Introducing the PowerPoint window

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Microsoft PowerPoint, or PPT, is a program used to create presentations – or slideshows as they are more commonly referred to. PPT allows you to automatically create presentation slides, handouts, overhead transparencies, and even web pages that can be presented to an audience in several different ways. By far PPT is one of the most popular presentation software packages and if you are attending a presentation or conference where a speaker is using a digital presentation package, chances are they are probably using PowerPoint to some extent.

Over the years of training in both corporate and educational settings, I have seen some truly wonderful presentations created using PPT. My love of training in the education sector started with PowerPoint and the many ways in which it can be adapted and used “outside the box” to assist students with learning. PPT can be used to create all sorts of interactive games and activities which are far removed from the standard slide by slide presentation seen by some audiences.

Below is a preview of the Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 window with terminology to help you navigate and move around the PowerPoint application.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 WIndow


Title Bar Displays the name of the application and the file currently in use.
The Ribbon Displays the numerous functions and tools available to work with your presentation.
Quick Access Toolbar Enables you to customise the toolbar to contain the commands you use most frequently.
File tab (Backstage View) Provides access to basic commands such as New, Open, Save, Print and Share plus access to customise the application.
Slides pane Displays a thumbnail version of each slide within the presentation.
Slide The area which will be displayed as full screen when viewed in Slide Show mode.
Status Bar Provides information relating to features such as slide number, spell check and shortcuts to Notes, Comments, various different views and zoom functions.
Placeholder Displayed as dotted lines which allows you to identify where you can add text, and insert elements such as images or tables.

I hope this has provided an introduction to the elements of the PPT window. Of the elements within the main window, check out my post relating to customising the Quick Access Toolbar, and how to add presenter Notes to your presentation file.

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