Champagne Design — PowerPoint Design

I'll do your props — PowerPoint templates & content

Why/How to, set-up “Custom Shows” in PowerPoint?

Hmm, large corporation. Many employees. Need consistency in the message delivered by different people. Depending on the audience, sometimes the message needs to be tweaked slightly. Already have the branding established for the company. Want to reduce time wasted in redoing slides series over and over again. Need to structure access to all files on the PC. Can never locate “THE” slide I have in mind. There are many reasons for creating “Custom Shows” in PowerPoint.

The following is an example using PowerPoint 2010, PPT 2007 being very similar.
Best way to begin is by assembling all of your slides within one PowerPoint file. Call it your “Database of slides”. The order of your slides is not important at this stage.

sample of slide database

Once you have your database established, navigate to the “Slide Show” tab. In the “Start Slide Show” section, click on the “Custom Slide Show” button.

custom slide show button

Select a name for this new event you have in mind. The window on the left consists of all of the slides in your database. Use the “Add” and “Remove” buttons to build your custom show into the right-side window. You may also re-order the slides on the right using the up and down arrows. Notice that this list is made up from the content of the slide’s “Title” box. It is therefore useful to fill in these boxes. If you really don’t want to see this on your slide, simply drag it off  the edge of the viewed area.

custom show pull down menu

There are various ways of now showing this specific series of slides. Either using the “Set Up Slide Show” button, or the “Custom Slide Show” button.

show a custom series of slides in PowerPoint

As you can see from the menu above, you can also duplicate an existing series of slides, rename it, modify it for still another event. All of this without having multiple PowerPoint files using up your hard drive space and challenging your skills at locating them.

If one of your colleagues really liked your series of slides, you can easily send along the list of slides so that it might be recreated/edited/modified. In the “Print” menu, under the “Settings” pull-down menu, way at the bottom, all your custom shows will be listed. Print to “Outline” under the “Slides” menu, and choose PDF. Share by email. Greatly reduces time wasted in redoing slides series over and over again.

how to export a custom show list of slides

You can also send the audience members a printout of any custom show, either paper copy or as a PDF. Printing a “Custom Show” is one of your options in the print menu.

printing a custom PowerPoint show

6 comments on “Why/How to, set-up “Custom Shows” in PowerPoint?

  1. Herman Clicq

    Do you know if this function can be used when showing the custom presentation from an iPad? Which PPTX- reader should be used?
    The goal is when you push “play”, thay you can choose which Custom Show he has to show.


    • Champagne Design

      I have not seen the “Custom Show” button in any of the options available with PowerPoint on the iPad. I checked again just now: Uploaded a presentation containing custom shows, to Skydrive and opened the file in the MS Web App (inside Chrome or Safari), which is quite limited as far as editing options. No option became available to select “custom shows”. This is still all new to everyone, none of my clients are using 2013 yet! Time permitting, I can test if presenting online using “Lync Meeting”, through PowerPoint 2013, allows the “custom show” option. In the meantime, do let me know if you find any solution on your side.


      • Herman

        OK, same conclusion here. Thanks for your answer.


  2. Andrew Shaw

    Just switched from Powerpoint 2007 to 2013. There is one thing I seem to find missing with editing custom shows. In 2007 I could “shift” select multiple slides to add to a custom show. Unless I’m missing something, 2013 makes you click each slide one at a time.


  3. Champagne Design

    I just checked this out. You are correct. Microsoft has forgotten about this function. I had not noticed, hopefully they will correct this on the next update.


    • Andrew Shaw

      I called MS and they said in PP2013 you can’t multi-select… SMH


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