How to Add Notes to Handouts in Powerpoint

Written by steve heap
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How to Add Notes to Handouts in Powerpoint
PowerPoint presentations contain graphics and text. (computer with sales chart on screen image by patrimonio designs from

Microsoft PowerPoint is used to prepare graphs and slides to help with both business and personal presentations. Many authors create the slides for the screen, and then add notes, in the notes field, to remind themselves and later readers of key points of emphasis or information for that part of the presentation. Print handouts with a copy of the slides with the notes to act both as an "aide memoire" for the presentation, and for the audience to refer to later.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Create your slides in PowerPoint as usual. Select the "Normal" view by selecting "View" > "Normal," then type your notes and ideas for each slide in the "Notes" panel at the bottom of the screen. Save the file in the PowerPoint format using "File" > "Save."

  2. 2

    For the simplest approach, select "File" > "Print." Select "Notes Page" in the drop-down "Print what:" section of the pop-up window and click "OK" to print a standard format with one slide and its associated notes on each page to form the handout for the audience.

  3. 3

    If you need more flexibility in the format of the printed output, use "File" > "Send to" > "Microsoft Office Word" instead. In the pop-up window, select "Notes next to Slides" and make sure the "Paste" button is checked. Click "OK."

  4. 4

    Microsoft Word will automatically open with the slides and notes in table format. Edit the size of the slides by dragging the corner of each thumbnail image. Adjust the cell size in the table to provide more space for the notes by dragging the table boundaries. Print the final document from Word and use it as your supporting handout for your presentation.

Tips and warnings

  • Summarise the key points for each slide in the notes in bullet form so you can easily glance at the printout and then back to the audience.
  • Expand on the main facts so that the reader of the handout can understand nuances that may not be obvious from the slides.
  • Don't give out copies of the presentation in advance; if you do, people will miss your important verbal points.

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