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Live Preview in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn about Live Preview in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Using Live Preview, you can find out how a particular choice will change the appearance, without committing any change.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher

What is Live Preview
How Live Preview Works
Enabling and Disabling Live Preview

What is Live Preview?

Live Preview first made its debut in PowerPoint 2007, and continues being available in PowerPoint 2010 as well. Unfortunately, PowerPoint 2007 had no Live Previews for Chart Styles and that ability is not made available in PowerPoint 2010.

Live Preview allows you to see/preview how an actual change will look on the slide before you decide to accept or decline that change.

Since Live Preview is more of an interactive option than an interface element, it's not part of the visible PowerPoint 2010 interface, it is active only within some of the options such as Themes, fonts, Quick Styles, etc. With Live Preview you can see a quick view of how the formatting options look on the selected object before you commit to them.


How Live Preview Works

Follow these steps to use Live Preview:

  1. Open any presentation in PowerPoint 2010.
  2. Insert a Shape on a slide. Select the shape so that you can see the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon as shown in Figure 1. Activate this Ribbon tab.
  3. Drawing Tools Format
    Figure 1: Drawing Tools Format
  4. Now click the downward pointing arrow next to the Shapes Styles option to see the dropdown gallery that you can see in Figure 2.
  5. Shape Styles dropdown gallery
    Figure 2: Shape Styles dropdown gallery
  6. With your shape in an area that is not covered by the dropdown gallery, you can see a Live Preview of the selected Shape Style, as shown in Figure 3.
  7. Live Preview of the Shape Style
    Figure 3: Live Preview of the Shape Style
  8. Now hover the cursor over any of the styles in the gallery, as you move over different styles, the selected shape shows you a Live Preview. Click on the selected style in the gallery to apply the style.
  9. If you applied a style you don't want to use, press Ctrl+Z to undo.
Note: Previewing the styles this way does not modify your original shape. You can safely preview, apply, change, and remove styles as often as you want.

Enabling and Disabling Live Preview

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, this might lead to sluggish performance.

Fortunately, you can disable Live Preview by following these options:

  1. Access PowerPoint Options by choosing File Menu | Options. This brings up the dialog box that you can see in Figure 4.
  2. Enable/Disable Live Preview
    Figure 4: Enable/Disable Live Preview
  3. Choose the General tab on the left, and deselet the Enable Live Preview check-box (see Figure 4 again).
  4. Click the OK button to get back to the PowerPoint interface.
Tip: Remember, you can enable Live Preview the same way, just check rather than unchecking the option.

See Also:

Interface Overview: Live Preview (Glossary Page)

Live Preview in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
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 2007 for Windows

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