PowerPoint Basics

Opening PowerPoint
Understanding the screen
Inserting slides

Adding and editing content

Inserting text
Inserting notes, headers and footers
Formatting text and lists

Working with design

Customizing background
Applying and creating templates
Design tips

Working with graphics

Downloading, inserting and editing images
Image Resources for Health & Life Sciences
Drawing and editing objects

Working with animation

Animating text and images
Slide transitions

Adding sound and video

Sounds, narration and music
Video requirements

Graphs and tables

Working with graphs
Importing and linking data from Excel to PowerPoint

PowerPoint online

Hyperlinks and action buttons
Putting up a presentation on the web

Printing and Presenting

Printing options
Running a slide show


PowerPoint DO's and DON'T's
Other PowerPoint websites
Workshop evaluation
(for on-site workshop participants only)


Unlike most other PowerPoint functions, some drawing functions are accessible only via the Drawing toolbar on the bottom of the PowerPoint screen. If you don't see the Drawing toolbar, activate it by selecting View menu < Toolbars < Drawing.

Drawing in PowerPoint is particularly easy due to the wide selection of AutoShapes that the program provides for your convenience. Pull up the AutoShapes menu by clicking on the arrow (1). From the pull-up menu, choose the desired shape:

For your convenience, some of the most commonly used shapes (lines, arrows, squares and cirlces) can be accessed directly from the toolbar as well (2).

As soon as you have selected a shape, your cursor will become a crosshair (+) when you it over the slide. Press and drag the cursor until the object reaches the desired size (you can always format the size later).

Tip: hold down the SHIFT key to draw perfectly straight lines, squares and circles.

Formatting a drawing
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Click on the drawing to select it (until you see the 'handles' around it) and then use either the Format menu < AutoShape dialog to format it (a right-click on the object will also work in PC), or the drawing toolbar.

  • Resize and move a drawing by clicking on its"handles", in the same way used to format text boxes and images.

    Tip: hold down the SHIFT key to move objects across a straight line.

  • Click on the arrow next to the paintbucket tool to change the drawing's fill color. Experiment with the 'Fill Effects' options on the paintbucket menu to create artistic color combinations


1) + =

2) + =

  • Click on the line color icon (5) to change the color of the object's border, and on the three style icons (3) to change the style of the border and/or the arrows.


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Need help? Email me! varvarak@mail.med.upenn.edu