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Webucator's Free PowerPoint 2013 Tutorial

Lesson: The Ribbon

Welcome to our free PowerPoint 2013 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 Training course.

In this lesson, you will learn how to navigate the ribbon within PowerPoint.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about tabs.
  • Learn about groups.
  • Learn about commands.
  • Learn which groups and commands are found on which tabs.

The Ribbon

The Ribbon is the display you see at the top of the Microsoft PowerPoint window. It is your primary interface with PowerPoint. It allows you to access most of the commands available to you in PowerPoint. The Ribbon is composed of three types of objects: tabs, groups, and commands.


Microsoft PowerPoint is a robust program which is used to create many different types of presentations, including charts and diagrams, flyers, invoices, and much more. Microsoft PowerPoint has hundreds of commands for working with different presentations. To make it easier for users to find the specific commands they are looking for, commands are organized onto eight main tabs:

  1. HOME. The Home tab includes commands for formatting presentations.
  2. INSERT. Use the Insert tab to insert tables, clip art, pictures, links, headers and footers, and more.
  3. DESIGN. Use the Design tab to change your page setup, slide orientation, fonts, background styles, and more.
  4. TRANSITIONS. Use the Transitions tab to add transitions to a slide and to customize transition effects.
  5. ANIMATIONS. Use the Animations tab to add animation to text in a slide and to manage the animation order.
  6. SLIDE SHOW. Use the Slide Show tab to finalize the slide show details, timings, and more.
  7. REVIEW. Use the Review tab to check spelling, to collaborate by adding comments, and to access editor tools.
  8. VIEW. Use the View tab to access the various presentation views, to show and hide the ruler and grid lines, and more.Main Tabs

Note that the FILE tab is not a typical tab. The FILE tab takes you to the Backstage view where you manage, rather than make changes to, your document. The Backstage view is covered in the next lesson.

Tool Tabs

In addition to the main tabs, there are numerous tool tabs which include less commonly used commands. Individual tool tabs are covered in detail in the advanced Microsoft PowerPoint class. For now you should know:

  1. That they exist. Some of the most commonly used tool tabs are:
    2. CHART
    3. DRAWING
    4. PICTURE
    5. TABLE
  2. That they will appear when you select commands which have related tool tabs. For example, when you insert a table, two table-specific tool tabs (DESIGN and LAYOUT) appear: Design and Layout Table Tool Tabs


Functionally related commands in PowerPoint are organized in groups on each tab. The following table lists the groups found on each tab:

Tab Group
  1. Clipboard
  2. Slides
  3. Font
  4. Paragraph
  5. Drawing
  6. Editing
  1. Slides
  2. Tables
  3. Pictures
  4. Illustrations
  5. Apps
  6. Links
  8. Text
  9. Symbols
  10. Media
  1. Themes
  2. Variants
  3. Customize
  1. Preview
  2. Transition to This Slide
  3. Timing
  1. Preview
  2. Animation
  3. Advanced Animation
  4. Timing
  1. Start Slide Show
  2. Set Up
  3. Monitors
  1. Proofing
  2. Language
  4. Compare
  1. Presentation Views
  2. Master Views
  3. Show
  4. Zoom
  5. Color/Grayscale
  6. Window
  7. Macros

In some groups, you will see a button in the lower right corner next to the group name. This is the dialog box launcher. Opening a group's dialog box gives you access to additional commands associated with the group:Dialog Box Launcher Button


Commands are controls that enable you to accomplish specific tasks, such as bolding text, adding a list, inserting a picture, or adding slide numbers.

In the following presentation, your instructor walks you through the Ribbon and points out some of the groups and commands located on each tab.

Exploring the Ribbon

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will explore the Ribbon to answer the following questions:

  1. How many tabs are there?
  2. How many groups are there on the VIEW tab?
  3. Which tab contains the most commonly used groups and commands?
  4. What is another name for the FILE tab?
  5. On what tab are the following groups found:
    1. Timing
    2. Set Up
    3. Zoom
    4. Advanced Animation
    5. Themes
  6. On what tabs and groups are the following commands found?
    1. SmartArt
    2. New Slide
    3. New Comment
    4. Spelling


If your installation of Microsoft PowerPoint has been customized, some of your answers may differ.

  1. How many tabs are there? 8
  2. How many groups are there on the VIEW tab? 7
  3. Which tab contains the most commonly used groups and commands? HOME
  4. What is another name for the FILE tab? The Backstage view
  5. On which tabs are the following groups found:
    1. Timing - ANIMATIONS (and also on TRANSITIONS)
    2. Set Up - SLIDE SHOW
    3. Zoom - VIEW
    4. Advanced Animation - ANIMATIONS
    5. Themes - DESIGN
  6. On what tabs and groups are the following commands found?
    1. SmartArt - INSERT > Illustrations
    2. New Slide - HOME > Slides (This is also found on INSERT > Slides.)
    3. New Comment - REVIEW > Comments
    4. Spelling - REVIEW > Proofing