Trusty Toolbars

Nice to see you, PowerPoint. Or can I just call you Power? You're looking great by the way, I bet you've been working out.

I can't help but notice those toolbars of yours. They look just loaded with features. Schwarzenegger has nothing on you in terms of muscle. Can you folks back home see this? With toolbars like that, you can put together some really nifty presentations.

Finding the toolbars
The toolbars contain graphically illustrated buttons that you click to perform specific tasks in a program. PowerPoint 97 has four main toolbars, which can help you create your presentations quickly and easily.

The Standard Toolbar is located at the top of the PowerPoint window, below the menu bar. It has buttons for common tasks such as saving, printing, checking spelling, and inserting charts and tables.

Standard Toolbar

The Formatting Toolbar is located just below the standard toolbar. Most of its buttons are for formatting text. Use these buttons to change the font type or size, make text bold or italic, indent text, and insert bullets.

Formatting Toolbar

Floating Toolbar tip

The Drawing Toolbar is located at the bottom of the PowerPoint window. It has tools for drawing shapes, adding lines and curves, and inserting text boxes and WordArt. It also has buttons for manipulating and formatting the objects you draw.

Drawing Toolbar

The Common Tasks toolbar is initially a floating toolbar. That is, it isn't anchored to an edge of the PowerPoint window. Use this toolbar to create a new slide, change the layout of a slide, or apply a design.

Common Tasks Toolbar

Note: If you can't see the Common Tasks Toolbar, you can make it appear using these steps: Click the View menu, point to Toolbars, then click the check box beside Common Tasks. A check mark indicates that a toolbar is activated.

Hmmm. With all these powerful toolbars, things can get pretty tangled up on your desktop. All those buttons must look like the freeway during rush hour. I bet you have a funny story about that.

Not really. People can move my toolbars where they need to at will. It's easy.

You mean you're powerful but fully flexible too?

Part boxer and part ballerina. I think I'm in love.

Moving the toolbars to new locations
All PowerPoint toolbars can be moved or docked to any side of the PowerPoint window. As well, docked toolbars, including the Standard Toolbar, the Formatting Toolbar, and the Drawing Toolbar, can be converted to floating toolbars.

A move handle on the left or top of the toolbar indicates that the toolbar is docked. A title bar indicates that the toolbar is floating.

Docked and Floating Toolbars

Here's how to move one of the toolbars to a new location:

    1. Click the move handle on a docked toolbar, or click the title bar on a floating toolbar.

    2. Holding down the mouse button, drag the toolbar to the new location.

Docking a toolbar
Try docking the Common Tasks toolbar to the top of the PowerPoint window. This will give you more working area on your PowerPoint window.

    1. Click the title bar on the Common Tasks toolbar.

    2. Drag the toolbar upwards, until the toolbar outline snaps into place along the edge of the program window.

If you see move handles on the toolbar, you know it is successfully docked.

Docking the toolbar

My producer is telling me we need to cut to a commercial break. Is there anything else you want to mention about toolbars?

Well, I have other toolbars... one for working with images, one for creating animation effects... and more...

Gee, you have a toolbar for everything. You're like James Bond with all these gadgets. Do you have a toolbar for making milkshakes?

I think that's planned for PowerPoint 2000. Ha ha ha . But seriously... I do need to be a little bit like James Bond when it comes to handling my mission of making good presentations.

Adding and removing toolbars
PowerPoint has several other toolbars to help you accomplish your tasks.

The Picture Toolbar has several buttons that are useful when you work with images. There are buttons for Contrast, Brightness, and Cropping. This toolbar will automatically appear when you insert clip art or pictures.

Picture Toolbar

The Animation Effects Toolbar has buttons for working with animations, and the Web Toolbar helps you create presentations on the Internet. There's also a Reviewing Toolbar, a WordArt Toolbar, and a Control Box Toolbar.

When you're a more advanced user, you may wish to add some of these toolbars to your PowerPoint window. Let's say you want to add the animation effects toolbar. Here's what you do:

    1. Click the View menu, and then point to Toolbars.

    2. In the submenu, click the check box next to animation effects. An animation effects toolbar appears in the PowerPoint window.

selecting a toolbar

Removing a toolbar
PowerPoint lets you remove toolbars you don't need. Try removing the animation effects toolbar you just activated.

    1. Click the View menu, and then point to Toolbar.

    2. In the submenu, click the check box next to animation effects to deselect it.

The check mark disappears and the animation effects toolbar is removed from your PowerPoint window.

Quick Quiz