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Live Preview in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Learn about Live Preview in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. Using Live Preview, you can find out how a particular choice will change the appearance, without committing any change.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 365 for Windows

OS: Windows 10 and higher






Editing any slide object works the same way, irrespective of whether you are editing a picture, a chart, some SmartArt, or even text. You select the object you want to edit and change some attributes. You then get to see your changes, and then you either undo your changes if you are not too happy with them or just accept them. You can then start working with another object! What if you could see/preview how an actual change will look on the slide object before you decide to accept or decline that change? PowerPoint 365's Live Preview allows you to do just that.

Follow these steps to use Live Preview:

  1. Open any presentation in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. Insert a shape on your slide and keep it selected. Doing so brings up the Shape Format contextual tab on the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.
  2. Shape Format tab
    Figure 1: Shape Format tab
  3. Select the Shape Format tab and click the downwards pointing arrow within the Shapes Styles option (highlighted in blue within Figure 1, above) to see the drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 2.
  4. Shape Styles drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Shape Styles drop-down gallery
  5. Now, hover the mouse cursor over any of the styles in the gallery. As you move over different styles, the selected shape shows you a Live Preview. Place your shape in the area that is not covered by the Shape Styles drop-down gallery so that you can see the live preview properly, as shown in Figure 3.
  6. Live Preview of Shape Styles
    Figure 3: Live Preview of Shape Styles
  7. If you have selected a style you don’t want to use, hover away the cursor and place it on another style. Previewing styles this way does not modify your original shape. You can safely preview and play with various styles within the Shape Styles drop-down gallery until you find the style you want.

While the Live Preview feature works great most of the time, some older computers may not have the processing power required to show live previews in real time, and this might lead to sluggish performance. Fortunately, you can easily disable Live Preview by following these steps:

  1. Access PowerPoint Options by choosing File menu | Options. This brings up the PowerPoint Options dialog box that you can see in Figure 4.
  2. PowerPoint Options dialog box
    Figure 4: PowerPoint Options dialog box
  3. Make sure that the General tab is selected in the sidebar. Now, deselect the Enable Live Preview check-box, as shown highlighted in red with Figure 4 above. You can enable Live Preview the same way. Just reverse the steps to select the same check-box.
  4. Click OK to get back to the PowerPoint interface.

See Also:

Interface Overview: Live Preview (Index Page)

Live Preview in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Live Preview in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows
Live Preview in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Live Preview in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Live Preview in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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