PowerPoint XP: The PowerPoint Window

Lesson 1: The PowerPoint Window


Microsoft PowerPoint XP, part of the Office XP suite, is a presentation graphics application. A presentation is a combination of slides, handouts, notes, and outlines all in one file. You can add text, graphics, photos, clip art, sound, and video to your slides. PowerPoint 2002 can help you present a topic at work, home, or school.

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Identify the parts of the PowerPoint window
  • Recognize the slide views
  • Operate the task pane
  • Operate the drop-down menus

The parts of the PowerPoint window

The PowerPoint window has toolbars and panes to help you quickly create presentations. Most of the toolbars are common in Office applications but may feature options unique to PowerPoint.

  • Title bar: Displays the document name followed by a program name
  • Menu bar: Contains a list of options to manage and customize documents
  • Standard toolbar: Contains shortcut buttons for the most popular commands
  • Formatting toolbar: Contains buttons used for formatting
  • Status bar: Displays slide position and the type of design in PowerPoint
  • Drawing toolbar: Contains tools for drawing lines, shapes, and objects
  • Help: Provides quick access to help topics

PowerPoint XP has a new default Normal view called the Tri-pane view. This view, which opens when you launch PowerPoint, allows you to see multiple parts of a presentation at once.

One of the other noticeable changes between PowerPoint 2000 and PowerPoint 2002 is the task pane. Located on the right side of the computer screen, this pane allows you to select tasks in different categories and lets you quickly enhance your slides in a few steps. You'll learn more about the task pane later in this lesson.

PowerPoint window labeled

Also new in PowerPoint 2002 are the Outline and Slides tabbed panes. Click the tabs on the left side of the screen to view an outline or slide of your presentation. The tabs render differently based on the size of the pane.

Outline and Slides Tabs

Outline and Slides Tabs

 You can show or hide PowerPoint's toolbars. Click the View menu and choose Toolbar. Decide which ones you want to show or hide.

View buttons and slide views

The view buttons at the bottom-left corner of the screen allow for three slide views: Normal view, Slide Sorter view, and Slide Show view.

View Buttons

The view buttons can be useful as you prepare your presentation. They control the way slides are displayed on the screen. Click a view button to see a different view.

Normal view Normal View Button contains the Outline and Slides tabbed panes on the left, the Slide pane in the center, and the task pane on the right.

Outline view shows the text of your presentation for easy editing, while Slides view shows text and graphics of the slide you're working on. Click the tabs to switch between the two views. Under the center slide area is a place for notes.

PowerPoint window in outline view

You can hide or show the different panes in Normal view. To hide the task pane, click the View menu and choose Task Pane. (The View menu also allows you to choose other views). To hide the Outline and Slides tabbed panes, click the X to the left of the Slides tab.

More views

Here are some other views that may be useful as you create your presentations:

Slide Sorter view Slide Sorter View Button lets you see small versions of all the slides you have created. You can delete, copy, and move slides in this view.

Slide Show view Slide Show Button lets you see your presentation electronically as it will appear to an audience.

The task pane

The PowerPoint XP task pane replaces the dialog boxes used in PowerPoint 2000. The down-pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the pane allows you to select different menus and tools. By default, the task pane appears when PowerPoint XP is launched.

Task Pane

The Slide Layout and Slide Design panes within the task pane help organize layouts, design templates, and color schemes. When you select a design option, your slides are quickly updated with the new look.

You can view the Slide Layout and Slide Design panes by clicking on the down-pointing arrow next to New Presentation in the task pane.

Gray Bar of Task Pane

Select Slide Layout or Slide Design (Design Templates, Color Schemes, and Animation Schemes). You'll learn more about using these panes later in this course.

Slide Design Task Pane

Using the task pane

If you do not see the task pane on the right side of the PowerPoint window, you can easily access it.

To open the task pane:

  • Click View Task Pane.

View Task Pane

To view different panes:

  • Click the down-pointing arrow next to New Presentation and select different panes.
  • Once you open different panes, you can move through them by clicking the backward and forward arrow buttons on the left.

Gray Bar of Task Pane

To close the task pane:

  • Click the X on the right corner of the bar.

Close the Task Pane

You can hide or view the task pane by clicking View Task Pane.

Using drop-down menus

PowerPoint XP's menu bar operates differently than the one in PowerPoint 2000. The menu initially displays commands you use most frequently. To view infrequently used commands, you use drop-down menus.

To view commands in a drop-down menu:

  • Click a menu in the menu bar, such as File, Edit, View, or Insert.
  • Move your mouse pointer over the double arrows at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Edit menu with drop-down arrows

Notice that some menus have black arrows to the right. Slide you mouse pointer over the arrow to view more options.

View Master Slide


  • Open PowerPoint from the Start menu.
  • Review the parts of the PowerPoint window.
  • Familiarize yourself with the task pane. Click to see the other panes.
  • Click the menu bar and view drop-down menus.
  • Click the view buttons.
  • Click the Outline tab and the Slides tab.