The Outline view in
PowerPoint 2016 essentially brings up the Outline pane on the left
side of PowerPoint 2016 interface -- note that this
now replaces the Slides Pane that shows up in
Normal view. Also, any changes you want to make to your outline
can be made through right-click options -- and we'll show you how you can do so.
Outline Pane Options
Once you access the Outline view, you typically see the title
and text content of the slides, as shown in Figure 1. The content shown here replicates what you find in the text
placeholders of individual slides.
Figure 1: Outline pane
You can differentiate a text placeholder from other text boxes very easily:
- Delete all the text in a text placeholder, and you'll see boilerplate text like "Click here to add text" or similar.
- Delete all the text in a text box that is not a placeholder, and you'll see no boilerplate text at all.
The text delete tip that we mention above should be followed with an immediate Undo command
so that all your existing text is back in the placeholder or the text box! Also, do look at our
Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes in PowerPoint 2016
tutorial to understand these concepts further.
You can use the Outline pane to change bullet hierarchies, promote bullet levels to titles, and the other way around (demote). You can
also reorder the slides, or move bullets from one slide to another fairly quickly. With your text selected, right click anywhere in the
Outline pane to bring up the options in the context menu, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Context menu within Outline pane
The right-click context menu is divided into six sections -- all the options are explained below, as marked in Figure 2,
Cut / Copy / Paste: These options are simple -- any selected text in the outline can be cut or copied, and thereafter pasted
in another section of the outline. The shortcut keys Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V also work
for Cut, Copy, and Paste respectively.
- Collapse / Collapse All: This option hides the bulleted text -- so that only the titles of individual slides are visible
-- Collapse hides the bulleted text relevant to the selected slide (or active slide) whereas Collapse All
hides the bulleted text for the outline of the entire presentation. Figure 3 shows the collapsed view of all the slides in
the Outline pane.
Figure 3: Collapse All
Expand / Expand All: This is the reverse option for Collapse / Collapse All explained in
the preceding section -- it displays all the hidden bulleted text. Expand reveals the bulleted text relevant to the selected
slide (or active slide, as shown in Figure 2, above) whereas Expand All reveals the bulleted text for the outline of the entire presentation.
- New Slide / Delete Slide: This inserts a new slide in the Outline pane -- at the point where you right-click to activate
the context menu shown in Figure 2, above. If you select slide 2, and choose this option, PowerPoint will insert a new slide
between slides 1 and 2. Select any slide and choose Delete Slide option to delete that slide. PowerPoint doesn't warn you
that the selected slide will be deleted -- so use this option with caution.
- Promote / Demote: Before we get to discuss the Promote and Demote options, let me tell
you few things about how the hierarchy of the Outline works in PowerPoint -- here's a listing from higher to lower:
Bullet Level 1
Bullet Level 2
Bullet Level 3
Bullet Level 4
and so on...
So if we demoted a Title by one level, it would end up being Bullet Level 1 -- or a demoted
Bullet Level 1 will end up being a Bullet Level 2. On the other hand, if you promote
Bullet Level 1, you end up with a Title -- this also results in a new slide being created!
This option changes the selected text or slide to one level ahead, as explained within the Hierarchy section earlier on this page. For
example, if Promote is applied to a Bullet Level 1 text, it will be converted to a Title of
a new slide. Demote option is the exact opposite of the Promote option. It demotes (or reduces the
hierarchy by one level of) the selected text / title to the lower level, applying that level's style and formatting.
Tip: Is your Promote option grayed out? You may have selected the Title of a slide -- since that's already
the highest level, you cannot Promote it further.
The shortcut keys Tab and Shift+Tab work for Promote and Demote
Note: It's a good idea to practice with these options frequently -- you can end up saving a lot of time. Also since you are
not working on the slides, this view prevents you from getting distracted by colors, fonts, backgrounds, effects, pictures, etc. -- you end up
concentrating on the structure and flow of the outline -- you end up with a better presentation.
- Move Up / Move Down: These options move the selected text / title up or down so that it appears before or after the
previous item in the Outline pane. The text or title is moved up or down without making any changes to its hierarchy though. You can also use
the Shift+Alt+Up Arrow and Shift+Alt+Up Down
keyboard shortcuts to achieve the same results.
Note: If we selected the last bullet on a slide, and then chose the Move Down option, that would result in
the bullet moving to the first bullet position on the next slide.
- Hyperlink: This option allows you to add a hyperlink to any selected text in outline tab. Personally, we prefer doing
this sort of stuff on the slide itself rather than the Outline Pane -- but that's just our opinion.
- Show Text Formatting: This shows the actual font formatting on the Outline pane. There's an unexpected bonus result of
using this option -- the text content in your Notes pane also
shows text formatting if you choose this option!
Outline Pane Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Basic Outline Pane Options PowerPoint 2011
Advanced Outline Pane Options PowerPoint 2011
Outline Pane Options in PowerPoint 2010 for
Outline Pane Options in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows