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The working space, or Normal view, is designed to help you easily find and use the capabilities of Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

This article contains step-by-step instructions to help you prepare to create presentations with PowerPoint 2010.


  • Another part of the PowerPoint 2010 working area is the menu bar at the top, also known as the ribbon. To learn more about the PowerPoint ribbon, see Where are the menus and toolbars?.

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

When you start PowerPoint, it opens in the view called Normal view, where you create and work on slides.


  • If PowerPoint 2010 is already running, save and close any open presentations, and then exit and restart PowerPoint 2010.

  • If PowerPoint 2010 isn't already running, start it.

The workspace, or Normal view, in PowerPoint 2010 with four areas labled.

Figure: A picture of PowerPoint 2010 in Normal view that has several labeled elements.

1. In the Slide pane, you can work directly on individual slides.

2. Dotted borders identify placeholders, where you can type text or insert pictures, charts, and other objects.

3. The Slides tab shows a thumbnail version of each full size slide shown in the Slide pane. After you add other slides, you can click a thumbnail on the Slides tab to make the slide appear in the Slide pane. Or you can drag thumbnails to rearrange the slides in your presentation. You can also add or delete slides on the Slides tab.

4. In the Notes pane, you can type notes about the current slide. You can distribute your notes to your audience or see your notes in Presenter view when you give your presentation.

Step 2: Start with a blank presentation

By default, PowerPoint 2010 applies the Blank Presentation template, which appears in the previous illustration, to new presentations. Blank Presentation is the simplest and most generic of the templates in PowerPoint 2010, and is a good template to use when you first start to work with PowerPoint.

To create a new presentation that is based on the Blank Presentation template, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.

  1. Point to New, and under Available Templates and Themes select Blank Presentation.

  2. Click Create.

Step 3: Adjust the size of the Notes pane

After you open the Blank Presentation template, only a small part of the Notes pane is visible. To see a larger part of the Notes pane so that you have more room to type in it, do the following:

  1. Point to the top border of the Notes pane.

  2. When the pointer becomes a Drag pointer for horizontal splitter bar, drag the border up to make some more room for your speaker notes, as shown in the following illustration.

Workspace with resized Notes pane

Notice that the slide in the Slide pane resizes automatically to fit the available space.

Step 4: Create your presentation

Now that you have prepared the working space for you to use, you are ready to start adding text, shapes, pictures, animations, (and other slides, too) to your presentation. To learn more about how to create a basic presentation from start to finish, see Basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint presentation.

Near the top of the screen there are are three buttons that you might find useful as you start to work:

  • Undo Button image, which undoes your last change. (To see a ScreenTip about which action will be undone, rest the pointer on the button. To see a menu of other recent changes that can also be undone, click the arrow to the right of Undo Button image.) You can also undo a change by pressing CTRL+Z.

  • Redo or Repeat Button image, which either repeats or redoes your last change, depending on what action that you previously performed. (To see a ScreenTip about which action will be repeated or redone, rest the pointer on the button.) You can also repeat or redo a change by pressing CTRL+Y.

  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint Help Button image, which opens the PowerPoint Help pane. You can also open Help by pressing F1.

Tip:  You can add more buttons to this area near the top of the screen The area at the top of the screen is called the Quick Access Toolbar. You can add other commands to this toolbar so that they are always close at hand. To learn more , see Customize the Quick Access Toolbar.

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