How to Organize a Microsoft PowerPoint Slideshow Using Sections

If you have a long presentation, it’s important to keep it organized. One way to do this in Microsoft PowerPoint is to use sections. We’ll show you what they are and how you can use them.

You can group slides into different sections to keep things neat and tidy. Expand one section and collapse the rest so you can focus on what you’re working on. You can also easily move sections around if you want to rearrange your presentation.

If you’re looking for a better way to organize your PowerPoint slideshows, let’s see how to use sections.

About Sections in Microsoft PowerPoint

If you use Microsoft Word, you may be familiar with how sections work in that application. But PowerPoint sections are completely different. Rather than dividing a document, as sections do in Word, sections work more like folders in PowerPoint.

Sections contain groups of slides for organizational purposes only. Sections aren’t visible when presenting your show, and after you’ve created sections, you can always move your slides around to rearrange them as you normally would.

Sections are available in Microsoft PowerPoint on Windows, Mac, and the web. Since the features differ slightly on web versus desktop, we’ll look at them separately.

Use sections in PowerPoint on Windows or Mac

You can organize your slideshow easily with sections on Windows or Mac. This is especially useful if you are collaborate with others. For example, you can assign certain sections to specific people.

RELATED: How to Collaborate on a Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Create a topic

You can create a section in Normal or Slide Sorter view as well as with the Home tab.

On the View tab, select “Normal” or “Slide Sorter” and choose the thumbnail of the first slide you want in the section. Right-click and choose “Add Section” from the context menu.

Add Section to PowerPoint Context Menu on Windows

To use the Home tab, select the slide to start the section by making it the active slide. Next, click the Section drop-down arrow and select “Add Section”.

Add Section to Home Tab in PowerPoint on Windows

You will immediately see a pop-up prompting you to name your section. Enter the name and click “Rename”.

Window to name your section

If the slide you choose to start a section is not the first slide in your presentation, a default section will be created automatically and will contain all the slides before your created section.

Default section created in PowerPoint

Once you have configured the sections, you will see the number of slides in each one. Click the arrow next to a section heading to collapse or expand it.

List of Sections in PowerPoint

Manage headings

You can rename and collapse or expand all sections of your slideshow. And like creating a section, you can do it in Normal view, Slide Sorter view, or using the Home tab.

That is right-click on the section in any of the mentioned views or select the Section drop-down arrow in the Home tab to perform an action on your section.

Section actions in the Home tab

If you want to delete a section, you have three different options. You can delete the selected section, delete the section and the slides it contains or delete all sections of the slideshow.

Right-click the section and choose one of the delete actions.

Section deletion options

If you’re using the Home tab to manage your sections, you’ll only see two of the delete actions in the Section drop-down list. You can delete the selected section or all sections. So if you also want to delete a section and its slides, use the right-click method above.

Section suppression options in the Home tab

Move a section

You may decide to move a section, which would include this group of slides, to another place in your presentation.

In Normal or Slide Sorter view, select the section, drag it to its new location in the slideshow, and release.

Drag to move a section in PowerPoint

You can also right-click the section and choose “Move Section Up” or “Move Section Down”.

Selections to move a section

Use sections in PowerPoint on the web

In Microsoft PowerPoint on the Web, you can create and use sections. However, you have limited actions.

Create a section

To create a section, select the View tab and choose “Slide Sorter” at the top. Next, right-click the desired first slide in the section and choose “Add Section” from the context menu.

Add a section in PowerPoint on the web

When the section appears, replace “Untitled Section” with the name of your choice, then press Enter or Return.

Name a section in PowerPoint on the web

You can only see the sections you create in the Slide Sorter view. They are not collapsible or expandable like in the desktop app.

Manage headings

To rename, delete, or move a section, return to View > Slide Sorter. Right-click the section header to perform an action.

Section actions in PowerPoint on the web

Sections in PowerPoint give you a great way to track and manage your slides. Whether you work alone or Share the slideshow with others, you’re sure to keep your presentation organized.