CPS100 • Introduction to Computers

Lakeland College • Japan Campus

PowerPoint Basics, Window & Views

When you open PowerPoint 2010, you will see this window:

The parts of the window:

The Ribbon

If you have used PowerPoint 2000 or 2003, you will note the very different layout since Office 2007. The first thing that you will notice is that the menus are missing. In their place, there are tabs at the top of a Ribbon. See them? The ones titled, "Home," "Insert," "Design," "Animations," "Slide Show," "Review" and "View"? Here is the Ribbon by itself:

The ribbon is used instead of menus. Think of the Ribbon as a "super toolbar." You will notice that the many toolbars of Office 2003 have disappeared; the Ribbon has replaced them. The designers of Office wanted to present as many features to users as easily as possible. Before, many features were hidden in dialog boxes and submenus; the Ribbon helps make them more visible and easy to use.

Clicking on the tab for a Ribbon section will show you a new set of buttons under that theme. Later, we will study the Ribbon sections one by one.

If you double-click on any Ribbon tab, the Ribbon will become Minimized--that is, it will only show the tabs, and the buttons will disappear. In this mode, you can see the buttons by clicking on any tab; the buttons will disappear after you finish using them. This lets you have more screen space for the slide design. You can un-minimize the Ribbon by double-clicking on a tab again.

In order to see more detailed controls, you can open dialog boxes. These can be opened by clicking on the dialog box buttons below the Ribbon sections:

In Office 2007, the Ribbon could not be changed. However, Office 2010 introduces the ability to customize the Ribbon in almost any way you want. You can hide Ribbon tabs or buttons, or you can add new buttons, new button groups, or even add completely new Ribbon tabs. See the examples below:

In the examples above, you can see the "Insert" tab before and after I added a new group and some buttons. Below, you can see a whole new tab with groups and buttons that I added.

You can add these by going to the File tab, clicking on "Options," and then choosing "Customize Ribbon" in the left sidebar. You can use the controls there to make the changes:

The File Tab

You might wonder, "where is the File Menu?" How can I print, for example? Well, the File Menu is still there... it is just different; it's called the "File Tab":

If you click on the "File" tab, you will see the File Menu choices:

If you click on any item with an icon, a dialog box will appear with options; for the named items, a click will show the details on the right:

Using this menu, you can create a new document (slide show), open a saved document, save the slide show you're working on, print a copy of the slides, or close the document. There are other options, but they are mostly for advanced or business users.

The Quick Access Toolbar

PowerPoint 2010 no longer has toolbars like Office 2003 used to have. You used to be able to move toolbars around, change them, and create new ones. You could have dozens of toolbars floating or docked within the window.

In Office 2010, there is only one toolbar: the Quick Access Toolbar. At first, this is located at the top left of your window, just to the right of the PowerPoint icon.

At first, this toolbar has only buttons for Save, Undo, and Redo. However, by clicking on the little arrow just to the right of the toolbar, you can see options to add more buttons.

By clicking on the gray space to the left of any command, you can add or remove that button to or from the toolbar. If you want a choice of other buttons, just select and click "More Commands." Or, you can add any button from the Ribbon by right-clicking on it and selecting, "Add to the Quick Access Toolbar."

You can also move this toolbar so it is below the Ribbon, which is a more natural place for some people.

Finally, Minimizing the Ribbon will make the Ribbon buttons seem to disappear–but when you click on a Ribbon Tab, the Ribbon will temporarily re-appear to let you choose a button from it.

You can also minimize the ribbon by double-clicking on any of the tabs--and you can un-minimize it in the same way.

More Commands

One of the main ideas of the Quick Access Toolbar is to have the ability to customize--to add what buttons you want to the toolbar. You can do this by choosing "More Commands..." from the menu. This will open the Options dialog box, and will show you two boxes: on the left, all the commands which you can choose; and one the right, all the commands you have in the Quick Access Toolbar.

To add a command, just select the right one from the list on the left, and then click the "Add >>" button between the two lists. The button will be added to the toolbar, and when you close the Options, you will be able to see it there.

