General PowerPoint Help

Monday, August 1st, 2011 27 comments

powerpoint-helpAre you having issues with PowerPoint, and want some advice?

Here is the place to ask general PowerPoint questions not specific to an edition to PowerPoint. Want some advice on what colours to use together on a slide? Want to know what image resolution is most suitable? Or just generally have a PowerPoint issue that you’d like us to solve? You’ve come to the right place.

If your issue is specific to a certain version of PowerPoint, please post your query on our PowerPoint 2003 Help or PowerPoint 2010 Help pages.

Leave a comment below and one of our PowerPoint experts will get back to you as soon as they can. Please provide as much detail as possible to aid the process!

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The Ultimate Guide to Sales Presentations

27 Comments to General PowerPoint Help

  1. #1


    9:34 am, August 3rd, 2011

    i would like to know if a gradient of dark grey and white would be good for a background? AND if so what color could i use for the writting?? If its not what , what monochromatic colors or triadic colors can i use , for a topic like Rosa parks???

    please help.. thank you

  2. #2

    Jessica Pyne

    11:05 am, August 5th, 2011

    Hi jonh, I have had a response from one of our designers, who said:

    It is not recommended that on a background you use two contrasting levels of colour i.e. dark to light, as depending on where you place text on the slide you will need either lighter text (on the darker area of the background) or dark text (on the lighter area of the background). I would recommend that you use a more subtle gradient on the background, a very light grey to a lighter grey. You can then integrate a darker grey into a title bar, this will allow the audience to differentiate between the titles of slides and the rest of the content.

    As its now a lighter background, I would advise on using a dark colour for the text, or even better, fill in the text box with a dark colour, then have the font as a lighter colour, this creates a bold contrasting on the slide and draws the attention of the audience to it. Of course, remember not to place to much text on your slides!

    I’ll send you an example template by email that should hopefully help. I have also included a blank title page. The colour defaults should complement the monochrome background and give you a few options for use of accent colours.

    Hope this helps – and good luck with your presentation!

  3. #3


    9:49 am, February 6th, 2012

    Using PP 2010 and I have inserted video clips. I want the slide show to run continuously throughout the evening and I want the clips to start on their own. How do I set this up. ( I don’t want to have to click on the play arrow)

  4. #4


    9:50 am, February 6th, 2012

    looking forward to a solution

  5. #5

    Jessica Pyne

    9:41 am, February 14th, 2012

    Hi Leora,

    When you insert a movie in 2010, click on the movie and on the tool bar at the top. From the ‘video tools playback’ menu, set the start time from ‘on click’ to ‘automatic’.

  6. #6


    4:03 pm, February 17th, 2012

    I am trying to print handouts for a PPt presentation, but there are some slides that only show up when viewing the slideshow. Can I make them show in the handout? They seem to be embedded-8 slides show in slideshow view but you only see one on the handout.

  7. #7

    Jessica Pyne

    9:55 am, February 20th, 2012

    Hi Tammy – It’s difficult for us to comment on this one without taking a look at your slide deck. If you’d like us to do so, please email the slides as an attachment to with the subject line ‘PowerPoint Help’ and one of our designers will take a look at it for you.

    It is worth noting though that we don’t recommend printing out slides for handouts – read our PowerPoint Handouts article to see why, and what recommendations we would make instead!

  8. #8


    4:27 pm, February 21st, 2012

    Thank you for your response, Jessica. I have read over your article, “PowerPoint Handouts” and see that I can’t print them even if I wanted to.

    Thanks for your quick response and help.

  9. #9

    Jessica Pyne

    10:12 am, February 23rd, 2012

    You’re welcome Tammy. Glad you found the information useful, and hope your presentation goes well!

  10. #10


    11:40 pm, June 9th, 2012

    I have powerpoint 7. The slide show skips some slides. They are not hidden and the box for advance by mouse click is checked. What else should I look for? Some of the slides may have been brought in from an earlier powerpoint version. Thanks for any help.

  11. #11


    11:43 pm, June 9th, 2012

    Never mind. I just found out that they WERE hidden! Thanks.

  12. #12

    Jessica Pyne

    12:38 pm, June 11th, 2012

    Hi Susan, glad you solved your own problem! Please do get back in touch if there’s anything else we can help you with.

  13. #13

    Sharon Martin

    9:43 pm, June 6th, 2013

    I’ve received a PPT presentation with an image as the background on the master slide. (It’s probably a JPEG, but I don’t know for sure.) I can’t find a way to remove that photo. PPT help is all about changing it once you get it in. I want it out, please. Thanks.

  14. #14

    Mark Bullock

    12:06 pm, June 7th, 2013

    Hi Sharon,

    Probably the easiest way for you to remove the image is to remove it from the slide master. To do this, go to the View tab and select ‘Slide Master’.

    From here, select the first slide in the master and right click anywhere on the picture you want to remove. Selecting ‘format background’, the last option on the menu, will open up the format window.

