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How to Quickly Make a Great Table of Contents in PowerPoint (PPT) + Video

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This post is part of a series called How to Use PowerPoint in 60 Seconds (Quick Video Tutorials).
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How to Add Bullet Points to PowerPoint in 60 Seconds

Do you want to give your audience a preview of the slides-to-come in your next presentation? If so, you need to learn how to insert table of contents in PowerPoint slides.

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Top templates make it easy to create and customize table of contents in PPT.

A PowerPoint contents page can help give your audience context in an in-person business presentation. If you use your table of contents in PPT for a slideshow you download on the Internet, it can be a quick way for readers to navigate through your slides.

And it's easy to insert a table of contents in PowerPoint once you know how. We'll show you what to do in this tutorial and give you a video guide that makes it easy to follow.

We also have a helpful complement to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on. 

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How to Make a Table of Contents in PowerPoint (Video)

If you want to learn how to add table of contents in PowerPoint, our video tutorial is sure to be a major help. You'll see a screencast of the best techniques you can use to add a PowerPoint contents page. You'll see template tips and shortcuts to 

Check out the video below to learn how to make a table of contents in PowerPoint. You'll start with a table of contents in PPT template, then learn how to customize it.

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Want to follow along step-by-step with an illustrated guide? Keep reading our tutorial to see a written version of the tutorial as well. You'll see great tips that can help you master how to insert a table of contents in PowerPoint.

How to Make a Table of Contents in PowerPoint

A table of contents in PowerPoint is the hub for your presentation. It’s the fastest way to navigate between slides while organizing your ideas. Table of contents PPT slides have many advantages:

  • They help you keep your agenda together.
  • They show your audience how your slide narrative flows.
  • They help you create quick reference points to jump between slides.

For these reasons and more, you should always include a table of contents in PPT. Let’s learn how to build one, and then how to quickly customize the layouts to add your own style.

Want to follow along? We’ll be using the Agio PowerPoint Template from Envato Elements.

Agio table of contents PowerPointAgio table of contents PowerPointAgio table of contents PowerPoint
Download it today to learn how to add table of contents in PowerPoint designs.
This tutorial was written using a macOS and Office 365. If you've got a different operating system or a different version of PowerPoint, your steps may be slightly different.
 
Let's get started:

1. Launch Your Presentation

Any slide deck needs a table of contents in PPT. Normally, these should be at the front of the slides. Often, designers will build a title slide, with the table of contents in PowerPoint on the next slide. This is also how books are often printed. A PowerPoint contents page at the beginning helps navigate from slide to slide.

When you think of how to make a table of contents in PowerPoint slides, think about your workflow. It makes sense to build out the table of contents in PPT after you’ve completed work on your other slides.

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Launch the template to begin building your PowerPoint contents page.

Begin by opening your presentation in PowerPoint. We’ll use slide #2 to learn how to create table of contents in PowerPoint slides. On it, we’ll build a series of links so that users can easily navigate between slides. Remember, your table of contents PowerPoint is a central hub for all your content.

2. Study Your Outline

PowerPoint’s Outline View is a compelling way to understand the structure of your slides. Have this structure made before you insert table of contents PowerPoint slides.

To access Outline View, begin by going to the View tab. You’ll find this on PowerPoint’s ribbon. Click on Outline View, and you can rapidly scroll through all your slides. This gives you a feel for how your content - and your narrative - flows together.

Table of contents PPTTable of contents PPTTable of contents PPT
Use your table of contents PPT in Outline View to get a feel for how your content fits together.

You can use the Outline View presentation structure as a basis for creating an outline slide.

When you’re finished building and viewing your outline, click Normal on the View tab. This returns you to PowerPoint’s main editing screen. Slide #2 has a blank text box where we’ll place our table of contents PowerPoint.

3. Indent the Table of Contents Layout

Depending on your design, some topics on your table of contents PPT may be subsets of others. A visual way to show this is to indent certain lines of text. By having the slide titles offset, you can illustrate how topics best fit together.

How to make a table of contents in powerPointHow to make a table of contents in powerPointHow to make a table of contents in powerPoint
Indenting text with the Tab key helps offset key ideas and show off section breaks in your table of contents PPT.

Indenting text in PowerPoint is very easy. To begin, click to the immediate left of a word or phrase that you want to indent. Then, for a single indention, hit the Tab key once on your keyboard.

Notice that the text immediately shifts to the right. By using this step on your table of contents in PPT, you’ll see how to make table of contents in PowerPoint designs with a clear, coherent layout.

4. Add Links to Reference Slides

With the text box selected, it’s time to add the first item in the table of contents PPT. When you think of how to make table of contents in PowerPoint slides, always use links.

A PowerPoint contents page shouldn’t be a static list. Instead, it should be a dynamic and interactive part of your slide deck. Imagine, for example, that you initially want to link to Slide #3, the About Us slide.

To add links, click into the text box to select it on slide #2. Go to the Insert tab, also found in PowerPoint’s ribbon. Near the middle, you’ll see the Link button. Go ahead and click on this.

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PowerPoint's Link feature is how to add table of contents in PowerPoint slide layouts.

First, give the link a name using the Text to display field. This is the text that'll display in your table of contents in PowerPoint. Here, you can type "About Us". Then, you’ll need to add the link. Click on This Document.

From the dropdown menus, open up the one labeled Slide Titles. You’ll see them listed:

  • slide 1
  • slide 2
  • and so on

You want to link slide #3. So, click on it. Then, click OK.

