10 little-known facts about PowerPoint [infographic]

PowerPoint is known to the world as the go-to medium for presentations.

It also has a long (and strange) history. From vector art to karaoke, this software has been used for a lot more than just quarterly earnings updates. Here are some of the lesser known facts about the famous slideware collected in one handy infographic. And when you’re finished, check out the Poll Everywhere plugin for PowerPoint and start adding live audience participation to your presentations.

Read more: Interactive PowerPoint games that engage large classrooms


10 little-know facts about PowerPoint

PowerPoint was originally called “Presenter.” It was created in 1987 by a company called Forethought Inc. for Macintosh. Approximately 35 million PowerPoint presentations are given each day by an estimated 500 million users worldwide. 40 words is the average PowerPoint slide length.

Use control/command+a to show the pointer. This only works when you are in presentation mode. Former Talking Heads frontman David Bryne is one of many artists who use PowerPoint’s graphic tools as an art medium. Most people tune out of a presentation within 10 minutes. Many presenters use a Poll Slide to re-engage the audience, via a PowerPoint add-in from Poll Everywhere.

Embed an Excel spreadsheet into your presentation by inserting it as an object. PowerPoint can run videos and websites directly from the web with a LiveSlides plugin. Right-click on a shape or group of shapes to save your selection as its own image. This makes PowerPoint an easy vector art tool. PowerPoint Karaoke is a real thing! To play, presenters deliver a presentation without knowing what’s on the slides ahead of time.

Bonus fact: this infographic was made entirely in PowerPoint.