Working with the Ribbon in PowerPoint 2011 is intuitive to a very large extent, and it certainly involves a little more than just learning to minimize and maximize the Ribbon tabs. In fact, you can customize to the extent of hiding the entire Ribbon altogether, or changing the Ribbon tab color from orange and a more muted gray. You can also show or hide group headings within individual tabs etc., as explained below:
- Launch PowerPoint 2011. Click the Ribbon dialog launcher button (highlighted in red within Figure 1) on the extreme right edge of the Ribbon, this looks like a gear. From the resultant menu, select the Ribbon Preferences option, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Select the Ribbon Preferences option
- This opens the PowerPoint Preferences dialog box including the Ribbon editing options marked in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Ribbon editing options within PowerPoint Preferences dialog box
- All Ribbon editing options within PowerPoint Preferences dialog box are broadly divided into two categories named General and Customize. These options are explained below, as marked in Figure 2, above:
- Deselecting this check-box will completely turn off the Ribbon. To turn on the Ribbon again, summon the PowerPoint Preferences dialog box by selecting the PowerPoint | Preferences menu option, select the Ribbon tab of this dialog box, and select the same Turn on the Ribbon check-box again.
- When this check-box is selected, the entire Ribbon is visible when a document is open. When deselected, only the Ribbon tabs are displayed when a document is open. You must click on any of the tabs to see the entire Ribbon thereafter.
- Select this check-box to turn-off the group names (highlighted in red within Figure 3, below) within the Ribbon tabs. In Figure 3, the top portion shows the Ribbon when Hide group titles check-box is not selected (the default option). Contrast this with the bottom portion of Figure 3, which shows the Ribbon when the same check-box is selected.
Figure 3: Selecting the Hide group titles check-box hides the group titles
- Within the selection box, you can choose between either PowerPoint Orange (the application theme for PowerPoint) or Graphite for the Ribbon tabs. Figure 4, below shows the Ribbon tabs sporting a Graphite theme (compare with Figure 3, above).
Figure 4: Change the color of your Ribbon tabs
- Here, all Ribbon tabs are arranged in a list (highlighted in blue within Figure 2, above). This is the same sequence of tabs that you see within the actual Ribbon.
- Select or deselect the check-boxes associated with the individual tabs to show or hide the particular tab on the Ribbon. You can also drag the individual tabs in this list to reorder them on the Ribbon.
- Make customizations as required and click the OK button within the PowerPoint Preferences dialog box. Now, the PowerPoint Ribbon will reflect customizations you opted for.
A. Turn on the ribbon
B. Expand ribbon when presentation opens
C. Hide group titles
E. Show or hide tabs, or drag them into the order you prefer