Top tips for PowerPoint for Mac 2016

At first glance, PowerPoint doesn’t seem to have had the same kind of interface overhaul as Word and Excel. PowerPoint is the sort of app that you’re likely to run with windows at full-screen size, so Microsoft has left most of the original tools on the Ribbon’s main Home tab. However, other aspects of the program’s interface have undergone a more drastic redesign, here are some tips to help you get to grips with it.

By

  • 1 Insert Tab Insert Tab
  • 2 Design Tab Design Tab
  • 3 Press to Play Press to play
  • 4 Transitioning Transitions Transitioning Transitions
  • 5 Animation Tools Animation Tools
  • 6 Just Like Keynote Just Like Keynote
  • 7 in View In View
  • 8 In The Cloud In The Cloud
  • 9 Collaboration And Conflict Collaboration and Conflict
  • 10 Presenter View Presenter View
  • More stories
Next Prev

Insert Tab

In the first of our PowerPoint for Mac 2016 tips...

The four tabs for Themes, Tables, Charts and SmartArt have all gone, and their many different sets of tools have been merged into two new tabs.

Like Word and Excel, PowerPoint now includes the new Insert tab, which is where you’ll find all the tools that allow you to add different types of content and media to your slide presentations.

Text boxes, charts, photos, audio and video files, are all created or imported using the Insert tab. And, as with previous versions of PowerPoint, the Ribbon remains context-sensitive, so if you click on a photo or a chart you’ll see additional tabs appear on the Ribbon, which provide tools for editing that particular type of content.

Next »

Next Prev 1 Insert Tab

In the first of our PowerPoint for Mac 2016 tips...

The four tabs for Themes, Tables, Charts and SmartArt have all gone, and their many different sets of tools have been merged into two new tabs.

Like Word and Excel, PowerPoint now includes the new Insert tab, which is where you’ll find all the tools that allow you to add different types of content and media to your slide presentations.

Text boxes, charts, photos, audio and video files, are all created or imported using the Insert tab. And, as with previous versions of PowerPoint, the Ribbon remains context-sensitive, so if you click on a photo or a chart you’ll see additional tabs appear on the Ribbon, which provide tools for editing that particular type of content.

 

Design Tab

Right next to the Insert tab is the new Design tab. As the name implies, this controls the overall design and appearance of your slides.

You can still choose from a number of ready-made templates when you create a new presentation, but the Design tab allows you to select additional ‘variants’ with different colour schemes and typefaces.

You can modify the slide background here, applying effects such as a colour fill or using imported photos. It’s also possible to quickly switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, or to specify the precise dimensions of your slides if you need to print handouts for your audience.

 

Press to play

There is one tool that’s been removed from the Home tab on the Ribbon – and, somewhat oddly, it’s the Play button.

If you want to quickly play through a presentation to see how it looks then you now need to click on the Slideshow tab in the Ribbon.

There are two buttons in here that allow you to play from the start of the presentation or from the currently selected slide. Alternatively, you can still select these commands from the Slideshow pull-down menu at the top of the screen, or try and remember the keyboard shortcuts – Command-Shift-Enter to play from start, or Command-Enter to play from the current slide.

 

Transitioning Transitions

The Transitions tab hasn’t really changed in this version of PowerPoint, nor are there many new transitions and effects for you to play with.

However, there have been some technical changes that improve the handling of transitions and other types of media files. This Mac version updates its support for transitions from PowerPoint 2013 for Windows – which, of course, wasn’t around when Office For Mac 2011 was released – making it easier to share presentations between Macs and PCs.

PowerPoint 2016 also improves support for older video file formats but, for some reason, Microsoft has removed the option to convert a presentation into a video file.

 

Animation Tools

In contrast, the Animation tab has changed quite a bit in PowerPoint 2016. The old floating toolbox palette has been removed and there’s a new Animation Pane button on the tab.

Pressing this displays a fixed pane on the right-hand side of your slides that lists all the animation effects used in the current slide.

You can preview each animation individually, change the order in which animations occur, and adjust settings such as speed and duration.

There’s also a new Animation Painter tool, which will be a useful time-save for many people. This allows you to set up a custom animation for one element on a slide and then copy and apply that animation onto other elements.

 

Just Like Keynote

That right-hand pane appears in other tabs as well, providing context-sensitive tools that are relevant for whichever items you currently have selected – rather like the Format Pane in Apple’s Keynote.

If you double-click on a photo the pane switches to Format Picture mode, where it displays an extensive set of image-editing tools. There are basic touch-up tools for enhancing brightness, colour and contrast in photos, as well as a range of additional graphics effects, such as transparency, glow and blur.

Double-click on some text and the pane will switch to show text formatting options, such as margins, alignment and text-wrap.

 

In View

There’s another new tab on the Ribbon. The View tab includes a number of options that were previously only found in the View pull-down menu, and puts them right on the Ribbon for easier access.

You can display rulers and guide-lines to help you align items on your slides, and along with the standard slide view you can also switch into Outline View, which displays the structure of your presentation in outline form.

You can also view and edit the structure of master slides in this tab, and view any notes or handouts that accompany your slides.

 

In The Cloud

Like Word and Excel, PowerPoint 2016 improves its cloud connectivity. The previous version of PowerPoint could save files to Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage service, and it now adds options for OneDrive For Business and SharePoint for larger corporate users that require enhanced security and collaboration features.

However, these options have been moved from their original location – the File/Share menu – and placed within the standard Save As dialog.

By default, the Save As dialog is set up to save files onto your Mac’s hard drive, but if you click the Online Locations button in the lower-left corner you’ll be prompted to enter the log-in details for one of those online storage services.

 

Collaboration and Conflict

PowerPoint 2016 also beefs up its collaboration features for when you need to work with colleagues on a presentation.

The Share menu – activated by the ‘people’ icon on the far right of the Ribbon – provides simple sharing options, such as the ability to send a presentation as an email attachment, or to convert it into a PDF file.

For real-time collaboration you can send a link that allows colleagues to view presentations that you have saved online, and you can specify whether each person can view-only or edit the presentation.

PowerPoint 2016 also includes a new Conflict Resolution option that allows you to view different versions of a slide side-by-side in case two users make conflicting changes to the same slide.

 

Presenter View

PowerPoint’s Presenter View is an essential tool for many people, as it gives you an overview of your presentation on your Mac’s main screen while your audience just views individual slides on a separate monitor or projector.

The Presenter View has been updated in PowerPoint 2016. As well as showing the current and next slides, the new Presenter View now displays previews of all the slides in your presentation, allowing you to move freely from slide to slide in any order.

So when someone asks to go back and look at an earlier slide you can just click that slide to display it, and then return to your normal running order whenever you’re ready.

Read more tutorials and tips about Office software ...

Plus: Office for Mac 2016 release date and price: Office 2016 for Mac available nowHow to use Notes on a MacLearn how to use Apple's presentation software, KeynoteLearn how to use Apple's spreadsheet program, Numbers | Learn to use Pages for Mac, Apple's word processor

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