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Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Explore the Slide Area, and tricks to make slide editing more productive in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






The Slide Area
The Actual Slide
The Slide Workspace
The Scroll Bars


The Slide Area

In various versions of PowerPoint, including PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, what’s the one thing that has not changed? Yes, it's PowerPoint's tri-paned interface! So, why is the interface called tri-paned? Are there three distinct regions within the PowerPoint 2016 for Mac interface? Yes, the Slide Area is one of three principal regions in PowerPoint 2016; the other two being the Slides Pane and the Notes Pane.

The Slide area comprises everything within the in red highlighted region as shown within Figure 1. This is the area where you work the most, typically through adding and editing slide objects.

Slide area within PowerPoint 2016 Mac interface
Figure 1: Slide area within PowerPoint 2016 Mac interface

The Slide area includes three elements, as marked in Figure 1, above:

  1. The actual slide
  2. The slide workspace (blank area surrounding the slide)
  3. The scrollbars that let you view a portion of the slide that is not visible because you may have zoomed into the slide.

We discuss next each of the individual interface elements within the Slide Area.

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The Actual Slide

This is the actual slide where you can add slide objects such as text, pictures, charts, etc. When you use Slide Show view to display your PowerPoint presentation, you only get to see objects that are placed within this area.

You normally click on a text placeholder and type some text to replace the dummy text in the placeholder, as shown in Figure 2.

Add text in an existing text placeholder
Figure 2: Add text in an existing text placeholder

PowerPoint provides two extra interface features that help in placing the elements properly on the slide. These are part of the slide area but you'll not be able to see them until they are activated.

  1. Ruler: Horizontal and vertical rulers appear at the top and to the left of the slide. Learn more about Rulers in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.
  2. Guides: A pair of horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at the middle of the slide. You can also add more guides as required. Learn more about Guides in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.
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The Slide Workspace

This is the area behind the slide. All objects you place here can be edited and animated, although they won't show up in Slide Show view.

This makes the Workspace a convenient place to store stuff that you might want to use later. You can also store slide objects in the Workspace so that they animate from this Workspace into the actual Slide! Also, any sound objects you place in the Workspace play because sound objects are only heard and not seen!

Figure 3 shows a slide that has objects within the actual Slide and in the extended Slide Workspace.

A slide object placed outside the Slide in the Workspace
Figure 3: A slide object placed outside the Slide in the Workspace

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The Scroll Bars

There are two scrollbars, which are not always visible. They show up only when you zoom your slide to a larger view. The vertical scrollbar is placed towards the right of the slide as shown highlighted red within Figure 4.

The horizontal scrollbar, placed at the bottom of the Slide Area also only shows up when you zoom your slide to a larger view (shown highlighted blue within Figure 4).

The Vertical and Horizontal Scrollbars
Figure 4: The Vertical and Horizontal Scrollbars

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See Also:

Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint Online

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