The Ribbon groups common commands together under each menu. In this lesson, we will review the group of commands under Insert and Design, where you will find powerful options to create fun and captivating slides for your presentation.
Using Insert and Design Menus
Two tabs, above the ribbon, are Insert and Design. These tabs, often referred to as menus, give you many options when creating your slides, such as adding text and adding a background design.
Sometimes, the ribbon commands can seem a bit overwhelming, especially as you get into more advanced options to enhance your presentation. Let me share with you two very helpful hints when working with the ribbon.
My first hint: Each menu is further grouped into sub-groups. Along the bottom of the ribbon, there are additional categories for your commands. Specifically, under the Insert menu, you can see categories such as slides, tables, images, illustrations and so on. Sometimes, it is easier to first look for the sub-group that applies to what you want to do with your slide.
My second hint: Each command in the ribbon has a description box to explain a little more about the command. Sometimes, you just need a brief explanation to determine if that is the command you need. You can see the description box by hovering your mouse over the command. And if you still need more help on what the command will do or how to use it, the box has a 'tell me more' option.
There are many frequently used commands in the Insert menu. You can add a table to your slide, add a picture or create a photo album, add word art or even add video or audio to your slide. But there are a few that you will find yourself using the most.
Let's start with New Slide. When you start your new presentation, the first slide is automatically created for you. Each slide after that can be inserted using the New Slide command. The first slide is called your Title Slide. Here, you would add the subject or title of your presentation.
You have two options after that. You can click directly on the command and PowerPoint will insert a slide using the same default layout, or you can choose to see more layout options by clicking on the drop down button, or the upside-down triangle. It's on the bottom-right of the New Slide button. Either option will create a new slide.
Second, is Shapes. The Shapes menu is just as it implies. You can add arrows, circles, boxes, rectangles and even a flowchart. To add a shape, simply select the one you want and then click on the area of the slide you want it to appear.
The Text Box. Inserting a text box allows you to add words, sentences and paragraphs to your slide. Even though the New Slide function allows you to choose layouts with existing text boxes, you will likely want to add more. To add a text box, click on the Text Box command. An arrow will appear on your slide. This is your starting point of your box. With your mouse, click, hold and drag the box until it's the size you want. Once the box is added to your slide, click in the box to add the text.
I have to say, this is probably my favorite menu in the ribbon and likely the easiest to use. It is all about themes. It's similar to changing your theme on your desktop (that's the screen that displays after you start your computer). You pick a color, a category and click apply, and just like that, the entire theme of your desktop background changes.
Well, the principal is the same with PowerPoint. Find the theme you like, select it and your slides transform instantly. The Variant category of the Design menu allows you to change the colors and patterns of that theme that you selected. You have so many choices, and they can be applied with just a click of a button.
By understanding the menus and commands in PowerPoint, you can significantly enhance your presentations. This lesson reviewed two of the menu options, Insert and Design. Under the Insert menu, you can add text, pictures, shapes, even video. The Design menu gives you many theme options, where you can apply a pre-designed style or theme to your slide background, definitely giving you a chance to quickly jazz up your slides. The more you get to know, practice with and use each command, the better your presentation will look, feel and sound.
After you've reviewed this video lesson, you should be able to:
- Identify two helpful menus when using the ribbon in PowerPoint
- Describe the features in the Insert menu and in the Design menu and explain how to use them