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Printing in PowerPoint: Handouts, Selections, and Notes

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  • 0:06 Using Your Presentation
  • 0:52 Printing Your Presentation
  • 1:40 Selecting Slides to Print
  • 2:39 Handouts & Notes
  • 3:51 Printing in Grayscale
  • 4:47 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.

Printing your slides provides more options for distributing your presentation. Learn about the different ways to print slides, speaker notes and handouts in this video lesson.

Using Your Presentation

Presentations are typically delivered by running a slide show on a computer and projecting the slides on a screen or wall. In addition, you may want to print your presentation. Perhaps you want to distribute a copy of your presentation to your audience or you want to have a printed copy of your presentation with speaker notes for yourself. There are several different ways to print your presentation:

  • Full page slides are prints of your actual slides at full size.
  • Handouts are prints that have multiple slides per page to distribute to your audience.
  • Notes are prints of your slides with speaker notes for yourself.

Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Printing Your Presentation

Consider a finished presentation that is ready for printing. To print a presentation, click on File to go to the backstage view and select the Print tab. This brings up the various print options. At the top, you can select the number of copies you want and the printer you want to use. In this example, we are using Adobe PDF as the printer, but you can use any printer that is connected to or installed on your computer.

Under Settings, you can configure the detailed options for how you want to print your presentation. On the right-hand side of the print panel, you can preview what your printed presentation will look like. Once you are ready to print, simply click on Print near the top.

Selecting Slides to Print

Now, let's consider some of the detailed print options. The first setting gives you control over which slides to print. The default is to print all slides in the current presentation. Of course, if you only want certain slides, you have a number of options:

  • You can print only the current slide. This is the one that you last used in the main working area.
  • You can print only the selected slides. This is only an option if you have selected specific slides, for example in slide sorter.
  • You can also specify a custom range by typing in the slide numbers or ranges. Individual slide numbers are separated by a comma, while ranges are separated by a hyphen. Once you have typed in your custom range, click outside of the box.

The preview on the right side shows the slides you have specified, and you can browse through them using the arrows at the bottom to confirm you have the correct slides.

Handouts & Notes

The default print setting is to print one slide per page at full size. Click on Full Page Slides to see several other options to consider. If you have speaker notes, you can print your note pages. This shows each slide at the top of the page and your notes at the bottom. You may find it helpful to have a printed copy of your notes with you during your presentation, although you can also use presenter view to see your notes during your slideshow.

It is also common and helpful to print handouts. This allows you to print between one and nine slides per page. A commonly used style is to print three slides per page, with a specific area for note taking next to each slide. Handouts are particularly useful if you have a long presentation with many slides. Printing out one slide per page would result in a pretty hefty handout. By using, for example, six slides per page, you can make your handout a lot more manageable.

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