I work in PowerPoint on a daily basis. Along the way, I’ve figured out some tricks of the trade and was feeling like a PowerPoint genius. That is until my boss and PowerPoint guru, Paula Crerar, mentioned these four tips that literally changed my life, or at least changed my work life (which is even more helpful).

Oh the time I saved! Previously painful processes are now easy and dare I say…fun?

Sometimes I’ll causally drop one of these tips on a co-worker and boom – mind blown! So I thought I would spread the knowledge. In addition to these tips, I put together a quick how-to video presentation at the bottom of the page so you can see each one in action.

And now, for the main attraction:

PowerPoint Tip #1 – Selection Pane

The Selection Pane displays a list of all the images and text boxes on the slide so you can see what you are working with. To get to the Selection Pane, click on any image or text box on the slide. Then select Format in the tool bar and click on Selection Pane. Now you should have a list of every image and text box on your slide for your viewing pleasure.


PowerPoint Tip #2 – Rename Images

Another great way to make working with multiple images and text easier is to rename your images in the Selection Pane. PowerPoint will automatically name your images with generic labels like “picture 1,962” even if you only have 11 images on your slide. As you can imagine, it gets confusing fast. To rename an image or text box, double-click the name of the image in the Selection Pane. It will turn into a text box where you can type in a new name.


Giving images specific titles makes them much easier to format and animate. When you click on the Animation Pane under the Animations tab in the tool bar, all your renamed images will be reflected there.

PowerPoint Tip #3 – Hide Images

Another great tool in the Selection Pane is the ability to hide images. This helps when you have a bunch of images layered on top of each other but need to work on an image that is underneath others.

To hide images, simply click the Hide All option at the bottom of the Selection Pane. To see just the images you’d like to work on, click on the square to the right of your image in the Selection Pane so the eye appears in the square. You can hide and show as many images as you’d like.


This is especially helpful when there is a piece of animation that works together in one of your first layers. You can test just that piece by only showing the images that go together and clicking the Play button in the top left of the Animation Pane. To make your job easier, as Antoine Dodson might say, “hide yo’ images, hide yo’ text boxes.”

PowerPoint Tip #4 – Change Picture

I often mock up presentations with images that aren’t final. The Change Picture feature makes it super easy to swap in a new image while maintaining the size, formatting and existing animations of the previous image.

To change an image, hide all images in the Selection Pane. Click on the image on your slide and select Format in the tool bar. Select Change Picture and choose the new image from your files that you would like to use.


That’s it! Give these a whirl and you’ll never look back. For more details on each of these tips, check out this short video presentation that demonstrates how to use each one.