Parts of the MS PowerPoint Window

By Anni Martin

Creating a great presentation takes a bit of effort.
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The opening screen of Microsoft PowerPoint is a blank, white and gray wall called the presentation window. In this window, you will find several areas and panes through which you can design an engaging slide show for any business presentation. Once you get started using PowerPoint, you will find it easy to color the gray presentation walls with some text, graphics and media.

Blank Presentation Slide Pane

When PowerPoint starts, the largest window pane in the middle-right is the blank presentation slide. This represents your first presentation slide or slide pane also called the title slide. You can click to add a title and a subtitle to your presentation. The slide pane is the area your audience sees.

Slides/Outline Pane

To the left of the main Slide Pane is the Slides/Outline Pane. The Slides/Outline Pane allows you to see all of your presentation slides or an outline of your presentation. Switch back and forth between the views by clicking on the tabs at the top of the pane. You can click through the presentation by selecting individual slides or outline sections. Close this pane to give yourself more space by clicking on the X at the top of the pane window. To get it back, use your mouse to drag it from the far left side of the screen.

Status Bar

Underneath the Slide and Slides/Outline panes rests the gray Status Bar. In the left corner, you can see which slide you are currently working on. The right corner has the Slide View buttons and the zoom control. By clicking on the Slide View buttons, you can see your presentation in Normal View, Slide Sorter View or Presentation View. The Slide Sorter is useful for moving slides around while the Slide Show View allows you to see what your presentation would look like full screen, as if you were presenting to an audience. Once in Slide Show mode, press "ESC" to return to the main window.

Notes Pane

Above the Status Bar is the Notes Pane area. This area is used for your speaking notes about a slide. The audience does not see these notes, but you can print them out as well. The Notes Pane area disappears if you close the Slides/Outline Pane. To get it back, use your mouse to drag it from the bottom of the screen.

The Ribbon

Tools and commands for PowerPoint are located in the Ribbon. The Ribbon lies above the Blank Presentation Slide and Slides/Outline Panes and contains tabs to move between various PowerPoint tools and commands. The most frequently used commands, like adding a new slide or using different fonts, are found on the Home tab. To change the design of your slide show, click on the "Design" tab. To save your presentation, click on the "File" tab.

Title Bar and Quick Access Tools

Above the Ribbon, you will see the title of your presentation in the center of the gray title bar. To the left of the title, you will see a set of buttons called Quick Access tools. This little toolbar can be customized to hold the commands you use the most like Save, Undo and Redo.