A common complaint about PowerPoint is how cumbersome and unproductive designing can be in the program. While it may not always feel as intuitive or streamlined as other design programs – PowerPoint’s immense capabilities make it ideal for designing much more than just presentations. Let’s look at some tips to improve your design style, workflow, and productivity.

Improve Productivity With Templates

PowerPoint was created to make presentation design easier, which means there is no shame in using free templates and stock imagery in your own designs. A little repurposing, editing, and customisation can go a long way in PowerPoint, so don’t be afraid to use ready-made resources for your creations, so long as you make enough amendments and touch-ups to make it your own. Also, keep a library of free images, old PowerPoint presentations, templates, and other design resources to help with productivity.

It can be overwhelming to build your presentation from scratch. Fortunately, we’ve put together some PowerPoint presentation templates to help speed up your design process and ensure your slides are consistently aligned and arranged. PowerPoint templates are a quick and easy way to create professional looking presentations without any design experience. You can edit all of the text easily, as well as change the colours, fonts, and images. Speaking of templates…

Master PowerPoint’s Slide Master

Slide Master is essentially a template upon which your entire PowerPoint document draws upon. It’s real lifesaver when you’re designing slides because it allows you to set default colours, layouts, and fonts.

Go to View tab in the top menu, then Slide Master. Here you will get the new Slide Master tab menu, which houses all the tools you need to edit the Slide Master. The first slide in the Slide Master is the layout slide from which your other slide layouts are created, determining text font, size, colour in the Title box in other slides – same goes for body textboxes.

Anything else you change or add on this slide, such as background slide colour or a logo you put in the corner, will also be reflected across every layout slide. If you want to change or add something on specific individual layout slides, you should edit directly on the layout slides themselves. Slide Master means you can set common features and elements across all or specific slides to design more productively.

Reuse Slides and Save Time

When you go to add a new slide in your presentation, instead of clicking on a layout option, at the bottom of the menu, clicking Reuse Slides can also help streamline your design process. This will open a side panel where you can browse for the PPTX file that has the slide you want. Once you have chosen a file, it will open in the side panel so you can choose which slide to insert into your presentation with the same formatting. If you want to keep the original formatting, click the checkbox at the bottom that says, ‘Keep Source Formatting.’

Find Good Resources and Add-ins for Productivity

PowerPoint isn’t just a standalone design program; it’s support by a wide community of users that have developed various resources and add-ins to make designing easier, more streamlined, and much simpler. We’ve previous written about different tools and add-ins that can help save your time and effort. What’s important to remember with add-ins is that it should make your design process easier and improve productivity. Don’t let a resource change the way you work simply for the sake of it – add-ins should be there to help and simplify things.

Utilise PowerPoint’s Image Manipulation Tools

While it may lack the image-editing depth of Adobe products, PowerPoint has photo manipulation tools like the useful Remove Background tool, Correction tool, which lets you control the level of brightness, contrast, and sharpness of a picture. It is also possible to change the picture, using various filters of Artistic Effects tool, all which offer customisation capabilities to help edit, enhance, and embed imagery. One tool that makes PowerPoint operate similarly to Photoshop or Illustrator is…

Remove Clutter with PowerPoint’s Selection Pane

Within the Edit section of the Home tab ribbon, you’ll see the Selection Pan as well as Visibility and Animation panes. Here you can label, hide, and order the different design elements on your slide so you aren’t tyring to make precision clicks just trying to distinguish specific design elements. These panes are useful when your slide designs feature a lot of unique features that are difficult to separate and edit individually (or collectively) to improve your workstyle and productivity.

Use Autocorrect for Special Symbols and Common Words

Don’t was time using Insert > Symbols when you can get special characters more easily. For example, if you type (C), you will get the © symbol. If you need to insert the ® symbol type (R). Since users can modify symbols, you can assign different characters to type specific phases through Autocorrect, such as ‘ppt’ for PowerPoint.

Customise The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to Optimise Productivity

This toolbar is located in the left-hand corner and available to you no matter which tab on the ribbon is open. You can customise the QAT to add the tools that you use the most, optimising your design view and at-hand resources. Since some of PowerPoint’s important commands can be difficult to find, the QAT can help you design more productively as you can access the different functions, commands, and buttons you use the most. Adding and removing different commands lets users create a more tailored display and workflow.

Don’t Forget Format Painter

Format painter helps users easily match the format of one text to another or the format of an image to another image.  To use the format painter, you just need to highlight the text (or click on the image) that you will want to copy the format of. Next, on the Home tab, click on the Paintbrush in the Clipboard section. The format is now copied. To paste this format on another piece of text, highlight the new text (or click on the image) without clicking anywhere else.

If you are interested in pasting the same format on many different pieces of text, you can double click on the Paintbrush and paste the same format as many times as you would like. This can with your productivity since you won’t need to highlight and click the Paintbrush repeatedly.