Ribbon and Tabs in PowerPoint 2010
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista
Date Created: August 27th 2010
Last Updated: August 27th 2010
Excerpt/Capsule: Learn about the Ribbon in PowerPoint 2010.
The Ribbon along with its tabs continues its presence (from PowerPoint 2007) in the Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 interface. The Ribbon replaces all the menus and toolbars that were found in PowerPoint 2003 and older versions -- although there's still one menu as part of the File Menu and Backstage View, and one toolbar called the Quick Access Toolbar. All the other options are now found in the tabs of the Ribbon.
Note: Microsoft calls this new interface Fluent -- that's good to know because it sounds impressive!
The Ribbon is essentially a long strip that's fixed in size (see Figure 1) so that you cannot change its width or height. The Ribbon includes several tabs -- and each tab is named as you can see in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Ribbon
Tip - If you want more screen estate for a while, you can quickly hide the entire Ribbon with all the tabs by pressing Ctrl + F1 -- press Ctrl + F1 again to bring back the Ribbon.
The Ribbon contains many interface elements:
- Tabs: Ribbon consists of fixed tabs such as Home, Insert, Design, etc. Each tab contains sets of tools to create and edit presentations. By default, the Developer tab is not visible in the Ribbon although you can enable it yourself.
- Contextual Tabs 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. Figure 2 shows the Drawing Tools Format tab which is only activated when a shape or another drawing object is selected on the slide.
Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon
- Group: A group of related tools within a tab is known as a Group. Figure 3 shows the Shape Styles group within the Drawing Tools Format tab.
Figure 3: Shapes Styles group
- A Gallery is 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 (I explain that next). The figure below shows the Shape Style gallery -- all available styles can be seen as small preview thumbnails.
Figure 4: Shape Style Gallery
- The More button expands a gallery within a Ribbon tab so that all or more options can be seen. Figure 5 shows you the More Button in the bottom right (highlighted in yellow). The two arrow buttons above the More Button are used to scroll inside the gallery without expanding it (or even after expanding it if the gallery has too many options).
Figure 5: More Button
- The Down Arrow is a small downward pointing triangle that's placed next to many buttons on the Ribbon tabs -- when clicked, this displays a gallery or an additional option/submenu related to the selected tools -- you can see the Down Arrow (highlighted in red) next to the Shape Fill option in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Down Arrow
- Dialog Launcher (as shown in Figure 7) is a small square with an arrow ((highlighted in red)) in the lower right corner of several Groups within the Ribbon tabs. The figure below shows the Shapes Styles group with a dialog launcher. As the name explains, a dialog launcher when clicked summons a dialog box with more advanced options.
Figure 7: Dialog Launcher