What's New in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010?

01
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Parts of the PowerPoint 2010 Screen

Parts of the PowerPoint 2010 (Beta) screen
Parts of the PowerPoint 2010 (Beta) screen. screen shot © Wendy Russell

Parts of the PowerPoint 2010 Screen

For anyone new to PowerPoint, it is always a good practice to get accustomed to the parts of the screen.

Note - Click on the image above to enlarge it for better clarity.

For those of you who got on board with PowerPoint 2007, this screen will look very familiar. However, there are some new additions to PowerPoint 2010 in terms of features, and some subtle additions in terms of slight changes to existing features in PowerPoint 2007.

  • File Tab - The new File tab in the left corner of the ribbon, replaces the Office button. Many of the same features are present and some new features have been added.
  • Ribbon - The ribbon replaces the toolbar in older versions of PowerPoint, prior to PowerPoint 2007.
  • Quick Access Toolbar - This toolbar appears in the top left corner of the PowerPoint 2010 screen. This is a customizable toolbar, so that you may add icons for features that you use frequently.
  • Tabs on the Ribbon - These tabs on the ribbon are headings for groups of tasks. These tabs look similar to the headings on the menus in older versions of PowerPoint.
  • Help Button - This tiny question mark icon is how to access help for PowerPoint 2010.
  • Slides/Outline Pane - The Slides/Outline pane is located on the left side of the window. The Slides pane shows thumbnail versions of each of the slides in the presentation. The Outline pane shows a text outline of all the information on the slides.
  • Notes - The Notes section is a place for the speaker to jot down any hints or references for his presentation. Only the presenter will see these notes.
  • Status Bar - The Status bar shows current aspects of the presentation, such as the current slide number and what design theme was used. A tiny Common tools toolbar gives quick access to features that the presenter would use often.
02
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New File Tab Replaces the Office Button in PowerPoint 2010

Information and statistics about this presentation on File tab of PowerPoint 2010 ribbon
Information and statistics about this presentation are shown "Backstage" on the File tab of the PowerPoint 2010 ribbon. screen shot © Wendy Russell

PowerPoint 2010 File Tab

Note - Click on the image above to enlarge it for better clarity.

When you click on the File tab of the ribbon, you are presented with what Microsoft is calling the Backstage view. The is the place to look for any information about this file, such as the author, and options for saving, printing and viewing detailed option settings.

That old saying "What's old is new again" comes to mind. My guess is that the Office button, introduced in PowerPoint 2007, was not a success. Microsoft Office users were used to the File option on the old menu, and the new ribbon was different enough. So, the return of the File tab on the ribbon will be comforting to many users, especially those who didn't jump on the Office 2007 bandwagon.

A first click on the File tab reveals an Info section, with options for:

  • protecting the presentation by setting permissions
  • checking for issues and preparing for sharing the presentation
  • managing versions, stating how many versions of this presentation you have created and allowing for deletions
03
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Transitions Tab on the PowerPoint 2010 Ribbon

Transitions tab on the PowerPoint 2010 (Beta) ribbon is new to this version
Transitions tab on the PowerPoint 2010 (Beta) ribbon is new to this version. screen shot © Wendy Russell

Transitions Tab on the PowerPoint 2010 Ribbon

Slide transitions have always been a part of PowerPoint. However, the Transitions tab is new to the PowerPoint 2010 ribbon.

04
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Animation Painter is New to PowerPoint 2010

Animation Painter is new to PowerPoint 2010 (Beta)
Animation Painter is new to PowerPoint 2010 (Beta). screen shot © Wendy Russell

Introducing the Animation Painter

The Animation Painter is one of those "Now why didn't we think of this before?" kind of tools. Microsoft has created a tool that works similarly to the Format Painter, which has been around as long as I have been using any Office products.

The Animation Painter will copy all the animation features of an object to; another object, another slide, multiple slides or to another presentation. This is a real time-saver as you do not have to add all these animation properties separately to each object. The added bonus is many fewer mouse clicks.

Related - Using the PowerPoint 2010 Animation Painter

05
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Share Your PowerPoint 2010 Presentation and Collaborate with Colleagues

Broadcast Slide Show is a new feature in PowerPoint 2010 (Beta)
Broadcast Slide Show is a new feature in PowerPoint 2010 (Beta). screen shot © Wendy Russell

Broadcast Slide Show Feature in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 now offers the ability to share your presentation over the internet to anyone in the world. By sending a link to the URL of your presentation, your global audience can follow along in their browser of choice. The viewers do not even need to have PowerPoint installed on their computer.

06
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Minimize the PowerPoint 2010 Ribbon

Minimize the Ribbon button is new to PowerPoint 2010 (Beta)
Minimize the Ribbon button is new to PowerPoint 2010 (Beta). screen shot © Wendy Russell

Minimize the PowerPoint 2010 Ribbon

This is a small feature, but many users of PowerPoint find that they like to see more of the presentation on screen and they want to reclaim some of that valuable real estate.

In PowerPoint 2007, you could hide the ribbon, so the feature has always been there. With this version, Microsoft has just introduced a tiny button to do it with less clicks of the mouse.

07
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Add a Video to Your PowerPoint 2010 Presentation

Embed a video into PowerPoint 2010 from a file on your computer or from a website like YouTube
Embed a video into PowerPoint 2010 from a file on your computer or from a website like YouTube. screen shot © Wendy Russell

Embed a Video or Link to a Video

PowerPoint 2010 now offers the option to embed or link to a video (which is currently located on your computer) into your presentation, or to link to a video on a website, such as YouTube.

Embedding a video which is located on your computer saves a lot of anguish if you later move or send your presentation to another location. Embedding the video means that it always stays with the presentation, so you don't have to remember to also send the video file along. The video can be of an actual "movie" type or you can also embed an animated GIF type of clip art.

Linking to a video

  • on your computer - greatly reduces the file size of the overall presentation. However, you take the risk of forgetting to copy over the video file when you move the presentation to another location.
  • on a website - such as YouTube, allows you to embed the code of the video into your presentation. The video is not really in your presentation, so you will always need an internet connection in order to view the video.
08
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Create a Video of Your PowerPoint 2010 Presentation

Create a video of your PowerPoint 2010 presentation
Create a video of your PowerPoint 2010 presentation. screen shot © Wendy Russell

Turn PowerPoint 2010 Presentations into Videos

Finally, Microsoft has realized the need to be able to convert a presentation into a video, without the use of third party software. Users of PowerPoint have been asking for this for years, and at long last the feature is present in PowerPoint 2010.

Advantages of Converting a PowerPoint 2010 Presentation into Video

  1. The WMV video file format can be read by most computers.
  2. You can still use other software to convert the presentation into other file formats (such as AVI or MOV for example) if you choose.
  3. Any transitions, animations, sounds and narration will be embedded into the video.
  4. The video can be published to a website or emailed. It is not editable, so the entire presentation will always remain as the author intended.
  5. You can control the file size of the video by selecting appropriate options.
  6. The targeted audience does not need to have PowerPoint installed on their computer in order to view the video.

Back to Beginner's Guide to PowerPoint 2010