    You can now choose from a number of fill options. Selecting a solid or gradient fill of your colour choice should eliminate the background image from the presentation. If this doesn’t solve your issue, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

  15. #15

    Sharon Martin

    3:53 pm, June 7th, 2013

    So it’s there but blank. Seems a strange way to do things, but I’m not a fan of MS anyway. I’ll go check this out to see if I can put another image over it. Thanks for your help – this is a great feature of your site. – sharon

  16. #16

    Mark Bullock

    11:01 am, June 10th, 2013

    Hi Sharon,

    Agreed – some ways of doing things in PowerPoint can be a bit convoluted, but I’m glad we could help. Thanks for getting back to us, and if you’ve got any questions in the future, please get in touch!


  17. #17


    11:49 pm, July 17th, 2013

    I have jpeg photos in my slides and have lost their backup file. How can I extract these files from the presentation slides. Help!!!!!!

  18. #18

    Jessica Pyne

    10:29 am, July 18th, 2013

    Hi Clint, Have you tried right-clicking the image in PowerPoint and selecting ‘Save As’? If this doesn’t work, I’ll forward your question on to a member of our design team and see if they can find a solution for you. It would be useful if you could provide us with some additional details: What version of PowerPoint are you using? How did you insert the images?

  19. #19


    9:21 pm, July 18th, 2013

    Jessica, here’s the whole story. My trial of PP2012 expired. When I opened my current file all my graphics were missing. A message appeared “Powerpoint deleted all the un -editable items from my file”. Is this due to the expiration?

  20. #20

    Jessica Pyne

    10:19 am, July 19th, 2013

    Clint – thanks for the extra details. I’ve forwarded this on to our design team, and they’re looking into the issue for you.

  21. #21

    Mark Bullock

    10:35 am, July 23rd, 2013

    Hi Clint,

    In order to better assist, I need to clarify which version of PowerPoint you have. Recently released versions include 2007(Win), 2008 (Mac), 2010 (Win), 2011 (Mac) and most recently 2013 (Win).

    An expired trial shouldn’t adversely effect existing presentations. Have you got another version of PowerPoint you could try opening the deck in to see if the results are the same?

  22. #22


    8:26 pm, July 25th, 2013

    I was running MS Powerpoint2010. I Have installed 2012 and my graphics are still missing. I still need an answer as to why my graphics were deleted without asking
    me first.

  23. #23

    Sharon Martin

    9:08 pm, July 25th, 2013

    Excuse me for butting in here – I’m just a user – but where were your graphic files when you placed the items in your PPT file? They should still be there, unless you’ve deleted them.

    Note that I’m the person who asked the question right above yours in this stream – I wanted to extract my background image – placed in this PPT file long ago by someone else. No original graphic available. The answer above was that I can’t remove it – all I can do is fill it with a solid or gradient fill. I could use a solid white fill to pretend to remove it. MAYBE a solid white fill has been applied to your images. Might be worth checking this out: Right-click where the picture should be. If possible, select “No fill.”

    Good luck.

  24. #24

    Sharon Martin

    9:20 pm, July 25th, 2013

    P.S. – In more detail: Select it, go to format shape, click Solid at the top (should already be selected), click in the window for Color, click “No fill.” Also be sure Transparency is set to 0. If your image appears, you can right click on it again, click Save as Picture, select the format you want (PNG, JPEG, etc.), and save it.

    Can’t promise you anything – if they’re missing, they’re missing. But if they’ve been rendered invisible, this might get them back for you.

  25. #25


    11:45 pm, July 25th, 2013

    Thanks Sharon,
    However, my graphics seem to be gone. Tried what you suggested to no avail. Thanks anyway,.

  26. #26

    Mark Bullock

    10:14 am, July 26th, 2013

    Thanks for the suggestion Sharon, it was worth a try!

    Hi Clint,

    Sorry, just trying to clarify what version of PowerPoint you’re using – there currently isn’t a version 2012 on the market.

    The only possible cause we can come up with is that the images have been inserted into the deck via a link to the file rather than the default option of embedding. This does have a couple of advantages: firstly, any changes you make to the source file (the original jpeg image) will be reflected in the presentation without the need to re-insert. Secondly, the file size will be kept at a minimum as the images will never be saved with the deck.

    However the major drawback to this is that if any changes are made to the location, name of the file, or if the source file is deleted, the image will disappear from the presentation. If this is the case then, as the images were never added to the presentation, there’s no way to recover them.

    In order to find out if this is the case, go to ‘File > Info’ and at bottom of the very right hand side, below all the document properties, should be small line that reads: “Edit links to Files”, with a small chain link next icon to it. Clicking this will open up the links window and show any images or videos that have been inserted in the deck via linking.

    Unfortunately if there are files listed here, and you’ve not got access to the original jpeg images, there is no way to recover the files.

    If this isn’t the case, please let us know and we’ll look for another solution.


  27. #27


    8:24 pm, January 31st, 2014

    Can I change line graph into power point to animate one of the lines on a graph to change from one solid color to a portion of it to another color? For example, if the line indicates national visits, then the visits during dec-Jan can be changed to a different color so that I can illustrate that those months we can change up our strategy.