PowerPoint Designer, also called PowerPoint Design Ideas, is a feature found in the latest version of Microsoft PowerPoint. It uses artificial intelligence to help you choose attractive and relevant layouts, images, and designs. It appears in a pane on the right side of the screen and constantly makes suggestions about the appearance of your slides.
Here’s everything you need to know about using PowerPoint Designer on your Mac, PC, iPad, Android, or Windows tablet, or on the PowerPoint Online website.
What PowerPoint Designer can do for you
This feature can help improve your PowerPoint decks in three important ways:
Design schemes. PowerPoint Designer can suggest a variety of design schemes for your deck that carry across each slide. There are a lot of options to choose from, so your deck won’t look like a “cookie cutter” slideshow.
Attractive slide layout options. The feature can analyze each slide and make suggestions for better ways to present your text and graphics. For example, it can convert a list of dates into a timeline, or take a bulleted list and display it as SmartArt.
Illustration suggestions. PowerPoint Designer’s AI engine reviews the text in your slides for keywords and suggests illustrations and other graphics that reflect your intent. It can rapidly create a visual theme for your slides with just a click that would otherwise be very time- and research-intensive.
How to get PowerPoint Designer
PowerPoint Designer is integrated into the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app and doesn’t need to be installed. It’s available if you are a subscriber to Microsoft 365 – if you have a stand-alone edition of Microsoft PowerPoint, the Designer will not be available in the desktop app.
If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, here’s how to enable the feature:
1. In the PowerPoint desktop app, click “File,” and then click “Options.”
2. In the “PowerPoint Options” dialog box, make sure you’re on the “General” tab and then find PowerPoint Designer. Click both checkboxes to enable the feature’s ability to make suggestions.
3. Click “OK” to close the “Options” window.
4. If the Design Ideas pane isn’t open, click “Design” in the ribbon and then click “Design Ideas” in the Design ribbon. The pane should now appear.
You can also use PowerPoint Designer in a web browser on PowerPoint Online if you have a Microsoft OneDrive account or SharePoint Online account. It’s also available in the mobile app for iPad, Android tablets, and Windows tablets. You cannot use PowerPoint Designer on iPhone, Android, or Windows smartphones.
How to use PowerPoint Designer on the desktop app, mobile app, or website
Accessing PowerPoint Designer is the same whether you’re using a Mac or PC computer, iPad, Android, or Windows tablet, or PowerPoint Online.
1. If it’s not already open, display the Design Ideas pane on the right side of the screen by clicking “Design Ideas” in the ribbon. You can find it in the “Design” tab.
2. If this is the first time you’re using PowerPoint Designer, you might need to enable it. If requested, click “Turn on” or “Let’s go” from the PowerPoint Designer introductory window.
3. Once enabled, it will automatically populate the pane on the right based on what you enter into the current slide. If you’re on the title side, you might see suggested images and deck styles. On a slide within the deck, you might see suggestions for ways to display bulleted lists, timelines, and SmartArt, for example.
4. Scroll through the suggestions and click the one you want to use.
5. If you change your mind, click a different suggestion, or press CTRL + Z on the keyboard to restore your original slide.
Remember that PowerPoint Designer requires an internet connection to work. If the feature is unavailable, make sure you have a working connection. Also, make sure that someone else isn’t actively editing your deck at the same time. PowerPoint Designer only works if a single person is editing the deck. How to give better PowerPoint presentations and improve your slides to keep an audience engaged The 48 best PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts for making great presentations quickly and easily How to create a custom PowerPoint template to use or share with others How to make a PowerPoint presentation into a video, so that it plays automatically without you having to click through each slide.