PowerPoint: Custom Slide Shows


PowerPoint makes it possible to create a number of custom slideshows from the same set of content slides, so that for a morning presentation where you have plenty of time you can present a full presentation, for a briefer afternoon session you can present a subset of those same slides, hitting your main points but without some of the detail, and for a brief evening orientation session where you have very limited time, just a few of the highlight slides.  Here’s how.

Begin by creating all the slides you need for the full presentation.  Then open it in PowerPoint and click on the Slide Show tab.  Click the drop-down under Custom Slide Show and choose Custom Shows…

custom shows

Click the New button, name your first custom show “Morning” (or “Full Show” or whatever), select all slides in the left-hand pane by clicking on the first and holding down Shift and click on the last, and then click the Add >> button to add them all to the first custom show.  Click OK.

Morning Show

Now, go through the same procedure, this time calling the show “Afternoon” (or whatever), holding down the Ctrl key, and selecting the slides you want for the afternoon show in the left pane.  Click the Add >> button, and then OK.  A subset of the slides—those illustrating your main points with some, but not exhaustive detail, are added to the second show.

Finally, repeat the process, this time calling it “Evening” and selecting just the major slides you wish to touch on.

When it comes time to present, come back to the Slide Show tab, click the drop-down under Custom Slide Show, and select the appropriate show from the menu.

Presentation Menu

Only those slides in the custom show will be displayed.  Using this technique you do not need to save three separate PowerPoint files, but just one.