Creating Better Documents With PowerPoint

Smart people like you often like to think outside the box right? If you’re one of those people here’s something for you to consider: PowerPoint can be a great option for a lot of creating things beyond just presentation slides.

For example, in our office we use PowerPoint to craft visually appealing reports, proposals, tipsheets, handouts and other documents that most people make in Word.

If you want to get your message across more effectively by combining visuals with smart, pithy text (if not, you should!) PowerPoint can be a great option.  Take a peek what this might look like?


Check out this great example from Nancy Duarte in which she explains some of the benefits of what she calls “Slide Docs”:

Pretty nice isn’t it? I’ll bet it’s a whole lot better than what you first envisioned when you saw PowerPoint and documents together in the title right? 😎

Here are a couple of helpful PowerPoint tips to get you started creating your own Slide Docs:

Change Slide Orientation

Depending on the design you have in mind for your project, you might want to change PowerPoints default slide orientation from landscape to portrait. Here’s how:

Just click Design » Slide Size » Choose Custom Slide Size » Portrait

Change Powerpoint slide orientation

Use Multi-column Text Boxes

Columned text layouts are often seen in documents created within word processing programs such as Microsoft Word. But you can take also advantage of them in PowerPoint . (They’re a more basic version of the columns functionality available in Word.) Setting up multiple columns will allow your text to automatically flow between columns naturally, and help you avoid a lot of unnecessary cutting and pasting.

Creating multiple columns is also easy to do. Check it out:

1. Right-click your text placeholder and select Format Shape.

2. Click Text Options at the top.

3. Right below that, click on Text Box icon.

4. Click the Columns… button at the bottom of the panel.

5. Enter the settings for how many columns you want and the amount of Spacing you’d like between each column. Click OK when you’re done.


Even the great templates created by Nancy Duarte could benefit from using a single, multi-column text box in place of multiple individual text boxes.

Having two separate text boxes requires you to manually cut and paste text from one column to another when you run out of space in the first one.


Whereas using a single text box with columns takes care of the text flow between columns automatically.


Now that you’ve seen what is possible in PowerPoint, think about how you might use it to reinvent your own documents. If you do, I’d love to see what you come up with!

Tip of the Week #434


5 thoughts on “Creating Better Documents With PowerPoint

  1. Ricardo De Leon says:

    Thanks Mike Taylor. Excellent Information. Great to hear from you.

    Rick De Leon
    Technical Trng Specialist Sr.
    TFS Trng Dept.
    Audinet: 8.432.3773
    CC Tx. Office: 361.242.3773
    Office Fax: 361.242.7520
    Audinet Fax: 8.432.7520
    Mobile: 361.816.0052


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