Insert notes in PowerPoint
Whether you’re preparing an important presentation, trying to convince the board of an idea, or need to give a speech, PowerPoint is an essential business tool. A well-prepared PowerPoint presentation not only keeps track of important information when you need it, but also provides a clear visual guide when presenting, so you won’t be thrown off track too easily.
Slides allow the audience to see the message as it’s being spoken, allowing them to absorb it more holistically. Graphics and tables play an important role in this process.
PowerPoint notes: How they work
A great addition to the classic PowerPoint presentation is the ability to add notes that only you can see, and which are hidden from your audience. We’ll explain how you can use this little trick to insert, display and print PowerPoint notes. You will be able to use the practical program even more effectively and impress at your next presentation with a free flowing, professional delivery.
Insert notes into PowerPoint slides: A practical and useful tool
There are almost infinite possibilities to design PowerPoint slides and no matter which font, color or format you prefer, this program allows you to do almost anything. Notes, however, are a particularly practical aid found under each slide in Normal View. This feature makes it easy for you to write down details that you find important, such as a mnemonic or two, a prepared phrase to get to the heart of your message, or other background information to impress your audience. But how exactly can you insert PowerPoint notes that are only visible to you during the actual presentation?
Integrate notes into a PowerPoint presentation: Here’s how to do it
The following explanation refers to the classic PowerPoint program as included in the official Windows Office package. The following step-by-step instructions will help you to insert notes:
- Open your presentation.
- You’ll see a small pane below the current slide where you can read Click to add notes.
- If you can’t see that, right-click View in the ribbon.
- Here you’ll see a button called Notes. Select this and the notes pane will appear under the slide.
You can also use the following steps:
- You can also find Notes in the bottom PowerPoint task bar.
- Open the slide you would like to add notes to and then click on the Notes tab as described above.
To make your notes as effective as possible, we recommend writing down just a few key points instead of entire sentences. This helps identify the most important content and keeps the presentation moving.
You can also format the text that you have inserted in the notes pane. You can use bullet points, choose a special font, or choose a completely different color to make everything easier to read. You can also format key words in bold or italics in the PowerPoint notes pane.
Don’t forget to save your presentation regularly when making notes in PowerPoint. This prevents you from losing content due to technical failure or error. Just click on the floppy disk icon located in the red area of the PowerPoint program.
If the notes pane isn’t big enough, simply move your mouse at the top line of the pane and then dragging upward after the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow.
Edit existing notes in PowerPoint
If you realize later on that your notes aren’t helping you, or maybe even contain information that isn’t quite correct or useful, you can easily change them. If you want to make a change, first open the slide containing the incorrect note, click in the notes pane and rewrite or delete the text. In addition, you have the possibility to show or hide the individual panes at any time. To do this, use Notes in the View tab. Depending on whether this menu item is activated or not, your inserted notes will be visible. In Presenter View, the notes will be hidden from the audience but still visible to you.
Using notes during a presentation
Presenter View allows you to see your notes during your presentation, while the audience sees only the slides. Here’s what you need to do to enable Presenter View:
- Open your presentation.
- Click on Slide Show. On the right-hand side of the screen, enable Presenter View by ticking the box.
- Select From Beginning or From Current Slide to start your presentation.
You can choose between different controls and playback options. When your computer is connected to a projector and you start the slide show, Presenter View appears on your computer’s screen, while only the slides appear on the projector screen.
If it’s hard to read your notes and you’d like to make them larger, click the large A in the lower left corner of the notes pane. To make the text smaller, use the small A.
If you’re using PowerPoint on a single monitor and still want to enable Presenter View, go to Slide Show View and on the control bar at the bottom left select the three dots, and then Show Presenter View.
Print your notes
Sometimes it just feels better to have your notes on paper and at hand. You can choose to print only the notes or your notes with slides.
Here’s how to print your notes with slides:
- Open the presentation and click the File tab.
- Click Print. Under Settings, click the arrow next to Full Page Slides, and then under Print Layout, click Notes Pages.
- Here you can also choose to Print All Slides or enter the specific slides you would like to print.
- The right side of your screen will show you a print preview.
- Select your printer and click Print.
You can also print your notes without the slides. Just be aware that you can only print one notes pane per printed page.
- Open each slide in Notes Page. To do this, go to the View menu, in the Presentation Views group and click Notes Page.
- Delete the slide thumbnail from each of the notes’ pages. Don’t worry! This won’t change your presentation. To delete the slide thumbnail in Notes Page view, click the slide thumbnail, then DELETE.
- Click File.
- On the left side, click Print.
- Under Settings, click the arrow next to Full Page Slides. Under Print Layout, click Notes Pages.
- You’ll now see a print preview in which the slide has disappeared and only your notes are visible. Click Print.
There is a third way to print out the PowerPoint notes and even make them available to your audience during or after your presentation.
First, you need to format the slides so that they can be used as a handout.
- Click on View and under Master Views, select Notes Master.
- This opens a template for your handout. It includes several placeholders for the different slides as well as panes containing your notes. PowerPoint also allows you to change background styles and colors. You can even add the date to your header and footer, allowing you to create a clear and informative handout easily.
- Go to Notes Master and select Insert to fill the fields with your chosen pictures, shapes and tables.
- Once you’re finished, click on Notes Master again to close it, then View > Normal to return to the standard display.
Don’t worry if you can’t immediately see the various changes you have made. Due to your previously chosen settings, changes will only be visible when you print the presentation and notes.
- To do this, go to File > Print. Then open Preferences and select Note Master.
You now have the choice to print specific pages or the entire presentation.
Delete notes in PowerPoint
You can delete your notes at any time. You can go to each slide and delete the notes directly or you can remove all notes at once. Follow these steps to remove all notes for your presentation:
- Open the presentation and click on File.
- Click on Info > Check for Issues > Inspect Document.
- This will open a menu where you’ll find Presentation Notes at the bottom. Make sure Presentation Notes is checked. Now click Inspect.
- Click Remove All beside Presentation Notes to remove all notes.
PowerPoint Notes: The practical tool for your presentations
As you can see, PowerPoint Notes is an extremely useful tool. Not only will it help you present even more professionally, you can also edit, delete or print them out to share whenever you wish.