Slide designers love making quick edits to their slide objects! Impressive slides, though, are created painstakingly—and this can be a slow process. Yes, both these observations seem to contradict each other! Yet, you can take your time playing around with different fill options to make slides look awesome, and then quickly make umpteen changes to modify the appearance of text. So you spend more time doing some tasks, and save time doing others.
PowerPoint 365 for Windows does provide most editing options to make these alterations within the Ribbon tabs, and you can also populate your Quick Access Toolbar with frequently used commands. Yet, all these tasks involve moving your cursor to the Ribbon, located above the Slide Area and back continuously. While this movement may not result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it helps to know that PowerPoint 365 also includes the Mini Toolbar, a floating toolbar that spawns right next to the cursor, and it is also available instantly with a right-click!
The Mini Toolbar is by nature unobtrusive, and thus not visible all the time within the PowerPoint 365 interface. You can access it via a right-click, but it only pops up on its own, when some text is selected. Follow these steps to learn more:
- Create a new presentation or use an existing presentation. Ideally, you need a presentation with a slide populated with some text and/or other slide objects. Figure 1 shows such a slide open within PowerPoint 365 for Windows.
Figure 1: Slide with some text
- Select any text, and you can see the Mini Toolbar, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Mini Toolbar
- As you can see in Figure 2 above, the Mini Toolbar contains most of the text formatting options you may require; it thus saves you from accessing the Ribbon tabs each time you want to apply some text formatting. An alternative way to access the Mini Toolbar is to right-click the selected text (see Figure 3). This brings up both the Mini Toolbar (the toolbar below) and the right-click context menu at the same time.
Figure 3: Mini Toolbar accessed by right-clicking the selected text
- However, the Mini Toolbar you see in Figure 3 is not the one you will always see. Based on the slide object you select, you may see a different Mini Toolbar altogether! Let's explore more.
- In the previous step, our Mini Toolbar showed text formatting options since we right-clicked some text. Now select the text container instead of the text. To do so, click on the edge of your text container, and then right-click on the edge itself. This brings up a different Mini Toolbar with Style, Fill, and Outline formatting options, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4.
Figure 4: Mini Toolbar with Shape formatting options
- To use the options within the Mini Toolbar, just click any of the commands or buttons in the same way that you do with similar options in the Ribbon.
Don't Need the Mini Toolbar?
Yes, the Mini Toolbar is helpful, but what if you don't want to see this floating toolbar spawning everywhere? Yes, you can disable the Mini Toolbar by following these steps. Just reverse these same steps to reinstate the Mini Toolbar.
- Access the File button to bring up Backstage view. Choose Options.
- In the resultant PowerPoint Options dialog box, make sure you select the General tab in the sidebar. Then uncheck the option that says Show Mini Toolbar on selection, highlighted in red within Figure 5.
Figure 5: Show Mini Toolbar on selection
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