How to Loop a PowerPoint Presentation

Setting up a PowerPoint slideshow to loop continuously is easy:

  1. Switch to the Slide Show Ribbon tab.
  2. Click on Set Up Slide Show.
  3. Tick the Loop continuously until 'Esc' checkbox.

Loop continuously until 'Esc'

By default, PowerPoint advances to the next slide only when a mouse click occurs. If you want your slideshow to advance automatically, follow the steps below:

  1. Select all slides in the navigation pane.
  2. Switch to the Transitions tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Timing group under Advance Slide tick the checkbox next to After:
  4. Enter the duration you want each slide to display.

Advance Slide Duration

How to Find the Version Number of PowerPoint

When asking for assistance with a PowerPoint problem, it’s helpful to know what version of Microsoft PowerPoint you are using. In this post I will show you how to easily tell the versions apart and find the exact version numbers. Please note that only PowerPoint for Windows is covered.

PowerPoint 2003

PowerPoint 2003

PowerPoint 2003 is the last version to use a traditional menu bar and toolbar (instead of a ribbon). Follow the steps below to find your copy’s version number:

  1. Select Help from the menu bar (the last entry).
  2. Click on About Microsoft Office PowerPoint.
  3. The version number is listed at the top of the About window.

PowerPoint 2007

PowerPoint 2007

PowerPoint 2007 introduces the Ribbon, a panel at the top of the window that organizes commands into tabs. You can tell PowerPoint 2007 apart from newer versions by the Office Button—a round button with the Office logo at the top left corner of the Ribbon. To to find the exact version number in PowerPoint 2007, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the round Office Button in the top left corner.
  2. Select PowerPoint Options from the menu.
  3. Click on Resources at the bottom of the list.
  4. The version number is listed at the bottom under ”about Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.”

PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010

In PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft replaced the round Office Button with the File tab. You can find the version number as follows:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Help from the menu.
  3. The version number can be found on the right side below the Office logo.

PowerPoint 2013

PowerPoint 2013

Compared to PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint 2013’s user interface is much flatter, matching the design of Windows 8. To look up the exact version number, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Account from the backstage view.
  3. Click the About PowerPoint button.
  4. The version number is listed at the top of the About dialog (including whether you are using the 32- or 64-bit version of Office).

PowerPoint 2016

PowerPoint 2016

PowerPoint 2016 looks quite similar to PowerPoint 2013, but Ribbon tab names no longer display in all caps. The steps to find the version number are exactly the same as in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Account from the backstage view.
  3. Click the About PowerPoint button.
  4. The version number is listed at the top of the About dialog (including whether you are using the 32- or 64-bit version of Office).

PowerPoint Release History

PowerPoint (April 1987): 1.0
PowerPoint (May 1988): 2.0
PowerPoint 3 (May 1992): 3.0
PowerPoint 4 (February 1994): 4.0
PowerPoint 95 (July 1995): 7.0
PowerPoint 97 (January 1997): 8.0
PowerPoint 2000 (June 1999): 9.0
PowerPoint XP (May 2001): 10.0
PowerPoint 2003 (October 2003): 11.0
PowerPoint 2007 (January 2007): 12.0
PowerPoint 2010 (June 2010): 14.0
PowerPoint 2013 (January 2013): 15.0
PowerPoint 2016 (September 2015): 16.0

ShapeChef 1.3.1 Released

We have just released version 1.3.1 of ShapeChef, which you can download and install from this link. Updating is free for all current users.

Version 1.3.1 mainly solves an issue with ShapeChef not being usable with the latest Office 365 Insider preview version of PowerPoint 2016 on Windows 10. If you don’t see any content under ShapeChef Shapes (as in the screenshot below), please install this update to solve the issue.

Empty ShapeChef Shapes Panel

Here’s the full list of changes:

  • Fixed problem with content of shape library pane not being displayed in latest Office 365 Insider version of PowerPoint.
  • Fixed minor user interface issues on systems with high-DPI settings.

Free PowerPoint Countdown Template

Although PowerPoint doesn’t have dedicated functionality for creating countdown timers, it’s possible to build a timer using animation and slide transition effects. Instead of boring you with a step-by-step tutorial, I’ve created an attractive template with a digital clock countdown that you can easily adjust to your needs.

