 0:03 Re-Ordering Slides
  • 0:57 Changing the Slide Order
  • 3:20 Considerations
  • 5:31 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.

If you need to move slides around, PowerPoint has made it easy to adjust the order. This lesson will explain how to re-order your slides and discuss things to consider when you move slides, such as how it will affect the page numbers.

Re-Ordering Slides

Imagine you have been asked to create a presentation for your boss that he will be presenting at the upcoming quarterly business meeting next week. You finish the slides and print them for review.

After looking over the slides, your boss tells you that everything looks great, except for one thing: slides five and six listing the branches that exceeded their revenue goals for the quarter need to be moved to the second and third spots in the presentation. The boss would like to start the presentation with a shout out to those locations, which will help him to get the audience pumped up. You just spent an entire week putting the slides together. Now what do you do?

Well, this lesson will explain the different ways to re-order your slides. We will also discuss what considerations you should think about when moving slides around, such as if the new sort order will affect the page numbers displayed on the slides.

Changing the Slide Order

There are two common ways to re-order your slides, and PowerPoint has done a great job at making them both easy. The first way is using the Slide Sort command in the ribbon. Let's take a look at the steps. We will use our example of the presentation we created for the boss. We will move both five and six to the second and third spots in the presentation. We'll start out:

  1. Going to the View menu in the ribbon.
  2. Look in the Presentation Views grouping of commands.
  3. Click on the Slide Sorter command. This will open a window with thumbnails of each slide. Now, thumbnails are just another term for small pictures or images of your slides.
  4. Click, hold and drag your slide to the new position and release the hold to drop it into place. Notice when you click on the slide, a red box borders the slide confirming the slide that will be moved.

If you want to move more than one slide at a time (for example, in our presentation we need to move both five and six), you can hold down the Control key and click on each slide to select them both, then drag them at the same time to their new position.

The second way is to use the Slides Pane on the left-hand side of your screen. The Slides Pane works similar to the Slide Sorter window. Really, the only difference is that the slides are displayed vertically rather than horizontally.

Sometimes, the thumbnails in the Slides Pane are too small. It can be difficult to see the slide images or tell what you are doing. To expand the pane window, hover your mouse over the right-side border of the pane until your cursor becomes a 2-sided arrow. Then click, hold and drag your border to the right.

The further to the right you go, the bigger the thumbnails will become and easier it will be to see what you are doing. To move a slide using the Slides Pane, use the same steps that you would in the Slide Sorter. Click, hold and drag your slide (or slides) by holding down the Control key up or down to their new position.

Considerations

Now, there are a couple things to consider when moving slides around. Think about your page numbers. The slides in our example are now two and three. If you have referenced these slides in other documentation, specifically by page number, you will need to edit the documentation to reflect the new page numbers.

In addition, some people choose to use text boxes for their page numbers. This is in lieu of using the Header/Footer feature that displays the page numbers and adjusts them automatically when slides are moved. If you use a text box, each one would need to be updated with the new page numbers. Now, I realize using text boxes for page numbers sounds a bit inefficient, and you should always use the Header/Footer command to add page numbers to your slides, but I have come across a high percentage of users and presentations using a text box, and when it came to rearranging slides, it was a nightmare.

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