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Printing PowerPoint Slides with Notes

Author: Darrell Stiffler 11 June 2009 63,980 views 53 Comments

If you create presentations using the notes feature in PowerPoint, you probably have found yourself wanting to print multiple slides on one page (handouts) with the notes associated with those slides displayed on the same page. This layout can often help you better present and provide more effective handouts to the audience, as  you can include additional information not included on the slide.

The PowerPoint standard print options do not allow you to print multiple slides and notes on the same sheet of paper; you can only print one slide and its notes per page. Or, as an alternative, you can print handouts with multiple slides per page, but you won’t be able to add the notes associated with each slide. I have been trying to find a way around this for some time, and I finally figured out how.

It is really easy to accomplish, if you know what to do.

If you are using PowerPoint 2003:

1) Open the PowerPoint presentation, and select File from the main menu.
2) Select Send, which opens a secondary menu.
3) Select Word.  It will then copy the PowerPoint presentation to a Word file.

Printing handouts with notes in MS Word 2003

Printing handouts with notes in MS Word 2003

If you are using Office 2007 the process is a little different (sorry, no picture for this one):

1) Select the Office Button (upper left hand corner).
2) Select Publish from the menu.
3) Then select Create Handouts in Microsoft Word and make the appropriate choice from the pull down menu.
4) Once the selection has been made, PowerPoint will open the Word document and copy the information automatically.

When you send multiple slides and associated notes to the new document, the notes-area in the PowerPoint/Word master template expands to accommodate the entire set of notes associated with the slide.

layout will adjust for long notes

layout will adjust for long notes

Without any notes, or for notes that only have a few lines of text,  the default layout is 3 slides plus notes on each page. Of course, if you have a great deal of text in the notes it will reduce the number of slides per page to accommodate the notes. How cool is that?!

default format - 3 slides with notes per page

default format — 3 slides with notes per page

The default master template used by PowerPoint/Word to transfer the information from PowerPoint to Word has smaller margins than I prefer (as you see in the picture above). I often have to devote extra time adjusting the margins to allow for bigger slides. I then have to manually adjust the slides individually to take advantage of the new larger area. This can be very time consuming.

Even with the limitation noted above, I have found this feature extremely useful, especially for my instructor notes and providing handouts when teaching courses. It would be great if we could find a way to submit an enhancement request to Microsoft to get more flexibility added to the PowerPoint/Word master template.  If anyone has an idea on how to get Microsoft to add some enhancement, let me know…

From Darrell Stiffler

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53 Comments »

  • sdgundamx said:

    Great find. Thanks for this. It is rather silly that you can’t just print multiple slides on one page directly from PowerPoint using the notes you wrote in PowerPoint.

  • aerovero said:

    I agree with the other comments, this was AWESOME! And I agree that it’s absurd that you can’t just do this from power point so thanks for sharing

  • Matt said:

    Thank you!! This will make studying for my class so much easier!

  • Bosko said:

    mant thanks you saved my life :)

  • Lina H said:

    Thank you very much!!! =D

  • Georges said:

    Thx !!!

  • Tod said:

    I’ve been doing PP presentations ever since the product came out and always wanted to do this, but didn’t think there was an easy way… thanks very much! — Tod

  • Hoa said:

    Great tip! I am a lecturer and find it very useful! Tnx so much… Agree, if only there were more options to customize the margin and adjust the size of slides.

  • NS said:

    Thanks a ton — I’ve been looking for an option like this, or something I could configure to do this, in PPT 2007, but I never have time to really dig. _SO_ good to know, because I’m a heavy notes-user!

  • Omar said:

    Thanks!! I just finished a presentation and wanted to print notes besides the slides and could not find how to do it in office 2007. This is exactly what I was looking for.

    I hope the size of the slides can be increased somehow in 2010.

  • Don said:

    Darrell, you have provided a noble service to stressed out presenters everywhere. Less pages to turn during a presentation means more focus on the presentation itself. Good job!

    Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to develop a work-around so when I sync my iPhone Microsoft Picture changes the option for copying duplicate photos from my iPhone to my computer from “Yes to all” and make it “No to all” that are duplicates. I only want to sync the new photos. The others have already been copied.

    Thanks again.

  • Leigh Luce said:

    This is great! Although when you publish the slides and notes to Word you can only get 3 per page, you can increase the number per page when you go to print. When the print screen appears (I am using Word 2007) you’ll see in the bottom right the zoom menu with the drop down options of pages per sheet. You can print up to 16 pages per sheet, although they will be small! I printed 4 pages per sheet and it is quite readable.

  • Radhika said:

    Really a good tip. Very helpful while reading and for printouts.

  • Geronimo said:

    Thank you very much…Helped me fix users issues with this resolution.…

  • Missy said:

    Thank u so much this it really helpful.….….have searching every corner on how to do this.……Thanx

  • Kelly said:

    I am sitting in the middle of a lecture that is too long to write flashcards and type out notes to, but i like to study my slideshows with a paper copy in my hand. this is going to help out IMMENSELY. thank you :)

  • Paula said:

    THANKS! This really was simple AND helpful!

  • LC said:

    How do you do this in Office 2010???

  • Christina said:

    @LC Office 2010 works the same way as 2007 for this. Click on the File tab then go down to ‘Save & Send.’ Create Handouts is the bottom option. Click on the button in the right hand pane to export to Word.

  • Mark said:

    Thanks very much for this — it has saved me a frustrating couple of hours work and lots of paper.

  • Jennifer said:

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!! This is incredibly helpful, I could kiss you!

