Understanding PowerPoint Layout or Interface

When you first open PowerPoint, you will see the following Diagram:

This is the Normal View Screen – We will explore all the elements included in this Screen in the diagrams, below. 

powerpoint presentation page


Here I have numbered the different elements of the Normal View Screen – In the following diagrams you will receive the explanation for the numbers 1 – 11 – It will help you to Understand the PowerPoint Interface, or the elements of the Normal View Screen in PowerPoint.

powerpoint interface


1. QAT or Quick Access Toolbar – Often used commands are located here. You can add more commands or remove commands, if you choose. See the diagram below. The Quick Access Toolbar in the diagram below consist of the following commands: Save, Undo, Redo and Open. 

quick access toolbar


2. Title Bar – This tells you the name of the program which is opened and the name of the document which is opened. In this case, it is Microsoft PowerPoint and the name of the document is: Presentation 1. See the diagram below.  

quick access toolbar


3. Minimize, Restore or Maximize and Close buttons – See the diagram below.

minimize button

4. The Ribbon – contains most of the commands you will need to create a presentation. It is divided into 3 areas: Tabs, Groups, Commands. See the diagram below

ribbon in powerpoint

5. Slide Tab and Outline Tab

  • The Slide Tab contains Thumbnails (smaller pictures of Slides) of your slides. The thumbnails are in numerical order.
  • The Outline Tab – Under the Outline Tab you can type text into your slides

See the Diagram below

 slides and outline tabs


6. Thumbnail/s of Slide – see diagram below




7. Slide Pane – Here you will see a slide and all its contents, and would be able to format it to your liking. See the diagram below.

slide pane


8. Notes Pane – You can enter notes for your slides and presentation in this area. See the diagram below.

 notes pane


9. Slide View – This section consists of the: Normal View, Slide Sorter View, Reading View and Slide Show View. See the diagram below.

 slide pane


10. Zoom Control – With this control you can make your slide smaller or larger. See the diagram below.

zoom control


11. Status Bar – This consists of the Slide number, Theme Name, Spell Check, Slide View and Zoom Control. See the diagram below.

 status bar


Lesson 2: How to Create a PowerPoint Presentation