During a business meeting or a lesson at school you were asked to create a PowerPoint presentation and you, not having particular familiarity with this software, are not sure where to start? Don't worry: you've come to the right place at the right time! In the following lines, in fact, I will explain to you how to make a PowerPoint in a simple way and without unnecessary waste of time. I guarantee you that you will not need great computer knowledge to get good results: you will only have to have a little patience and a lot of imagination to instill in your presentations.
As easily understood, the most used program for making presentations is Microsoft Office PowerPoint, which is included in the Microsoft Office package, but it is not the only tool suitable for the purpose: if you do not like Microsoft Office PowerPoint and / or you are not willing to purchase a license to use it, you must know that there are other programs that can to create impactful presentations. One of them is LibreOffice Impress, which is completely free, open source, and compatible with all major PC operating systems. I'll tell you about it in the second part of the tutorial. Another thing I'll tell you about later is the mobile version of PowerPoint, which is compatible with most smartphones and tablets and allows you to make complete presentations just like on a PC.
Finally, if you really don't want or can't install programs or apps on your computer and you still need to create a PowerPoint presentation, I will also explain how to make excellent slides using some online services. So, what do you think? Did I intrigue you? Are you ready to get started? Perfect, then take your time, read what is written in the following lines and follow my advice. I assure you that the results you will be able to obtain will surprise you!
How to Make a PowerPoint on PC
Creating a PowerPoint presentation on a computer is the most convenient way - the availability of a mouse and keyboard and a larger screen will certainly make your work easier. As I explained earlier, I will show you two different programs to make a presentation using your PC: the first is the "classic" Microsoft Office PowerPoint, the second is LibreOffice Impress.
There are several differences between these two programs but, to be honest, the most important is the price. Microsoft PowerPoint requires the payment of a license or the subscription of a subscription and can be used for free for only one month. LibreOffice Impress, on the other hand, is . it's completely free: this means that you pay nothing to install and use it.
I'll give you, below, the most important information you need to create a good presentation with both programs.
Microsoft Office PowerPoint
If you haven't installed Microsoft Office PowerPoint on your computer, it's time to do it. This program is available for both Windows and macOS: the two versions are very similar and, even if I will use the Windows version, know that the procedures to follow are almost identical on Mac too.
As I told you, PowerPoint isn't free, it's paid, and there are two ways to get it.
- By purchasing the Office 365 Home & Student 2016 package - in this case the payment of 149 € in one solution.
- By subscribing to the Office 365 service - at the cost of 7 per month o 69 euro per year; this program is the only one that allows you to try the program (and all the other applications of the Office package) for free for 30 days.
If you have decided to opt for the second solution and try Office 365 for free before subscribing, proceed as follows: connect to the page to download PowerPoint, move the mouse over the button Try free and then click on For the House. A new page will open, in which you will have to click on the button try free. At this point, go on forward and log into your Microsoft account. Don't have a Microsoft account yet? Not bad: check out my guide on how to create a Microsoft account and you will be able to get one in no time.
Choose your preferred payment method now (PayPal o credit card) and fill in the fields with the requested information. Please note that this is required to get the trial version, but you will not be charged if you cancel your subscription before the 30-day free day expires. Click on forward and wait for the program download to start automatically.
The big thing is done: to install the trial Office suite (or definitive, if you have decided to buy it), all you have to do is double click on the file .exe downloaded. On Mac, however, you have to open the file dmg downloaded, launch the executable Office Installer and follow the instructions on the screen (you always have to click on Continue and type the password of the user account on macOS).
Remember that if you do not want to purchase Microsoft Office, you will need to take care to cancel the automatic renewal of the subscription from this page before the end of the 30-day trial. If in doubt, you can consult my in-depth guide on how to download PowerPoint in which I have explained to you in more detail the procedure for downloading and installing PowerPoint on Windows and macOS.
Create a Presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint
Have you downloaded and installed PowerPoint on your Windows PC or Mac? Perfect - now is the time to open it up and get to work creating the presentation to show off at a meeting at work or a research explanation at school.
To get started, start PowerPoint by clicking on its icon (the brown one with a “P” in the center). Now you can proceed in two ways: if you want to create a blank presentation, in which you will be the one to customize the background and colors, click on Blank presentation. If you don't have a lot of imagination or don't want to waste too much time choosing colors, you can always use one of the models already available within the program.
Whatever choice you have made, the program will show you the work panel containing the tools that you can use to shape, little by little, your presentation. The tools are enclosed in convenient tabs, divided by categories.
