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Webucator's Free Upgrading to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Tutorial

Lesson: The Ribbon

Welcome to our free Upgrading to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Upgrading to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 course.

The Ribbon is the display you see at the top of the Microsoft PowerPoint window. It is your primary interface with PowerPoint 2010. It allows you to access most of the commands available to you in Excel. The Ribbon is composed of Tabs, Groups, and Commands.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about the Ribbon in PowerPoint 2010.
  • Learn about the Home tab.
  • Learn about on-demand tabs on the Ribbon.
  • Learn where many popular features are now located.

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.

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
    6. Header & Footer
  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:


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. Tables
  2. Images
  3. Illustrations
  4. Links
  5. Text
  6. Symbols
  7. Media
  1. Page Setup
  2. Themes
  3. Background
  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. 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:


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 Home Tab

On the PowerPoint 2010 Home tab, you will find commands that you will use often when working in PowerPoint. The Copy, Paste, and Cut commands are found on the Home tab in the Clipboard group, along with the Format Painter.

The Slides group contains the New Slide command, as well as other commands you can use to format the slides in your presentation.

In the Font group, you will find commands to format your text.

The Paragraph group contains the paragraph formatting options such as text alignment and bulleted lists.

In the Drawing group, you will see options to format the shapes that you insert into your presentations.

Finally, the Editing group contains the Find and Replace command, as well as Select options. This is where you can enable the Selection pane.

On-demand Commands on the Ribbon

One of the new features in PowerPoint 2010 are tools on the Ribbon that appear on demand, as you work. These tools will automatically appear as you work in your presentation. They will be relevant to what you are doing at the time.

For example, if you are working with a shape in your presentation, the Format tab will appear, with the Drawing Tools.

Another example would be if you add a table to your presentation. When you click in the table, you will see that the Ribbon now shows the Design and Layout tabs, along with Table Tools.

When you click away from the shape or table, the on-demand tools will disappear, and the standard tabs will remain.