How to Print PowerPoint with Notes (Slides & Speaker Notes)

The most common mistake people in Microsoft PowerPoint training make is trying to cram way too much text onto each slide.

A PowerPoint presentation should provide the visuals for your talk but you are there to deliver a message that is memorable and hopefully inspire people to take action.

A thought provoking title on each slide and a few carefully thought out bullet points should do it.

The bottom line is PowerPoint slides only have so much room for text before things start to look cluttered. If you have additional information that you need to include in your presentation, you should use speaker notes!

In this article, we’ll look at how to print PowerPoint with notes.

Woman giving a presentation
Woman giving a presentation

What are Speaker Notes?

Most people know what a PowerPoint presentation is… but what are speaker notes?

Any information that doesn’t belong on your PowerPoint slides but still needs to be part of the presentation, should be included in your speaker notes.

Speaker notes are entered in the notes pane under your PowerPoint slides in Normal view. You can type a sentence or two – or several paragraphs in this area.

The notes pane in PowerPoint
The notes pane in PowerPoint

If you don’t see the notes pane, make sure the Notes button is selected in the View > Show group.

As the presenter, speaker notes will be visible on your screen if you’ve selected Use Presenter View in the Slideshow > Monitors group. Your audience won’t see your speaker notes during your presentation but you can choose to print notes pages or create handouts.

Two Ways to Print PowerPoint Slides with Notes

Speaker notes can be useful when you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation. If you want people to remember key points from your presentation, you should print your PowerPoint notes pages or create handouts.

There are two ways you can print PowerPoint slides with notes.

1) Print Notes Pages

The easiest way to print PowerPoint with notes is to print Notes Pages. Each notes page will have a thumbnail of a PowerPoint slide at the top with speaker notes on the bottom.

Click the File tab, select Print then choose Notes Pages from the Print Layout control.

Print Notes Pages
Notes Pages selected in Print Layout

2) Create Handouts

While you can’t create handouts in PowerPoint, you can export your slides and speaker notes to Microsoft Word and print everything from there.

In PowerPoint, click the File tab, select Export then choose Create Handouts. In the Send to Microsoft Word dialog box, choose Notes next to slides or Notes below slides and click OK.

Send to Microsoft Word dialog box
Send to Microsoft Word dialog box

Once your handouts appear in Microsoft Word, you can print PowerPoint with notes the same as you would any Word document.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to print PowerPoint with notes.

You can print full page slides in PowerPoint but many times its a lot better to print PowerPoint slides with notes – or export your presentation to Word and create handouts instead!

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.