I’ve told you before about Microsoft’s free suite of Office apps available for anyone with an Outlook.com, Hotmail, MSN or Live Mail address. (Or you can sign up for a free account.) In this article, I thought we’d take a look at PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is some pretty powerful presentation software, but unless you make tons of presentations for school or work, you might hesitate to spend the money for it. Fortunately, you can use the basic version of PowerPoint for free by logging on to Outlook.com and going to your Inbox. Click the Outlook icon.


Then choose PowerPoint from the drop-down menu.


Get started by choosing to start a blank presentation, work with a template or open a file from OneDrive. When you work with Office Online, your work saves to your OneDrive cloud storage. You can also choose to download it to a PC. You won’t have to click “Save” as you go along, the document will autosave.

I’ve chosen to work with a template. There are a variety of styles that cover everything from a school or business presentation to a slideshow for family photos.

Here, I’ve chosen a Family Photo Album template.

The templates are pretty simple to use.

On screen instructions will walk you through things like adding pictures or text boxes.

If you are familiar at all with Word or other Office products, the drop-down menus for things like Text should look pretty familiar.

You can adjust Text size, font, style and color.

One neat feature of PowerPoint is the ability to add shapes.

With some simple clicking, dragging and resizing, I’ve managed to make a little growth chart.

When I add a few text boxes, my chart is complete.

This template has several pages already put together. So I just click on them and add photos and texts until my presentation is complete.

Since this is a slide show, you may want to jazz up the transitions I can choose from several transitions and effects at the top of the page.

You can leave your presentation and come back to it later to work one. All of your changes will be saved. You will find your presentation among your files on your OneDrive.

Or you can choose Save As and save it to your PC.

The Share function allows you to send a link to the presentation to others. You can also allow other people with Office Online accounts to work on the presentation.

The templates aren’t your only option, you can always start with a blank presentation and give it your own spin.

You can open and edit the presentation on the full version of PowerPoint that’s installed on your PC as well. 

A PowerPoint presentation can be a great tool for school or work and a fun way to share photos with your family. The 13-year-old daughter of a friend of mine recently gave her family a presentation on why she should be allowed to dye her hair blue. She didn’t convince her parents, but they did give her an “A” for effort.

To use PowerPoint online, you will need a free Outlook.com account. As I said at the beginning of this article, if you have an Outlook.com, HotMail, MSN or LiveMail address all you need to do is log in. You’ll also need an Internet connection to use the Online app. This isn’t a download, you are working exclusively online. But you can work from any computer and you do have the ability to save your work to your PC.

 ~ Cynthia