How to create a presentation in

I’ve never been completely satisfied with tools for creating slides for presentations. I feel that drawings, images, and diagrams are the best content. Thus, I need an efficient way to create drawings and put together a slide deck.

In the past, I would do drawings in some tool, export PNGs, and then copy them into some other tool to create the presentation. This is a rather tedious flow.

I now have a BOOX tablet, which is really nice for hand sketching, so I experimented with hand drawing slides. This is fun and you can be very creative, but it is still fairly clunky to export all the images, and then assemble them in some other tool.

I then went back to ( for drawing. For me it is almost faster than hand sketching as I’m really not that great of an artist. Since I was already working in, the thought occurred – can we just create the entire presentation in After experimenting a bit, I came up with the following:

  • create each slide on a different page – supports multiple pages with tabs at the bottom, much like a spreadsheet. Change the name of each tab to match your slide title so you can quickly find it.
  • set sheet size to 9x5" (16:9 ratio). You can tweak this some based on how large you like your text to be
  • use 45pt text for slide titles
  • use 25pt text for text in slides
  • use 16pt text for icon/arrow labels
  • for arrow connectors, set width to 2 pt, rounded corners, and some color other than black
  • export your slides as a PDF using the File->export as->PDF menu option

Some benefits to this flow:

  • its easy to move back and forth between slides
  • slides can be easily re-arranged
  • quick to find slides with named page tabs at bottom
  • easy to copy stuff between slides
  • everything is in one file, so you are not constantly opening new files, switching tools, etc.

Below are a few samples from the current presentation:

I’m still not as good as this guy – check out his video for some inspiration!

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Now that I’m past the presentation, I think doing presentations in works well. With 45+ slides, it gets a little hard to find the tabs at the bottom of the screen:

However, if you click on the three dots next to the tabs, you are presented with a very readable list:

Using tabs also makes sense when working on an article, blog post, etc – all the drawings for a document can be stored in one file.

Some continued observations using

  • The 9x5" drawing size works very well for most things – blog post diagrams, etc. So that is what I always start with now.
  • It is very convenient to have all diagrams for a project in one document. Then you can easily copy/bit pieces from one to create another and quickly find things. It is also useful to be able to quickly browse through all the diagrams for a project to see what you have. So I’ve since moved all the diagrams for the SIOT project from scattered files into one document.