How to Do PowerPoint Presentations on a Mac

Updated April 17, 2017

Office for Mac includes PowerPoint, and you can create presentations the same way you would on a PC. Mac and PC PowerPoint files are cross-compatible, so even if you start on one platform, you can finish or present with the other. The steps to make a PowerPoint presentation on a Mac are basically the same, no matter which version of Office you use. Slight variations in menu names may vary depending on your version.

Click the PowerPoint icon in your Dock or click the Finder icon and open PowerPoint from the Applications folder. PowerPoint for Mac opens with a Presentation Gallery by default.

Browse the presentation templates in the gallery or make no selection if you want a blank presentation file. If the Presentation Gallery didn't open, go to the "File" menu and click "New from Template" or "Project Gallery."

Select the template you want, and click "Choose" or "Open" to start building your presentation.

Choose the "New Slide" toolbar button to add new slides. Click the arrow to the right of the button to open a layout menu. From there, choose the slide layout you want. If you don't open the layout menu, the new slide will have the same layout as the slide you last created.

Add graphics and text into the layout. Click the text box or image placeholder and either type text or choose the file you want to insert.

Change font colour, size and formatting with the buttons in the toolbar. The interface is similar to other Office products, like Word, so you'll probably recognise most of the tools.

Click open the "File" menu and choose "Save As...." Select a destination folder in the Save dialogue box. Select a file type. The .PPTX format is only compatible with Office 2010, so if you'll be using or presenting on an earlier version of Office you'll want to save the file as ".PPT" instead.

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About the Author

Aubrey Kerr is a writer and photographer. With a B.A. in media arts and public relations, she has helped small business owners design and implement online marketing campaigns since 2004. Her work appears on several websites including and the Houston Chronicle.