Customizing PowerPoint Toolbars

Published Mon, Apr 10 2006 18:28

Often, you need to use PowerPoint to create presentations. Preparing slides and handling them are cumbersome, especially if your presentation contains 100+ slides. Commands in the toolbars are there to solve your problems. They speed up your work and improve efficiency. 

So what are commands and toolbars? Commands are orders given to PowerPoint to perform some tasks. Command buttons are stored in different toolbars. With these toolbars, you do not need to go through the menu bar searching for the commands you want. For instance, if you want to insert picture from file, you can click on the "Insert Picture" button in the Drawing toolbar rather than using the menu bar (Insert > Picture > From File). There are many useful toolbars. Unfortunately, not all of them are enabled. To enable them, you will need to go to the menu bar, then click View > Toolbars > Customize. From there, browse around the Toolbars and Commands tabs to get yourself familiar with them.

There are some useful commands that you can drag to the toolbars. Here's a preview of my PowerPoint interface. You may find some toolbars handy for you, while some are not. This depends on the type of presentations you normally work on.

Figure 1: Preview of my current PowerPoint interface. Click to Enlarge.

Useful commands to be added onto your toolbar includes:
- Slide Master for entering the slide master,
- Grouping command to group and ungroup objects easily,
- Objects order command for bringing and sending objects front and backwards with ease,
- Set AutoShape Defaults command for making the properties of current Autoshape as default, which allows new AutoShapes to follow this defaults. E.g. Color Fill, Font Face and Size properties,
- Pick Up and Apply Object Style commands, is used to copy the properties (E.g. Color Fill, Font Face and Size) of one object and paste it onto another object.
- Control Toolbox comes into handy when you need to insert checkbox, flash (.swf), windows media player control and etc. For flash, you will need to use Shockwave Flash Object,
- Last but not least, Add-ins. These are additional stuff for your presentations which are downloadable from the internet. Some add-ins are free, while others require you to purchase them.

by tohlz


# George Costigan said on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 8:33 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. Most of us that use PPt are usually too wrapped up in the project itself that we don't stop to think of ways to make our work easier.

I may not agree with all of your suggested groupings, but I'll try them instead of fumbling around. ;)

Like the blog - keep it up!

George Costigan

# tohlz said on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:15 AM

Hi George,
Thanks for the comments. Customizing the toolbars indeed save a lot of time. How users are going to group or customize their toolbars will be different.

However, customizing the toolbars so that it accomodates to your needs will definitely make yourself more convenient!

# Mack said on Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:11 PM

Absolutely incredible website.  I'm learning so much my employer is giving thought to starting another department for me to just build the company's presentations.  Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

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