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Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn about the Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016, and what you can do to make your slide editing easier and more productive.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Windows 7 and higher






The Slide Area
The Actual Slide
The Slide Workspace
The Scroll Bars


The Slide Area

Many new changes have shown up in PowerPoint 2016 and several other versions released in the past. However, one thing that has not changed is PowerPoint's tri-paned interface! So why is the interface called tri-paned? Are there three distinct regions within the PowerPoint 2016 interface? Yes, the Slide Area is one of three principal regions in PowerPoint 2016; the other two being the Slides Pane and the Notes Pane.

The Slide area comprises everything within the in red highlighted region as shown within Figure 1. This is the area where you work the most, typically through adding and editing slide objects.

Slide area within PowerPoint 2016 interface
Figure 1: Slide area within PowerPoint 2016 interface

The Slide area includes three elements, as marked in Figure 1, above:

  1. The actual slide
  2. The slide workspace (blank area surrounding the slide)
  3. The scrollbars that let you navigate between slides (or the same slide when you zoom the view to a larger percentage)

We discuss each of these individual interface elements next.

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The Actual Slide

This is the actual slide where you can add slide objects such as text, pictures, charts, etc. When you use Slide Show view to display your PowerPoint presentation, you only get to see objects that are placed within this area.

You normally click on a text placeholder and type some text to replace the dummy text in the placeholder, as shown in Figure 2.

Add text in an existing text placeholder
Figure 2: Add text in an existing text placeholder

PowerPoint provides three extra interface features that help in placing the elements properly on the slide. These are part of the slide area but you'll not be able to see them until they are activated.

  1. Ruler: Horizontal and vertical rulers appear at the top and to the left of the slide. Learn more about Rulers in PowerPoint 2016.
  2. Gridlines: A grid of evenly spaced dots appears directly on the slide and helps you position slide objects. Learn more about Gridlines in PowerPoint 2016.
  3. Guides: A pair of horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at the middle of the slide. You can also add more guides as required. Learn more about Guides in PowerPoint 2016.

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The Slide Workspace

This is the grey area behind the slide. All objects you place here can be edited and animated, although they won't show up in Slide Show view.

This makes the Workspace a convenient place to store stuff that you might want to use later. You can also store slide objects in the Workspace so that they animate from this Workspace into the actual Slide! Also, any sound objects you place in the Workspace play because sound objects are only heard and not seen!

Figure 3 shows a slide that has objects within the actual Slide and in the extended Slide Workspace.

A slide object placed outside the Slide in the Workspace
Figure 3: A slide object placed outside the Slide in the Workspace

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The Scroll Bars

There are two scroll bars:

  1. The vertical scroll bar, placed towards the right of the slide (shown highlighted red within Figure 4) is always visible. The vertical scroll bar can be used to navigate from one slide to the other. To move forward and backward from one slide to the other, click one of the double-headed arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar, as referred in Figure 4. You can also drag the handle box in the vertical scroll bar and move up or down to navigate several slides at a time.
  2. The horizontal slide bar only shows up when you zoom your slide to a larger view.

    The Vertical Scroll Bar
    Figure 4: The Vertical Scroll Bar

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See Also:

Slide Area in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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