PowerPoint Sections: How to Create and Order Them (23:02)
In this sample lesson, you’ll learn how to insert PowerPoint Slides and Sections, move them around, delete them, and use them to organize your presentation.
Files and Resources
Quick Reference Guides
Table of Contents:
- 2:56: Slide Navigation and Inserting and Deleting Slides
- 9:38: Using Sections in Presentations
- 15:02: Exercise: Fixing the Presentation’s Order and Sections
- 21:33: Recap and Summary
NOTE: This sample lesson uses custom shortcuts that are not built into PowerPoint. To get all the shortcuts working properly, you must follow the instructions in this sample lesson where we customize the interface and Quick Access Toolbar.
- PgUp / PgDn: Prev / Next Slide
- Home: Jump to First Slide
- End: Jump to Last Slide
- Alt, W, I: Slide Sorter View
- Alt, W, L: Normal View
- Ctrl + K: Insert Hyperlink
- Shift + Click: Select Multiple Slides
- Ctrl + M: Insert Slide
- Alt, H, I / Alt, N, SI: Insert Slide and Select Layout
- Del: Delete Slide (Must be over in slide view, not within the slide)
- Ctrl + Shift + D: Duplicate Slide
- Alt, H, T: Section Menu
- Alt, H, T, A: Add Section
- Alt, H, T, R: Rename Section
- Alt, H, T, E: Remove Section
- Alt, H, T, V: Remove All Sections
- Alt, H, T, O: Collapse All Sections
- Alt, H, T, X: Expand All Sections
PowerPoint Sections for Organization: Inserting, Deleting, and Moving Around Slides and Sections
Welcome to the next lesson in the third module of this PowerPoint course. This time around, we are going to continue with our efforts to learn about presentations and slides at a higher level, and look at manipulating and navigating through slides quickly and also using a feature called Sections to better organize presentations in PowerPoint.
As the starting point for this, if you take a look at the Before file for this lesson, you’ll see that we do start with a title slide and the Table of Contents slide, but then we jump right into the Valuation Section down here. There are a lot of blank slides here. Of course, we’ll get to filling those in later. And then we get into Potential Strategic Partners. We’ve added a few more slides for different companies here, so we added in some profiles.
To be honest with you, I would have added in all of them, but I just didn’t have time to actually finish these before recording this set of videos. But by the end, when you look at the completed presentation, all the profiles will be there.
And then we have the Executive Summary section, and then we have the Appendix near the end. And then we have the Process Recommendations slides at the actual end. And then to make things even worse, not only is everything disorganized, but in certain parts we’re actually missing the Section Divider slides.
So we’re missing a bunch of slides, the order is all wrong, and it doesn’t seem like there’s really a fast way to fix this. We could go into the Slide Sorter View with Alt, W, I and then go in and try to rearrange the slides manually. But this is sort of cumbersome because we have to select all these sections and move them around and hope they go to the right place. We might make mistakes doing that.
So the question here really comes down to the following. Is there a faster way to navigate through slides and then move around entire sections of slides in a presentation? And then is there a better way to keep presentations organized? Those Section Divider slides that we have and the title slide certainly help, but is there anything we could do besides that to keep presentations relatively organized?
And the answer is yes. You can use something called Sections to keep things organized, and to also move around slides and sections of slides efficiently, or at least more efficiently in PowerPoint. And there are also some faster ways to navigate.
So in this lesson, we’re going to start by going through some of the shortcuts for navigating through slides, inserting slides, and deleting them. Most of these you’ve already seen, so the first part of this lesson is mostly review just in case you need a refresher or you’re not sure of how to use key shortcuts. Then in the second part, we’re going to go through sections, and then in the final part, it’s going to be your exercise once again. And you’re going to have to go into this presentation and fix the order, fix the Section Divider slides, and then add in sections to make everything easier to organize and rearrange.
