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PowerPoint Basics

This chapter is from the book

Saving and Retrieving a PowerPoint Presentation

Saving PowerPoint presentations is pretty straightforward. The trick is to use names that you can find later and also to remember where you saved your presentations.

Saving a Presentation

In Chapter 2, you saved a file with the generic Presentation1 filename. That name won't be very helpful later, when you're trying to find the presentation on the Capital Building Program. To save a file with a meaningful name, follow these basic steps:

  1. Choose File, Save. If this is the first time you've saved the file, or if you choose File, Save As, the Save As dialog box appears (see Figure 3.12).

  2. Figure 3.12Figure 3.12 When you save a presentation, be sure to remember not only the name of the slide show but also the location where you save it.

  3. Note the location in the Save In box, for example, Owner's Documents (in Windows XP).

  4. In the File Name box at the bottom of the dialog box, a generic presentation name appears and is highlighted. Over that name, start typing a name for your presentation (for example, Capital Building 2005). The new presentation name replaces the generic name.

  5. Click Save. PowerPoint saves the file with the name and in the location you chose, and it closes the dialog box.

You can tell whether saving the file worked by looking at the title bar at the top of the screen. PowerPoint displays the name you chose in brackets. If your Windows setup allows you to see filename extensions, you'll also notice that .ppt has been appended to the filename. That simply means that it's a PowerPoint file, making it easier for you and for Windows to identify the file.

Finding and Opening a Presentation

Saving a file is easy. Finding a file is sometimes a bit more tricky. But when you do find it, opening a file is also simple.

If you've worked on a presentation recently, chances are that you can quickly open the file from the File menu. To do so, choose File, look at the bottom of the menu to see if your file is listed, and if it is listed, simply select the filename to open it.

If it's been a while since you worked on the presentation you want to open, or if you've worked with several other presentations in the meantime, the name might not appear at the bottom of the File menu. In that case, you must use the Open dialog box. To open a file using this method, follow these two easy steps:

  1. Choose File, Open. PowerPoint displays the Open dialog box (see Figure 3.13).

  2. Figure 3.13Figure 3.13 Retrieving a file from a computer is called opening a file.

  3. Look for the name of the file you want to open. When you find it, click it once and then click Open. Or, you can double-click the filename to open the file.

If you don't see the file you want to open, you need to check whether there's a folder that might contain the file. To do so, you double-click the folder name to move inside that folder. Most of the time this suffices. But once in a while, you might have a difficult time finding a file, even when you're sure you saved it. One reason might be that you have several files, and you've just forgotten the filename, or you have several filenames that are similar to one another. One method for finding files in this situation is to sort them by date, which helps you find files based on when you last worked on them. To sort files by date, follow these steps:

  1. Choose File, Open to display the Open dialog box (refer to Figure 3.13).

  2. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the Views button on the tool- bar. PowerPoint offers several options for how you can view files.

  3. Choose Details. PowerPoint lists all the files in alphabetical order, and it also shows their sizes and the dates they were last modified.

  4. Click Date Modified at the top of the list to sort the files in ascending order (that is, oldest first). Click Data Modified again to list the files in descending order (that is, newest first).

You can then search this list of files, and when you find the one you want, you can double-click it to open it.

If you've simply misplaced a file and really have no idea where it is, you can use PowerPoint's Search feature to find it. To search for a lost file, follow these steps:

  1. Choose File, Open.

  2. Click the Tools button on the toolbar and then choose Search. PowerPoint displays the File Search dialog box (see Figure 3.14).

  3. Figure 3.14Figure 3.14 If you don't remember where a file is, you can use the Search tool to find it.

  4. In the Search Text box, type a word or words that you know are in the presentation. Try to use relatively unique words, such as a proper name, instead of common words, such as presentation.

  5. By default, PowerPoint searches your entire local hard drive. From the Search In drop-down menu, specify exactly where you want PowerPoint to look.

  6. By default, PowerPoint also searches for any Office documents. If you want to look only for PowerPoint files, click the Results Should Be drop-down menu and uncheck all but the PowerPoint Files option.

  7. When you're ready to begin the search, click Go. PowerPoint searches your computer and displays a list of the files it finds.

  8. Hover your mouse over each filename to see the exact location of each file and the date and time it was last modified. When you find the file you want, double-click it to go to its location and then click Open to open the file.

Saving, finding, and opening files are some of the most mundane tasks you'll perform in PowerPoint. They might not be glamorous tasks, but learning to manage files can save you untold time, allowing you more time to enjoy working with PowerPoint.

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