Over the past dozen years, having done almost 400 presentations  (almost 500 including eDiscovery law school class sessions) within my firm and out in the world I have learned a number of tricks of the trade.

Though generally I am function paperlessly, a reality is that many an attendee still likes a hardcopy slides handout on which he/she can take notes.  I do generate same and have them printed in color, double-sided.

More importantly, from a technical perspective, I’ve never been happy with Microsoft PowerPoint’s default Handout Creation modes, at least up through the 2007 version.

Even assuming one doesn’t put too much text on each slide, neither out-of-the-box approach is very satisfying.  Either there are 3 slides to a page so the attendees can barely see the miniscule text.  Or there are 2 slides to a page but no note lines.

So, many moons ago, my former assistant (she’s still a tech-savvy secretary here at Fenwick & West) Berta Lopez helped me come up with a better way.  The end result, as coined by me, is  . . . drum roll please . . . .  “Display-One-Readable-Slide-And-Lines” (“DORSAL”) handout version.

Maybe Microsoft or a handshake-software programmer can come up with an automated approach to generate my favored version.  Until that day, here’s a “how-to” if you or your assistant would like to give it a try:

  • Open the .ppt version and from the Office button, choose “Create Handouts in Microsoft Office Word”:

  • Then, in the ensuing window, choose “Blank lines below slides”:

  • Click on OK or press the Enter key.
  • Once it all goes into Word, save the file
  • Then, for each slide/image, right click, then choose Format Object:
    • Click on the Size tab

  • In the Height field input 4.8 over the default height
  • [You can copy the 4.8 for pasting into this filed for each of the other slides/objects.]
  • Then click on OK or press the Enter key.


  • Repeat for each slide.


  • Once you get through all the slides/images, save the file
  • Then convert it to Acrobat (File . . .  Print . . . . AdobePDF)


  • In the .pdf version in Adobe Acrobat, click on the Pages tab (on the left).
  • Via Ctrl+Click, select all the pages that have only blank lines (every other page).
  • Right click on one of them and choose Delete Pages.
  • Click OK as to each of the next two prompts.
  • Save the file, which should now only have slides (one per page).
  • Remove the Metadata.
  • Save the file again.

Your attendees will thank you. . . .