Presentation Tips: Hide PowerPoint Slides

What happens when it’s time to create an updated PowerPoint presentation? Are you wasting time and spinning your wheels re-creating new PowerPoint files every time you make a presentation? Do you want to shorten a presentation without creating a new one? Instead of creating multiple versions of a core presentation, try the PowerPoint Hide Slide feature to hide slides you don’t need to show in a deck or presentation yet you’ll still have them available for future versions of your presentation.

Would you like to work more effectively with a presentation that provides different levels of detail on a subject, even perhaps for different audiences? Do you want to be prepared with more detailed supporting data and answers to possible questions about your topic? Do you work with colleagues who insist on including detailed charts, lengthy bullet lists, and statistics even though the audience probably isn’t interested? Simply hide the slides with the backup reference materials knowing you can quickly move to them if or when needed.

The PowerPoint Hide Slide option customizes your presentation and adds flexibility so you can reduce the length and timing of a presentation without creating a new presentation, add slides to backup data and answer audience questions, or provide additional information when time allows.

Note: Instead of hiding slides, some presenters prefer to move unused content to the end of their presentations so they can maintain a logical sequence within their core PowerPoint presentation.

How to Use the PowerPoint Hide Slide Feature

The Microsoft PowerPoint Hide Slide option can be switched on and off for any slide in a presentation. When you hide a slide, the slide remains in the file in sequence even though it is hidden when you run the presentation as a slide show.

To hide a slide in PowerPoint:

  1. Switch to either the Normal view or the Slide Sorter view.
  2. Next, do one of the following to hide (or un-hide) a slide:
  • Right-click the slide you want to hide, and then left-click on Hide Slide.-OR-
  • Select the Slide Show tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon and pick the Hide Slide option from the Setup group.

A hidden slide is indicated by the slide number with a diagonal line across it. Depending on the view, the number appears next to or below the slide you have hidden.

Move to Hidden Slides

One way to navigate to a slide-even to a hidden slide-while a slide show is running is to type in the slide number and then hit [Enter]. Of course, you will want to know the number you want to move to so it will help to have a handy numbered printout of your handout or slides.

Another technique to move to a hidden slide is to right-click on any slide while delivering your slide show. You can also bring up the list during a slide show by pressing [Ctrl] + S. (Outside of the slide show view, the [Ctrl] + S shortcut saves your presentation). Next, choose the option for your version of Microsoft PowerPoint:

  • PowerPoint 2016 & PowerPoint 2013: Choose “See All Slides” from the shortcut menu which displays all of the slides in your presentation including hidden slides. All hidden slides will show with a grayed out background and the slashed out slide number. Click on the slide you want to display.
  • PowerPoint 2010: Pick “Go to Slide” from the shortcut menu. Hidden slides will show up with parentheses around the slide number such as (18). Left-click on the slide you want to show whether or not it is hidden.

Note: Under most presentation setups, the audience will also see the slide list displayed from the menu.

Printing Hidden Slides

When you print a presentation in PowerPoint 2016 or 2013, the default is to not print hidden slides while PowerPoint 2010 prints hidden slides unless you change the setting. You can easily check and change your preference from the Print screen Settings. From the Print screen, choose the drop-down for Print All Slides and click Print hidden slides. A checkmark indicates this feature is currently enabled. You can also set a range or selection of slides or pages to print from this drop-down option.

Including hidden slides for your own printouts can be helpful. As more organizations are becoming green, consider the best options for finalizing your PowerPoint presentations in digital form. You may wish to create a version where you remove hidden content entirely from the presentation so you can share or post the final presentation.

Design and control your PowerPoint presentations to fit your audiences, save time without creating new presentations, and build in more flexibility with hidden slides.

Were these PowerPoint tips helpful? Discover more PowerPoint tips, techniques and shortcuts here and also download a handy cheat sheet of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts.