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The 10 Most Common PowerPoint 2010 Terms

PowerPoint 2010 Quick List of Common Terms and Definitions


This quick list of the ten most common PowerPoint 2010 terms is a great tool for those new to PowerPoint 2010. If you are upgrading from PowerPoint 2003, there are a few new entries to be aware of.

Back to Beginner's Guide to PowerPoint 2010

1. Slide - Slide Show

Slide show view in PowerPoint 2010
Slide show view © Wendy Russell

Each page of a PowerPoint presentation is called a slide. The default orientation of the slide is in landscape layout, which means that the slide is 11" wide by 8 1/2" tall. Text, graphics and/or pictures are added to the slide to enhance its appeal.

Think back to the days of the old fashioned slide show, using a slide projector. PowerPoint is an updated version of that kind of slide show, made up of several slides. Slide shows can be comprised of text and graphic objects or be completely covered by a single picture, as in a photo album.

2. Ribbon

Design tab of the PowerPoint 2010 ribbon
Part of Design tab of the ribbon © Wendy Russell

The ribbon, first introduced in PowerPoint 2007, is the strip of buttons across the top of the main window, and it replaces the toolbar in earlier versions of PowerPoint. Here on the ribbon you will find access to anything the program has to offer. You no longer have to hunt endlessly through many menus and sub menus to find the command you want. Commands are located in logical places now, unlike in earlier versions of all things Microsoft.

There are several different tabs on the ribbon, each containing buttons or contextual menus with regard to a certain task.

3. Contextual Menus and Tabs

New Contextual Menus in PowerPoint
Contextual menus and tabs © Wendy Russell

Contextual Menus or Contextual Tabs were introduced in PowerPoint 2007. Instead of scrolling through the longer menus as in previous versions of PowerPoint, once a topic is accessed, the ribbon changes to objects pertaining to that option.

For example - After choosing to insert a picture from the Insert tab of the ribbon, the ribbon changes to show more graphical options that can pertain to this picture. Several style layouts are shown, but more options can be seen by clicking the arrow to the right of the layouts. This expands the selection choice. In many cases, you will see a preview of your choice. It is not necessary to apply the selection first.

4. Slide Layouts - Slide Types

Change PowerPoint 2010 slide layouts
Slide layouts © Wendy Russell

The terms slide type or slide layout can be used interchangeably. There are several different types of slides / slide layouts in PowerPoint. Depending on the type of presentation you are creating, you may use several different slide layouts or just keep repeating the same few.

Slide types or layouts include -

  • title slides
  • title and content slides
  • comparison slides
  • picture with caption slides
  • and more

Related Tutorial - Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2010

5. Slide Views

PowerPoint 2010 slide sorter view
Slide sorter view © Wendy Russell
  • Normal View - is also commonly known as Slide View. It is the main working window in the presentation. The slide is shown full size on the screen.

  • Outline View - shows all the text of all slides, in a list on the left of the PowerPoint screen. No graphics are shown in this view. Outline View is useful for editing purposes and can be exported out as a Word document to use as a summary handout.

  • Slide Sorter View - is a window in PowerPoint that displays thumbnail versions of all your slides, arranged in horizontal rows. This view is useful to make global changes to several slides at one time. Rearranging or deleting slides is easy to do in Slide Sorter view.
  • Reading View - is similar to slide show view. The difference between the two views is that while slide show view takes over the whole screen, the slide in reading view is also shown in full screen, but you will also see the PowerPoint title band at the top of the screen and the PowerPoint status bar and the Windows task bar displayed at the bottom of the screen. The ribbon and the slides/outline pane are no longer visible.
  • Notes Pages - shows a smaller version of a slide with an area below for notes. Each slide is created on its own notes page. The speaker can print these pages out to use as a reference while making his presentation. The notes do not show on the screen during the presentation.

Related Tutorial - Different Ways to View PowerPoint 2010 Slides

6. Design Theme

Design themes in PowerPoint 2010
Design themes © Wendy Russell

Think of a design theme as a coordinated packaged deal. When you decorate a room, you use colors and patterns that all work together. A design theme acts in much the same way. It is created so that even though different slide types can have different layouts and graphics, the whole presentation goes together as an attractive package. The background color / images and fonts are all coordinated to achieve a cohesive look.

Related Tutorial - Design Themes in PowerPoint 2010

7. Transition or Slide Transition

Slide transitions choices PowerPoint 2010
Slide transitions choices © Wendy Russell

Slide transitions are the visual movements as one slide changes to another.

Related Tutorials
Slide Transitions for PowerPoint 2010 Slides
5 Tips About Slide Transitons

8. Animation or Custom Animation

Animation choices in PowerPoint 2010
Some PowerPoint 2010 animation choices © Wendy Russell

In Microsoft PowerPoint, animations are visual effects applied to individual items on the slide such as graphics, titles or bullet points, rather than to the slide itself.

Preset visual effects can be applied to paragraphs, bulleted items and titles from a variety of animation groupings, namely Subtle, Moderate and Exciting.


9. Animation Painter

PowerPoint 2010 Animation Painter
Animation Painter © Wendy Russell

The Animation Painter is new to PowerPoint 2010. It is a tool that works similarly to the Format Painter, which has been part of any Office product for many years.

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. 

10. Slide Master

Use main slide master to insert picture into every kind of slide layout in PowerPoint 2007
Screen shot © Wendy Russell

The default design template when starting a PowerPoint presentation, is a plain, white slide. This plain, white slide is the Slide Master. All slides in a presentation are created using the fonts, colors and graphics in the Slide Master. Each new slide that you create takes on these aspects.

Each design theme has a number of different slide masters, unlike some earlier versions, which contained only an additional Title Master. Another nice feature of slide masters in PowerPoint 2010 is that you can create your own text placeholders. This was not possible in version 2003 and earlier.

Back to Beginner's Guide to PowerPoint 2010

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