PowerPoint add the About Us text to your slide. Keep in mind, depending on the template, you may need to change the font color to make it readable. More on that below!

From here, go ahead and repeat the same steps. You can link to more slides until you’ve completed a robust table of contents PPT. This is how to create table of contents in PowerPoint designs fast.

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Continue adding links until you complete your PPT PowerPoint contents page.

5. Explore the Finished Table of Contents

You’ve seen how to make a table of contents in PowerPoint. Now, you need to review it. Any time you insert links, you should always check them. This prevents surprises later where links don’t work in front of your audience.

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Play from Current Slide offers a preview of your new table of contents PowerPoint slide design.

To demo links in PowerPoint, you’ll need to work in the Slide Show view. If you’re working on slide #2, click the Slide Show tab on PowerPoint’s ribbon. Then, choose Play from Current Slide on the left. Now, you can try out each of your links.

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Make sure to check all of your links to ensure your table of contents in PPT works perfectly.

Watch as PPT transports you to the linked slides. There’s no need to scroll back and forth to find the content that you’re looking for. Links are how to insert table of contents in PowerPoint slides in the best way possible.

How to Quickly Customize a Table of Contents PowerPoint Slide

We’ve learned how to add table of contents in PowerPoint presentations. But your creative control doesn’t stop there.

Once you’ve built the framework of your table of contents PPT, you’re only getting started. The layout we created is rather basic. By making a few basic changes, you can boost the style of your table of contents in PowerPoint.

Let’s learn how, once again using the Agio template and slide layout that we made above.

1. Use Custom Fonts

It’s easy to forget that fonts are part of your style. By using custom fonts, you can use your table of contents PPT to make a great first impression.

Custom fonts are available on Envato Elements. Browse the vast library today and choose from thousands of options.

Envato Elements fontsEnvato Elements fontsEnvato Elements fonts
Envato Elements: one library, thousands of custom font designs.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed these fonts, you can add them to your table of contents PowerPoint. With text selected, find the Home tab on the ribbon. Click on the Font dropdown and scroll through the list. Click on your new favorites to apply them to your selected text.

How to make table of contents in PowerPointHow to make table of contents in PowerPointHow to make table of contents in PowerPoint
Use the Font dropdown to add new font designs to txt that you've selected on your table of contents PPT.

This is how to create table of contents in PowerPoint slides that always look their best.

2. Add Text Effects

Text effects are another way to ramp up the style of your PowerPoint contents page. You’ll want to work on the Home tab with text selected. For example, it’s often useful to bold major headings.

Bold text captures the eye of readers. Why not make the most of that fact in your table of contents in PowerPoint?

How to create table of contents in PowerPointHow to create table of contents in PowerPointHow to create table of contents in PowerPoint
Use the buttons in the Font section to add bold text, italics, and more.

To add text effects, click on the buttons in the Font section. These include bold, italics, and more. Plus, you can change the font color by opening the Font Color dropdown and choosing one of the styles inside. Repeat throughout your table of contents PPT as needed.

3. Change the Color Palette

Shapes like the one on the slide are easy ways to change the look and feel of your table of contents in PPT. By changing their color, you can add your own style to the slide. This is especially useful if you want to match your presentation’s colors to your brand’s own palette.

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Changing colors of objects helps your table of contents in PowerPoint look its best.

To change the color palette, begin by clicking on the shape or object to select it. Notice a new tab appears on the ribbon: Shape Format. Click it, then open up the Shape Fill dropdown.

From this color chooser, you can add an array of new solid, gradient, or texture colors to your slide. Try not to be too flashy with the use of color. But a little does go a long way towards upgrading your design.

4. Rearrange Slide Objects

Once you insert table of contents PowerPoint slides, you’ve seen how to customize them. Last but not least, you can rearrange objects on the slide to make it look its best.

For example, you can move shapes and other objects. To do so, click to select the shape. Then, using your mouse or cursor, begin dragging them around the slide.

Rearrange table of contents PowerPointRearrange table of contents PowerPointRearrange table of contents PowerPoint
Click and drag objects to move them around your table of contents in PowerPoint slide.

When you’ve found a new home for a given object, release your cursor. PowerPoint drop them into their new position. Repeat this with other objects until you've got a table of contents in PowerPoint that looks perfect for your next project.

More Great PowerPoint Tutorials on Envato Tuts+

Find comprehensive PowerPoint tutorials on Envato Tuts+ to help you learn how to create better presentations. These tutorials teach you all types of skills that add to your knowledge on table of contents in PowerPoint.

Here are a few PowerPoint videos to jump into right now:

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We also have the perfect complement to this tutorial, which walks you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

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Download our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

Now Create Your Own Table of Contents in PowerPoint

Every great adventure starts with a map of where the path leads. That's exactly the purpose of a table of contents in PPT. You set the stage for what the presentation includes and how it'll unfold in sequence.

The premium designs you saw in this tutorial are the best way to create a PowerPoint contents page. It's so much easier to learn how to add table of contents in PowerPoint when you've got a template. It gives you all the placeholders you need to show you what you need in a PowerPoint contents page.

If you opened PowerPoint, don't move on to the main content before you insert a table of contents PowerPoint slide. Grab a template, add your table of contents in PowerPoint, and your audience will thank you later.

Note: This tutorial has been comprehensively updated with help from Andrew Childress. Video by Andrew Childress. 

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