Useful Features of Microsoft Powerpoint 365

Understanding Powerpoint 365

Microsoft Office has a plethora of useful programs to help you with everything from data analysis to promoting your products. Creating a Powerpoint presentation can be an incredible way to support your ideas, but a bad presentation can also detract from what you’re saying or outright cripple your credibility. To help you avoid that, we’ve prepared a list of useful tools you can use to up your presentation game in Powerpoint 365.


A designer brings creativity to your fingertips. Whenever you insert an image into a slide, the Design Ideas panel will open on the right-hand side, providing you with ideas for slide layouts. The feature was created with the help of professional graphic designers and will offer different layouts based on the image's content.

Smart Lookup

Smart Lookup is a fantastic feature for those of us who want to do online research for our presentations on the fly. This handy time-saving feature can be used by right-clicking a word or group of words and selecting Smart Lookup from the drop-down menu. Powerpoint will then search bing for relevant results and Wikipedia entries as well as give you the option to define the selected word.


The QuickStarter feature is designed for those of us who hate to start with a blank canvas. In order to use it select QuickStarter when you create a new presentation, type in the topic of your presentation, then select a subtopic from the list provided. QuickStarter will then suggest slides that might be suited to your presentation topic, here you can select any you like and discard any that don’t suit you.

New charts

Microsoft Powerpoint 365 comes with 8 new types of charts to insert into your presentations, they are Treemap, Sunburst, Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Funnel, and Map. In order to add any type of chart to your presentation, first click, Insert > Chart. Next, select the type of chart you’d like to insert from the left and then which variation you’d like from the top. After you click ok, the new chart will be inserted into your slide and a chart editor window will open, allowing you to change the values as you see fit.


This feature lets you show motion in transitions and within slides without the need for the Animations tab. To use it, first, duplicate an existing slide: Select the slide, then, on the Home tab, click the down arrow next to New Slide > Duplicate Selected Slides.

After making editions to the elements within the duplicate slide, select Morph from the Transitions tab, and PowerPoint automatically creates an animated transition between the slides. During your presentation, it will look like a single slide is morphing.

Real-time collab

One of the most essential features of Powerpoint 365 for many of us is the ability to work in real-time on a project with our co-workers. Microsoft has called this Co-Authoring and in order to make use of this feature the presentation must be saved in OneDrive and you need to be logged in to your Microsoft 365 account. Make sure that AutoSave is enabled, then simply click the Share button at the top right and enter the email addresses of the people you’d like to get involved with.

Version History

Version History is a great tool for tracking changes to a document. To access it you must click the file name that appears at the top of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear with the file location and version history. Click on Version History and a new pane will appear on the right-hand side of the screen with a list of all previous versions of the file and when they were saved. Click any of these versions to open them in a new window allowing you to copy information to your current slide or even completely overwrite it.

Zoom for non-sequential presentations

A new feature is the ability to create a slide allowing you to zoom to other slides in your presentation, this is a fantastic tool for backtracking and summarizing your presentation points. 

In order to do this simply go to Insert > Zoom, you will then see 3 possible options:

  • Summary Zoom - as the name suggests, will create a slide featuring the slides you select and allow you to zoom to each with a simple click during your presentation.
  • Slide Zoom - This allows you to add a sequential chain of slides that you can zoom to your current presentation slide. This is handy for quickly recapping information in a small slideshow.
  • Section Zoom - If you have already created sections in your presentation, this will allow you to jump to the selected section from your current slide.
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