Let’s go through slide navigation first. As I said, a lot of these shortcuts that I I’m showing on screen, you’ve already seen. So at a basic level, if you want to move through a presentation, you can use the PgUp key to move back one slide, and the PgDn key to move forward one slide. You can use the Home key to jump to the very beginning, or the End key to jump to the very end. And you’ve already seen those shortcuts from elsewhere in this course, from the first few lessons, in the first and second modules for example. But they are still very useful regardless of how advanced your knowledge is, because you’re going to be using them a lot.
Now you could also just use the arrow keys to jump through. If you are in the presentation view pane over here where you see all the slides, the reason why I like PgUp and PgDn is because even if you’re on a slide, if you press PgUp and PgDn, you actually move through the slides. Whereas if you’re on a slide and you just press the arrow keys, you’re just going to move the shape that you’re on, or the text box that you’re on.
Other useful points here include the Slide Sorter View, and the Normal View, and then methods for selecting multiple slides. We get a lot of questions from students and professionals wondering if there’s a way to jump to a specific slide in PowerPoint, and the answer is “no.” Amazingly there is no way to actually do this.
The closest you can really get is to go into the Slide Sorter View with Alt, W, I, and you still have to go down and scroll down and select the slide you want to jump to. But at least this way it’s faster than going through slides in normal edit mode. If you go back to normal edit mode with Alt, W, L, you can see that it just takes a lot longer because you have to scroll everything here on the side to get to whatever you’re jumping to.
You could also try to add hyperlinks, and use that to jump around more quickly. So if you highlight everything and press Ctrl + K, you could go in and you could insert a bookmark elsewhere in the presentation and then you could link to it by going to Places in This Document or just clicking on one of these slides. And that would be another way to jump to slides, but we don’t find it terribly useful.
The problem is that you’re going to have to delete all these hyperlinks anyway when you print out this presentation or when you’re about to present it to a client or to your managing director or partner, for example. So we don’t really view them as terribly useful. The Slide Sorter View is really the fastest way to jump around quickly.
Now when you’re in this view, you can select multiple slides by holding down the Shift key. So press the Shift key and hold it down, and then you can just click the mouse, or you can just use the arrow keys and move around like that. Just select multiple slides here. And the reason this is useful is because once you’ve selected multiple slides, you can then just drag them over and reposition all the slides and move them around efficiently like that. And then if you want to undo it, just press Ctrl + Z, or we could have just moved the Project Jaguar title slide back here.
So those are a few ways you can move around a bit more quickly and reposition slides. Other shortcuts here are the ones for inserting and deleting slides. And again, we’ve been over most of these as well. So I’m just going to quickly review some of these for your reference. Generally, when you’re doing this, if you’re actually inserting a slide that you’re going to make a lot of edits on and add a lot of text to, you want to be in normal edit mode, so Alt, W, L.
And when you go there and do that, you could press Ctrl + M to insert a slide, and that’s the default shortcut. By default, you are going to get the Title and Content slide that comes built in to all PowerPoint presentations. So Ctrl + M will always give you that Title and Content slide, which is usually what you want. So it’s not a bad alternative, and Ctrl + M is a very handy shortcut for inserting slides.
Of course if you want to pick this slide that you want to insert or you want to use a different layout for it, we learned some of these shortcuts last time. But you can see the two key ones here, Alt, H, I or Alt, N, SI. Alt, N, SI is the one that I went over in the last few videos, but Alt, H, I is actually a little bit faster to type. So Alt, H, I, and then we can select the layout that we want, or Alt, N, SI, and we can do the same thing right there.
So using this for example, if we want to go in here and we want to say, “This is the Valuation section. We need to insert a Valuation slide.” Let’s delete this slide by pressing the Delete key, and then we can just say Alt, H, I, and then we can say Section Header. That is what we called each Section Divider slide here. And then we can say, Valuation, or something to that effect.
