What is the Outline?

Created: Thursday, December 3, 2015, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 3:45 am

Updated: at



An outline in PowerPoint has two meanings, that are related yet different. First, an outline is the structure and storyboard of your presentation—this is what you would typically call a presentation outline. Such outlines are needed for all presentation programs, and also for video editing and playwriting programs. Secondly, an outline of a PowerPoint presentation has another specific meaning. It is all the text content of the presentation that’s inserted within any of the text placeholders. Any text outside text placeholders, such as within charts, tables, or even shapes or text boxes is not part of the PowerPoint outline.

Although visuals, multimedia, and other slide objects can play an important role within a presentation, a proper text outline is still the main skeleton on which the body of a presentation can be sustained. Without a cohesive outline, everything else is akin to a movie that has the best photography, great music, talented cast but no story to put it all together. So how do you create a structured outline, and does PowerPoint provide sufficiently robust outlining tools?

What is the Outline?

Learn how you can use the outline to create a better presentation in any version of PowerPoint.

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