7 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in PowerPoint


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Some features in Microsoft PowerPoint stand out like creating animations, adding slide transitions, and inserting charts, shapes, and 3D models. But then there are those features that are a bit hidden.

Whether you want to improve your slides as you build them or enhance your presentation of the slideshow, check out these things you may not realize you can do in PowerPoint.

1. Remove an Image Background

You have plenty of options for editing images in PowerPoint. You can crop a photo, blur an image, and flip a picture. But one of the best image editing features in PowerPoint is the ability to remove the background.

Select the image and go to the Picture Format tab that displays. Click “Remove Background” on the left side in the Adjust section of the ribbon.

Remove Background on the Picture Format tab

You’ll see the background of your picture dim leaving the subject in focus. You can then adjust the image by marking additional areas to remove or others to keep. Select one of these options on the left side of the ribbon.

Mark parts of the background to keep

When you finish, pick “Keep Changes” to save your adjustments. If you change your mind, pick “Discard All Changes” instead.

Removed background from an image in PowerPoint

2. Match Colors With the Eyedropper Tool

Slideshows are about visuals. So if you want a presentation with a consistent, professional, and appealing appearance, you can use exact color matches with the eyedropper tool.

RELATED: How to Match Colors With the Eyedropper in Microsoft PowerPoint

Select an item whose color you want to change and match to another. This can be a shape, text, or an object. Go to the color picker for the type of item you select. For instance, you can use the Home tab to use the Font Color or Shape Fill.

Pick “Eyedropper” in the drop-down list.

Eyedropper in the Font Color drop-down

When your cursor changes to an eyedropper, click the color you want to use. You can do this within PowerPoint or another application.

Using the eyedropper

You’ll see your item instantly change to that color.

Used the eyedropper to change a color

3. Resize Multiple Images or Objects at Once

When you add images or other objects to a slide, you may want them to all be the same size. You don’t have to resize them one at a time to accomplish this. Yes, you can resize multiple images to the same size at once in PowerPoint.

Select the images or objects you want to resize. You can do this by holding Ctrl on Windows or Command on Mac as you click each one.

Select images on a slide

Go to the tab for the type of item. For instance, if you select images, go to the Picture Format tab, or for a shape, go to the Shape Format tab.

On the right side of the ribbon in the Size section, enter either a height or width and press Enter or Return.

Resized multiple images

You’ll see all of your selected items update to the same size.

4. Trim Videos Directly in PowerPoint

You can easily add a video to your slideshow. But what you might not know is that you can edit it directly in PowerPoint. You can trim a video to your desired length without leaving PowerPoint.

RELATED: How to Trim a Video in a Microsoft PowerPoint Slideshow

Select the video you want to edit and go to the Playback tab. Click “Trim Video” in the Editing section of the ribbon.

Trim Video on the Playback tab

You’ll see your clip appear in the Trim Video box. Drag the slider from the left or right to cut out the beginning or end. You can also use the Start Time and End Time boxes to enter exact times for the trimming.

Using the slider to trim a video

Press Play to preview the part you’ve saved. You can make further adjustments if needed and click “OK” to save the change when you finish.

Preview a trimmed video

5. Use Subtitles for Live Translations

If you’re presenting your slideshow to an audience who speaks a different language or has a hearing impairment, you can use subtitles in your presentation.

Go to the Slide Show tab and select the Subtitle Settings drop-down arrow. You can pick the Spoken Language and Subtitle Language. Then, change the microphone and pick the position of the subtitles.

Subtitle Settings in PowerPoint

To turn on subtitles before your presentation starts, mark the Always Use Subtitles box above the Subtitle Settings on the Slide Show tab.

Always Use Subtitles checkbox

To turn on subtitles during your presentation, right-click a slide and pick “Start Subtitles” in the shortcut menu. If you’re using Presenter View, simply click the Toggle Subtitles icon.

6. Create a Summary Zoom Slide

While a table of contents slide is a handy way to jump to different slides, a Summary Zoom slide is an attractive alternative. This feature places linked thumbnails of your slides on one slide and lets you move to one while displaying a zoom effect.

Note: You can create a Summary Zoom on Windows with Microsoft 365 or PowerPoint 2019 and later.

Go to the Insert tab and choose Zoom > Summary Zoom in the Links section of the ribbon.

Summary Zoom on the Insert tab

When the Insert Summary Zoom box appears, choose the slides you want to use and click “Insert.”

Slide selection box for the Summary Zoom

You’ll see your Summary Zoom slide as the first slide in your presentation. You can then add a title or other text as you like.

Summary Zoom slide

When you present your slideshow, just click one of the thumbnails to move to that slide.

7. Build Custom Shows

Did you know that you can create mini presentations from your main slideshow? With custom shows, you can set up smaller slideshows with only the slides you want. This allows you to create different presentations for different audiences from the same slideshow.

RELATED: How to Create a Custom Show in Microsoft PowerPoint

Go to the Slide Show tab, click the Custom Slide Show drop-down arrow, and pick “Custom Shows.”

Custom Shows on the Slide Show tab

Select “New” in the next window. Then name the show and pick the slides you want in it in the following window.

Once you select the slides you want on the left, click “Add” to insert them in the show. You can use the Up and Down buttons to rearrange the slides if you like. When you finish, click “OK.”

Slide selection for a custom show

You’ll see your new custom show in the list. You can then create another or use “Show” to present that custom show. Return to this same spot to present the show later.

Custom Shows in PowerPoint

Hopefully you find a pleasant surprise on this list that helps you with your next PowerPoint presentation! If you also work with spreadsheets, check out our guide to Excel features you may be overlooking.

RELATED: 7 Handy Microsoft Excel Features You May Have Missed





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