Let's experiment by adding some new buttons to the toolbar. Go to the Quick Access Toolbar options menu, and choose "More Commands...." Then, in the Options dialog box, in the list on the left, find the button for "Bring Forward." It should be near the top of the list. Select it, then click the "Add >>" button. Then go back and do the same with the "Bring to Front" button. After you do that, scroll down and find the "Send Backward" and "Send to Back" buttons, and add them. When you are finished, all four buttons should now appear in the list on the right:

If you wish, you can re-order them in the list by selecting them one at a time, and then using the up and down buttons to the right.

Please do the above steps on the computer you are using; I will ask you to use these buttons in the fourth chapter on PowerPoint, so if you make these changes now, you will be prepared for that chapter.


There is a Views bar down in the lower-right corner of your PowerPoint window.

Here are the parts:

  1. Normal View
  2. Slide Sorter View
  3. Reading View
  4. Start Slide Show
  5. Zoom Slider (and buttons, including the Fit Slide to Window button at right)

Normal View is the view that you started in--the slide and the sidebar.

Slide Sorter View lets you see all the slides at one time, and re-order them easily.


Views can be changed in a few different places. First, let's look at the Sidebar.

Normally, the sidebar has slide thumbnails. But if you click Outline, you can see a way to make a presentation very quickly.

When you click Outline, you will see the slides as small icons. Click to the right of one, and you will see a blinking cursor line. Now try typing. You will see that whatever you type appears in the Title area on the slide!

Levels: Different text boxes and bullet points have different "levels." The Title of any slide is the "top" level. Next is the Left-most line of a text box. Every level below that is right-indented an extra half-inch.

A few keys will allow you to move quickly through the outline:

Keystroke Effect Note
Control-Enter Move to the next text box If you are in the last text box in a slide, you will go to the first text box in the next slide
Enter Move to the next item of the same level If you are at the top of a slide, Enter will move you to the next slide; In a subtitle or bullet list, it will simply go to the next line
Tab Promote the line Changes the line/paragraph to the next highest level. Level-two lines will become a new slide and will take the Title position.
Shift-Tab Promote the line Changes the line/paragraph to the next lowest level. Slide titles (level-one lines) will join the previous slide at the last second-level position.

An example of what such an outline will look like:

This is a very quick way to create a slide show--but it is also very plain and unimaginative. You can make it look a little better by quickly adding a theme--but experienced PowerPoint users will be able to see what you did. Still, if all you need are notes and if you are in a hurry, this is a good way to get the job done.


Each presentation is divided into slides. Each slide shows a different screen to your audience. If you use the Sidebar, you can rearrange your slides:

You can also arrange slides in the Slide Sorter View:


Everything you put on a PowerPoint slide is considered an object. Objects include:

  • Text boxes
  • Word Art
  • Shapes (and Autoshapes)
  • Photos
  • Clip Art
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Movies & Sounds

Each object can be selected, moved, an changed via commands and buttons.

When you select an object, you will see a Placeholder.

This placeholder has four corner resize handles, four edge resize handles, and a rotation handle (the green one on top). You can resize or rotate the placeholder by clicking and dragging on any one of these.

Some placeholders can contain media; you might see something that looks like this:

The six ghost-like icons in the center are buttons. If you click on one, it will bring up a selection menu for that kind of media:

The six media types are:

  • Tables
  • Charts
  • SmartArt
  • Pictures
  • Clip Art
  • Media Clip (Movies & Sounds)


One more thing: the Format... dialog box. This will appear many times, but it is contextual--that is, it will change according to what you are formatting. You can have Format Text, Format Picture, Format SmartArt, and so on. Note the left side of the dialog box, where you can choose from the many areas in which to format.

This dialog box is very similar between the different objects to format; small changes will appear, case by case.

Popup Format Palette

Another new feature since Office 2007 is the popup feature palette. This is a small toolbar that appears whenever you select text. It will appear just above and to the right of the text. It allows you to do quick and easy format changes, such as font, font size, font color, alignment, indents, and so on.

Terms to Know

Quick Access Toolbara small toolbar and menu at top left to allow quick access to favorite commands.
ribbonthe control area at the top of the window; kind of like a mixture of a menu and a toolbar.
tabtitles of different areas of the ribbon.
outlinea tab in the left sidebar which allows users to type the text for each slide in outline form, automatically placing the text on the slides.
objectanything you place on a slide, such as a shape, picture, text box, etc.; each object has its own layer.
format dialog boxa dialog box that allows for designing almost anything on the slide; to find it, right-click on the part you want to design and then choose "Format ..." from the bottom of the pop-up menu.

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