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Task Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn about how the Task Pane works in PowerPoint 2016, and how you can toggle its view.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
OS: Windows 7 and higher

The Task Pane
How the Task Pane works

The Task Pane

The Task Pane is a docked area within the PowerPoint 2016 interface that provides more options than dialog boxes. Also unlike most dialog boxes which cover the Slide Area, you can view both the active slide(s) and the Task Pane at the same time -- thus the Task Pane provides a more streamlined experience. In fact, all the options within the Format dialog boxes from older versions of PowerPoint are now available within the new Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016.

In the newest version of PowerPoint, the Task Pane works exactly in the same way as it would in earlier versions of PowerPoint -- additionally, many dialog boxes from the previous versions now open as Task Panes. Note that you can have more than one Task Pane visible at the same time within your PowerPoint interface. Usually, the Task Pane is not visible all the time -- it appears only if you select Task Pane options like Insights, Selection Pane, Animation Pane, etc. And when these options are selected, the related Task Pane appears docked on the right side of PowerPoint interface.

In Figure 1 below you can see the PowerPoint 2016 interface without any Task Pane. Later in this page, we'll show you how you can summon the Task Pane.

PowerPoint 2016 interface without Task Pane
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2016 interface without Task Pane


How the Task Pane Works

To make the Task Pane visible, follow these steps:

  1. Open any presentation in PowerPoint 2016 and navigate to Review tab of the Ribbon and then click the Smart Lookup button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    Smart Lookup button
    Figure 2: Smart Lookup button
  2. This brings up the Insights Task Pane that you can see in Figure 3 (highlighted in red) -- on the right side of the PowerPoint interface.

    Insights Task Pane
    Figure 3: Insights Task Pane

    While making edits and choosing options, you will see many options that show up within the Task Panes.
Tip: You can drag the Task Pane anywhere you want -- this works great if you have a dual monitor set up -- in that case, drag the Task pane to the other monitor so that you have a larger area for your slide.


See Also:

Task Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Task Pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Task Pane in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

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©2000-2016, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

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