In this article, you’ll learn how to print your PowerPoint slides with speaker notes as handouts the way you want them.

Don’t get frustrated with PowerPoint… just get creative. That way you can get out of the office and make it to Happy Hour.

Just keep in mind that, like many things in PowerPoint, there is a variety of ways to print your notes, each producing its own result. I cover each method below.

Note: If you are distributing your slides to other people, I highly recommend customizing your handouts with your company information before you print them.

This not only makes your handouts look more professional, but it also makes it easier for people to get in touch with you.

Example comparing non-formatted PowerPoint handouts with formatted handouts that include a company logo, email address and website address

For help turning your PowerPoint notes (without or without note text) into PDF handouts, read our guide here.

How to Print PowerPoint with Notes (the Basics)

In the print dialog box, open the Print Layout options and select Notes Page to print your speaker notes below your slide thumbnail as handouts

The most common way to print PowerPoint notes is with the thumbnail image of the slide at the top of the page, and the notes directly beneath (as pictured above). To print your notes like this, simply:

  1. Hit Ctrl+P for Print (or click File then Print)
  2. Open the Print Layout options
  3. Select the Notes Page layout
  4. Click Print

If you want to print your notes only (without the thumbnail image), see further below.

As you can see in the live preview on the right in the picture above, I have already formatted the Notes Master to include my company’s logo, and my contact information.

If you have lots of speaker notes for a particular slide, the text may run off onto a second or third page. If this happens, keep in mind that your slide thumbnail only appears on the first page of notes.

Also keep in mind that the page number at the bottom of your handouts represents the slide number in your presentation, not the number of pages you are printing.

That means that if you have ten (10) pages of speaker notes for slide number 2 in your deck, each of those ten pages of speaker’s notes will have a number 2 on them.

To learn how to print multiple slides on one page in PowerPoint, read our guide here.

Note: If you are distributing your notes as handouts before or after your presentation, I recommend customizing your Notes Master.

Formatting Your Notes Master for Professional Handouts

To open the notes master in PowerPoint, click the view tab and select Notes Master

To customize your notes page before you print it in PowerPoint first navigate to the Notes Master view.

  1. Click the View tab
  2. Select the Notes Master

The View tab in PowerPoint is also where you can find the Handout Master view (discussed further below), and the Slide Master view. These master views control the default formatting of your slides, handouts, and notes.

The Notes Master is where you can format your notes as handouts to include your company logo and other contact information

Once you are in the Notes Master view, you can select which placeholders you want to include in your handouts. In this view, you can also add any images, shapes, or other design elements to jazz up your handouts. I recommend adding things like:

  1. Your company logo
  2. Your email address (or contact information)
  3. Your company website

When it comes to formatting your handouts, more is not better. I recommend adding enough to make your handouts look professional and make it easy for people to contact you.

How to Print PowerPoint Notes with Multiple Slides per Page

To print your PowerPoint notes as handouts with multiple slides per page, you need to first export your PowerPoint slides to Microsoft Word using the Create Handouts command.

To print your notes with multiple slides per page, you need to use the create handouts feature to push your slides to Microsoft Word

To convert PowerPoint to Word using the Create Handouts command, simply:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Select Export
  3. Select Create Handouts
  4. Click the Create Handouts command
  5. Select Notes next to slides
  6. Click OK

Doing so turns your PowerPoint presentation into a Word document, with all your slides and speaker notes in a table format that you can then update and edit in Microsoft Word. The length of your notes affects how many slides you can have on a single page in Word.

Example of PowerPoint slides in Word with multiple slides per page with PowerPoint notes

To expand your knowledge and learn to convert Word to PowerPoint, read our guide here.

Table of Contents: If you have a lot of slides you are converting into a Word document, you can make your Word document easier to read and navigate by inserting a table of contents. To learn how to make a table of contents in Word, read our guide here.

How to Print PowerPoint Notes Only

Yes, you can print just your PowerPoint notes (no slide thumbnail images) without messing up your presentation. I don’t recommend deleting things on your Notes Master, simply follow the steps listed below.

To see how to pull this off using a combination of the Create Handouts command and the Outline View in PowerPoint, see the short PowerPoint video tutorial below (it will make the most sense that way).

1. Push your PowerPoint slides to Microsoft Word

To print your notes with multiple slides per page, you need to use the create handouts feature to push your slides to Microsoft Word

The first step is to push your slides and speaker notes into Microsoft Word. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. From within PowerPoint open the File menu
  2. Click Exporton the left
  3. Select Create Handouts in the middle
  4. Click Create Handouts on the right
  5. Select Notes next to slides
  6. Click OK

PowerPoint then exports all your slides and speaker notes to Word in a table format. To make it easier to edit our table, let’s add borders to it.

