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Webucator's Free Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint Training Tutorial

Lesson: The Ribbon

Welcome to our free Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint Training tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint 2019 Training course.

The Ribbon is a feature of PowerPoint that helps you work efficiently in PowerPoint to create engaging presentations.

Lesson Goals

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


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.
  9. Help. Use the Help tab to access resources to help resources and provided feedback to Microsoft on any issues or problems.

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:
    1. SmartArt
    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: Table Tools 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
  7. Add-ins
  1. Slides
  2. Tables
  3. Images
  4. Illustrations
  5. Links
  7. Text
  8. Symbols
  9. 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
Slide Show
  1. Start Slide Show
  2. Set Up
  3. Monitors
  1. Proofing
  2. Accessibility
  3. Insights
  4. Language
  6. Compare
  7. Ink
  8. OneNote
  1. Presentation Views
  2. Master Views
  3. Show
  4. Zoom
  5. Color/Grayscale
  6. Window
  7. Macros
  1. Help

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


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

The Tell Me Tab

The new Tell Me tab on the Ribbon is a shortcut to actions in PowerPoint 2016 and 2019.

  1. Click the Tell me what you want to do... tab on the Ribbon Tell Me Feature
  2. A search field will activate with a menu of commonly searched terms below it. Commonly Searched Terms
  3. Type "align" in the search field.
  4. A list of align options will appear. Search Align
  5. Click on Align Objects and then select Align Center. Align Options

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.

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. Background
  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? 9
  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
    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
    3. New Comment - Review > Comments
    4. Spelling - Review > Proofing