The Ribbon along with its tabs forms the most visible change you'll see in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 interface when you compare it to the older versions. The Ribbon replaces all the menus and toolbars, although there's still one menu as part of the Office Button, and one toolbar called the Quick Access Toolbar. All the other options are now found in the tabs of the Ribbon.
The Ribbon is essentially a long strip that's fixed in size (see Figure 1) so that you cannot change its width or height. The Ribbon includes several tabs, and each tab is named as you can see in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Ribbon
The Ribbon contains many interface elements:
- Tabs: Ribbon consist fixed tabs such as Home, Insert, Design, etc. Each tab contains sets of tools to create and edit presentations. By default, the Developer tab is not visible in the Ribbon although you can enable it yourself.
- Contextual Tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time, they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options. Figure 2 shows the Drawing Tools Format tab which is only activated when a shape or another drawing object is selected on the slide.
Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon
- Group: A group of related tool within a tab is known as a Group. Figure 3 shows the WordArt Styles group within the Drawing Tools Format tab.
Figure 3: WordArt Styles group
- A Gallery is collection of styles or properties - most galleries can be seen as drop-down galleries as shown in Figure 4. To access the drop-down galleries, you click the More button (we explain that next). The figure below shows the Shape Style gallery, all available styles can be seen as small preview thumbnails.
Figure 4: Gallery
- The More button expands a gallery within a Ribbon tab so that all or more options can be seen. Figure 5 shows you the More Button in the bottom right (highlighted). The two arrow buttons above the More Button are used to scroll inside the gallery without expanding it (or even after expanding it if the gallery has too many options).
Figure 5: More Button
- The Down Arrow is a small downward pointing triangle that's placed next to many buttons on the Ribbon tabs, when clicked, this displays a gallery or an additional option/submenu related to the selected tools, you can see the Down Arrow next to the Shape Fill option in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Down Arrow
- Dialog Launcher (as shown in Figure 7) is a small square with an arrow in the lower right corner of several Groups within the Ribbon tabs. The figure below shows the WordArt Styles group with a dialog launcher. As the name explains, a dialog launcher when clicked summons a dialog box with more advanced options.
Figure 7 : Dialog Launcher
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