- Home - in this tab there are the most used PowerPoint tools, including keys for formatting text, quick creation of new slides, insertion of arrows, shapes and so on.
- Inserisci - this tab contains the tools to insert elements on the slide: images, shapes, hyperlinks, text boxes and more.
- Design - in this tab there are the tools that allow the modification of the slide structure: color, size and font of the text, decorations and more.
- Transitions - here are the tools to decide with which effect you will move from one slide to another of your presentation. If you've used Movie Maker a few times, you'll surely know what I'm talking about.
- Animation - here are the tools to decide the effect with which the elements will enter the slide, as if they were "animated". For example, you can let in text from above, images with a magnifying effect and much more.
- Presentation - from this tab you can preview your presentation and define its behavior in detail.
- revision - here you will find the tools to quickly review the contents of your slides. Also, from here, if you wish, you can enter annotations in pen.
- View - this tab allows you to change the PowerPoint slide view interface: it allows you to remove colors, overlap them, show aligned previews, place them side by side, enlarge them, reduce them and much more.
Now that you know where to find the tools you need, let's see the first steps in creating your presentation. By clicking on Click to enter title you can enter the title of the presentation, as well as the subtitle. At this point you can give space to your imagination: via the card Inserisci you can add images, backgrounds, shapes, graphics and more. The inserted elements can be moved dragging them with the mouse.
Also, you can customize most of the elements via the toolbar fixed at the top or through others small bars that appear during the insertion of the various elements in the work plan. You can then access further customization options by right-clicking on the item to be modified.
As I mentioned earlier, each element of your slide can be animated: this means that when you show the presentation, the element will appear with the chosen animation. Move to the board Animations and indulge yourself: play the animation preview every time until you get the desired result. Be careful if you decide to animate writings: do not use animations that are too fast or too flashy, you would risk making your slide ugly!
Always remember that you can insert new slides by clicking on the button New Slide. If you have chosen a preset template, the slide will follow the same colors and characteristics. It is possible to play all the slides of the presentation, or only a part of them, using the buttons on the tab Presentation. This way you will immediately see if the order of the elements, animations and transitions satisfy you and, if not, change them.
With a little imagination and a few mouse clicks, were you able to get the desired result? Perfect: all you have to do is click on Fillet and then Save with name to store the file on your computer. Making a PowerPoint with Microsoft's program wasn't difficult, was it?
Don't you like Microsoft Office PowerPoint? Have you finished your trial period and are looking for a free solution to help you achieve a similar result? If you have carefully read the beginning of this guide you will remember that I have also told you about LibreOffice Impress, a PC program that costs nothing and allows you to do a great job.
LibreOffice Impress is developed and maintained by the Document Foundation, it is completely . and can be freely downloaded and used both in the home and business environment. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are two versions of LibreOffice: Fresh e Still. The Fresh version is the one that receives the most updates in functionality and is more suitable for non-professional users. The version Still, on the other hand, it is the most stable version and which receives fewer updates: it is mainly designed for companies. In this guide I will show you how to use Impress from LibreOffice Fresh but you can still download the Still version if you want, which is very similar.
Getting LibreOffice Impress is very simple: go to the LibreOffice Fresh download page and click on the green button Download the XYZ version (instead of X, Y and Z you will find numbers): the download of the file that best suits your operating system will start automatically. Alternatively, if you want to download LibreOffice for a different operating system, scroll down the page until you find the entry Operating systems and click on the file you are interested in downloading.
Once the download is complete, click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the installation of the entire LibreOffice suite. Note that if you are using a Mac, in addition to the suite installation package, you will also have to download the Italian language pack by clicking on the button Translated user interface. If you encounter any difficulties in the LibreOffice installation procedure, read my tutorial on how to create PDF where you find everything explained in detail.
Creating a Presentation with LibreOffice Impress
Have you finished downloading and installing LibreOffice on your computer? Great, it's time to get down to business and create the presentation you need. First open the program LibreOffice and start creating a new presentation in Impress by pressing the appropriate button located in the left sidebar.
At this point you can create a presentation starting from a template already present (you can choose it immediately from the window that appears at the first start, by clicking on its preview and then on apri) or start from an empty presentation by clicking on the button Cancel.
Whatever your choice was, you are now face to face with the countertop - first, click on the item Click to add a title to insert a title in your slide; after that, you can immediately enter some text by clicking on Click to add text.
