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Home > Lessons > Jan's CompLit 101 > Working with Presentations > Basics > Getting Started

Jan's Working with Presentations

   Basics: Getting Started

First things first. You need to be sure you can open and close PowerPoint, open and close an existing presentation, and start a blank presentation that you can modify.

Also, there are many settings that change what you see on the screen, what and how a presentation prints, and how PowerPoint behaves in general.

To try to ensure that the directions for the projects and exercises will fit what you see on your computer, you will need to make your settings match the settings provided here. These are mostly the default settings after a new installation of PowerPoint.

You will inspect settings for:

  • PowerPoint's appearance on the screen

  • Page Setup for printed copies

  • Options for how PowerPoint behaves

TipPlease be courteous to other users. Do not make changes without permission on a computer that is not yours!


Icon: TroubleTrouble-shooting your lesson results:

If your presentation doesn't look like what the lesson illustrations show, the problem may be with: 

  • Page Setup: Check the layout on paper. Portrait (vertical) or Landscape (horizontal)? How many slides per page?

  • PowerPoint Options: Check the Options dialog for other unexpected behaviors.

  • Regional settings: (in the Windows Control Panel) Currency, date, and time formats come from the computer's regional settings.

  • The Directions:

    • Did you skip a step?

    • Did you do exactly what the directions called for? Read the steps again and make sure you caught all the details. 

    • Did you follow directions for the correct version of PowerPoint? 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions are very similar but not exactly the same in some spots.

  • Program versions: Are your computer operating system and program version different from what was used in writing the lessons?

  • My Error: While every attempt has been made to be accurate, the directions could be wrong, at least for your computer and software version. If you find errors, please notify me! Every  page has a link at the bottom to my email address. Give as much detail as possible about where the error is - page address and location on the page.