2. Add table borders to your table to see what you are working with

To add table borders to your notes in Word, select your table, click the table design tab and choose a border style

Once PowerPoint finishes exporting your slides to Microsoft Word, I recommend adding table borders to see what you are working with. To do that, simply:

  1. Select the table in Word
  2. Click the Table Design tab
  3. Choose a table border style

While this is an optional step, it makes formatting your notes in Word a lot easier.

3. Format your PowerPoint notes in Word

As a last step, you simply need to make the formatting adjustments you want to your notes. These can include:

  1. Delete the thumbnail image column
  2. Resize the column widths
  3. Paste your slide title names in from the Outline View in PowerPoint
  4. Customize your handouts with your contact information
  5. Continue formatting in order to get your desired result
To see me make these adjustments, watch the short video below.

How to Print PowerPoint with Comments

To print your comments in PowerPoint, select a handout style you want to use and make sure you have Print Comments selected

Assuming you have comments in your presentation, you can print those in either the Handout view or the Outline view.

To print your PowerPoint slides with comments:

  1. Hit Ctrl+P for print
  2. Open the Slide Layout options
  3. Choose how many slides you want per page (I recommend 6 or 9 so you don’t waste paper)
  4. Select Print Comments
  5. Click Print

It’s important to note that PowerPoint comments always print on the second page. Your first page will be the handouts themselves (with the comments marked on the slide). The second will be the actual comments.

As this tends to waste a lot of printer paper and ink, I recommend using the 9-slide layout unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise.

How to Print PowerPoint with Lines for Notes

There are two different ways to print your slides as Handouts with lines for notes:

The easy way: This involves directly printing your slides from PowerPoint with the default blank lines for taking notes.

The customizable way: This involves converting your PowerPoint slides to Word, where you can then adjust and customize the lines for your notes.

Both options are covered below.

1. The easy way

Using the print options in PowerPoint, select the three slides with lines layout to print your slides with blank lines for notes next to them

To print your slides with non-customizable lines for notes (in PowerPoint):

  1. From within PowerPoint, hit Ctrl+P for print
  2. Open the Slide Layout options
  3. Choose the 3-slide layout with lines (you’ll see a live preview on the right)
  4. Click Print

Note: You can customize this layout using the PowerPoint Handout Master the way I described above.

2. The customizable way

From the print dialog box, select export, create handouts and blank lines next to slides to push your notes to Microsoft word with blank lines

To print your slides with customizable blank lines for notes (Converting PowerPoint to Word):

  1. Navigate to the File tab
  2. Click Export
  3. Select Create Handouts
  4. Click on the Create Handouts button
  5. Select either Blank lines next to slides or Blank lines below slides (depending on what you want)
  6. Click OK

Once your slides export to Microsoft Word, you can do whatever you want with the lines. For example, you can decrease the paragraph spacing to add more lines if you like. You can also format them and make them bold.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about exporting your PowerPoint slides to Microsoft Word (and the different options you have), read our guide here.

Before you get too excited about printing your PowerPoint outline, it’s important to note that only information that is within your content placeholders prints. That means that text inside regular shapes and text boxes doesn’t appear.

On top of that, an outline can only print text. That means that none of your graphics, charts or pictures show up in your printed document.

There are two different ways to print your outline: You can directly print your outline out of PowerPoint, or you can export your outline to Microsoft Word so that you can edit it before you print it. Choose the option below that works best for you.

1. Directly printing your outline from PowerPoint

In the PowerPoint print options, select the Outline layout style to print your PowerPoint outline

To print your PowerPoint slides as an outline only outline, simply:

  1. Hit Ctrl+P on to open the print options
  2. Open the Slide Layout options
  3. Select Outline
  4. Click Print

Note: If you don’t see all the content in your outline (you only see the slide titles, for example) that means that your Outline View is collapsed.

To expand your Outline View, simply:

  1. Navigate to the View tab
  2. Click on the Outline View

Within the Outline View (click into that actual Outline View on the left), hit the expand keyboard shortcut: Alt+Shift+9. To learn more about working in the Outline view in PowerPoint, read our guide here.

2. Exporting an editable version of your Outline to Microsoft Word

To export your PowerPoint outline to Word, use the create handouts command and select the Outline only option

If you want to customize your PowerPoint outline in Microsoft Word before you print it, simply:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Export
  3. Select Create Handouts
  4. Click on the Create Handouts button
  5. Select Outline only
  6. Click OK

Pushing your outline into Microsoft Word like this allows you to customize and edit the outline before you print it.

Conclusion

So those are all the different ways you can print your notes in PowerPoint.

If you intend to print your notes as handouts for a business meeting or client presentation, I highly recommend formatting your Notes Master and/or Handout Master.

That way you can include your contact information and/or your company formatting, making your handouts look more professional.

If you enjoyed this in-depth PowerPoint tutorial, you can learn more about our online training courses and other presentation resources here.

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