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General Program Options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Explore general program options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher






The General tab of the PowerPoint Options dialog box contains basic, yet some very important options related to the appearance and working of the PowerPoint interface. Changes to these options can result in a very different and more efficient workflow. The PowerPoint Options dialog box can be accessed as explained in our Backstage View: Program Options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial. In this tutorial, we will explore the various options within the General tab of the PowerPoint Options dialog box:

Launch PowerPoint 2016 and access the PowerPoint Options dialog box, as shown in Figure 1. Make sure that the General tab is selected, as shown in Figure 1.

PowerPoint Options dialog box
Figure 1: PowerPoint Options dialog box

The options within the General tab of the PowerPoint Options dialog box are explained below, as marked in Figure 1, above:

A. User Interface Options

Includes 3 options:

  • Show Mini Toolbar on selection: As the name suggests, selecting this check-box will provide easy access to the Mini Toolbar when you select text on your slide. To learn more about Mini Toolbar, explore our Mini Toolbar in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial.
  • Enable Live Preview: Selecting this check-box enables Live Preview of slide objects, as you hover over options within the Ribbon and elsewhere. To learn more about Live Preview, explore our Live Preview in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial.
  • ScreenTip style: Change the style of Screen tips using this option. Click to reveal a drop-down list with options as shown in Figure 2, below.
  • ScreenTip style drop-down list
    Figure 2: ScreenTip style drop-down list
  • Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips: This is the default option; the Screen tip shows the command name and a small description.
  • Don't show feature descriptions in ScreenTips: The Screen tip will show just the command name without any description.
  • Don't show ScreenTips: No ScreenTip is displayed.

B. Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office

This section includes options to change your User name and Initials. Do remember that the details you provide within this area will identify you in any comments, or review edits you make in your presentation, especially when multiple authors edit the same presentation. In addition, there are two more options in this section:

  • Office Background: Provides you with various options to change the look of Office Background. Click to reveal a drop-down list as shown in Figure 3, below:
  • Office Background drop-down list
    Figure 3: Office Background drop-down list
  • Within this drop-down list, click on any option to apply.
  • Office Theme: This option is used to change the interface color of PowerPoint 2016. Click the down-arrow to open a drop-down list as shown in Figure 4, below:
  • Office Theme drop-down list
    Figure 4: Office Theme drop-down list
  • To learn more about this option, refer to our Changing Interface Color in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial.

C. Start up options

Options within this section are:

  • Choose the extensions: You may find that PowerPoint no longer launches when you double-click a PPTX file or even you open a PPTX file received as an email attachment. To correct this behavior, you can click the Default Programs button. This will provide you with info on how you can change your default apps. To be fair, PowerPoint may just show a message and do nothing else.
  • Tell me if Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t the default program for viewing and editing presentations: Shows a warning to this effect when you launch PowerPoint.
  • Show the Start screen when this application starts: Shows the Presentation Gallery when you launch PowerPoint. Unchecking this option will start PowerPoint with a new, blank presentation instead.

D. PowerPoint Designer

The Enable PowerPoint Design Ideas check-box, selected by default, allows PowerPoint Designer to generate a variety of ideas to make your slides look better, based on the content you add on your slide.

E. Real-time collaboration options

The single option within this section is:

  • When working with others, automatically save changes: Saves changes when you are co-authoring a file with someone else.
Note: Any changes you make, as explained on this page will influence all Microsoft Office programs installed including Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. These changes don’t restrict to just the PowerPoint interface.

See Also:

General Program Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
General Program Options in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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