PowerPoint® presentation software is a Microsoft® product used to create slide shows and presentations. The first version of PowerPoint® presentation software was developed in late 1984 by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin, and sold through their firm, Forethought Inc. This first version was developed for the Macintosh computer and was intended for business users. Microsoft® purchased Forethought in 1987 and began further development of the PowerPoint® presentation software at that point.
The primary users of this software are sales and business staff, teachers, and trainers. The PowerPoint® software is now bundled into the Microsoft® Office product, as one of the business productivity tools. This software is relatively easy to use and is designed to provide a novice user with a professional presentation tool at a minimal cost.
There are three main functions within PowerPoint® presentation software: creation, editing, and presentation. The functionality provided in this tool interacts seamlessly with all other Microsoft Office® applications. This gives the user the ability to copy and paste text and images from other documents and quickly incorporate them into a presentation.
There are two methods to create a new presentation: use an existing template or work from a blank page. Take a look at the templates to see if there is one that is similar to your requirements. Look at the text formatting, layout of information, and background image. The actual text itself is very easy to change, but using a template is a great time saver.
Working from a blank page, the user is free to design the layout of each part of the presentation to meet his or her vision. This approach is most productive for people who have experience creating presentations and know exactly how they want it to appear. There are layout and formatting options designed to make this process easier.
Editing using PowerPoint® presentation software is very simple, as the options available are standard with any tool in the Microsoft Office® suite. The user can change the format of any text, create background images, add or remove animation, and create links to the Internet.
The slide show or presentation section includes options for a timed presentation, where the slides are set to move at specific intervals. This eliminates the need to manually advance the slide. However, the presenter must keep her speech in sync with the slide show on the screen. Most presenters practice the timing in advance, so they are able to develop a comfortable rhythm.