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PowerPoint Online Interface

Explore the PowerPoint Online interface on OneDrive.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint Online
OS: Windows and Mac OS X

Although PowerPoint has always been a desktop program, Microsoft has made impressive strides in porting the entire program to function as a web based program -- and even more amazing is the fact that PowerPoint Online on OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive) is completely free for anyone to use. Here's a quick walkthrough of the PowerPoint Online interface. Do note that to a large extent, the PowerPoint Online interface mimics the PowerPoint desktop interface. However, there are some differences as well, as you will understand better from this tutorial.

First sign in into your OneDrive account, as shown in Figure 1 below.

OneDrive Files page
Figure 1: Signed in within OneDrive

Note: Unlike a desktop application, both OneDrive and PowerPoint Online are constantly evolving -- the interface you see within the screenshots on this page may differ from what you see when you log in.

Now click the down-arrow button (highlighted in red within Figure 1). This brings up the drop-down gallery you see in Figure 2, below. Click the PowerPoint Online option, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2.

PowerPoint Online option
Figure 2: PowerPoint Online option

This opens PowerPoint Online within a new browser tab or window. Notice that the Let's get started splash screen opens with three options (see Figure 3, below).

New blank presentation option
Figure 3: New blank presentation option

These options are:

  1. The New blank presentation option (highlighted in red within Figure 3) opens a blank presentation within PowerPoint Online, as shown in Figure 4.
  2. The Browse templates option lets you browse the templates and Themes available online -- and create a new presentation based on a chosen template.
  3. The Recent documents on OneDrive option brings up the list of all the recently opened/edited files.
PowerPoint Online interface
Figure 4: The PowerPoint Online interface

The PowerPoint Online interface, as marked in Figure 4 is explained below:

  1. Application Area: Within this section, you can open other applications. When you click the down-arrow button (highlighted in red within Figure 1, earlier on this page), you bring up a drop-down gallery with various applications icons (refer to Figure 2, shown earlier on this page).

    Also you can click the name of the open presentation and type in a name (or new name) -- as shown in Figure 5, below.

    Name or rename your presentation
    Figure 5: Name or rename your presentation

    You can also Share the opened presentation -- learn more in our Share PowerPoint Presentations on Social Sites (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) using OneDrive tutorial.
  2. File Menu and Backstage View: When you click the File menu, you see the Backstage view that contains all the creation, save, share, and print options for your presentations (see Figure 6).

    The Backstage view
    Figure 6: The Backstage view
  3. Ribbon: The Ribbon is a strip-like area that has tabs which in turn contain groups of buttons for various options (see Figure 7) -- some groups also contain galleries (for example galleries for Themes and Theme Colors). The Ribbon within PowerPoint Online has less options compared to the desktop versions of PowerPoint.

    The Ribbon within PowerPoint Online
    Figure 7: The Ribbon within PowerPoint Online

    Apart from the Ribbon tabs, you will find a Tell me what you want to do box (highlighted in red within Figure 7, above) which works like a live tutorial. You also get an Open in PowerPoint option (highlighted in blue within Figure 7, above) - which opens the current presentation into PowerPoint desktop.
  4. Slides Pane: Located on the left side of the interface, the Slides pane shows thumbnails of all the slides in the open presentation.
  5. Slide Area: Displays the active slide and this is where you work the most -- typically through adding and editing slide objects.
  6. Notes Pane is located right below the active slide. Here the speaker notes are written for the current slide. Note that none of the content within the Notes pane is visible on the actual slide while presenting.
  7. Status Bar: A horizontal strip (see Figure 8) that provides information about the opened presentation like slide number, view options. The View buttons are explained below from left to right, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8, below.

    The View buttons
    Figure 8: The View buttons

    Essentially there are three view buttons on the Status Bar:

      • Editing View: If you are in Reading view, click the Editing View button on the Status bar to switch to Editing View -- this is the same as Normal View in desktop versions of PowerPoint.

      • Reading View: Click this button to switch to Reading View.

      • Slide Show: Show the presentation as a full screen slide show from the current selected slide.

Other than the interface elements explained earlier, here are some other elements that are not always visible:

  1. Mini Toolbar: This toolbar is a floating toolbar that is available instantly with a right-click (highlighted in red within Figure 9).

    Mini toolbar
    Figure 9: Mini toolbar
  2. Contextual Tabs: These are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options. Notice the Drawing Tools Format tab (highlighted in red within Figure 10) -- this is a contextual tab. Make sure that you click on the contextual tab to activate it.

    Contextual tab
    Figure 10: Contextual tab

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

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.

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since November 02, 2000