Deleting slides, as you’d expect, you can use the Delete key. The only thing to be careful of here is that you have to be over the presentation panel. So if you just go on a slide and press the Delete key, the shape or the text box gets deleted.
So you actually have to be over in this pane, and you have to have selected the slide you want to delete, and then that will work properly.
And then the last thing I’m going to cover here quickly is just how you duplicate slides, which can be very handy. With duplicating slides, once again there are a few ways to do it, but our preferred method is to use the Ctrl + Shift + D shortcut. So let me scroll down and show you how this works. If you go on a slide and press Ctrl + Shift + D, you will get another copy of the slide right below it.
And if you wanted to, you could actually use the Ctrl + D shortcut to do this, because you know, Ctrl + D just normal shapes and text boxes, but the advantage once again is that with Ctrl + Shift + D, you can activate it from anywhere. So even if you’ve selected a text box over here, if you press Ctrl + Shift + D, it doesn’t matter. It’s still going duplicate the slide that you’re currently on, whereas if you pressed Ctrl + D in this situation, you’re just going to get copies of that text box. So that’s why we prefer Ctrl + Shift + D for duplicating slides.
I’ll just undo this with Ctrl + Z now. Actually I’ll just delete this with the Delete key because I’ve committed several actions since then.
So that’s about all I wanted to cover on inserting and deleting slides. Again, you already know most of these shortcuts. For rearranging slides, it’s pretty simple. You’ll just take the mouse and drag the slide to wherever you want it. In the Slide Sorter View, of course it’s much easier because you can press shift and select all these slides and then move them around like that, or just move around individual slides. So those are a few options for rearranging slides.
Now the next section of this lesson that I want to go into is Using Sections to Organize Slides. And I’ve laid out all the shortcuts for reference. I think the easiest way to do this is just to show you how they work, and you’ll see how to actually apply these shortcuts in the process.
Let’s jump to the beginning with the Home key, and then if you press Alt, H, T for Section and then go to “A” for Add Section. We don’t have any Sections in our presentation right now, so Add Section is the only option here. We now get a section at the very top called Untitled Section, and if you notice, it’s highlighting everything in our presentation. The reason it’s highlighting everything is because when we add a section like this, it turns into a section everything from the slide that we were on until the very end of the presentation or until the next section in our presentation.
So once we have this, we can go in and do a number of things. We could press Alt, H, T and then R for renaming the section, and we could call it something else, like Introduction for example. That would be one option. Alt, H, T and we can remove the section, remove all sections, we can collapse the section with Collapse All. So just press O to get to that, and now you can see the advantage.
When we have a number of sections and we want to jump around quickly, we can expand and collapse these sections so we don’t clutter up the presentations panel with everything else in our presentation. Now here it’s kind of useless because we just have one section for the entire presentation. But we can click on this to expand and collapse it, and do it individually for sections like that. So it doesn’t just have to be expanding and collapsing everything. We can actually do it individually for these types of sections as well.
It’s generally not a great idea to go to the very beginning of the presentation and insert a section here, so I’m actually going to go to Alt, H, T and then E for Remove Section. And you can see the slides don’t disappear. Only the section organizational element does. If you press the End key to jump all the way to the end and then scroll up a bit, you should start from the back of the presentation and move forward when you’re inserting sections because of the fact that I just mentioned. When you insert one, it’s going to cause everything from the slide that you’re on all the way down to the end of the presentation or the next section to turn into a section.
So here for example, if we go to Alt, H, T and then A for Add Section, those last five slides now turn into a section. And we could go to Alt, H, T, R we could rename this to Process Recommendations for example. And then we could go up a bit and here we are actually in the Appendix now, so we could press Alt, H, T, A, and now you can see how it works. It turns everything from where we were down to the next section into a new section. And now we can press Alt, H, T, R to rename this to Appendix. And so we have that.
It’s often much easier to do this in the Slide Sorter View with Alt, W, I, and you can see how it works here. And you can also see why it’s more useful to do it here because it gives you a better overview, sort of a bird’s-eye view of the entire presentation.
