Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the Ribbon, part of PowerPoint 2013 Essential Training.
The Ribbon is an identical feature across the entire Microsoft Office product suite. However, the tasks in the Ribbon are different for each product. The Ribbon was designed to help you quickly find the right task, at the right time according to the right thing that you are doing in that product. So, while it can look really overwhelming at first, the key to understanding how the ribbon really works is to learn that it's actually in organized chaos. For example, each task is grouped and located on the Ribbon in a place where you think you'll need it.
For example, up here we have the Quick Access toolbar, which I talked a little bit about before, and it's something that's always there. While all the different tabs can change at the ribbon, the icons that are in the Quick Access toolbar will never change. Now the Ribbon interface is tabbed, for example, we have HOME, INSERT, DESIGN, TRANSITIONS, ANIMATONS, SLIDE SHOW, REVIEW, and VIEW. To get to each grouping, simply click on the tab you are looking for. For example, if I want to INSERT a picture into my slides I can probably know to head over to the INSERT tab and see what's there.
This way, you'll learn which tab you should start to go in according to the task that you are trying to do. Now to get further involved in all these groups, they are also labeled. For example, notice you'll notice that when I hover my mouse over these icons, they shade, that's giving me a clue that I can click on them, and it will do something, but if I click on this word under here Images nothing happens, that's because it's an actual label. So, again if you're not sure where to look, you can further refine how to look for things on the ribbon by coming down here to these groups.
For example, if you are going to insert an image, come down here to the Image group, if you are going to insert a comment over here in the Comments section. Now if you have got a smaller screen or if it just annoys you, you can actually hide this at any time. Way over here on the right there is a little arrow, and I can click on it to collapse the ribbon. It's only going to leave me the tabs. Now I click on a tab, and it appears, I can click on the task I'm looking for, and once I'm done what I need to--I am just going to close out of this dialog box--the tab is gone. This is what happens when it's collapsed.
It only appears when you need it, and if you click off the ribbon, it goes back to being hidden. You can get this back at any time by clicking on any tab and going all the way over to the right and clicking on the Push Pin icon. This is going to pin it back exactly the way it was. Now you can actually customize all the things that are in the ribbon. You can Customize Quick Access toolbar, also. In any white space--that just means anywhere there is no text already--you can use the right mouse button click, and you'll get some options. I can either Customize the Quick Access toolbar, or I can Customize the Ribbon.
I am going to do the Quick Access toolbar, because it's really useful, and I like to use it a lot and put things in it that I need a lot. So, one of the things I want to put in here is the New Slide INSERT key. For example, if I click Cancel, in the HOME Ribbon tab here's where I actually insert a New Slide. It's also in the INSERT menu under Slides, but it's not in any of these, and if I happen to leave the ribbon in a place where it's inconvenient for me to insert a New Slide, I just want it visible all the time, this is how it works for me.
So, I am going to back, right-click, Customize Quick Access toolbar, here's where I can see all the Command options of things that I can insert into there. I can choose from popular commands, which is a smaller list of things that Microsoft thinks I might want to add. If I don't see what I'm looking for, I can click on the pull down menu and go to All Commands. This is a very long list of every single possible command I could think to add. I am going to come back to my more manageable list here under Popular Commands. I am going to go down to N look for New Slide, here it is, I can click on it once and choose Add.
I can then click OK, and now in my Quick Access toolbar, I have got a new icon. Now no matter where I am, no matter what Ribbon tab I have open, or even if the ribbon is minimized, it doesn't matter. I can still click on this anytime to insert a new slide into my presentation. Finally, the last thing I want to show you is the FILE menu. Now this is a very special tab it's also called Backstage. The FILE menu is going to tell you all sorts of things about your presentation. It's where you can open a new presentation or save the one you're working on.
We are going to go over all these options later. So, don't worry so much about what they do now, but you just need to know that it's there. To get back to your presentation, click on the arrow, and you're back. So, if ribbon at first appears to be really overwhelming just remember that it's all about grouping. Once you learn and get familiar with what tasks are associated with each group, and how to do what you're looking for, you'll know exactly where to find the task that you need.
- Touring the PowerPoint interface
- Creating a presentation
- Adding, removing, and rearranging slides
- Adding and formatting pictures
- Working with bullet points
- Inserting tables from Excel
- Adding shapes and creating diagrams
- Inserting audio and video clips
- Delivering your presentation
- Reusing and sharing a presentation