The Task Pane
The Task Pane is a docked area within the PowerPoint 365 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.
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; it appears if you select Task Pane options like Smart Lookup, Selection Pane, Animation Pane, etc. And when these options are selected, the related Task Pane appears docked on the right side of PowerPoint interface.
In Figure 1 below, you can see the PowerPoint 365 for Windows interface without any Task Pane. Later in this page, we'll show you how you can summon the Task Pane.
Figure 1: PowerPoint 365 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 365, and select some text. If there's no text, you can type in some text within a text box or text placeholder. With the text selected, navigate to the Review tab of the Ribbon. Now, click the Smart Lookup button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.
Figure 2: Smart Lookup button
- This brings up the Search Task Pane that you can see in Figure 3 (highlighted in red), on the right side of the PowerPoint interface.
Figure 3: Search Task Pane
- While making edits and choosing options, you will see many options that show up within the Task Panes.
Drag Your Task Pane?
Yes, you can drag the Task Pane anywhere you want on your screen. This works great if you have a dual monitor set up. In that case, drag the Task pane to the other monitor so that you have a larger area for your slide.
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