So what you can do is just select two slides here, or you can just select the Executive Summary slide. Press Alt, H, T, A and we now get this untitled section right here. So this can be a faster way to do it, especially if you have quite a few sections in your presentation with a lot of slides in it.
Now the other advantage of sections that I’ll show you, is if you go in and let’s say you collapse everything here. If you have sections set up and you have everything collapsed, or even if you don’t. Even if you just have one of these open and you just select the whole thing by clicking on the section title, you can move this around very easily. So we can move around the Appendix and move it up here, and now it’s above the Untitled Section.
We can move it down here to below the Process Recommendations. Or we can move it back to its original spot right there. So by using these sections, we can organize a presentation very easily, and if we change our mind about where something should be positioned and we have sections set up, it makes it much easier to move around everything.
That is how sections work, and I think you get the idea. I have the shortcut keys here, but really you just have to remember the Alt, H, T shortcut, and then everything else will be intuitive once you press that. As I said, you want to start from the back of the presentation and move forward for the most part, because an inserted section applies through the end of the slides or to the next section. You generally want to include the title or Section Divider slides first to mark off where you are. If you don’t do that, it’s going to be harder to figure out where you should actually start inserting the sections, so you generally want to do that first.
And then for adding and rearranging sections, in most cases it’s better to be in the Slide Sorter View. If you have a very short presentation or each of your sections only has a few slides, for example, then it might be better to do it in the normal editing view. But for the most part, we recommend going into the Slide Sorter View to do this.
That’s about all I wanted to say about Sections. So let’s go into your exercise now. I’m also going to go back here and remove all these sections that I added because I don’t want you to have this benefit. I want you to be starting from scratch with the actual Before file that we have. So I’m going to go to Remove All Sections. I’m just right-clicking here. We could go to Alt, H, T but right-clicking and just using the mouse is also fine for something like this. So Remove All Sections and now everything is back to normal. Alt, W, L to go back to normal edit mode.
Here’s your exercise. I want you to go in a fix this broken presentation. The order of the slides is wrong, the sections are missing, and some of the Section Divider slides are missing. In Step 1, you should add the Section Divider slides, and try to do so in an efficient way. Then in Step 2, you can add in the sections using the shortcuts I just showed you and rename them as appropriate. Then in Step 3, you can change around the order and use the finished presentation that we have as a reference for that.
So if you get stuck, always consult our finished presentation here. If you go in here and you go to the Slide Sorter View, you can see the exact order of everything. You can see what we’re calling each slide and what we’re calling the Section Divider slides here, for example. So use that for your reference. Pause the video right now and give this a shot yourself. If you get stuck or you want to check your work, un-pause the video and then we’ll walk through this exercise together.
Okay, good. So as I was saying, we’re going to start by adding in those missing Section Divider slides. Let’s go the Slide Sorter View with Alt, W, I. And the first one that’s missing is that we have nothing for the Valuation slide right here. There are a couple ways to fix it, but to demonstrate one of the new shortcuts that we learned here, I’m going to actually duplicate a slide. So let’s go to Executive Summary, Ctrl + Shift + D to duplicate it, and we have the Executive Summary slide right here.
Let’s drag this up and put it right here, and I can just double-click on it and now I can change this to Jaguar Valuation. And so we have that.
If we look and try to see what else is actually missing here, it looks like the Potential Strategic Partners slide is also gone. So once again, let’s just press Ctrl + Shift + D, or we could just press Ctrl + D in this case, duplicate the Executive Summary slide, and then move it right up here. So we have that for Potential Strategic Partners.
We do have the Executive Summary Divider slide, we do have the Appendix one, and we do have the Process Recommendation one. So it seems like the rest of these are actually here. I’ll double-click this one and rename it to Potential Strategic Partners. So we have that. Press Esc a few times and go back to our Slide Sorter View.
