How to Put Lines for Notes on PowerPoint Slides

By Filonia LeChat

Although Microsoft PowerPoint presentations pass along predetermined information, including space for your audience to customize handouts with their own notes may be essential. While you’ll be giving up slide real estate to include note lines, this is a way for people to transcribe things about your presentation that don’t appear on the slides, or make reminders to ask you about later. PowerPoint offers two options for including note lines in a slideshow: it’ll configure them for you three slides at a time in a handout format or let you add them line by line directly on the slides themselves.

Using Shapes

Start PowerPoint and open the slideshow to add note lines onto, or create your first slide with the blank template slide that opens by default, such as by adding text into the “Click to add title” placeholder text box.

Click the “Insert” tab and then the “Shapes” button. Click the first, straight line option under the Lines section. The cursor changes to a plus symbol.

Position the cursor on the slide. Press and hold down the “Shift” key. Click and drag the mouse in a horizontal line to draw your line. Release the “Shift” and mouse buttons to finish and place the line on the slide.

Right-click the line and select “Copy.” Right-click the slide and select “Paste” to quickly duplicate the line. Drag it into place below the first, leaving as much room as you wish for someone to take notes. Repeat the copy and paste process to get a stack of lines that are exactly equal, so you don’t have to eyeball them on the screen.

Printing Method

Open the presentation to add note lines onto.

Click the “File” tab and then click “Print.” Click the drop-down menu under Slides, which has a long white text box to its right, and click the "3 Slides” button. Note in the preview pane that each page will have three slide thumbnails along with lines to the right of each when you print them.

Change the number of copies to print more than one copy of the slideshow, or leave it at the default of one. Load paper into the printer and click the "Print" button.