Essential Time Saving PowerPoint Tips

Working days are usually very full and busy. Most of us do not always complete all the tasks we set for ourselves every day, so we end up with a backlog while feeling bad about it.

Many people use PowerPoint to create presentations for business purposes, but wish they knew quicker ways. In fact, some use PowerPoint daily. If this describes you, please keep reading to learn about some useful time saving tips to boost your productivity when using PowerPoint.

The Slide Master

“Work smarter, not harder” is a phrase often heard. Many PowerPoint users copy slides from existing presentations, then take ages to reformat and adapt the slides to the desired look. Life is too short to be doing this every day. To be much quicker with formatting and standardising, a very useful tool in PowerPoint is the Slide Master. Click View, Slide Master to see these tools.

In Slide Master view, you can build in any content or design features that should always appear in your slides. For instance, whey you insert lines, shapes or pictures into slide layouts, they will always appear on these slides in the normal presentation view and cannot be accidentally changed or deleted.

What a time saver this can be! When you save the presentation as a template, it guarantees a quick fresh start every time.


We very often create more than one copy of a slide or an object on a slide. Most users would use Copy and Paste (Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V) to create a second or third copy of an object. A faster way to create copies is to duplicate object using the shortcut Ctrl + D (duplicate). When you know that you will be creating more than one of any design feature, complete the first copy, then duplicate it. This will save much time going forward.

Not only is Ctrl + D a very quick shortcut, but PowerPoint also helps us to lay the duplicates out on a slide in an intuitive pattern. When you duplicate an object, drag the duplicate to where it should go. When you immediately duplicate the duplicate object, PowerPoint will place the second duplicate in a similar spot to where you placed the first one.




Entire slides can also be duplicated using Ctrl + D.

Design Ideas

Nowadays, PowerPoint presentations for business are sleek and professional by design. However, not all PowerPoint users are necessarily creative by nature. Most of us need some help and inspiration to make our slides look great. Fortunately, PowerPoint 365 has a feature which can help even the least creative user to design impactful slides.

In PowerPoint 365, the Design Ideas button is found in the Home ribbon. You can use this tool manually, however, by default, PowerPoint suggests design ideas when we insert text or photos into a slide. A side panel opens, suggesting various slide layouts based on the content. If you wish to turn off automatic suggestions, click File – Options, then untick “Automatically show me suggestions”.

An example of the Design Ideas tool in action is using it to convert a simple bullet point list to an interesting infographic. Simply type up a list of single key words, highlight these, then click Design Ideas.

From this:

To this:

Each time you click Design Ideas, PowerPoint produces a number of suggestions. Most of these can be modified afterwards. This is a very quick and easy way to turn boring slides into slides with impact.

These are just a few useful time saving tips using PowerPoint.

Some additional PowerPoint resources:





What’s new in PowerPoint 2016

What’s New in PowerPoint 2016

What's new in PowerPoint 2016
What’s new in PowerPoint 2016

If you are currently using Powerpoint 2013, you will know what a big improvement it is on earlier versions, with some great new features such as the ability to insert pictures and videos directly from websites such as Bing Images and YouTube, and the Merge Shapes tool which allows you to create custom shapes using two or more existing shapes. It is also possible for people to co-author presentations in the 2013 version if you have SharePoint or Office Online. Another improvement is increased functionality in Presenter View.

Well, news from Microsoft is that a new version of Office will be released during Autumn 2015. Microsoft call it Office 2016. There is currently a preview version available for download, which will expire when the official version is released. Microsoft provide a product key for those who wish to download this trial version. The link is:

We have had a look at the applications included in Office 2016 and here are some of the new features to be found in PowerPoint 2016:

Tell Me Box

The most obvious new feature is a box in the ribbon which says: “Tell me what you want to do…” This saves you the time you would normally use to look for a specific function within the Ribbon. You can type what you’re looking for in the Tell Me box at the top right corner of the Ribbon, and with “word-wheeling”, which enables results as soon as you start typing, every keystroke refines the results so that you can click on what you’re looking for as soon as you see it.

For example, when you want to change the layout of your presentation, simply type “layout” and Tell Me will give a view of the different slide layouts available. Also, when you click in the Tell Me box, you’ll also see a list of the last five commands you ran from within Tell Me, saving you time getting to the feature you want to use.

Ppt Screen
PowerPoint courses London

Real-time co-authoring in PowerPoint

You can now access the presentation sharing function by clicking on the “Share” button next to “Sign in” to the right of the ribbon tabs. Note that in order to share a presentation, it has to be saved to a cloud server or a shared drive. In PowerPoint 2016 you will be able to collaborate on a presentation in real-time. This feature will have built-in technology which simplifies resolving conflicts when co-authoring. You can choose between two versions of the conflicting slides, your changes or others’ changes, instead of sifting through the individual conflicts.

Quick Shape Formatting

This feature increases the number of default shape styles by introducing new “preset” styles in  PowerPoint. The preset styles allow you to choose the intensity of the colour you want to apply, ranging from colouring just the border to filling the shape with very intense colouring.


Save As Improvements

These improvements streamline the saving process for new files by enabling you to pick a location in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or on your local machine, provide a file name, and then click Save. Saving a file is now as easy as creating one, and it can all be done in the Backstage in PowerPoint.

Insights for Office – Smart Lookup

Already available in Word and Outlook, this is now available in Excel and PowerPoint and helps you learn more about your content by bringing you precisely the right information in context of what you are reading or writing about. With information from a variety of sources like Bing Snapshot, Wikipedia, Bing image search and Oxford dictionary, you can do anything from a quick look up to a detailed exploration without leaving the Office application. Smart Lookup can be accessed by right clicking a word or phrase, through the Review tab on the ribbon, or via the Tell Me box. Insights is powered by Bing and uses the selected text and some surrounding content to get contextually relevant results.


Tabs and Ribbon Colours

Joy of joys, PowerPoint 2016 has some great application colour schemes built into Account settings. You can choose from colourful, dark gray, black or white. A big improvement on 2013! Below is a view of the dark gray colour scheme applied to the PowerPoint user interface.


Touch screen friendly

You may have noticed the “Double tap” suggestions inside placeholders on the slides in this article. This means that PowerPoint 2016 is designed as much for conventional PC’s as it is for tablets and other touch screen devices able to run Office 2016.

New Chart Types

In addition to the existing charts available to use in PowerPoint, there are five new chart types in 2016: Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, Box & Whisker and Waterfall. These will of course all be compatible with Excel 2016.


Embedding video code

PowerPoint 2016 now has an easy-to-use and more reliable tool to embed video code links from websites such as YouTube. Simply copy the Embed code from the website, then click Insert – Video – Online Video. Paste the code in the box next to “From a Video Embed Code”. See below.


Apart from these new features, PowerPoint 2016 retains all the tools which have made the previous version great.