Did you know that one PowerPoint presentation can be reused over and over again, in different configurations for all sorts of purposes. A large presentation can be broken up into shorter presentations and a regular presesntation can be reworked to be used as a Kiosk presentation at a tradeshow. You can do all this without creating additional files or duplicating slides which means that you can make changes to all the shows in one step.

Create the new show
1 To create a new custom show from an existing presentation, open the presentation and, in PowerPoint 2003, choose Slideshow > Custom Shows and in PowerPowerPoint 2007 click the Slide Show tab > Custom Slide Show. Click the New button and type a name for your custom show – use a name that identifies what it contains or the audience you will present it to.

Add the slides
2 From the Slides In Presentation list click each slide that you want to include in the shortened or custom slideshow and click Add to add it to the slides in custom show dialog.

Organise the slides
3 Use the arrow buttons by the Slides In Custom Show pane to rearrange the slides to a different arrangement in the custom show if desired. When you are done, click Ok to create your custom show.

Selecting a custom show
4 If you click Close you’ll be returned to your original presentation but you can select the custom show at any time by choosing Slideshow > Custom Shows, select the custom show by name and click Show. Now if you run the slide show you’ll see the slides in the selected custom show only and in the desired order.

Customising the show
5 To customize the setup for your custom show, choose Slide Show > Set Up Show. Select the Custom Show option in the Show Slides area and click your show name in the dropdown list. Select whether the show will be given by a speaker, at a kiosk, or browsed by an individual and then set the show options. Click Ok to confirm your choice.

Things to watch out for
There are a couple things to be aware of when you are using custom shows. If you have the custom show selected, while you can still work on other slides – even those not in the custom show – if you choose to view the show you’ll see only slides in the custom show and not necessarily those you’ve been working on.

To view the entire show, choose Slide Show > Set Up Show (in PowerPoint 2007 choose Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show), and select All from the Show Slides list. Now when you run your presentation you’ll see all the slides in your presentation.

Helen Bradley