Indezine Logo

  This is the print version of this page. All content is copyright 2000-2019.

Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn about the Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher

One of the pet peeves that many slide designers had with previous versions of PowerPoint was the large dialog boxes that sometimes completely covered the slide area. If you were trying to make some changes to your paragraph spacing -- or even altering the size or position of a shape -- you almost always needed to close or move the large dialog box to see the changes you made! And that was certainly not in tune with the modern interface you saw within everywhere else in PowerPoint! The new PowerPoint 2013 finally addresses this issue with the Format Task Panes, which offer options that enable the user to create and customize objects more intuitively.

All the Format dialog boxes of yore are now replaced by the Format Task pane. The Format Task pane aligns neatly with the right or left side of the PowerPoint interface, and you can now immediately see how your choices affect the selected slide objects. The Format Task pane also offers element selector tabs so you can jump quickly between different elements of your slide object without having to select one to modify. The new Format Task panes is the single source where different style formatting options are consolidated in one place.

In this article, we will explore how you can bring up the Format Task pane and how it works:

Summon Format Task Pane

  1. Open or create a slide which already has a shape - select the shape, as you can see in Figure 1.
  2. Slide with shape
    Figure 1: Slide with shape
  3. Right-click the shape to bring up a contextual menu, as shown in Figure 2. Within the Contextual menu select the Format Shape option (see Figure 2, again).
  4. Format Shape option to be selected
    Figure 2: Format Shape option to be selected
  5. This brings up the Format Shape Task pane -- pinned on the right side of the interface, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  6. Format Shape Task pane
    Figure 3: Format Shape Task pane
  7. As you can see in Figure 3 above, the Format Task pane shows Format Shape options as we accessed the right-click menu from a selected shape. The formatting options change based on the object selected:
  8. Selected Object Task Pane
    Table Format Shape
    Chart Format Chart Area
    Shape Format Shape
    Picture Format Picture
    Text Box Format Shape
    WordArt Format Shape
    Text Placeholder Format Shape
    Video Format Video
    Audio (The Audio Icon) Format Picture
    SmartArt Format Shape
    Slide Background (Nothing Selected) Format Background

Move the Format Task Pane

The open Format Task pane can be easily moved from the right side of the interface to left side or anywhere on the interface -- to do that, follow these steps:

  1. Click the downward pointing arrow within the Format Task pane (highlighted in red within Figure 4) and from the drop-down list select the Move option (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).
  2. Move Format Task pane
    Figure 4: Move Format Task pane
  3. This will change the cursor to four sided arrow (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
  4. Four arrow headed cursor
    Figure 5: Four arrow headed cursor
  5. Now just drag the Format Task pane to the new position. For this tutorial we moved it to left side of the interface, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.
  6. Format Task pane moved towards left side of interface
    Figure 6: Format Task pane moved towards left side of interface
  7. You can also drag the Format Task pane off the PowerPoint interface to another area on your Desktop -- or even onto a second display attached to your computer (see Figure 7).
  8. Format Task pane dragged off the PowerPoint interface
    Figure 7: Format Task pane dragged off the PowerPoint interface

Resize the Task Pane

You can also resize the Format Task pane:

  1. Place your cursor on the edge of the Format Task pane to summon the two arrow headed cursor (highlighted in red within Figure 8).
  2. Two arrow headed cursor
    Figure 8: Two arrow headed cursor
  3. And then click and drag towards the left or right to resize the Format Task pane as required.

See Also:

Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

You May Also Like: Smallest Font Size for PowerPoint Slides | Infrastructure PowerPoint Templates

Popular Posts

Pivot Tables in PowerPoint: by Kasper Langmann
One of the most commonly used features in Microsoft Excel is the Pivot Table. A Pivot Table simply allows you to make better sense of data by giving you different options of how to view that data.

Get More SmartArt Graphics
Learn how you can get more SmartArt graphic variants.

Character Spacing in PowerPoint 2013
Explore Character Spacing options in PowerPoint 2013.

Add Secondary Value Axis to Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Learn how to add a Secondary Value axis to charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.

Gears for PowerPoint (Series 01)

All these gears are native PowerPoint shapes. You can recolor them, add effects, and do more, all inside PowerPoint. Results which would have taken hours to achieve now take less than a minute! Have fun using the gear graphics, and make your audience take notice! All these gears can be rotated and resized, as required. Since they are essentially pictures, all types of edits that you can do with pictures work with them too!

Get this complete kit now, you’ll save so much time that you can use doing something else!

This is the original page. An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version of this page is also available for those on mobile platforms, at Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.

Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Home | PowerPoint | Photoshop | PowerPoint Templates | PowerPoint Tutorials | Blog | Notes | Ezine | Advertise | Feedback | Site Map | About Us | Contact Us

Link to Us | Privacy | Testimonials

PowerPoint Backgrounds | Christian PowerPoint Backgrounds | Business PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Plagiarism will be detected by Copyscape

©2000-2019, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

since November 02, 2000