The Task Pane
The Task Pane is a docked area within the PowerPoint 2016 for Mac interface that provides more options than dialog boxes. Also, unlike most dialog boxes which cover the Slide Area, you can view both the active slide(s) and the Task Pane at the same time. The Task Pane, therefore, provides a more streamlined experience. In fact, all the options within the Format dialog boxes from older versions of PowerPoint are now available within the new Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.
In Figure 1 below you can see the PowerPoint 2016 for Mac interface without any Task Pane. Later in this page, we'll show you how you can summon the Task Pane.
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2016 interface without Task Pane
How the Task Pane Works
To make just one of the Task Panes visible, follow these steps:
- Open any presentation in PowerPoint 2016 and navigate to Review tab of the Ribbon and then click the Thesaurus button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2.
Figure 2: Thesaurus button
- This brings up the Thesaurus Task Pane that you can see in Figure 3 (highlighted in red), on the right side of the PowerPoint interface.
Figure 3: Thesaurus Task Pane
- If you make edits and choose options, you may see many new options that show up within the Task Panes.
Figure 4: Drag the Task Pane
Note that you can have more than one Task Pane visible at the same time within your PowerPoint interface. Usually, the Task Pane is not visible all the time, and it appears only if you select Task Pane options like Insights, Selection Pane, Animation Pane, etc. Also, multiple instances of the Task Pane are tabbed when docked, as shown in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Tabbed Task Pane
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