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Outline mode is one of PowerPoint's best-kept secrets. I say this because most people don't even know it exists, yet it's a huge timesaver when you're just getting started. Outline mode gives you a fast way to edit the text of your slides, and create new ones without all the distractions of color, font, pictures and diagrams. Here's the theory. When you're first starting out, writing your presentation, you want to brainstorm all the ideas and topics that you want to cover. The Outline mode helps you do that. Let me show you what I mean.
From our sample file, I'll click on the Outline tab on the far left. This switches the normal display of thumbnails to an actual outline of our presentation. Each number on the left, along with the slide icon, represents the slide. In bold is the slide title and underneath is the content, usually bullets. To start with, I can edit text while an Outline mode just like I would with Microsoft Word.
Even the Spellcheck works. Notice how the changes I make in the outline appear immediately on the large slide on the right, but the real benefit is how we use Outline mode to create new slides and bullets. Watch me place my cursor at the end of slide number 14. Just as pressing enter in Word starts a new paragraph, I press Enter and a new slide, 15, is born. Now, I can type in the title. I can repeat this process as often as I want, creating new slides with just one key.
When I'm ready to add bullets, I need to indent since bullets are a level inside the slide title. Pressing Tab indents my cursor. As I press Enter I start a new slide, 17, but when I press Tab, my position is now indented to create a bullet. And as I type, bullets are created each time I press Enter.
Let's do this one more time. On slide number six we'll add some bullets. With my cursor at the end of photo album, I'll press Enter, which creates slide seven, but if I press Tab, I'm now indented. And now I add bullets to slide number six. I can also outdent, that is to take a bullet and promote it to being its own slide; just as Tab pushes in, Shift+Tab pushes out.
In this example, I want Our Farm to be a primary bullet, and I want Ready for Pickin' and Fresh to be inside Our Farm. I push Tab. Those are pushed in. If I position my cursor at Safety First, I can Tab to indent in, Tab and Tab. If I want Enjoy! to be pushed back out, I can hit Shift+ Tab to promote it out. Shift+Tab again promotes it out one more as a whole new slide, Tab to bring it back in.
Using Outline mode does take them getting use to, but if I promise that if you get to hang of it, you'll love it. It makes creating your slide outline a breeze, and helps you focus on the content in the order of your delivery, which is so important to a presentation. We can save the fancy things, like backgrounds, and fonts, and pictures, for later, but here in Outline mode, we focus on the content.
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