PowerPoint views

PowerPoint allows you to look at the various elements of a presentation using its views. Each view provides specific strengths, features, and functionality.

You can switch between views using the View menu or the view buttons in the window’s lower-left corner.

view buttons



Menu Command

Purpose of view


Normal View button

View → Normal Content and formatting of the presentation and its slides. Primary "working" view in PowerPoint 2003. Resize the panes by dragging their borders.



View ? Normal then click the close button next to the Outline and Slides tab.

Layout and formatting of slides.



View ? Normal then click the Outline tab.




View ? Notes Page

or View ? Normal and use the Notes pane.

Speaker notes and handout information



View ? Master ? Slide Master, Handout Master or Notes Master.

Default appearance of slides, handouts, and notes.  Anything you do to a master will affect every slide.

Slide Sorter

Slide Sorter View button

View ? Slide Sorter

Rearrange, copy, and delete slides and manage presentation flow

Slide show

Slide Show from current slide (SHIFT+F5) button

View ? Slide Show

On-screen viewing of the presentation


  • The Slide Show button will start at the current slide, whereas the Slide Show command will start at the beginning of the presentation.
  • Double-click a slide in the Outline, Slide Sorter, or Notes views to go to the Normal view of that slide.
  • Shift+click the Normal View button to see the Slide Master. Shift+click the Slide Sorter View button to see the Handout Master.
  • While there are no longer buttons or commands for the stand-alone Outline or Slide views, you can add the commands to your menus and toolbars. Choose Tools ? Customize. Click the Commands tab. In the Categories list, select View. In the Available commands list, locate the desired view and drag it to a toolbar or menu.

    Customize dialog box - Commands tab

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