Making edits to your slide objects quickly can be an asset for your time, but awesome slides are created painstakingly, and use a large amount of time. Slide designers often play around with different fill options to make their slides look awesome, or even make umpteen changes to how their text appears. PowerPoint 2013 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 of these involve moving your cursor above the Slide Area and back continuously. While this may not really result in Carpal tunnel syndrome for your palms, it helps to know that PowerPoint 2013 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 2013 interface. You can access it via a right-click, but it only pops up on its own, when some text is selected:
- Create a new presentation or use any existing presentation, you need a presentation with a slide populated with some text and/or other slide objects. Figure 1 shows such a slide opened within PowerPoint 2013.
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 on the top) 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.
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