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PowerPoint 2010 Sections

Creating and editing large presentations in PowerPoint can be confusing, but PowerPoint 2010 has a new feature, which helps to organise your slides. Sections can now be added to a presentation in much the same way they can be in a Word document. Sections can be named, so a presentation can be divided up into sets of slides covering specific topics, making individual slides much easier to find and work on. The process of adding and naming sections is very straightforward and you'll soon wonder how you managed without them, in previous versions of PowerPoint.

To create a new section in Normal view, using the slide pane down the left-hand side of the screen, click just before the first slide of the section you want to create. In the Slide group of the Home tab in the ribbon, click on the Section button and then on Add Section in the drop-down. A horizontal bar appears in place of the marker in the slides pane and all slides below the bar are, by default, included in the new section, unless there are other sections already defined, whereby only those up to the next section header are included.

By default, the section header is labelled 'Section' followed by a sequential number. To replace this label with something a bit more meaningful, right click on the header and select Rename Section from the pop-up menu. Type a new section name into the Rename Section dialogue and click the Rename button. A section label can usefully indicate the subject matter of that section, but if a presentation is to be given by more than one person, perhaps by people from different departments, section labels can be used to show the names of each individual.

Once a presentation has been divided into sections by adding section headers, there are other options in the right-click menu that may be useful when building a presentation. You can collapse one or more sections, leaving just those slides you want to work with in the slide viewer. Sections can also be moved up or down the presentation using options in this menu, though it's also easy to drag and drop the headers themselves, to reorganise the order the sections run in. This is a bit like using Outline view in Word, to see the structure of a presentation.

Although the headers can be viewed in Normal view, they're perhaps even more useful in Slide Sorter view, where the sections are more obvious, with the slide thumbnails sitting between them. If you remove a section, the slides from that section are added into the one before, though you can also delete the slide in a section as well as its header. The use of sections to divide up a presentation in PowerPoint 2010 is a very convenient way of organising the subject matter of slides between topics and to allocate parts of a complex presentation to a number of different presenters.