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How to View Slides in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac

You have five ways to view your work in PowerPoint in Office 2008 for Mac: Normal view, Slide Sorter view, Slide Show view, Notes Page view, and Presenter Tools view. There are also three Master views: Slide, Handout, and Notes. You can choose any of the views from the View menu, or you can click the buttons in the lower-left corner of every document window to easily switch to any of the first three (Normal, Slide Sorter, and Slide Show).


If you hold down the Shift key, the Normal button turns into the Slide Master button, the Slide Sorter button turns into the Handout Master button, and the Slide Show button turns into the Presenter Tools button. So, if you can remember to press Shift first, these buttons can invoke six views.

Here’s what you need to know about the five main views:

  • Normal view: The Normal view is the one you’ll probably spend the most time in. It’s where you edit and format the text on your slides and where you arrange objects — text boxes, graphic images, or both — on your slide. The slide you’re editing appears in the Slides pane. To edit a different slide, you just click it in the left pane, and it appears in the right pane, ready for editing. To make the Slides pane wider or narrower, click the three resizer dots, and drag to the right to make the pane wider or to the left to make it narrower.

  • Slide Sorter view: The Slide Sorter view is the view used to rearrange the order of your slides. Just click the slide you want to move, drag it where you want it, and drop it there. (If you hold down the Option key, dragging a slide creates a duplicate of it instead of moving it.)

  • Slide Show view: Slide Show is the view you use to present your slide show to others. When you switch to this view, PowerPoint hides everything else — the menu bar, document windows, toolbars, palettes, and such — and your active slide takes over the entire screen.


    Because Slide Show view has no visible menus or windows, the main thing you’ll want to know is how to get out of Slide Show view. You can either press the Esc key on your keyboard or you can move the cursor to the lower-left corner of your slide and click the little black triangle that appears in the pop-up menu icon. Then choose End Show from the pop-up menu.

  • Notes Page view: You can add notes to any slide, if you want. The Notes Page view shows your slide above a large area where you can type those notes.


    You can also add notes in Normal view, but the notes area is much smaller there. If your notes are longer than a few sentences, the Notes Page view is probably a better bet.

  • Presenter Tools view: The Presenter Tools view is a set of tools that provide additional control over your slide show.

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