Why It Matters: Microsoft PowerPoint, part 1

Why learn how to use Microsoft PowerPoint?

In previous modules you learned how to analyze data and create reports and graphs. Often after completing any of these steps, you may be asked to share your work with others. While it is possible to simply send along a copy of the report or graph, it is also quite common to be asked to present the data to a group of people in the form of a presentation.

Microsoft also has a powerful presentation application, known as PowerPoint. In this learning module, you will learn the basics of using PowerPoint, focused on editing a pre-existing presentation and changing style elements. Many of the skills you learned for Word and Excel can also be applied to PowerPoint. The file extension for PowerPoint is .pptx, with versions older than 2003 using .ppt.

Before we begin, here is a quick tutorial on some key information about PowerPoint and some handy tips to remember before we start using this program.

  1. When you are actually working in PowerPoint you are working on a presentation. Individual pages within a presentation are called slides. You can think of slides similarly to a page in Word: each is a standalone piece in a presentation.
  2. Just like in Word, PowerPoint has a ribbon area at the top of the window with different tabs. Refer to the first Microsoft Word module for a refresher on these terms if you need one.