How to Use Custom Shows in PowerPoint 2019

By Doug Lowe

The Custom Shows feature in Microsoft PowerPoint 2019 lets you create several similar slide shows stored in a single presentation file. For example, suppose that you’re asked to give presentations about company benefits to management and non-management staff. You can create a presentation containing slides for all the company benefits and then create a custom show containing only those slides describing benefits that are available to non-management staff. (This custom slide show can leave out slides such as “Executive Washrooms,” “Golf Days,” and “Boondoggles.”) You may then show the complete presentation to management but show the custom show to non-management staff.

A presentation can contain as many custom shows as you want. Each custom show is simply a subset of the complete presentation — comprised of selected slides from the complete presentation.

How to create a custom show

To create a custom show, follow these steps:

1. On the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon, click Custom Slide Show (located in the Start Slide Show group) and then choose Custom Shows from the menu that appears.

This displays the Custom Shows dialog box.

2. Click the New button.

The Define Custom Show dialog box appears, as shown.

3. Type a name for the custom show in the Slide Show Name field.

4. Add the slides that you want to appear in the custom slide show.

All the slides available in the presentation are listed in the list box on the left side of the Define Custom Show dialog box. To add a slide to the custom show, select the slide that you want to add and then click Add. The slide appears in the list box on the right side of the Define Custom Show dialog box.

You don’t have to add slides to the custom show in the same order that the slides appear in the original presentation. Slides for a custom show can appear in any order you want. You can also include a slide from the original presentation more than once in a custom show.

To remove a slide that you’ve added by mistake, deselect the slide that you want to remove in the list box on the right side of the Define Custom Show dialog box, and then click Remove.

You can use the up and down arrows near the right edge of the Define Custom Show dialog box to change the order of the slides in the custom show.

5. Click OK.

You return to the Custom Shows dialog box.

6. Click Close to dismiss the Custom Shows dialog box.

powerpoint-custom-show
Defining a custom show.

How to show a custom show in PowerPoint

To show a custom show, first open the presentation that contains the custom show. Then open the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon, click the Custom Slide Show button, then choose Custom Shows from the menu that appears. This displays the Custom Shows dialog box, which lists any custom shows in the presentation. You can then select the custom show you want and start the show by clicking the Show button.

How to hide slides in PowerPoint

If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of creating a custom show, but you want to exclude a few slides from a presentation, you don’t have to delete the slides. Instead, you can hide them. To hide a slide, select the slide and then click Hide Slide in the Slide Show Ribbon tab. To unhide a slide, select the slide and click the button again. (You can determine which slides have been hidden by looking at the slide in the Slides tab on the left. If the slide number has a slash through it, the slide is hidden.)