Using the File and Home Menus in PowerPoint

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  • 0:01 Menus
  • 0:21 The File Menu
  • 1:49 Save vs. Save As
  • 2:52 Printing
  • 4:06 The Home Menu
  • 5:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

The ribbon groups common commands together under each menu. In this lesson, we will review the group of commands under File and Home. These two tabs, atop the ribbon, have the most frequently used commands. The Home menu is often considered 'home base' in PowerPoint.


Two of the most frequently used tabs in PowerPoint, atop the ribbon, are File and Home. Sometimes referred to as Menus, each tab or menu is grouped into commands, and each command allows you to communicate with PowerPoint, telling it what to do, such as you see here, add a text or a graphic:

powerpoint image

Let's review, starting with the File menu.

The File Menu

The options under the File menu are Info, Open, New, Save, Save As, Adobe PDF, Print, Share, Export, Close, Account and Options. Most of these commands speak for themselves, but let's review some of the most common commands.

Starting with Info, this area gives you a brief summary of your document. For example, an option to add security to your file and keep unwanted changes from being made by someone else. You can view the properties here and see the size of the file and how many slides the presentation is using. You can also see when it was last modified and the author.

The next option is quite handy: New. You can easily and quickly start creating slides for your new presentation. And if you do not want to start with a blank slate, you can choose one of the existing Microsoft slide designs or templates. All you would need to do is just add text. As you can see here, I chose an existing template:

powerpoint template

I have a slide that has already been created for me. I simply have to add the text to the boxes that are already on the slide.

Okay, let's move on to the Open menu option, where you can find, open and continue working on presentations you have previously saved. But you can even see a list of the most recent presentations you have been working on, so you don't have to go searching.

Save vs. Save As

And then we have Save and Save As. There is nothing more important during development of your presentation than saving often! Losing your saved file for whatever reason and needing to start over is stressful. Believe me, it's happened to me and many others, many times. It is important to do two things: Save often and know where you are saving it! Let's take a look at the difference between Save and Save As.

This is the best way I know to explain the difference. If you want to Save the presentation, using the same name and in the same place or folder, using Save is perfect. But the Save As option allows you to find and select the folder you want the file saved in and add or change the name of the file, such as add a version number to the file name. I have a tendency to use Save As more often. I like to confirm the name of the file or presentation and then know exactly which folder my file will be saved in (so I don't have to go find it later).


Print: The last option we will cover under the File menu. This is where you would go to print your slides. Need handouts for that meeting? Or do you want a copy for you that includes a picture of the slide and your speaking notes?

The print option also is where you decide which printer you want to use and choose to print all slides, some slides or just one. You also have the option to choose the layout of the slides for your printed version. And keep in mind, though, that changing the layout for print does not change how it will be displayed on the screen during your presentation.

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