PowerPoint Help

You can use our free PowerPoint tutorial to develop your Microsoft Office skills. This tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of developing an effective PowerPoint presentation.

Lesson 1: The PowerPoint Screen

You use PowerPoint to create effective slide show presentations. The PowerPoint screen has many elements.

Title Bar

The Title bar generally appears at the top of the screen. The Title bar displays the title of the current presentation.

Menu Bar

The Menu bar displays the menu. You use the menu to give instructions to PowerPoint.

Standard and Formatting Toolbars

PowerPoint has several toolbars. Toolbars provide shortcuts to menu commands. The most commonly used toolbars are the Standard and Formatting toolbars. You use the Standard toolbar to do such things as open a file; save a file; print a file; check spelling; cut, copy, and paste; undo and redo; or insert a chart or table. You use the Formatting toolbar to change the font, font size or font color; bold, underline, or italicize text; left align, right align, center, or justify; bullet or number lists; highlight; or decrease or increase the indent.


Rulers are vertical and horizontal guides. You use them to determine where you want to place an object. They are marked in inches.



Placeholders hold the objects in your slide. You use placeholders to hold text, clip art, and charts.

Status Bar

The Status bar generally appears at the bottom the screen. The Status bar displays the number of the slide that is currently displayed, the total number of slides, and the name of the design template in use or the name of the background.

Outline Tab

The Outline displays the text contained in your presentation.

Slides Tab

The Slides tab displays a thumbnail of all your slides. You click the thumbnail to view the slide in the Slide pane.

View Buttons

The View buttons appear near the bottom of the screen. You use the view buttons to change between Normal view, Slider Sorter view, and the Slide Show.

Normal View
Normal view splits you screen into three major sections: the Outline and Slides tabs, the Slide pane, and the Task pane. The Outline and Slides tabs are on the left side of your screen. They enable you to shift between two different ways of viewing your slides. The Slides tab shows thumbnails of your slides. The Outline tab shows the text on your slides. The Slide pane is located in the center of your screen. The Slide pane shows a large view of the slide on which you are currently working. The Task pane is located on the right side of your screen. The Tasks pane enables you to select the task you want to perform.
Slide Sorter View
Slide Sorter view enables you to view thumbnails of all your slides. In Slide Sorter view you can easily add, delete, or change the order of your slides. When you are in Slide Sorter view, a special Formatting toolbar appears. It has options that allow you to make changes to your slides
Slide Show
Use the Slide Show view when you want to view your slides, as they will look in your final presentation. When in Slide Show view:
Esc Returns you to the view you were using previously.
Left-clicking Moves you to the next slide or animation effect. When you reach the last slide, you automatically return to your last view.
Right-clicking Opens a pop-up menu. You can use this menu to navigate the slides, add speaker notes, select a pointer, and mark your presentation.

Drawing Toolbar

The Drawing toolbar generally appears near the bottom of the screen. It contains tools for creating and editing graphics.

Common Tasks Buttons

Using the common tasks buttons, you can select the type of tasks you want to perform.

Task Pane

The Task pane enables you to select the specific task you want to perform.

Vertical Splitter Bar

You can click and drag the vertical splitter bar to change the size of your panes.

Minimize Button

You use the Minimize button to remove a window from view. While a window is minimized, its title appears on the taskbar.

Maximize/Restore Button

You use the Maximize button to cause a window to fill the screen. After you maximize a window, if you click the Restore button, the window returns to its former size.

Close Button

You use the Close button to exit the window and close the program.