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Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2013.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8

Creating outlines for PowerPoint in various external applications lets you stay away from distractions in PowerPoint-land and concentrate on the structure of your slides rather than their appearance. Once you have the outline created, it's very easy to import it in the form of slides into PowerPoint. While this import process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, we'll show you how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Launch PowerPoint (see Figure 1) -- note that the program typically starts with an empty slide.

    PowerPoint 2013 Interface
    Figure 1: PowerPoint 2013 Interface

  2. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon, and click the lower part of the New Slide button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    New Slide button
    Figure 2: New Slide button

  3. This brings up the New Slide drop-down gallery shown in Figure 3, below. Within this gallery, select the Slides from Outline option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Slides from Outline option to be selected
    Figure 3: Slides from Outline option to be selected

  4. This will open the Insert Outline dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. Navigate to select the outline file you need, and click on the Insert button.

    Insert Outline dialog box
    Figure 4: Insert Outline dialog box

    Note: The outlines that PowerPoint imports can be text files, Word documents, or RTF documents -- older versions of WordPerfect may also be supported.

  5. This will import the outlines into PowerPoint as slides (see Figure 5). Do note that this process only adds slides to an existing presentation, and does not replace any existing slides (you can still see the empty, first slide from Figure 1).

    PowerPoint presentation after importing slides from outline
    Figure 5: PowerPoint presentation after importing slides from outline

    Tip: In this example, we imported an outline created in Word 2013 -- note that the text format of all the outline content imported still uses the Word formatting (see the blue text in Figure 5, above). To change the text to follow the formatting specified in your PowerPoint template or Theme, access Slide Sorter view and select all slides (press the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut), and click the Reset button found on the Home tab of the Ribbon.

  6. In Figure 6, you can see that all the text from the outline can be seen in the Outline view. This same text also shows up in slides as text placeholders (see Text Placeholders vs. Text Boxes).

    Outline view
    Figure 6: Outline view

  7. Save the presentation.

See Also:

Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac
Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Import Outlines in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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