Using the Insert and Design Menus in PowerPoint

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.

In PowerPoint, the design menu is frequently used to apply pre-designed styles or themes to slide backgrounds, whereas the insert menu is useful for adding text, pictures, shapes, or videos. Learn how to use the insert and design menus in PowerPoint. Updated: 10/05/2021

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.

Helpful Hints

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.

The Insert Menu

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.

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