How to Convert a Microsoft Word Outline to a PowerPoint Presentation

by | Oct 9, 2014

If your Word document has been properly formatted using Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3 styles, or you’ve been making good use of the Outline View, you can use your file to create an instant PowerPoint presentation. There’s no need to retype it into PowerPoint, or to copy and paste all the content!

Here’s how you do it:

Use Heading Styles or Outline View

Set up your Word document so that the content that will become a SLIDE TITLE is formatted with the Heading 1 Style.

Make the BULLETS Heading 2 Style.

Make SUB-BULLETS Heading 3, 4, and 5 Styles.

Any other “body text” content not in these three styles will be ignored in the PowerPoint conversion.

Look at the document using OUTLINE VIEW, and see + signs to the left of text indicating that it will appear in the slideshow. BODY TEXT with a Circle in front of it will be ignored.

Delete any EXTRA BLANK LINES that are formatted as Headings, or they will become slides!

Headings or Outline ViewImport Slides From Outline

In a blank PowerPoint slideshow, click on the drop-down below NEW SLIDE. Choose SLIDES FROM OUTLINE. Navigate to the target Word file and open it.

Switch from Slide View to OUTLINE VIEW.

Your Heading 1 Styles are now slides. Your Heading 2 Styles are now bullets. Your Heading 3 Styles are now sub-bullets. Any Heading 4 and 5 Styles are indented under that.

Sometimes the converted content doesn’t come across exactly right. Click on the errant text and PROMOTE or DEMOTE the content to the correct indent levels.

Import Slides from OutlineBuy the Book

Microsoft Word 2010 Tips & TricksFor the complete collection of time-saving tips and tricks, buy my book, Microsoft Word 2010 Tips & Tricks. Available in eBook, iBook, Multi-touch, and paperback versions.






  1. Nader

    that is great but is there anyway to format word or notepad to create text into the different placeholders in complex layouts with multiple texts

    • Alicia Katz Pollock

      Not that I know of…but your PowerPoint template can have Styles applied that will do the formatting for you instantly.


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