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Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn about the Notes pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. This area lets you save and edit notes that can be seen within Presenter View.

The Notes Pane
Adding Notes
Working with Notes

The Notes Pane

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac's tri-paned interface has three regions: the Slides Pane, the Slide Area, and the Notes Pane. The Notes Pane is placed right below the Slide Area, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1. The Notes Pane provides space to add speaker's notes that can be so helpful to the presenter while presenting. You can also write any sort of information about the presentation or individual slide.

By default, the Notes Pane may be completely empty, with some boilerplate text such as "Click to add notes," as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

To add your notes in this area, you click your cursor on the boilerplate text and start typing. We explain this concept in more detail within the next section, Adding Notes.

What's important to realize is that each slide in your presentation has its own notes. When you navigate to another slide, you will have to add more notes relevant to the active slide.


Adding Notes

The Notes Pane can be seen in Normal view. Follow these steps to add the text within the Notes Pane:

  1. Create a new presentation, or open an existing presentation, and select the slide for which you want to add some notes, as shown in Figure 2. If you cannot see the Notes Pane, click the Notes button on the Status Bar (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

  2. Figure 2: Slide selected
  3. Then, click within the Notes Pane to make it active. Notice that the "Click to add notes" boilerplate text disappears as shown in Figure 3.

  4. Figure 3: Add text within Notes Pane
  5. Now, type in some text. Figure 4 shows text added to the Notes Pane.

  6. Figure 4: Notes added for the selected slide
  7. Tip: If you already created notes in another application, you can also paste them within the Notes Pane. You can do basic text formatting in the Notes Pane, and also apply bullet or number styles to the text.

Working with Notes

Here are a few guidelines, tips, and thoughts on working with both the Notes Pane and the actual notes:

  1. You can do basic text formatting in the Notes Pane by using bullets and non-bulleted lists, or just use plain sentences. To see more formatting in the Notes pane, you need to enable the Show Formatting option within the Outline Pane in Outline view, as shown in Figure 5. You'll have to right-click (or Ctrl-click) in the Outline view to see this option. Don’t worry that you are choosing this option within the Outline pane because it influences the Notes pane as well.

  2. Figure 5: Show Formatting option enabled
  3. To insert pictures in the Notes area, go to Notes Page view by selecting the View tab of the Ribbon, and then choosing Notes Page. You'll find that you can also do all sorts of text and picture formatting in the Notes Page, but these won't show up within the Notes Pane in Normal view.
  4. The Notes Master does not change the appearance of your content within the Notes pane, and is intended to influence the Notes pages instead. You can make several changes within the Notes Master, such as changing the Background Style of printed Notes pages.
  5. You can choose to print just the notes for the entire presentation by choosing the Notes option from the Layout menu within the Print dialog box.

See Also:

Interface Overview: Notes Pane in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Notes Pane in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Notes Pane in PowerPoint Online