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Exploring Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007

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In this chapter from Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 Step by Step, learn the new features of the PowerPoint working environment, get familiar with how to open and move around in an existing PowerPoint presentation, explore various ways of viewing slides, and learn to save a new blank presentation and then save an existing presentation with a new name.

Chapter at a Glance

In this chapter, you will learn to:

Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 is the easiest way to efficiently create effective presentations. Need a slide show to convince management to invest in that new piece of equipment? Need to present the new annual budget to the Board of Directors? Need to give a report about a recent research study? PowerPoint can help you get the job done in a professional, visually appealing way.

PowerPoint 2007 uses the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface to make sophisticated features more accessible. As a result, even novice users will be able to work productively with PowerPoint after only a brief introduction.

In this chapter, you will first familiarize yourself with the new features of the PowerPoint working environment, including the Microsoft Office Button, tabs and groups, galleries, and Live Preview. Then you will open an existing PowerPoint presentation, learn ways of moving around in it, and close it. You will explore various ways of viewing slides so that you know which view to use for different tasks and how to tailor the program window to meet your needs. Finally, you will save a new blank presentation and then save an existing presentation with a new name.

Working in the PowerPoint Environment

As with all programs in the 2007 Microsoft Office release, the most common way to start PowerPoint is from the Start menu displayed when you click the Start button at the left end of the Windows taskbar. If PowerPoint is the first program in the 2007 Office system that you have used, you are in for a surprise! The look of the program window has changed radically from previous versions.

The new Fluent user interface is designed to more closely reflect the way people generally work with the program. When you first start PowerPoint, this environment consists of the following elements:

  • Commands related to managing PowerPoint and PowerPoint presentations as a whole (rather than presentation content) are gathered together on a menu that is displayed when you click the Microsoft Office Button.

  • Commands can be represented as buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar to the right of the Microsoft Office Button. By default, this toolbar displays the Save, Undo, and Repeat buttons, but you can customize the toolbar to include any command that you use frequently.

  • The title bar displays the name of the active presentation. At the right end of the title bar are the three familiar buttons that have the same function in all Windows programs. You can temporarily hide the PowerPoint window by clicking the Minimize button, adjust the size of the window by clicking the Restore Down/Maximize button, and close a presentation or quit PowerPoint by clicking the Close button.

  • Below the title bar is the Ribbon, which makes all the capabilities of PowerPoint available in a single area so that you can work efficiently with the program.

  • Commands related to working with presentation content are represented as buttons on a set of tabs that make up the Ribbon. The Home tab is active by default. Clicking one of the other tabs, such as Insert, displays that tab’s buttons.

  • On each tab, buttons are organized into groups. Depending on the size of the program window, in some groups the button you are likely to use most often is bigger than the rest.

  • Related but less common tasks are not represented as buttons in the group; instead they are available in a dialog box, which you can display by clicking the dialog box launcher at the right end of the group’s title bar.

  • Some button names are displayed and some aren’t. Pointing to any button for a few seconds displays a ScreenTip with not only the button’s name but also its function.

  • Some buttons have arrows, but not all arrows are alike. If you point to a button and both the button and its arrow are in the same box and are the same color, clicking the button will display options for refining the action of the button. If you point to a button and the button is in one box and its arrow is in a different box with a different shade, clicking the button will carry out that action with the button’s current settings. If you want to change those settings, you need to click the arrow to see the available options.

  • The Microsoft Office PowerPoint Help button sits at the right end of the Ribbon.

  • Across the bottom of the program window, the status bar gives you information about the current presentation. You can turn off the display of an item of information by right-clicking the status bar and then clicking the item you want to turn off.

  • At the right end of the status bar is the View toolbar, which provides tools for adjusting the view of presentation content.

You can display the content of the active presentation in three primary views: Normal view, Slide Sorter view, and Slide Show view. You carry out most of the development work on a presentation in Normal view, which is the default.

Normal view consists of three panes:

  • Overview pane. Contains two tabs: the Slides tab, which displays small images called thumbnails of all the slides in the active presentation; and the Outline tab, which shows all the text on the slides displayed as an outline.

