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Ribbons and Tabs in PowerPoint Online

Learn about the Ribbon and Tabs within the PowerPoint Online interface.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint Online

OS: Windows and Mac OS X






The Ribbon
Ribbon Contents


The Ribbon

The Ribbon in PowerPoint Online is the long strip comprising tabs with buttons across the top of the main window within the PowerPoint interface. The Ribbon contains almost all the commands you need to work with your slides and is designed in a way that helps you quickly find the commands that you need to complete a task.

However, the File Menu exists in PowerPoint Online, even though it sports fewer options. All the other commands are now found in the various tabs of the Ribbon within the interface. The Ribbon has several tabs, each named as you can see in Figure 1.

Ribbon and tabs within the PowerPoint Online interface
Figure 1: Ribbon and tabs within the PowerPoint Online interface

Tip: If you want more screen estate for a while, you can quickly hide the entire Ribbon while still showing just the tabs by double-clicking any of the visible tabs.

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Ribbon Content

The Ribbon contains many interface elements that are explained below:

  1. Tabs: The Ribbon contains fixed tabs such as Home, Insert, Design, etc. Each tab contains sets of tools to create and edit slides.
  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 2). Tis is a contextual tab. Make sure that you click on the contextual tab to activate it.

    Contextual tab
    Figure 2: Contextual tab
  3. Group: A group of related tools within a tab is known as a Group. Figure 3 shows Insert Shapes and Shape Styles groups within the Drawing Tools Format tab.

    Shape Styles group
    Figure 3: Shape Styles group
  4. A Gallery is a collection of styles or properties. Most galleries can be seen as drop-down galleries as shown in Figure 4. To access the drop-down galleries, you click the More button (explained in the next point). Figure 4 shows the Shape Styles gallery. All available styles can be seen as small preview thumbnails.

    Shape Styles Gallery
    Figure 4: Shape Styles Gallery
  5. The More button expands to a gallery within a Ribbon tab so that all or more options can be seen. Figure 5 shows you the More button for the Shape Styles gallery (highlighted in red).

    More button
    Figure 5: More button
  6. The Down Arrow is a small downward pointing triangle that's placed next to many buttons. When clicked, this displays a gallery or an additional options/sub-menu related to the selected button. You can see the Down Arrow (highlighted in red) next to the Shape Fill option in Figure 6.

    Down Arrow
    Figure 6: Down Arrow

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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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