There are two ways to create handouts in PowerPoint. The first method lets you print the handouts directly from PowerPoint. The second method exports your handouts to Microsoft Word where you can edit them or add additional content (and of course, print them).
- How to Create Printable PowerPoint Handouts
- How to Create Editable PowerPoint Handouts with Microsoft Word
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 and Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, and PowerPoint 2013. We will cover this topic in PowerPoint for Mac in a separate tutorial.
How to Create Printable PowerPoint Handouts
- Select the File tab in the ribbon.
- Select Print in the Backstage view.
- (Optional) If you don’t want include all your slides, enter specific slide numbers separated by commas or a number range (e.g., 3,5,7,9-14) into the Slides text box.
- Select the Full Page Slides menu.
- Select an option from the Handout section in the menu. (You may need to use the scrollbar on the right side of the menu to see all the options shown here.)
- One slide per page
- Two slides per page
- Three slides per page with lines for notes
- Four horizontal slides per page
- Six horizontal slides per page
- Nine horizontal slides per page
- Four vertical slides per page
- Six vertical slides per page
- Nine vertical slides per page
- (Optional in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 only) Uncheck Print slide numbers on handouts if you don’t want to include slide numbers.
- (Optional) Enter the number of copies into the Copies text box.
- Select the Print button.
PowerPoint doesn’t provide a way to save the handout options you just chose. So, repeat these steps if you need to print additional handouts in the future.
How to Create Editable PowerPoint Handouts with Microsoft Word
Important Note: Some users may have difficulty exporting large PowerPoint files into Microsoft Word. If you encounter problems, please see the Microsoft Support website for two possible solutions.
- Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
- Select Export in the Backstage view.
- Select Create Handouts in the Export screen.
- Select the Create Handouts button.
- Select a page layout option from the Send to Microsoft Word dialog box. (The dialog box label may be abbreviated to “Send to Microsoft…”)
- Note next to slides
- Blank lines next to slides
- Notes below slides
- Blank lines below slides
- Outline only (This option only pastes the text from your slides, not the slides themselves.)
- Select the Paste or Paste link option. (These options won’t be available if you selected “Outline only” in step 5.)
- Paste duplicates your slides and notes (if applicable) into a Word document.
- Paste link duplicates your slides and notes (if applicable) into a Word document and creates a link between the files. Therefore, if you update your PowerPoint slides, the Word file will update also. (Unfortunately, the links don’t apply to PowerPoint notes.)
- Select the OK button.
Your PowerPoint file will be pasted into a Word document. This process may take several moments if your PowerPoint file is large.
- If Microsoft Word doesn’t open automatically, select the Word icon in the Windows taskbar.
- Within Word, your slides and notes (if applicable) are placed in a table. Select the table selector to see the table rows and columns, which you can adjust or delete.
For more information about working with tables in Word, please see “Three Ways to Insert Tables in Microsoft Word.”
How to Update the Link between Your PowerPoint Slides and Your Word Handouts
If you selected Paste Link in step 6 but don’t see updates in your Word handouts after updating the PowerPoint slides, right-click the slide in the Word file and then select Update Link from the shortcut menu.
Continue to add content to your new Word file, and then save and print it as you normally would.