How to Print PowerPoint presentations

When you create a presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint, you may want to print it out for several reasons. You might want to make handouts so the people you're lecturing can follow along, take notes on your presentation and review it at a later time. You may want to create transparencies so you can present them using an overhead projector or you may want notes or an outline to follow while you're speaking.

Here's how to print out your PowerPoint presentation:


  • Select Print from the dropdown File menu.
  • Select the printer you want to use, if you don't want to print to the default printer.
  • Select what type of printout you want under Print what.
  • Decide how many slides will appear on each sheet of paper, if you select Handouts. Three slides per page is a good choice because the slides (in smaller versions) will appear on the left side of the page. The right side will be blank, leaving space for students to write notes.
  • Remember, if you select Slides, you will print one slide per page. This isn't an efficient use of ink or paper. If you want to print transparencies of your slides for use in an overhead projector, make sure to use the right kind of transparency film. The wrong type may melt and damage your printer!
  • Consider selecting Notes Pages and printing a thumbnail of each slide with accompanying notes for your own use during your presentation [source: Microsoft Office].
  • Select Outline View, if you want to print only the text of the slides with no images.
  • Decide what slides you wish to print: All, Current Page or Selection (i.e. whatever specific slides you wish to print).
  • Choose the number of copies you wish to print.
  • Click Collate if you want the slides collated.
  • Decide whether you want the slides to print in grayscale or black and white.
  • Click OK after you have made all your selections [source: Penn Libraries].