Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.
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:
- Going to the View menu in the ribbon.
- Look in the Presentation Views grouping of commands.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Now, the second thing to consider is does the slide order still make sense? In our example, the movement of the slides works. The boss wanted to start out on a high and finish on a high. After re-ordering the slides, the presentation started with giving kudos to the branches that exceeded their goals. Then it moved on to discussions about expenses and budget cuts. Finally, the boss presented the quarter's revenue results, which were up! Make sure the slide order makes sense for your presentation.
And one last note - I tend to create links on slides that take me to other slides that have more detailed information. I do this because it allows me to decide during my presentation if the extra information is needed based on the audience I am speaking to. If they need it, I click on the link. If not, we just move on. When you re-order slides, links to other slides are still intact. In other words, if you create a link to slide ten and it moves to slide four, PowerPoint will adjust and update the link to the slide.
In this lesson, you learned the steps to re-ordering your PowerPoint slides. You can either go to the View menu in the ribbon and click on the Slide Sort command, or you can use the Slides Pane on the left side of the screen.
We also reviewed things to consider when moving slides around, such as what happens to the page numbers and keeping the content in an order that will make sense to the audience. With this feature in PowerPoint, you will not need to stress when your presentation is created and your boss comes to you and wants to move content around.
After you've reviewed this video lesson on modifying the slide order of a PowerPoint presentation, you could go on to:
- Outline two common methods for re-ordering slides in PowerPoint
- Note some special considerations to remember when re-ordering slides in PowerPoint
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