Formatting a presentation

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Now put your presentation together based on your outline.

Documentation caution.png Remember to save frequently while working on the presentation, to prevent any loss of information should something unexpected occur. You might also want to activate the AutoRecovery function (Tools > Options > Load/Save > General). Make sure Save AutoRecovery information every is selected and that you have entered a recovery frequency.

Creating the first slide

The first slide is normally a title slide. Decide which of the layouts will best suit your purposes for this first slide: simplicity would be appropriate in this instance. You can use the prepackaged layouts available in the Layout section of the Tasks pane. Suitable layouts are Title Slide (which also contains a section for a subtitle) or Title Only, however all but one layout (the blank one) contains a title section, so you are not restricted to the two layouts described here.


Select a layout in the Layout section of the Tasks pane by clicking on it: it appears in the Workspace. To create the title, click on “Click to add title” (assuming the Blank Slide layout was not used) and then type the title text. Adjustments to the formatting of the title can be done by pressing the F11 key, right-clicking the Title presentation style entry, and selecting Modify from the pop-up menu.

If you are using the Title Slide layout, click on Click to add text to add a subtitle. Proceed as above to make adjustments to the formatting if required.

Inserting additional slides

The steps for inserting additional slides are basically the same as for selecting the title page. It is a process that has to be repeated for each slide. Unless you are using more than one slide master, your only concern is the Layouts section of the Tasks pane.

Choosing a slide layout

First insert all the slides your outline indicates you will need. Only after this should you begin adding special effects such as custom animation and slide transitions.

Step 1: Insert a new slide. This can be done in a variety of ways—take your pick.

  • Insert > Slide.
  • Right-click on the present slide, and select Slide > New Slide from the pop-up menu.
  • Click the Slide icon in the Presentation toolbar.
Presentation toolbar

Step 2: Select the layout slide that bests fits your needs.

Step 3: Modify the elements of the slide. At this stage, the slide consists of everything contained in the slide master, as well as the chosen layout slide, so this includes removing unneeded elements, adding needed elements (such as pictures), and inserting text.

Documentation caution.png Changes to any of the pre-packaged layouts can only be made using View > Normal, which is the default. Attempting to do this by modifying a slide master may result in unpredictable results and requires extra care as well as some trials and errors.
  1. Remove any element on the slide that is not required.
    • Click the element to highlight it. (The green squares show it is highlighted.)
    • Press the Delete key to remove it.


  2. Following are instructions to add elements to a slide, such as adding pictures to the clipart frame, if the chosen layout includes one:
    1. Double-click the picture within the frame. The Insert picture dialog opens.
    2. Browse to the location of the picture you want to insert. To see a preview of the picture, check Preview at the bottom of the Insert picture dialog.
    3. Select the picture and click Open.
    4. Resize the picture as necessary. Follow the directions in the Caution note below.
    • To add pictures from graphic files to places other than the clipart frame, follow the instructions below:
    1. Insert > Picture > From File. The Insert picture dialog opens.
    2. Locate the graphic file. To see a preview of the picture, check Preview at the bottom of the Insert picture dialog. Select a picture and click Open.
    3. Move the picture to its location.
    4. Resize the picture, if necessary.
    Documentation caution.png When resizing a graphic, right-click the picture. Select Position and Size from the context menu and make sure that Keep ratio is selected. Then adjust the height or width to the size you need. (As you adjust one dimension both dimensions will change.) Failure to do so will cause the picture to become distorted. Remember also that resizing a bitmap image will reduce its quality; better by far to create an image of the desired size outside of Impress.
  3. Add text to a slide: If the slide contains text, click on Click to add an outline in the text frame and then type your text. The Outline styles from 1 to 10 are automatically applied to the text as you insert it. You can change the outline level of each paragraph as well as its position within the text using the arrow buttons on the Text Formatting toolbar.

Step 4: To create additional slides, repeat steps 1–3.

Modifying the appearance of slides

To change the background and other characteristics of all slides in the presentation, you need to modify the slide master or choose a different slide master.

A Slide Master is a slide with a specified set of characteristics which is used as the beginning point for creating other slides. These characteristics include the background, objects in the background, formatting of any text used, and any background graphics.


Impress has five prepackaged slide masters, found in the Master Pages section of the Tasks pane. You can also create and save additional slide masters.

Modifying the slide show

Now review the entire presentation and answer some questions. Run the slide show at least once before answering them. You might want to add some questions of your own.

  1. Are the slides in the correct order? If not, some of them will need to be moved.
  2. Would an additional slide make a particular point clearer? If so, another slide needs to be created.
  3. Would some custom animations help some of the slides? (Advanced technique.)
  4. Should some of the slides have a different slide transition than others? The transition of those slides should be changed.
  5. Do some of the slides seem unnecessary? Delete the affected slide or slides after checking if they are indeed unnecessary.


Once you have answered these and your own questions, you should make the necessary changes. This is done most easily in the Slide Sorter view. If you need one or more new slides, create them using the steps listed in “Inserting additional slides” on the Formatting a Presentation page.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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