The countdown in the template lasts five minutes, but you can delete slides to shorten it if needed. Download the template file here.

What to Never Say during a Presentation

Here’s another insightful and entertaining presentation that I found on SlideShare. It provides examples of phrases that should be avoided because they can ruin a presentation in seconds:

How to Choose Images for your PowerPoint Presentation

Well-chosen images can add power to any PowerPoint slideshow. Choose the right graphics, and your presentation will be much more effective. Here are five tips to consider when adding graphics to your slideshow:

Focus on your Goal

Your goal will rarely be to wow your audience with stunning graphics. The purpose of your images is to reinforce the goal of your presentation. If you’re selling a product or service, then your pictures need to strengthen your sales message. If you’re training employees or students, then your images need to make the spoken and written words more memorable and more understandable. Never make your images the focus of your PowerPoint presentation. Focus on your goal. Your images are your supporting staff, and never the stars of the show.

Use Images Consistently

Each of your slides needs to be part of a coherent presentation. If many of your slides have a different look and feel, then your audience needs to figure out the format that you’re using as you move from slide to slide. Use images consistently, or the people in your audience will find their minds wandering as they look for a pattern in your slides.

Create a format that you’ll use for all of your slides. Place your company logo, your website URL, and similar information on the same place in every slide. Use PowerPoint Slide Masters to ensure consistency.

Your presentation will be stronger if all of the pictures in your slideshow seem to be part of the same family of artwork. By using similar images on every slide, your audience quickly understands how your graphics contribute to the overall presentation. Well-chosen artwork makes it easier for your audience to understand your message. So, avoid the temptation to mix line drawings, photographs, abstract art, text art, cartoons, and screenshots. If mixing formats makes sense, then do it. Realize, however, that a cohesive set of images will make it easier for your audience to understand your message.

ShapeChef is a graphic and chart library for PowerPoint that helps entrepreneurs, educators, and salespeople create polished slideshows. The software package includes professionally-crafted images that let you add a consistent set of images to your PowerPoint presentation, effortlessly and affordably. Learn more about how ShapeChef can help you build compelling slideshows on

Your Audience Likes White Space

There’s no need to fill every square inch of every slide. Full slides can be overwhelming. White space, by contrast, is relaxing.

The purpose of the words and images on each slide is to help the audience put your ideas in context. If you present them with too many words, or with too many images, they’ll be examining your slides instead of listening to your verbal presentation. Resist the temptation to fill every slide with objects. Your audience will thank you.

Use Images to Engage the Audience

When watching a slideshow, people tend to follow the actions of the people in the images on the screen. The most important elements in your images are the people’s arms, legs, and eyes.

Whether the images are line drawings, silhouettes, or photographs, if the people are looking at the bullet points on your slide, then the people in the audience will look there, too. If the people in your pictures are looking away from the text on the slide, your audience will pay a lot less attention to your text.

Similarly, the people in your images should be walking (or running or facing) into the slide, and not out of it. People in the audience will tend to look in the same direction that people in the images are moving. To keep your audience interested in your presentation, use images with people who are “interested in” your presentation.

It’s easy to flip or rotate an image to make sure that the people in it are looking in the right direction. Microsoft uses the same basic image manipulation tools in PowerPoint that you’re familiar with in Word. It couldn’t be simpler to get the people in your images to focus on the prize. And that helps the people in your audience do the same.

It’s Okay to Break the Rules

Don’t be afraid to break the rules. If there’s a good reason to mix different types of images in your slideshow, then do it. As long as you’re aware that there may be a downside to your decision, rely on your instincts and your best judgment.

The Bottom Line

Start building a library of images that you’ll be using in all of your presentations. Whether you start with a PowerPoint add-on like ShapeChef or build your own collection of images from scratch, adding these images to your slideshows will engage your audience and make them much more responsive to your presentation.

About ShapeChef

ShapeChef is a tool that helps you find and manage graphics and charts for your presentations. Click here for details.
ShapeChef: Graphic and Chart Library for PowerPoint

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