Understanding the Ribbon interface
Video: Understanding the Ribbon interfaceIf you're brand-new to PowerPoint or if you've migrated from earlier versions of PowerPoint on the Mac to PowerPoint 2011, you're going to notice an extensive change to the user interface. It's important we get comfortable in our surroundings, so we're going to explore the new Fluent user interface, including the new Ribbon. And to do that, we're going to open up an existing presentation. So, let's start at the very top of our screen. At the very top we still have what we call the menu bar, with menu items like File, Edit, View, all the way across to Help. And clicking these headings will display a pop-up menu. For example, if we click File, we're going to see File commands, including one for opening.
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In PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author David Rivers demonstrates how to create effective slideshows and dynamic presentations using the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011. The course provides in-depth instructions for changing the look of presentations: using built-in and custom themes, formatting text, inserting tables and charts, adding pictures and SmartArt drawings, and adding animation. It also shows how to proof presentations and ready them for viewing, and gives details on the different ways to share presentations. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Exploring the Presentation Gallery
- Adding, removing, and arranging slides
- Working with slide layouts and slide masters
- Using and creating templates
- Adding and formatting text
- Working with tables and charts
- Inserting images
- Adding video and sound to a presentation
- Animating slide transitions and slide objects
- Showing and sharing presentations
Understanding the Ribbon interface
If you're brand-new to PowerPoint or if you've migrated from earlier versions of PowerPoint on the Mac to PowerPoint 2011, you're going to notice an extensive change to the user interface. It's important we get comfortable in our surroundings, so we're going to explore the new Fluent user interface, including the new Ribbon. And to do that, we're going to open up an existing presentation. So, let's start at the very top of our screen. At the very top we still have what we call the menu bar, with menu items like File, Edit, View, all the way across to Help. And clicking these headings will display a pop-up menu. For example, if we click File, we're going to see File commands, including one for opening.
Notice that keyboard shortcuts appear next to many of these commands. So in this case Command+O would accomplish the same thing as clicking Open, so let's do that. This displays a file named NewHire.pptx. That's the extension for PowerPoint presentations. So, we'll select it. You'll see a thumbnail representation of the first slide. Just to confirm that's what you're looking for, click Open, and you will have opened up the presentation. And now we're going to take that tour of the user interface.
So, we already know that we have the menu bar across the top of our screen. This displays all of the commands. So they are all hidden in these menus. But there are other options for accessing those commands. So, we're going to move down to the toolbar. Now the toolbar does have shortcut buttons for creating a new presentation or creating a new one from a template. There is a shortcut for opening a presentation, the icon of the folder opening up, clicking that will take us to that open window where we can select the file to open. We can save, print.
You'll see some other ones here for editing, cut, copy and paste; for example, undo and redo. These are standard buttons that appear on the toolbar. We also have a Search field over here on the right-hand side of our toolbar. What's really brand-new though to PowerPoint 2011 is the Ribbon that appears just below the toolbar. With Home selected, you're going to see many of the more commonly used commands when working on a presentation, so for example, if we wanted to add new slides, change the layout or add sections or remove sections.
When we select something on a slide, just click anywhere on the first slide such as the logo for Two Trees Olive Oil Company, you'll notice something different happens now. While the Home tab is still selected but Format Picture appears. So we have a number of formatting options that appear for inserting text and pictures, and so on. If we click on some text inside our slide, you can see it just turns into format. And now all of our Format commands are available to us for changing text, changing the font, the font size, and the appearance, such as bold, italics and underlining and the font color and adding shadows, and so on.
You also have the ability to change things like the alignment of our text. All of these options under Paragraph appear available to us because we've selected a textbox. So, it's context-sensitive, meaning depending on what you select by clicking, you're going to see different options available to you, and the Ribbon interface has many more tabs. So if you want to go to Themes, for example, and choose a different theme for your presentation, you could do that. Then you'll see a Tables tab for all the tables-related commands. They're all located in one easy-to-find location.
This is designed to save you some time, so you're actually doing more work and spending less time searching for commands. There's Charts, SmarArt. Want to work with transitions in your slides? You have a Transition tab on the Ribbon, and all of your transition options appear here, including some previews and some options for adjusting those transitions. Same thing goes for Animations, if you're working with objects on the slide, Slide Show tab for your slideshow, timings and rehearsing and action settings, and so on. And then we have a Review tab, where you'll see all kinds of cool things, like creating these sticky notes, comparing presentations, adjusting permissions, even sharing your presentation by mail if you wanted to, as an attachment.
If you just click off the edge of your slide and nothing is selected, you'll see certain objects are grayed out. They're not available to you. Some disappear. If we go back to the Home tab, you can see we've got all of our standard tools now available to us. It is context-sensitive. Down on the left-hand side, your Navigation pane for moving from slide to slide. You can use this. You can scroll through your presentation using the scrollbar. If you don't want to actually view this pane, there is a close button that allows you get it out of the way, so you can zoom in on your slide and have more room for working on your slide. In the bottom right-hand corner is a slider, a zoom slider that's going to allow you to zoom into your slides.
You can see, for me at least, it's set to 50%. We can click and drag the slider across to the right to increase, drag it to the left to decrease, until you find the exact size you want. You'll also see, next to that zoom slider, we've got this little button here that will create a fullpage view of our slides, so it fills the entire screen. In this case, it happens to be 96% on my particular monitor, with my display settings. So, you can adjust that whatever you like. I'm going to go down to about 81%.
If you want the Navigation pane back, you can just go to the left-hand side you'll see these three dots, and when you hover over that, your mouse pointer changes. That allows you to drag this out, so just click and then drag to drag it out to the right, and the further you go, the wider it gets and the bigger the thumbnails appear. So, it's up to you how big or small you want these thumbnails to be in your Navigation pane. There is an area down below for adding notes: these would be speaker notes or just notes to yourself that you wanted to remember when addressing the slide.
And then you have some buttons in the bottom left-hand corner for changing your views. We're going to be talking about those views a little bit later on. So those are the basics of your user interface. The big change of course is the new Fluent user interface that makes use of the Ribbon and the various Ribbon tabs. Now that you're feeling a little bit more comfortable in your surroundings, it's time to start using this.
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