PowerPoint is a presentation program that allows you to create dynamic slide presentations. These presentations can include animation, narration, images, videos, and much more. In this lesson, you'll learn your way around the PowerPoint environment, including the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Backstage view.
Watch the video below to learn more about getting started with PowerPoint.
PowerPoint 2016 is similar to PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2010. If you've previously used these versions, PowerPoint 2016 should feel familiar. But if you are new to PowerPoint or have more experience with older versions, you should first take some time to become familiar with the PowerPoint 2016 interface.
When you open PowerPoint for the first time, the Start Screen will appear. From here, you'll be able to create a new presentation, choose a template, and access your recently edited presentations. From the Start Screen, locate and select Blank Presentation to access the PowerPoint interface.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the PowerPoint interface.
The Quick Access Toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected. You can customize the commands depending on your preference.
The Ribbon contains all of the commands you will need to perform common tasks in PowerPoint. It has multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands.
The Tell me box works like a search bar to help you quickly find tools or commands you want to use.
From here, you can access your Microsoft account information, view your profile, and switch accounts.
The Ruler is located at the top and to the left of your current slide. It makes it easy to align text and objects on your slide.
Here, you can view and edit the selected slide.
The slide navigation pane allows you to view and organize the slides in your presentation.
Here, you can quickly see the total number of slides in your presentation, as well as which slide you are viewing.
Click Notes to add notes to your current slide. Often called speaker notes, they can help you deliver or prepare for your presentation.
Reviewers can leave comments on any slide. Click Comments to view comments for the current slide.
There are four ways to view a presentation. Simply click a command to select the desired view.
Click and drag the slider to use the zoom control. The number to the right of the slider reflects the zoom percentage.
The scroll bars allow you to scroll up and down or side to side. To do this, click and drag the vertical or horizontal scroll bar.
The Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar are where you will find the commands to perform common tasks in PowerPoint. Backstage view gives you various options for saving, opening a file, printing, and sharing your document.
PowerPoint uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. For example, the Font group on the Home tab contains commands for formatting text in your document.
Some groups also have a small arrow in the bottom-right corner that you can click for even more options.
The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task, but you can choose to minimize it if you find that it takes up too much screen space. Click the Ribbon Display Options arrow in the upper-right corner of the Ribbon to display the drop-down menu.
If you're having trouble finding command you want, the Tell Me feature can help. It works just like a regular search bar: Type what you're looking for, and a list of options will appear. You can then use the command directly from the menu without having to find it on the Ribbon.
Located just above the Ribbon, the Quick Access Toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected. By default, it includes the Save, Undo, Redo, and Start From Beginning commands. You can add other commands depending on your preference.
PowerPoint includes several tools to help organize and arrange content on your slides, including the Ruler, guides, and gridlines. These tools make it easier to align objects on your slides. Simply click the check boxes in the Show group on the View tab to show and hide these tools.
PowerPoint has a variety of viewing options that change how your presentation is displayed. You can choose to view your presentation in Normal view, Slide Sorter view, Reading view, or Slide Show view. You can also zoom in and out to make your presentation easier to read.
Switching between different slide views is easy. Just locate and select the desired slide view command in the bottom-right corner of the PowerPoint window.
To learn more about slide views, see our Managing Slides lesson.
To zoom in or out, click and drag the zoom control slider in the bottom-right corner of the PowerPoint window. You can also select the + or - commands to zoom in or out by smaller increments. The number next to the slider displays the current zoom percentage, also called the zoom level.
Backstage view gives you various options for saving, opening, printing, and sharing your presentations. To access Backstage view, click the File tab on the Ribbon.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using Backstage view.
You can use the arrow to close Backstage view and return to PowerPoint.
The Info pane will appear whenever you access Backstage view. It contains information about the current presentation.
From here, you can create a new blank presentation or choose from a large selection of templates.
From here, you can open recent presentations, as well as presentations saved to your OneDrive or on your computer.
Use Save and Save As to save your presentation to your computer or to your OneDrive.
From the Print pane, you can change the print settings and print your presentation. You can also see a preview of your presentation.
From here, you can invite people to view and collaborate on your presentation. You can also share your presentation by emailing it as an attachment.
You can choose to export your workbook in another format, such as PDF/XPS or PowerPoint 97-2003.
Click here to close the current presentation.
From the Account pane, you can access your Microsoft account information, modify your theme and background, and sign out of your account.
Here, you can change various PowerPoint options, settings, and language preferences.
You can review our lesson on Understanding OneDrive to learn more about using OneDrive.
Change the Ribbon Display Options back to Show Tabs and Commands.