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When you open Microsoft PowerPoint, the slide thumbnails appear in the left-hand pane by default. PowerPoint lets you hide, show, or even change the size of those thumbnails. Here’s how.

Manipulating Slide Thumbnails

Everyone has a different working style. Some may prefer to keep the slide thumbnails to create an outline or easily navigate between slides when making edits. However, some might find them distracting or intrusive and, as such, would like to hide or decrease their size. Both are relatively easy to accomplish.

Go ahead and open PowerPoint. By default, you should be in PowerPoint’s “Normal” view mode. If you’re not, head over to the “View” tab and click the “Normal” button.

Normal view in powerpoint

Once in Normal view, the slide thumbnails will appear on the left-hand side of the window.

slide thumbnail preview

To decrease the size of the thumbnails, click and drag the splitter bar to the left.

The further to the left you drag the splitter bar, the smaller the thumbnails become. To completely hide the thumbnails, drag the bar to the left until they disappear.

If you’ve hidden the thumbnails but need to show them again, click the arrow above “Thumbnails” on the left-hand side.

To increase the size of the slide thumbnails, click and drag the splitter bar to the right.

Another quick way to change the size of the thumbnails is to hover your cursor over the thumbnail preview pane and then use your mouse’s scroll wheel while holding the Ctrl key. However, you can’t completely hide the thumbnails using this method.

Change PowerPoint’s Default View

If you frequently hide the slide thumbnails when working in PowerPoint, consider changing the default view in which PowerPoint opens.

To do this, head over to the “File” tab and then select “Options” from the bottom of the left-hand pane.

PowerPoint options

The “PowerPoint Options” window will appear. Select “Advanced.”

advanced PowerPoint options

Scroll down to the “Display” section and then select the arrow next to “Open all documents using this view” to show the menu options.

change default view

On the menu, select the view style you’d like to use by default. There are many different options to choose from, several of which do not include the slide thumbnails.

select view style

Finally, click “OK” to confirm the change. PowerPoint will open in the selected view style the next time you use it.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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