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Slide Area in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Explore the Slide Area, and tricks to make slide editing more productive in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. Also, don't forget the Slide Workspace area which can be a convenient place to store stuff that you might want to use later.

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

The Slide Area

Many new changes have shown up in PowerPoint 365 for Windows and several other versions released in the past. However, one thing that has not changed is PowerPoint's tri-paned interface! So why is the interface called tri-paned? Are there three distinct regions within the PowerPoint 365 interface? Yes, the Slide Area is one of three principal regions in PowerPoint 365; the other two being the Slides Pane and the Notes Pane.

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

Figure 1: Slide area within PowerPoint 365 interface for Windows

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

A. The actual slide

B. The Slide Workspace (the blank area surrounding the slide)

C. The scrollbars that let you navigate between slides (or the same slide when you zoom the view to a larger percentage)

We discuss each of these individual interface elements next.


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. You can also do so much more such as inserting shapes, pictures, charts, or other slide objects.

Figure 2: Add text in an existing text placeholder

PowerPoint provides three 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.


Horizontal and vertical rulers appear at the top and to the left of the slide. Learn more about Rulers in PowerPoint.


A grid of evenly spaced dots appears directly on the slide and helps you position slide objects. Learn more about Gridlines in PowerPoint.


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.


The Slide Workspace

This is the grey 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.

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


The Scroll Bars

There are two scroll bars:

  1. The vertical scroll bar, placed towards the right of the slide (shown highlighted red within Figure 4) is always visible. The vertical scroll bar can be used to navigate from one slide to the other. To move forward and backward from one slide to the other, click one of the double-headed arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar, as referred in Figure 4. You can also drag the handle box in the vertical scroll bar and move up or down to navigate several slides at a time.
  2. The horizontal slide bar (shown highlighted blue within Figure 4), shows up when you zoom your slide to a larger view, or if your Slide Workspace contains objects.

  3. Figure 4: The Vertical Scroll Bar

See Also:

Interface Overview: Slide Area in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Slide Area in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
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