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Interface in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Explore the interface for PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Each interface element has a purpose and a reason.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher

Here's a quick walkthrough of the PowerPoint 2013 interface -- the PowerPoint 2013 interface is quite similar, yet somewhat different than the interface of PowerPoint 2010. The biggest change is that PowerPoint 2013's interface is primed for use also on tablets, touch-screens, and phones (other than conventional desktops). Thus, you can swipe and tap your way through a presentation -- and also make several edits without the need of a cursor.

Instead of opening with a blank presentation, PowerPoint 2013 opens a Presentation Gallery as shown in Figure 1. The Presentation Gallery provides several ways to start your next presentation using a template, a Theme, a recent presentation, a not-so-recent presentation, or even a blank presentation. Once you make choices in this Presentation gallery, you see the actual PowerPoint interface.

PowerPoint 2013 Presentation gallery
Figure 1: PowerPoint 2013 Presentation gallery

A quick walkthrough of the PowerPoint 2013 interface reveals some new features. Figure 2 shows a screenshot of the PowerPoint 2013 interface -- each part of the interface is explained later in this page.

PowerPoint 2013 interface
Figure 2: PowerPoint 2013 interface

A. File Menu and Backstage View

When you click the File menu, you see the Backstage view that contains all the creation, save, share, and print options for your presentations, as shown in Figure 3. Learn more about File Menu and Backstage View in PowerPoint 2013.

File Menu leads to the Backstage View 
Figure 3: File Menu leads to the Backstage View

B. Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

Is a customizable toolbar placed by default above the Ribbon -- here you can add icons for your often used commands. Also the QAT can also be placed below the Ribbon. Learn more about Quick Access Toolbar in PowerPoint 2013.

C. Ribbon

Ribbon has tabs which in turn contain groups of buttons for various options -- some groups also contain galleries (for example galleries for Themes and Theme Colors). Learn more about Ribbon and Tabs in PowerPoint 2013.

D. Slides Pane

Located on the left side of the interface, the Slides pane shows thumbnails of all the slides in the open presentation. Learn more about Slides Pane in PowerPoint 2013.

Note: If the Slides pane is not visible, click the Normal button in the View tab of the Ribbon.

E. Slide Area

Displays the active slide. Learn more about Slide Area in PowerPoint 2013.

F. Task Pane

The Task Pane contains more options and appears when you choose an option in one of the Ribbon tabs -- for example if you click the Format Background button within the Design tab of the Ribbon, the Format Background task pane opens (refer to Figure 1). Learn more in our Task Pane in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

G. Status Bar

A horizontal strip that provides information about the opened presentation like slide number, applied Theme, etc. It also includes the view and zoom options. The View buttons are explained later in this page (see point I). Learn more in our Status Bar in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

H. Notes Pane

Right below the active slide, this is where the speaker notes are written for the current slide. Note that none of this content is visible on the actual slide while presenting -- although it is visible in both Notes Page view and Presenter view. Learn more about Notes Pane in PowerPoint 2013.

I. View Buttons

Essentially there are three view buttons on the status bar displayed towards the left of the zoom-in and zoom-out options:

  • Normal: If you are in some other view such as Slide Sorter view - click the Normal button on the Status bar to switch to Normal view, Shift-clicking this gets you to Slide Master view.
  • Slide Sorter: Click this button to switch from any other view to Slide Sorter view. The Slide Sorter view displays zoom-able thumbnails of every slide in the open presentation. Shift-clicking this button gets you to Handout Master view.
  • Reading View: Click this button to switch from any other view to Reading view.
  • Slide Show: Show the presentation as a full screen slideshow from the current selected slide. Shift-clicking brings up the Set Up Show dialog box.

J. Mini Toolbar

This toolbar is not shown in the Figure 3, shown earlier on this page -- it's a semitransparent floating toolbar that spawns right next to selected text -- hover the cursor upon it, and you can see the Mini Toolbar, as shown in Figure 4. And, it also available instantly with a right-click. Learn more in our Mini Toolbar in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

Mini Toolbar
Figure 4: Mini Toolbar

See Also:

Interface Overview: Interface in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Interface in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Interface in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Interface in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Interface in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows
Interface in PowerPoint Online

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