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Tell Me in PowerPoint Online

Learn about the Tell Me feature in PowerPoint Online.

Everyone who uses PowerPoint has faced this situation: you know what you want to do with a slide or a slide object, but you don't know where to find the related option in PowerPoint! PowerPoint Online has a feature called Tell Me that will tell you what you need to do! Tell Me is a text field that you can see in PowerPoint Online after the last Tab of the Ribbon. Notice that it reads Tell me what you want to do, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.


Figure 1: Tell me what you want to do

Within this box, you can type the words and phrases related to what you want to achieve.

Everything Looks Different?

Unlike desktop applications, both OneDrive and PowerPoint Online are constantly evolving much faster. That may explain why screenshots on this page sport an interface different from what you see when you log in.

Here are some guidelines that will help you in using the Tell Me feature in PowerPoint Online:

  1. When you click within the Tell Me box, a drop-down menu opens that contains suggested searches, as shown in Figure 2. At this point of time, you haven't typed a single word! If the existing results show the feature you are looking for, just click on it to proceed further.

  2. Figure 2: Recently used options show within the Tell Me drop-down menu
  3. Let us imagine that you have a slide object selected on the slide. This slide object could be a chart, a table, a video clip, or anything else. In our example shown in Figure 3 below, we have selected a shape. Now, when you type a word or even start typing a phrase within the Tell Me box, you will be provided with a list of features related to the selected slide object. Look at the screenshot shown in Figure 3. You can see that the word 'fill' within the Tell Me box already has some options within the Tell Me drop-down list related to the selected Shape slide object.

  4. Figure 3: Options that the word 'fill' brought up for the selected shape


  5. Now, look at Figure 4, where the same word 'fill' is typed within the Tell Me box, but this time along with a SmartArt selected on the slide. Notice the options listed within the Tell Me drop-down list are not available for selection (compare Figures 3 and 4).

  6. Figure 4: Options that the word 'fill' brought up for the selected SmartArt
  7. Other than clicking an item on the populated drop-down list, you can also get help using Microsoft Office's help documentation for the typed word or phrase. To do so, bring up the Tell Me drop-down list and select the Get Help on option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5.

  8. Figure 5: Get Help on option
  9. This brings up the PowerPoint Online Help window, as shown in Figure 6. Within this window, you can click on any topic that you think can help you.

  10. Figure 6: PowerPoint Online Help

See Also:

Help and Online Services: Tell Me in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Tell Me in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Tell Me in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac