PowerPoint can open outlines in a number of formats and automatically turn them into a set of slides. How helpful that is depends on the original formatting, especially whether paragraph styles were applied with outlining in mind.
PowerPoint will only
try to open outline files with the following extensions:
What is an Outline?
Ordinarily we think of an outline as a numbered, indented list of the sections of a document, like:
Word processing documents can have hidden outlines, if the right paragraph styles were applied.
Creating an Outline
You can create a simple, indented outline, like the example above, in a text editor or word processor and then open it with PowerPoint to get slides. You would usually want to leave out the numbering.
An existing document may not look like an outline. You don't have to start over!
In a word processing program, apply the correct paragraph styles to the text that you want to be in your slides. Use styles that have outline levels assigned to them. PowerPoint will only see the paragraphs with outline levels 1, 2, and 3.
By default in Microsoft Word, Heading 1 has Outline Level 1 assigned to it. Heading 2 has Outline Level 2, and so forth, for as many as 9 outline levels. (But PowerPoint will only see the first three levels). You can also assign outline levels to other styles, including the ones that you create yourself. So Heading 1 might not be the only Level 1 style.
What You Get in PowerPoint
From Text Documents
For a plain text document (*.txt) or a Rich Text Format document (*.rtf):
You can use the Outlining toolbar to make changes to move the paragraphs into the right bullet lists.
From Word Processing Documents
Usually Level 1 paragraphs have Heading 1 style, level 2 paragraphs have Heading 2 style, and so forth. Your word processing document may not use these Heading styles for all of the text you actually want to be on your slides. You can edit either the outline or the resulting slides.
Example: Word Document in PowerPoint
With Word documents you will get a separate slide for each level 1 heading. The other levels will be bullet points. Other file formats may be imported differently. You will have to experiment with your particular software and files!
There is a toolbar for outlining tasks that you can display.
To Open an Existing Outline with PowerPoint
can open an outline directly with PowerPoint's Open
dialog, but, you must set the file type to All
Outlines so you can see your outline in the list of files to choose.
Tips for preparing an outline
You have to think ahead a bit to help PowerPoint to convert your outline to a presentation gracefully.
~~ 1 Cor. 10:31 ...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~~