Use PowerPoint QuickStarter to Research a Topic

BUSY AND WANT TO READ LATER? DOWNLOAD THIS POST AS PDF >> CLICK HERE <<

PowerPoint QuickStarter template builds an outline based on your requested subject and the slides you select to help you get started researching that subject.

Note: QuickStarter is only available in Office 365 (subscription) PowerPoint.

Bike racers represent PowerPoint Quickstarter

Create QuickStarter Template

To create an outline with QuickStarter template:

  • In PowerPoint 2016, select File > New. Then select the QuickStarter template:

QuickStarter Template

  • If you haven’t already turned on Office Intelligent Services, a dialog box displays asking you to do so. (Intelligent Services needs to be turned on to use QuickStarter).

Intelligent Services dialog box

  • Specify a subject to search on, or choose from a popular subject shown at the bottom of the dialog box.

QuickStarter Search options

I typed “Create a Marketing Report” in the Search box and then clicked on Social media marketing tile:

QuickStarter suggested categories

QuickStarter then gathers information and presents you with a list of subjects related to your search topic.

Note: If you see inappropriate content, move your mouse pointer over it, click the more (…) command in the upper right corner of the icon, and select Report inappropriate topic.



I like all the content for my Social Media topic, so left all slides selected.

Create Your Presentation with QuickStarter

Steps to complete the presentation from the template:

  1. All the subjects may be selected by default but you can just select the boxes for topics you want to include in the outline that QuickStarter will assemble for you.
  2. Click Next to confirm the list of subjects you’ve selected to include in the outline. (Each topic you selected becomes a slide in the outline.)
  3. Choose a design for the slides in the presentation, and then click Create. (Don’t worry about the lack of selection here, you can change the look later).


  1. PowerPoint 2016 puts together your outline presentation and opens it for you.
  2. Look over the outline and start doing your research. Use the key facts (on slide 1) and related topics (slide 2) for ideas as you research and write about your topic. (Also, there may be additional information, such as a Summary, in the Notes below the slide).


Note: There may or may not be pictures on your slides, depending on the subject you chose. You can add, remove or change any of these.

The QuickStarter outline includes:

  • Two slides of information gathered from online sources:
    • The first slide lists key facts on the slide and in the Notes pane below the slide.
    • The second slide lists related topics for you to research. (These two slides are just for you, so they are hidden from view when you present your slide show to others.)
  • A title slide.
  • A table of contents, based on selections you made.
  • A slide for each subject, sometimes with additional suggested points in the Notes below the slide.
  • A concluding slide, “Works Cited,” where you list the sources of information you used for research.

Any Images included in the outline are public domain or licensed under Creative Commons.

Research Information Online with Smart Lookup

The first slide in the presentation is, “Here’s your outline.” It includes a summary about the topic, and usually includes dates and other kinds of useful information. Any paragraph on the slide that displays an ellipsis (…) is repeated in full in the slide Notes below.

The Outline is a great guide but you’ll want to fill in the holes in your subject details. The second slide in the presentation is “Related topics.” which lists terms you can use for research. Smart Lookup returns definitions and search results from Wikipedia and related websites.

Use the Smart Lookup feature to expand on related topics from Slide 2:

  • In Slide 2, right click a word or phrase you want to research.
  • Click on Smart Lookup to display search results in a task pane to right of your slide.


  • Insert any desired information.

Other slides in the presentation are suggested topics (based on the subjects you chose originally). Some slides may include “Consider talking about” points in the Notes pane on that slide.

Designer Feature for Design Ideas

To add variety to the look and feel of your presentation, open Design Ideas by going to Design tab, Designer group and click Design Ideas.


Click on a slide to display different design layouts for the text and images on that slide.

You can also use all the normal design features available in all presentations.

Celebrate your masterpiece!

No excuse anymore for not having a stunning presentation with captivating data. If you use PowerPoint at all, this feature alone is worth switching or upgrading to Office 365.

What do you think about this new feature? Let me know in the Comments below.


BUSY AND WANT TO READ LATER? DOWNLOAD THIS POST AS PDF >> CLICK HERE <<

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.