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Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows

Learn how to create outlines for presentations in Microsoft Word 2010 that are formatted for failsafe import into Microsoft PowerPoint.


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Product/Version: All Versions

OS: Microsoft Windows






An outline encompasses the text content within your presentation slides. In many ways, this text is the story or the structure of your presentation and forms an ideal starting point for a bunch of slides. PowerPoint can import outlines created in many applications, and we have already shown you how you can create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in Word 2007 and Word 2003.

Follow these steps to create an outline for your PowerPoint presentation using Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows:

  1. Launch a new Word document (see Figure 1).

    Word 2010 document
    Figure 1: Word 2010 document
  2. Now type in all the text content you want within your slide titles and text placeholders on separate lines, as shown in Figure 2. If you do not know what a text placeholder in PowerPoint is, look at our Text Boxes vs. Placeholders tutorial.

    Text content for your slides
    Figure 2: Text content for your slides
  3. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon. Within the Styles group, click the small box at the bottom right (see Figure 3 highlighted in red).

    Styles and Formatting
    Figure 3: Styles
  4. This opens the Styles pane that you can see in Figure 4.

    Styles pane
    Figure 4: Styles pane
  5. Now you can format the outline so that PowerPoint can understand which line of text is a slide title, the first level bullet, the second level bullet, etc. To do that you need to follow these guidelines:

    1. For slide titles, select the text and choose Heading 1 style.

    2. For first level bullets (or subtitles in a title slide), select the text and choose Heading 2 style.

    3. For the second level bullets, select the text and choose Heading 3 style.

    4. For any subsequent levels of bullets (fourth, fifth, etc.), select the text that you want to format, and apply the Heading style of that level (Heading 4, Heading 5, etc.).
  6. Once you are done adding styles, your outline may look like what you see in Figure 5 (compare to Figure 2).

    Text content for your slides after adding styles
    Figure 5: Text content for your slides after adding styles
  7. One aspect that we want to draw your attention to is that you can only add the text content for a presentation within an outline. However, at times, there may be some important, non-textual info in a presentation: this could be a picture, a chart, a table, or something else. In that case, you can indicate a reference within the outline. Just make it stand out a little different as shown in Figure 6. You'll notice that we added some text to indicate that a table has to be added to a particular slide, and it is within parentheses.

    Indicating non-textual content within parentheses
    Figure 6: Indicating non-textual content within parentheses
  8. Save your Word file. This outline is now in a format that PowerPoint can import, and create new slides. To learn how to import this outline into PowerPoint 2010, look at our Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows tutorial. And, to learn how to import this outline into various versions of PowerPoint look here: Outlines: Import.

See Also:

Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows
Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows
Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac
Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows
Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2003 for Windows

Jeopardy-Like PowerPoint Template (25 Questions)

Want to play a Jeopardy-like game using PowerPoint slides? Yes, this is absolutely doable but making PowerPoint slides with all the interactivity and layouts takes too much work. Fortunately, we have done the work for you. just download our Jeopardy-like 25 (5x5) question PowerPoint template, replace the placeholders provided for questions, answers, and categories, and you’re done! You'll still need a real human being to track scores and you could soon be playing this amazing game as part of a fun exercise, a training program, or even a quiz show.

Download and play your own Jeopardy-like game


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