In this article, you’ll learn how to print multiple slides on one page in Microsoft PowerPoint, which works in all versions of PowerPoint.
On top of that, you’ll learn some PowerPoint printing tricks, including how to print multiples slides on one page PDF.
But before you print your PowerPoint presentation, an important question to answer first about your deck is:
Are you distributing your slides as handouts in a professional setting?
If so, I recommend formatting your PowerPoint Handout Master (as discussed below) with your company logo, contact information, etc., before you print your slides. Adding just a few simple things will vastly improve the professional quality of your handouts.
[Watch] Printing multiple slides on one page
Follow these steps to print 4 slides per page in PowerPoint as handouts.
1. Click the File tab
Within your PowerPoint presentation, click the File tab to open the backstage view.
2. Select Print
In the backstage view, click the Print group to get at all of the printing options in PowerPoint.
3. Open the Layout Options
Open the Layout Options drop down to see all of your different handout options.
4. Select 4 slides per page
In the Handouts section, you can choose how many slides per page you want. In this case, I’ll select 4 Slides Horizontal.
As you select the different handout options, you get a live preview of what your handouts will look like on the right. This is a good time to double-check that your handouts look right.
5. Click Print
After you’ve made all of your printing option selections, including how many copies you want to print, click Print.
If you print lots of files and documents like this from computer, I recommend learning the Print shortcut.
- Ctrl + P to print on a PC
- Cmd + P to print on a Mac
This universal keyboard shortcut works in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (and almost any other software program you will ever use).
Using it saves you from having to use your mouse to navigate to the printing options every time you want to print a document.
To learn other useful time saving PowerPoint shortcuts, see our shortcut guide here.
In the same way, you can choose to print 6 slides per page (horizontal or vertical) or 9 slides per page (horizontal or vertical) as pictured below.
As you make your printing option selections (see the next section below), you will see a live preview of your handouts on the right of the dialog box. This live preview includes any formatting you add on the Handout Master as discussed above.
If you don’t like the look of your handouts in the live preview, either select a different handout layout, adjust your print settings or reformat your Handout Master.
Pro-Tip: Make sure your handouts are legible
Although you can save trees by increasing the number of slides you print per page, keep in mind that it also decreases the size of your slide thumbnails.
The smaller your thumbnails, the harder your content will be to read, as you can see in the picture below. For examples of how legible your handouts will be using the different handout layouts, see the next section.
Handout Printing Options (To Be Aware Of)
As you use the above techniques to print your handouts, there are six printing options to be aware of.
That’s because these printing options influence the look and feel of your PowerPoint handouts. Below I’ve detailed each option and included recommended printing options for each.
To change any of the following options in the Print dialog box, simply open the Layout Options and check or uncheck the printing options as pictured below.
A check mark means the option is selected, and you will see the result (although sometimes subtle) in the live preview on the right.
1. Print slide numbers on handouts
Print slide numbers on handouts determines whether or not PowerPoint includes the slide numbers beneath the thumbnail images of your slides in your handouts.
If you are walking people through your handouts in a small meeting or conference call, I recommend including the slide numbers. That way you can reference slide number 3 and everyone will know which slide you are talking about.
2. Frame Slides
Frame Slides determines whether or not PowerPoint includes a black outline around each slide thumbnail in your handouts.
If your slides are mostly black and white (as pictured above), I recommend including the outline around your slide thumbnails. That’s because the outline makes the thumbnails more distinct on the white page, making them easier to read.
3. Scale to fit paper
Scale to fit paper determines whether or not PowerPoint maximizes your handout space by increasing the size of your thumbnails.
In other words, if you choose scale to fit paper, PowerPoint will scale your slide thumbnails to fit your paper size. If you choose not to scale to fit paper, PowerPoint simply prints the thumbnails (regardless of size) on your selected paper size.
As you can see in the picture above, although the difference is slight, you can see that:
- The orange border on the left is shorter
- The slide thumbnails are slightly smaller
- The company logo is slightly smaller
My recommendation is to always using the scale to fit paper option. That way you don’t have to become an expert in all the different paper sizes you might print your PowerPoint handouts in.
Instead, PowerPoint will always resize your handouts to best fit your paper size, making your handouts easier to read.
4. High Quality
High quality determines how much ink PowerPoint puts into printing your slides and the resulting crispness of your thumbnails.
My recommendation is simple. If you are printing on non-glossy pieces of paper, unselect High Quality (as it will just run out your ink cartridge without any discernible effect). If you are printing on glossy pieces of paper, select High Quality.
5. Print Comments
Print Comments determines whether PowerPoint marks your slides with comments and prints them individually on a backup page.
Comments are easiest to review and fix in PowerPoint. Trying to review comments in small thumbnail images is not only difficult, but on top of that you still need to go back to PowerPoint to fix them.
When you print comments in PowerPoint, the thumbnails will always be marked with a number and the resulting comments will be printed as a backup page (even if you only have a comment that says “good job”).
My recommendation is to not print your comments unless you specifically.
The reason why is that the comments are SO SMALL on your printed handouts, it’s hard to review them.
On top of that, since you will likely need to update your slides based on those comments, I believe it’s better (and faster) to review the comments and update your deck at the same time.
6. Print Ink
Print Ink determines if PowerPoint includes any ink annotations you’ve added to your presentation.
For example, during your presentation you might mark you it up with ink as you explain things, but you don’t want your ink annotations to show up when you print your presentation.
Print multiple slides on one PDF page
Besides printing your slides on normal 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, you can also use the Microsoft Print to PDF printer to create PDF handouts. This is very similar to the steps above, except you need to additionally select the correct printer.
To print multiple slides on one PDF page in PowerPoint, simply:
- Navigate to the File menu
- Select Print
- Open the Handout options
- Select how many slides you want to print per page
- Open the Printer drop down
- Select the Microsoft Print to PDF printer
- Click Print
- Choose a location to save your PDF
- Name your file
- Click Save
Doing so prints your slides as PDF handouts that you can distribute to your audience.
Printing speaker notes next to your handouts
One last thing you might want to do is print your Speaker Notes next to multiple slides on a single page (which you can do by converting PowerPoint to Word).
To convert PowerPoint to Word as handouts, simply:
- Navigate to the File tab
- Select Export on the left
- Choose Create Handouts
- Click the Create Handouts command
- Select Notes next to slides
- Click OK
Clicking OK, your PowerPoint slides and speaker notes are pushed into a table format in Microsoft Word.
Depending on how long your individual speaker notes are determines how many slides you can have on a single page.
Once you are in Microsoft Word, you can select and format your speaker notes or resize the table anyway you like.
Formatting your Handout Master
1. Navigate to the View tab
In the PowerPoint Ribbon, click the View tab.
2. Select the Handout Master command
Inside the View tab, click the Handout Master command (in the Master Views group).
3. Format your Handout Master
You can edit the Handout Master just like you would normally edit your PowerPoint slides.
You can add company logos, your contact details, design elements, etc. Just make sure that you pay attention to the Page Layout and Placeholders sections in regards to how many slides you want to print per page.
Also, if you want to save the changes you make to your Handout Master, you will have to save a local copy of your presentation to your computer. The online version of PowerPoint currently does not allow you to save changes to the Handout Master in PowerPoint.
So that’s how to print multiples slides on one page in PowerPoint, plus some formatting options to be aware of when printing your presentations.
Again, if you are distributing your slides as handouts in a professional setting, I highly recommend formatting your Handout Master first (described above).
That will not only make your handouts look more professional, it will make it easier for your audience members to follow along with you and get in touch with you in the future.
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