8 PowerPoint Hacks That'll Make Your Life Easier

Take notes!
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Dec 3, 2020
Image: Shutterstock
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Making presentations for your subjects can be a fun way to get creative in class. One of the most common programs used to make presentations is the classic Microsoft PowerPoint. It has a lot of features that can be used in various ways (it can even be used to make art, no kidding!).

Using the program doesn't need to be a burden if you know some tricks and shortcuts. Below, we're listing down PowerPoint hacks that will make your life easier, so take notes:

Save your PowerPoint as PDF

Some classes might require you to submit presentations in PDF format. This makes the presentations easier to go through, especially if you won't need to make changes or edits to it anymore. To save your PowerPoint presentation as PDF, go to File > Export > Create PDF.

Turn a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation

Got your presentation's outline in a Word document and now want to transfer it to PowerPoint? To do so, open the Word document you want to convert. Head to the View tab > select Outline. Here you can start separating the outline by levels. For your presentation's main headings, change the level to Level 1 (these will be the slides' titles). For the bullet points underneath your headigs, change the level to Level 2. Save the file and close it. 

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On a blank PowerPoint file, click New Slide > then select Slides from Outline. A new window will pop up; from here, select the Word file you just saved. The file will automatically convert the outline you made into slides.

Use GIF as a background

Open the GIF you want to use as background on PowerPoint. Go to the Design tab > find the Background section > click Background Styles > select Format Background. Click the Fill option > then choose Picture or Texture Fill > click File. Select the GIF you want to use and hit the OK button.

Embed fonts in the presentation

When you're using special fonts in your presentation, make sure that the fonts are embedded in it so that when you transfer and open it in a different device, the fonts you intended to use will still appear (Otherwise, the font will get converted to one of the generic fonts that's pre-installed in that device). 

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To do so, go to the File tab > click Options > select Save tab. Under the Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation section, select the Embed fonts in the file check box.

Align items in a slide

Instead of manually aligning your text boxes, images, and other objects in your slide, you can use the Align option. First, select the objects you want aligned. Then head to the Format tab > select Align. You have the option to align the objects left, center, right, top, middle, or bottom. 

Distribute items evenly in a slide

Sometimes, it can be a bit annoying to not have equal spaces between the objects in your slides. If you want to have them distributed evenly across the slide, you can use the Distribute option instead. To do so, select the objects you want aligned, then head to Format tab > select Align. This time, click either Distribute Horizontally or Distribute Vertically.

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Duplicate shortcut

If you want to copy and paste an object, there's always the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V combo. But if you want something a little bit easier, here's another shortcut: Select the object you want to duplicate. Hover the cursor over it, then press and hold the Ctrl key. The cursor should change to one with a (+) sign on it. Once it does, drag the object (while still holding the Ctrl key) to duplicate. 

Making images transparent

If you want to adjust an image's transparency, you don't have to use a different program to edit it. You can use the Shapes feature to do it straight from the PowerPoint program. To adjust an image's transparency on PowerPoint, insert a shape and adjust it according to your preference (but note that it has to be proportional to the photo you'll be using). Now, go to Shape Fill > select Picture... > and choose the photo you want to insert. The photo you selected should now fill in the shape you inserted before. Now, right-click on the image > select Format Picture. Click the paint bucket icon, and under that, you'll see the Transparency option. Adjust the transparency accordingly. You may also remove the shape's outline by choosing No Outline in the format. 

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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