Powerpoint 2003 – The Basics

Please read Microsoft Powerpoint – The Basics before reading this article.

Starting A New Presentation

Starting a new presentation in PowerPoint 2003 is very easy.  All you need to do is open the software and it will load itself into a blank presentation ready for you to edit.

If you already have a presentation open it’s just as easy.  All you need to do is click the new presentation button in the tool bars (circled below).

Powerpoint 2003 - New Button

Or you can go to the File menu, and choose New.  This will behave slightly differently and a Screen will appear to the side of your presentation giving you some options (these are circled in the screen shot below)

Powerpoint 2003 - New Options

–           Blank presentation will create a new empty presentation for you to work on with the default presentation style (a title and a sub-title box) – you can change the style for each slide within the presentation.

–          From design template will allow you to create a presentation based on a template provided by Microsoft – you are given a selection to choose from and then all the slides you add will be formatted in the same way.

–          From AutoContent wizard will ask you to give some information about what you you’re your presentation to do, and then prepare a presentation which is prepared for you to add your information into.  The templates provided are slightly more corporate focussed and have been designed to look professional with as little setup as possible.

–          From Existing Presentation allows you to create a new presentation that is based on one that you have already created – you could use this if you want to replicate the style of a different presentation without having to recreate it in its entirety.

–          Photo album offers you a wizard to create a very simple photo album.  You can select which photos you would like to be included in your presentation and which order you would like these photos to be in, the presentation will then be generated automatically for you.

–          Templates – Templates are presentations that have all ready been created which allow you to setup your presentation into a style you’ve already used before – you can use this if you want your presentations to match – say you writing a handout for a series of talks.  In the Templates section there are options for templates that Microsoft has created online, templates that may already exist on your computer, and Templates on other websites.  If you click one of these it will bring up a File Open box pointing to the relevant location allowing you to choose the template that you wish to use for your presentation.  There’s also a search box so you can find a specific style quickly.

When you hover over one of these options your mouse point will turn into a little pointing hand, and the text will be underlined.  If you click then PowerPoint will create a presentation of the type you have chosen (or display the File Open dialog box if you wish to use an existing presentation or a template).

Saving a Presentation

After you have been working on a presentation you will want to save your work so you can return to it at a later point.  There’s two ways you can do this you can click on the Save button (circled below).  If the presentation is one that you’ve used before this will save any changes you’ve made, otherwise the Save As dialog will appear allowing you to choose where you would like to save your file and what you would like to call it.  The default location that PowerPoint (or any of the Microsoft Office applications) will choose to save is a folder called My Documents; if you’re unsure about what you’re doing this is a good place to save as it is also the first place the Microsoft PowerPoint will look for files when you come to open them.

Top TipWe’d always recommend calling the file something that’s descriptive of the contents so you’re able to find it again easily.

Powerpoint 2003 - Save Button

The other way to save a file is to use the options in the File Menu.  If you click on this you will see three different options for saving (circled in the picture below).

Save will save your presentation in exactly the same way as the Save button I described above – if it’s a presentation you’ve already created it will just save any changes you’ve made, otherwise it will display the file name dialog box asking you to choose when and where you would like to save your presentation.  As we mentioned above the default location that PowerPoint (or any of the Microsoft Office applications) will choose to save is a folder called My Documents.

Assuming that you’ve already saved the presentation once Save As is used to create a copy of the presentation that you are working on.  If you click on this PowerPoint will bring up the File name dialog box and ask you to choose where you would like to save the file, and what you would like to call it.  This won’t change the original file that you opened but will save any changes you have made to the presentation.

Save As Web Page gives you the option to save your presentation in a format that is readable by Internet Browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.  This is useful if you have a presentation that you are looking to publish onto the internet but probably isn’t the best save option to use when working on a personal file!  When you click on this you will get a different version of the File Name dialog box which will take you through the different options for saving as a webpage and we’ll come back and look at this in a later tutorial.

Opening A Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Well you’ve setup your new presentation, spent some time putting information into it, turned off the computer for the night, it’s the next morning and you want to add some more information how do you access your presentation to be able to do this?  Well once again it’s very easy and there’s three ways of doing it.

You can click on the open button (circled below) this will then open the “File Open” dialog box.  In this screen you can navigate to the file you wish to open and click the Open button, your presentation should then load.  The windows will automatically start looking for files in the My Documents folder but don’t worry if you saved your presentation elsewhere as you can navigate through your computer in the same manner as you would when use Windows Explorer.

Powerpoint 2003 - Open Button

Alternatively you can go into the File menu, and choose the option “Open” (circled below).  Once again this will give you the File Open Dialog box, allowing you to choose your file and then click on the open button to load the presentation.  Remember to save when you’ve finished editing it!

Finally you can go into the file menu, and at the bottom of the list of commands will be the names of the last five presentations you accessed (circled in the screenshot below).  If you click on the name of the presentation you would like to open, then that presentation should open instantly for you.

Closing A Presentation

When you have finished working with your presentation it is always important to close it properly.  When you have finished with your presentation if you go into the file menu there is an option saying Close (circled below).

If you have made any changes to the presentation PowerPoint will bring up a message asking if you wish to save your presentation.

Be careful, if you click No any changes you’ve made to the presentation will be lost and you’ll have to re-do them if you want to keep them.  If you click Yes, any changes you’ve made will be saved and the presentation will be closed.  Finally if you click Cancel you will be returned to your presentation and nothing else will happen.

That’s the end of this guide – click here for the same functions in PowerPoint 2007 and stay tuned for more guides coming soon.

Mug shotAbout the author
Alex is a guest contributor to the Refresh Technology website. He has experience of providing IT Support for one of the largest Local Authorities in the country. He seemed to become the go-to guy for problems with MS Office, though Excel still slightly scares him.