If you've read the previous chapter, you'll notice that the Impress interface is much less intuitive than the Office one. However, this does not mean that the features are not as good, quite the opposite! There toolbar placed at the top of the screen, it allows you to act on the presentation in a very intuitive way: it allows you to start and play it, insert new objects (such as text, images, audio, etc.), to draw freehand and much more.
The toolbar located immediately below the one at the top of the screen, on the other hand, allows you to edit the selected object changing, for example, the color and borders, it allows you to insert shapes, 3D objects and much more. You can then access other functions using the menus at the top (Modification, View, Inserisci, Format and so on).
Now you are wondering if LibreOffice Impress also allows add animations: of course yes, even if through a slightly more complex procedure than Microsoft PowerPoint. To insert animations, click on the menu Format and choose Animation. A small panel will appear: click on the element you want to animate, then on the button (+) located in the middle of the panel and that's it. Thanks to the drop-down menus, you can also choose the desired effect, how the animation starts, its direction and its duration.
These are the basic features of LibreOffice Impress. Now you just have to give space to your imagination and create a presentation with all the trimmings! When you are satisfied with the result, click on the menu Fillet (top left) and then on the item Save with name to store the presentation on your computer. Pay close attention to the saving format: if Impress is present on the computer from which you will be showing the slide, feel free to use the default format .odp. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with a computer that only has Microsoft Office PowerPoint, I recommend that you save the file in . Pptx. You can choose the presentation output format using the drop-down menu located at the bottom of the file saving window.
Have you seen? You managed to create a PowerPoint using an alternative program completely free!
How to Make a PowerPoint on Smartphones and Tablets
How do you say? Do you mind using your computer and prefer your smartphone or tablet to make a PowerPoint in no time? As I mentioned at the beginning of my guide I have a solution for this too! In the following lines you will find the best ones app to create presentations on smartphones and tablets: thanks to these applications, you will have no problems getting your job done and, following my advice, you will succeed in the best possible way!
I am happy to tell you that it is possible to do this! Microsoft, in fact, has made available a free version of PowerPoint also for Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile smartphones and tablets. However, I must warn you immediately that if you do not have a subscription to Office 365, you can insert the various elements but you will not be able to customize them in detail. In case you need full functionality, you will have to choose one of the Office 365 subscriptions I already told you about in the paragraph dedicated to Microsoft Office PowerPoint for PC. If you decide to subscribe to Office 365 you will have many more functions in the mobile app: you can insert and edit elements WordArt, add shadows and reflections to images, add and modify elements of a chart, add custom shades to table cells, control the notes in mode Presenter view and add custom colors to shapes. Also, it should be noted that if your tablet has a screen larger than 10.1 inches, you will need to have an Office 365 subscription to use Microsoft Office PowerPoint.
The PowerPoint apps for the various platforms are very similar to each other, they differ only in a few details. I will use the Android app as a reference, but you will have no problem repeating the procedure on an iPhone, iPad or a Windows 10 Mobile device. All clear? Well, then you can finally get to work!
If you are using the smartphone, open the PowerPoint app by tapping its icon. If you have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription or want to access your files on OneDrive, you can log into your Microsoft account by tapping the button Log in. Otherwise, to create a new PowerPoint, tap the button New and choose whether to create your presentation starting from a blank document (Empty Presentation) or using one of the existing templates.
To add new slides to your presentation, tap the button (+). From the menu that appears you can choose whether to insert text or other elements by tapping on pencil, if you cut the current slide by tapping on the symbol of scissors, whether to delete it by choosing the item Delete and so on.
When you have achieved the desired result, you can save your work by touching the button (≡) and selecting the voice Save with name. You can save the presentation to your device or to another location. Remember that if you're signed in with a Microsoft account, your presentation will be automatically saved to the OneDrive cloud.
Stai using a tablet, you can find the same features of PowerPoint for smartphones, but the appearance of the app will be more similar to that of the PC program: you will have an interface available to cards and, by touching each tab, you will be able to access the tools to complete your work. Plus you'll have a small toolbar that will allow you to add a new slide on the fly, change its appearance, format the text, and play the entire presentation.
As I mentioned a few lines ago, the version of Microsoft Office Power point to iPhone is a bit different than the one for Android: at first you will see only one slide and, to move between the other slides you have created in your presentation, you will have to use the handy menu that you will find below. Another small difference consists in the items you will find within the context menu, which will come out when you tap on a slide: don't worry, everything remains intuitive and the various tools are the ones you have already learned to know and use.
