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Using Task Panes

A task pane is a window inside PowerPoint that lets you do common PowerPoint tasks without covering your presentation. PowerPoint has 12 readily accessible main task panes and several others that appear only under certain conditions (such as the Revisions pane for reviewing and collaborating). These task panes are

  • Getting Started— Lets you open a presentation you recently edited and get information from Microsoft Office Online that helps you use PowerPoint more effectively. This task pane, which Figure 1.8 shows, appears when you start PowerPoint.

    Figure 1.8. Open a presentation, get tips for working with PowerPoint, or search for help in the Getting Started task pane.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint Help— Lets you search for information when you need help using PowerPoint and provides links to selected topics, assistance, training, newsgroups, and software updates on Microsoft Office Online. Choose Help, Microsoft PowerPoint Help to see this task pane.

  • Clip Art— Lets you search for clip art images and provides links to the Clip Organizer and to the Clip Art and Media page at Microsoft Office Online. Choose Insert, Picture, Clip Art from the menu bar to open this task pane.

    → For more information about using clip art and the Media Gallery, see Chapter 13, “Exploring Clip Art, Pictures, Movies, and Sound,” p. 258.


  • Research Lets you look up definitions and synonyms, translate short phrases into other languages, perform Web, news, and encyclopedia searches, and find financial information about companies. To open this task pane, choose Tools, Research.

  • Clipboard— Offers the ability to collect and paste up to 24 different items. Choose Edit, Office Clipboard to open this task pane.

  • New Presentation— Lets you create a new presentation in a variety of ways. Choose File, New from the menu bar to open this task pane.

    → To learn how to use the New Presentation task pane, see Chapter 2, “Creating a Basic Presentation,” p. 41.


  • Shared Workspace Lets you collaborate with others in real time on presentations. To use this feature, you need a server that runs SharePoint. To open this task pane, choose Tools, Shared Workspace.

  • Basic File Search— Provides both basic and advanced search capability on both your own computer and a network. Choose File, File Search to open this task pane.

  • Slide Layout— Lets you apply up to 31 different layouts, each with its own additional design flexibility. Choose Format, Slide Layout from the menu bar or click the New Slide button on the Formatting toolbar to open this task pane.

  • Slide Design— Lets you choose a design template for your presentation, set its color scheme, and apply animation schemes. Choose Format, Slide Design or click the Design button on the Formatting toolbar to open this task pane.

    → For more information about slide layouts and design, see Chapter 2, p. 4.


  • Custom Animation— Lets you apply sophisticated animations to your slides or objects on your slides. Choose Slide Show, Custom Animation to open this task pane.

  • Slide Transition— Offers the ability to apply animated transitions as you move from slide to slide. Choose Slide Show, Slide Transition to open this task pane.


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