  • Slide pane. Shows the currently selected slide as it will appear in the presentation.

  • Notes pane. Provides a place for entering notes about the current slide. These notes might be related to the development of the slide or they might be speaker notes that you will refer to when delivering the presentation.

The goal of the redesigned PowerPoint environment is to make the process of creating a presentation more intuitive. Commands for tasks you perform often are no longer hidden on menus and in dialog boxes, and features you might not have discovered before are now more visible.

For example, when a formatting option has several choices available, they are often displayed in a gallery of thumbnails. These galleries give you an at-a-glance picture of each option. If you point to a thumbnail in a gallery, an awesome new feature called Live Preview shows you what that choice will look like if you apply it to your presentation.

In this exercise, you will start PowerPoint and explore the Microsoft Office Button and the tabs and groups on the Ribbon. Along the way, you will see how to take advantage of galleries and Live Preview. There are no practice files for this exercise.

  1. On the taskbar, click the Start button, point to All Programs, click Microsoft Office, and then click Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.

  2. The PowerPoint program window opens, displaying a blank presentation. If your program window is not maximized, maximize it now.

  3. Click the Microsoft Office Button.

  4. Commands related to managing presentations (such as creating, saving, and printing) are available from the menu that appears. This menu, which we refer to throughout this book as the Office menu, takes the place of the File menu that appeared in previous versions of PowerPoint.

    The commands on the left are for tasks related to the presentation as a whole. After you work with a presentation, its name appears in the Recent Documents list so that you can quickly open it again. At the bottom of the menu are buttons for changing program options and for quitting PowerPoint.

  5. Press the key to close the menu.

  6. On the Ribbon, the Home tab is active. Buttons related to creating slide content are organized on this tab in six groups: Clipboard, Slides, Font, Paragraph, Drawing, and Editing. Only the buttons representing commands that can be performed on the currently selected presentation element are active.

  7. Point to the active buttons on this tab to display the ScreenTips that name them and describe their functions.

  8. Click the Insert tab, and then explore its buttons.

  9. Buttons related to all the items you can insert are organized on this tab in five groups: Tables, Illustrations, Links, Text, and Media Clips.

  10. Click the Design tab, and then explore its buttons.

  11. Buttons related to the appearance of your presentation are organized on this tab in three groups: Page Setup, Themes, and Background.

  12. In the Background group, display the ScreenTip for the Hide Background Graphics button.

  13. The ScreenTip tells you that the button hides the background graphic that is part of the selected theme.

  14. At the right end of the Background group’s title bar, click the Background dialog box launcher.

    The Format Background dialog box opens.

    In this dialog box, you set the slide background. You can fill the background with a solid color, color gradient, or picture, and you can hide the background graphic associated with the selected theme.

  15. In the Format Background dialog box, click Close.

  16. In the Themes group, point to (but don’t click) the third theme thumbnail from the left.

  17. In the Slide pane, PowerPoint displays a live preview of what the slide will look like if you click this theme thumbnail. You can see the effect of the selection without actually applying the effect.

  18. In the scroll bar to the right of the thumbnails in the Themes group, click the scroll down arrow.

  19. The next row of theme thumbnails scrolls into view.

  20. In the Themes group, click the More button.

  21. PowerPoint displays the entire Themes gallery.

  22. Point to various themes in the gallery, observing the effect on the slide.

  23. Press to close the gallery without applying a theme.

  24. Click the Animations tab, and then explore its buttons, gallery, and live previews.

  25. Buttons related to slide animation are organized on this tab in three groups: Preview, Animations, and Transition To This Slide.

  26. Click the Slide Show tab, and then explore its buttons.

  27. Buttons related to displaying your presentation are organized on this tab in three groups: Start Slide Show, Set Up, and Monitors.

  28. Click the Review tab, and then explore its buttons.

  29. Buttons related to comments, changes, and editorial tools are organized on this tab in three groups: Proofing, Comments, and Protect.

  30. Click the View tab, and then explore its buttons.

  31. Buttons related to changing the view or the display of the presentation are organized on this tab in five groups: Presentation Views, Show/Hide, Zoom, Color/Grayscale, Window, and Macros.