Other Apps for Making PowerPoint
Did Microsoft Office PowerPoint for smartphones and tablets not satisfy you? Are you looking for other apps that allow you to create a presentation using your portable devices? Then let me give you some advice to guide you in your choice.
- AndrOpen Office - it's practically LibreOffice reworked to run on Android. Its interface can be a bit awkward to use on smartphones, as it is very similar to that for PC (including menus!), But the tools offered are really many and worthy of being used. The peculiarity of AndrOpen Office is that it can be enriched with add-on downloadable from the Play Store, which allow among other things to add spell check and install new fonts.
- WPS Office - it's definitely a great app for creating PowerPoint using smartphones and tablets. Its operation is very simple and the tools are kept to a minimum, however it is a really stable and fast app that deserves to be tried. In addition to creating presentations, WPS Office also allows you to quickly create worksheets and spreadsheets. WPS Office is available for Android, for iPhone and iPad.
- Polaris Office - Polaris Office is also an app that allows you to create PowerPoint from mobile devices. Very similar to Microsoft Office, its strong point is the presence of numerous tools with a practical interface designed specifically for use with on-screen taps. Polaris Office is available in both free and paid versions (€ 29.99 / year or € 4.19 per month): the latter adds the ability to export documents as PDFs, protect files, use handwriting and much more. Polaris Office is available for Android, for iPhone and iPad.
- Google Slides - is a very practical tool for creating PowerPoint from smartphones and tablets. In addition to being feature-rich, it allows you to import documents created with Microsoft Office and edit them in collaboration with other colleagues or fellow students. To use this app you need to have a Google account. Once authenticated, you can work even without an Internet connection. Google Slides is compatible with Android, iPhone and iPad.
How to Make a PowerPoint Online
You don't want to install programs or apps and would like to make a PowerPoint using only the browser? I'll settle you right away: Microsoft offers a free web version of Office PowerPoint, which you can use for free from any browser.
Before going ahead, however, I must warn you that this is a very limited version in functionality: although its interface is very similar to that of the computer program, you will not find many tools to customize your objects, insert animations or transitions. In short, if you don't need particularly complex things but to create a basic PowerPoint, this version is for you.
To use Microsoft PowerPoint online all you have to do is connect to the website of the web application and enter your Microsoft account credentials (which in this case is mandatory; if you don't already have one, I explained how to create a Microsoft account in my tutorial). At this point, click on the PowerPoint icon and choose whether to create a blank document (New blank presentation) or start from one of the available models. Once this is done, you can access the various features of the app using the tabs available.
- Home - contains the most used tools: you can insert new slides, format text, insert shapes and styles.
- Inserisci - contains tools to insert elements external to the slide such as images, shapes, graphics, text boxes and comments.
- Design - allows you to change the style of the presentation on the fly.
- Transitions - allows you to set the type of transition between one slide and another.
- Animations - contains tools to add animations to objects.
- revision - contains tools for general content control (eg grammar control).
- View - allows you to change the presentation display style.
When you are satisfied with your work, you can save it to your computer or device by clicking on the button Fillet and then on the voice Download How. You can choose whether to download your document in Microsoft Office .pptx format (by clicking on Download Copy), if save it as PDF or as a file ODP (the Open format also compatible with LibreOffice). In all cases, always remember that your file is continuously saved on the OneDrive cloud.
How do you say? Did PowerPoint online not fully satisfy you? Then I recommend you take a look at Google Slides: this is a Google service that allows you to create PowerPoint directly using the browser. It is completely free and integrated with Google Drive. Using it is very simple: first connect to its main page and enter the data to access your Google account. Then, to create a presentation, click the big button (+) red that you will find at the bottom right.
Follow the instructions on the screen and click on the various items to add the title and subtitle. Please note that, at any time, you can change the theme of the slides using the panel on the right, or play them using the panel on the left. You can find all the tools in menu in alto: the most important are Inserisci, which allows you to add new elements to the slide, and Slide, which allows you to define the general aspects of your presentation. Furthermore, by clicking with the right mouse button on each element, a practical context menu will appear that will allow you to modify it. Your work will be saved in real time on Google Drive but, if you want, you can download it to your computer by clicking on the button Fillet, then on the voice Download as and finally on the format in which you want to download your presentation.
Have you seen? It is possible to create satisfying PowerPoint even without installing anything! At this point, if you followed my advice, I'm sure you have done a great job having a lot of fun too.