The Outline View: PowerPoint design for busy teachers

It’s September already! That busy time of year when new classes are starting and teachers are busy.

A time of the year when it can be increasingly more difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, in particular when I wrote a post about creating your own PowerPoint templates as a way to save time. By creating your own template, the design and the layout has already been done and you only have to add the content.

With this post, I wanted to explore a way in which teachers could add the content of the presentation without worrying too much about the design aspects of it. A way for busy teachers to produce simple presentations quickly that can either serve as first drafts, or the final product depending on how much time you have available to prepare a presentation.

Let’s take a look at the Outline View.

When you open a PowerPoint template, whether it is a blank template or a pre-made template, PowerPoint will use the Normal View by default.

So, go to the View ribbon and select the Outline View instead.

A new panel appears on the right-hand side of the screen that allows you to type the content of your presentation as if you were writing a class agenda. As you type out your ‘agenda’, the content automatically appears across the slides.

Watch this video tutorial to see how the Outline View works

The video run-time is approximately 7 minutes and 54 seconds.

During the tutorial, I tried to avoid using the menus as much as possible. I relied on keyboard shortcuts that allowed me to keep my pace at typing. Below are some useful keyboard shortcuts and symbols that might help you when you type out your content.

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Using shortcut keys can make it even faster to produce your presentation content. Below is a list of essential shortcut keys for text editing in MS PowerPoint.


Useful Autocorrect Symbols

While you are typing, you may want to add a list of items. These symbol and key combinations will automatically be changed by autocorrect to the corresponding bullet point or arrow.


I hope this overview of the Outline View will help you to produce quick drafts of presentations and save you time in your preparation.

Please leave a comment if you have any further questions about the Outline View or other PowerPoint time-savers.

Alternatively, you can send me a message by visiting the contact page, leaving me a message on my Facebook page or by following me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

The tutorial video was created with PowerPoint Mix and the images were created with Microsoft® PowerPoint 2016.

You may also like to read:

Slide Master View - Featured ImageThe Outline View is a way to quickly add content to a template, but you may want to create your own template if you have a particular style, design or company/school logo. This post looks at how using the Slide Master View can help you to create your own custom templates.

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