Whenever you launch PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, you are typically presented with the PowerPoint Presentation Gallery, that you can see in Figure 1. This gallery allows you to set all attributes of your new presentation, such as a preset Theme or template. You have many other choices to make as well, and fortunately most of these choices are optional -- you will learn about all these options in this tutorial.
Figure 1: PowerPoint Presentation Gallery
Each element of the PowerPoint Presentation Gallery window is explained below, as marked in Figure 1, above:
A. Open or Close Right Pane
Clicking this button will toggle between open and close status of the right pane, which displays the preview of the selected Theme / template (explained in point G later).
This includes two sub sections:
- All: Displays all Themes stored on your computer.
- My Themes: Displays Themes you saved on your computer. You can choose from Theme color sets and Theme fonts installed within PowerPoint, or your own color sets and fonts.
There are four sub sections here:
- All: Displays all templates stored on your computer.
- My Templates: Displays templates you saved in 'My Templates' folder, specified in Word's (not PowerPoint's) Preferences.
- Presentations: Many stellar presentation samples are included within Office, which you can choose from.
- Guided Methods: There are ready-made presentations that inform; include great tips.
D. Online Templates
Click the disclosure triangle next to Online Templates to display the many categories of templates within Microsoft's online template collections as shown in Figure 2 (highlighted in red). This is a new feature in PowerPoint 2011, and needs a live internet connection.
Figure 2: Categories of templates within Microsoft's online template collections
E. Search online and local templates
This search box includes two more options, 'Online Templates Only' and 'Local Templates Only' (see Figure 3) which you can access by clicking the downward pointing triangle in this search box. When one of the Recent Presentations is selected, this searches Recent Presentations instead of templates.
Figure 3: Search drop-down within PowerPoint Presentation Gallery
F. Themes / Templates / Presentations gallery
This middle pane is the area where you can choose from available Themes, templates or presentations displayed as previews based on the category selection you made in the left pane.
This is the right pane of the PowerPoint Presentation gallery which displays a preview of the template, Theme, or presentation selected in the middle pane (see Figure 4). In the Preview pane you can change or apply Theme colors, Theme Fonts, and choose the size (ratio of height-to-width) of the slide show so that any new presentation you create is based on these choices. Open or Close Right Pane button (discussed in Point A) is used to reveal or hide the Preview pane.
Figure 4: Preview pane of the PowerPoint Presentation Gallery
H. Recent Presentations
In this section of the left pane, recently opened presentations (up to last one month) are available for you to choose from, and open. You can filter available presentations by Today, Yesterday, Past Month, etc.
When the Recent Presentations option is selected, Spotlight Search works for Recent Presentations instead of Online and Local Templates (refer to point G above).
I. Open or Close Recent Documents
This toggle button displays or hides the Recent Files section (explained in point H) of the left pane.
J. Don't Show This Gallery When Opening PowerPoint
If you select this check box, the PowerPoint Presentation Gallery will not be displayed when you launch PowerPoint hereafter. If you want to reverse this behavior, you have to open PowerPoint Presentation Gallery by choosing the File | New from Template menu option, or by pressing the Shift+Command+P keyboard shortcut. Thereafter, uncheck this option.
Drag this slider towards left or right to change the size of previews in the middle pane. Clicking the icon on the left edge of this slider will give you the smallest size previews, and clicking the one on the right edge will give the largest size previews.
Once you have made the selections required, click the Choose button to open a new or existing presentation based on your choices. If you don't want to make any selection, and just want to launch PowerPoint with a single, blank slide, you can click Cancel.
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