In this exercise, I told you to add the Section Dividers first, and we’ve already done that. And so now we have to move into Step 2, adding the sections and renaming them as appropriate. Let’s go up, and remember we actually want to start from the end here, so I’m going to go to the Process Recommendations slide right here, Alt, H, T, A, and let’s call this one Process Recommendations. To rename it, we can go to Alt, H, T, R, and I’ll just call this Process Recommendations. So you have that.
And then let’s go up and click on Appendix, and we can just press Alt, H, T, A for Add Section and Alt, H, T, R for Appendix. So we have that. We’ll do the same thing for Executive Summary. Alt, H, T, A and Alt, H, T, R, and let’s call this Executive Summary.
Then we’ll go up to Potential Strategic Partners, Alt, H, T, A, and then Alt, H, T, R, Potential Strategic Partners. It’s somewhat annoying how PowerPoint always jumps us back to the beginning here, but it’s still generally faster to do this type of thing in the Slide Sorter View.
And then let’s go up to our Valuation Section here, which is the longest section in the entire presentation. Alt, H, T, A and Alt, H, T, R, and let’s call this Valuation. You have that, and then let’s go up to this final section. Make sure you click on the actual section name when you’re doing this. If you just go up and try to click on one of the slides, you’re just going to be applying your changes to that slide.
So you actually have to click on the section name to select the section. Alt, H, T, R, and let’s call this one Introduction. So we have that. Let’s scroll down and make sure that we actually captured everything. It looks like all the major sections are here.
And so with that done, let’s move in to Step 3 and change around the order and follow the finished presentation if we need any guidance. It’s pretty simple, but we start with the introduction, then the Executive Summary, then Valuation. Then we have Potential Strategic Partners, Process Recommendations, and Appendix at the end.
So we’ll keep the introduction there. The other thing I’m going to do is collapse everything to make it easier to rearrange this. So Alt, H, T, O for Collapse All, and then let’s go up and take this Executive Summary. Use the mouse and put it up here right after the introduction. Then we’ll have our Valuation Section. Then we’ll have Potential Strategic Partners. Then Process Recommendations, we’ll take the mouse, click on it and drag it, and move it up. And then well have the Appendix at the end.
To check ourselves, we can press Alt, H, T, X for Expand All, and now we see our Appendix at the end. We see our Process Recommendations here, our Potential Strategic Partners, our entire Valuation Section, and then our Executive Summary and Introduction. If you press Alt, W, L to go back to the normal editing mode, we have our Introduction, our Executive Summary. And it’s a good idea just to scroll through this quickly to make sure that everything is set up, and that you haven’t missed anything, you haven’t made any mistakes moving around the slides in the Slide Sorter View. And so it looks like everything here is reasonable.
With that, we are done with this exercise and with this lesson. The main question here is, is there a faster way to navigate through slides and move around slides and entire sections of slides? And there is. You can use sections to keep presentations organized and to move around large sections efficiently. And there are some faster shortcuts for navigating through presentations.
You know the PgUp, PgDn, Home and End keys, the Slide Sorter View and the Normal View, and how to select multiple slides. You know the shortcuts for inserting and deleting slides and selecting the layout or just inserting a slide with the default layout. And then we went through Sections. And you learned how to use the Section Menu with Alt, H, T to insert sections, rename them, remove, them, collapse and expand them, and you saw how to use them to fix our presentation here.
You always want to start from the back and move forward when adding sections, include the Title or Section Divider slides first, and use the Slide Sorter View for the most part to add and rearrange sections. And then you completed this exercise where you fixed our broken presentation.
That’s it for this lesson. Coming up next, we are going to take a look at the different viewing modes in PowerPoint, and you’re going to see some use cases for the Reading Mode, the Slideshow Mode, and other different modes beyond just the ones we’ve been through so far, the normal editing mode and the Slide Sorter Mode.
And you’ll see how you can use those to track down and fix problems in your presentations.