  • Don said:

    this is amazing!!!!!

  • Jenn said:

    Thanks so much!! I’ve been wondering how I can do this for years.

  • Allison said:

    Any way to do this with the newest version of Windows for Mac 2001??

  • Ed B said:

    Now THAT is a tip.

    Thanks so much. 100x better than the Microsoft help pages :=)

  • julie said:

    is their a way to do this with a mac power point 2007 ?

  • Elizabeth Rainwater, Editor said:

    Julie, try going to File > Print > under main print dialogue look for the drop down titled “Print What”, and choose Notes.

  • Kendra said:

    How do I export to word on powerpoint 2011 for mac? When I go to File “send to” is not there. Please help!!

  • James Davies said:

    Blimey that’s a hidden away option — so much better use of space than the standard Notes print.

  • Sri said:

    Thanks so much for sharing the info.

  • littlespuddy said:

    please will someone tell me how to do this for powerpoint 2011 for mac? the options dont seem to exist anymore!!

  • John Mark Ivey said:

    littlespuddy — I would suggest looking for PowerPoint’s Print What menu. There’s a Notes function in that dialog box that allows many options for custom printing.

  • Alex said:

    I am on a mac and using the PowerPoint’s Print What menu poses the same initial problem– you can only print one slide+ notes per page.

    When I export my slides to word it doesn’t give me the option of how I want them to appear in word– it just automatically puts them in one long text document.

    It would literally save my life if somebody could work out how to print multiple slides+notes per page on a mac?!

  • Alex said:

    p.s. from doing a bit of googling I have discovered that this problem seems to be only for mic office 2007 for mac. I do not have a ‘publish’ option so that is not a solution either.

  • littlespuddy said:

    i finally figured out how to print or create a pdf with multiple slides and notes (powerpoint mac 2011) but there are no options for changing the layout or sizes as there is with the “publish to word” option, — the slides are too small to read! better than nothing though!!

    In the print dialog box:
    1. under ‘copies and pages’, next to ‘print what’, select ‘notes’
    2. select ‘layout’ from the dropdown that currently has ‘copies and pages’ in it
    3. choose how many slides per sheet
    4. try a preview from here (do not go back to the ‘copies and pages’ option, it reverts to putting 1 per page). it should give you the multiple slides and notes to a page that you can print or save as a pdf, however small they unfortunately are.….

    Does anyone have the answer how to publish to word??!!!

  • Dan said:

    @ littlespuddy.

    Thanks very much spot on! You’re right, is bloody small! lol Do not do more than 2 slides per page!

  • Anonymous said:

    hey!! thank you very much..it really helped me a lot :)

  • aysegul said:

    I have one question.
    I want to print out PPT but with more than ONE slide and also I want my slides to cover all the page (now there are many white part). 2 years ago, I played with some print option and then I made it. Now I forgot :( I hope my problem is clear.. thanks

  • Val said:

    Thanks Littlespuddy! You can marginally increase the size of the multiple slide/notes printout (as detailed by Littlespuddy)
    1. under ‘copies and pages’, next to ‘print what’, select ‘notes’
    2. select ‘layout’ from the dropdown that currently has ‘copies and pages’ in it
    3. choose how many slides per sheet
    4. try a preview from here (do not go back to the ‘copies and pages’ option, it reverts to putting 1 per page). it should give you the multiple slides and notes to a page that you can print or save as a pdf, however small they unfortunately are.….”> in Powerpoint Mac 2011 by editing the master slide (select themes, edit master, notes master). Set both the slide and notes to the desired size (I set them with the slide above and the notes below extending over the entire page, leaving no wasted space) then use the ‘layout’ (2 or 4) to determine the number of slides. Make sure you have the ‘scale to fit paper’ option ticked. Hope this is helpful!

  • SFBoy said:

    Thanks Littlespuddy & Val:

    Your comments saved my day!!

    If you find notes to be too small to read when you do multiple slides per page, you can always double the font size.

  • tam said:

    You absulutely nailed it! TU very much for this tutorial

  • Tatia said:

    Darrell,
    Thank you so much! I was feeling very wasteful having just one slide per page!

  • Kelly @kellyk90 said:

    Hi! Thank you so much! I have the Power Point 2010 and it’s even a little trickier — yet easier.
    Go to File
    “Save and Send“
    Click “Create Handouts“
    This send the document to Word
    You have the option of selecting notes next to slides

  • Tool User said:

    Thank you for this post. This helped me get the slides into word combined with notes for printing. I have Power Point 2007. Here is a tip I discovered: If you highlight all the slides once you have dumped them into the Word handout, you can select Layout, Distribute Rows, then decrease the number in the height field to decrease the space between all slides at once. I set this height entry to one and now have 5 slides per page.

  • Mary said:

    genuinely useful, thanks very much for posting this

  • Leanne Haghighi said:

    Thank you!!!

  • Humanbean said:

    Oh yes! thank you so much!!

  • Loes said:

    Wasted too much time on Microsoft help pages.. I just couldn’t believe the option didn’t exist in ppt! Thanks for the tip!

  • Space said:

    thanks a lot, this was helpful!

  • Ed said:

    For those wishing to do this on a Mac, simply open the ppt presentation in Keynote (I’m using Keynote ’09 version 5.3) and print from there. The option is available from the print dialog box. Chose “Handout”, select number of slides per page from the drop down, and click “Add notes”. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

  • katie said:

    thank you !!!! Saved me soooo much paper : )

  • Heather said:

    How can I do this very thing on a MAC?
    those file, send options don’t exist.

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