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Unlocking the Hidden Gems: Discovering PowerPoint’s Lesser-Known Features

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PowerPoint, Microsoft’s ubiquitous presentation software, is often praised for its user-friendly interface and intuitive tools. However, beneath its surface lies a treasure trove of hidden features and functionalities that many users may not be aware of. In this article, we’ll uncover some of PowerPoint’s lesser-known features that can help you create more dynamic, engaging, and professional presentations.

1. Presenter Coach: Perfect Your Delivery

One of PowerPoint’s hidden gems is Presenter Coach, a feature designed to help you improve your presentation skills. Available in PowerPoint for the web and PowerPoint on Windows, Presenter Coach uses artificial intelligence to analyze your speech in real-time and provide feedback on your pacing, tone, and use of filler words such as “um” and “uh.” Additionally, it offers suggestions for improving your delivery, such as avoiding monotone speech and using more expressive gestures.

To access Presenter Coach, simply click on the “Slide Show” tab and then select “Rehearse with Coach.” As you rehearse your presentation, Presenter Coach will provide feedback on your performance, helping you become a more confident and effective presenter.

2. Design Ideas: Instant Inspiration for Stunning Slides

Another hidden feature in PowerPoint is Design Ideas, which offers instant design inspiration for your slides. Available in PowerPoint on Windows, Mac, and the web, Design Ideas automatically generates layout suggestions based on the content of your slides, making it easy to create polished and professional-looking presentations.

To use Design Ideas, simply insert a new slide or select an existing one, then click on the “Design” tab and choose “Design Ideas.” PowerPoint will analyze your slide content and offer a selection of design options for you to choose from. You can then select the design that best fits your presentation and customize it further to suit your needs.

3. Screen Recording: Capture Live Demos and Tutorials

Did you know that PowerPoint includes a built-in screen recording feature? With Screen Recording, you can capture live demos, tutorials, and presentations directly within PowerPoint, making it easy to create engaging multimedia content.

To use Screen Recording, click on the “Insert” tab and then select “Screen Recording.” PowerPoint will display a recording toolbar that allows you to select the area of your screen you want to record, as well as options for recording audio and highlighting mouse clicks. Once you’re ready, simply click “Record” to start capturing your screen activity. When you’re finished, click “Stop” to end the recording, and PowerPoint will insert the recording directly onto your slide.

4. Convert Handwriting to Text: Turn Ink into Editable Text

For users who prefer to sketch out their ideas by hand, PowerPoint offers a hidden feature that allows you to convert handwritten notes and drawings into editable text. This feature, available in PowerPoint on Windows and Mac, makes it easy to digitize your handwritten content and incorporate it into your presentations.

To convert handwriting to text, simply use a stylus or your finger to write or draw on a touchscreen device, or use a graphics tablet or pen tool on your computer. Then, select the handwritten content, right-click, and choose “Ink to Text” from the context menu. PowerPoint will automatically convert your handwriting into editable text, allowing you to further customize and format it as needed.

5. Zoom for PowerPoint: Create Interactive Presentations

Zoom for PowerPoint is a hidden feature that allows you to create interactive and non-linear presentations. With Zoom, you can easily navigate between different sections of your presentation, jump to specific slides, or zoom in on details without disrupting the flow of your presentation.

To use Zoom, first, organize your slides into sections or groups that you want to navigate between. Then, go to the “Insert” tab and select “Zoom.” Choose the type of zoom you want to add (such as Summary Zoom or Slide Zoom) and select the slides or sections you want to link to. Once you’ve added your zooms, you can easily navigate between them during your presentation, giving you more flexibility and control over your delivery.


PowerPoint is more than just a basic presentation tool—it’s a powerful platform packed with hidden features and functionalities waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re looking to improve your presentation skills with Presenter Coach, get design inspiration with Design Ideas, or create interactive presentations with Zoom, these hidden gems can help you take your presentations to the next level. So, the next time you open PowerPoint, take some time to explore its hidden features—you may be surprised at what you find!