PowerPoint Slide Sorter: What is it and How to use it?

Last updated on August 19th, 2023

PowerPoint Slide Sorter

Some PowerPoint slide decks contain dozens of slides. Sorting through those slides or rearranging them using drag and drop from the default ‘Normal’ view in PowerPoint can be difficult. If you have too many slides, you might even end up mixing them up when attempting to drag and drop them in the Normal view. This is why you should use PowerPoint Slide Sorter view to better manage your slides.

What is the Slide Sorter?

PowerPoint Slide Sorter is one of the views available in Microsoft PowerPoint that lets you view all your slides in the form of thumbnails sorted horizontally. This helps better organize the slides, as you can rearrange them using drag and drop. Furthermore, you can zoom your slides (in or out) to increase or reduce the size of the thumbnails according to your convenience. The definition of Slide Sorter by Microsoft is as follows:

Slide Sorter view gives you a view of your slides in thumbnail form. This view makes it easy for you to sort and organize the sequence of your slides as you prepare to print your slides.

How to use the Slide Sorter to Prepare Presentations in PowerPoint?

The following instructions regarding the use of PowerPoint Slide Sorter are applicable to all recent versions of PowerPoint, including PowerPoint 2019 (PC and Mac), PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 (PC and Mac), and PowerPoint for the web. These instructions are also applicable to older versions including PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, PowerPoint 2013 (PC), and PowerPoint 2010 (PC).

How to View PowerPoint Slides in Slide Sorter View?

Here are multiple ways to open and access the Slide Sorter view in Microsoft PowerPoint.

View Tab in PowerPoint: PowerPoint Slide Sorter button appears under Presentation Views from the View tab in the Ribbon menu via View -> Slide Sorter to access it. To switch back anytime, choose a different view from the View tab or the bottom of the presentation deck.

Keyboard Shortcut: You can also access Slide Sorter via a keyboard shortcut. In this case, in Windows, press Alt + V then D key. The Alt + V combination will highlight the View tab in the Ribbon, and then pressing the D key will open the Slide Sorter view.

PowerPoint Slide Sorter View Menu Presentation Slides

Bottom of the Taskbar: You can also access the Slide Sorter view from the bottom of the taskbar via the slide sorter icon.

How to access Slide Sorter

Use the Slide Sorter to Drag Your Slides in the Presentation to Find the Right Order

How to rearrange slides in PowerPoint using the Slide Sorter View? Go to Slide Sorter and drag the slides to organize how they appear along the presentation. The GIF animation below shows how you can easily rearrange your slides to better manage them in Slide Sorter view. For the purpose of this demo, we have used the free business proposal presentation template to demonstrate the Slide Sorter view and arrange some of the slides in the desired order.

How to arrange PowerPoint slides efficiently? Using the Slide Sorter view to arrange the slides in a PowerPoint presentation.
How to arrange PowerPoint slides? Use the Slide Sorter to re-arrange the slides in a PowerPoint presentation

Source: FPPT.com

Have a Better View of Your Slides

Do you know how to design and use PowerPoint Slide Sorter View for maximum effect? Unlike the Normal view or the Outline View, the Slide Sorter view provides a great interface for the presentation designer to view all the slide thumbnails in a single place. As a presentation designer or presenter, you can have a more cohesive view of your presentation. Moreover, using the zoom option, you can fit all the presentation slides within the same view, to zoom in or zoom out to view large or small thumbnails for your slides.

Zoom Slide Sorter PowerPoint Presentations
Organize your PowerPoint presentation and view the slides with Zoom Slide Sorter

Organize Your Slides in Sections

Slide Sorter view also enables you to sort your slides in sections, similar to how you would organize them in folders. You can create a section via right-click context menu, name it and drag slides to organize it. These collapsible menus can then be used to organize your slides according to the subsections of your presentation, e.g. introduction, agenda, main topic, and conclusion. While you can also add sections from the Normal view the same way via right-click menu, you would be better off using Slide Sorter view to arrange them more conveniently.

Organize Slides in Section with Slide Sorter
How to arrange PowerPoint slides using sections and Slide Sorter view

Final Words

PowerPoint Slide Sorter can help you better organize your slides by improving the way you view and sort your slides. Whether you have a handful of slides or dozens that you need to sort through, using Slide Sorter can save you a lot of time and effort in getting control of your slides.

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