PowerPoint is great for creating and presenting a presentation, but you may not feel comfortable organizing your thoughts or writing text there. Although PowerPoint has an outline pane (see the Outline tab in the image below in the upper-left?), I often prefer organizing text in Microsoft Word or Notepad, where I can focus on my text without worrying how it looks.

Fortunately, it's easy to import this text into PowerPoint once I'm ready to create my presentation.

Check out the Insert menu | Slides From Outline.

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Then just apply a design template to make it pretty.

I've gotten this to work most successfully with:

  • plain text files and
  • Word files that have headings created in Outline View (View | Outline in Word)

This feature's been around at least since PowerPoint 4.0, but I never quite found it until someone pointed it out to me.