The Home Tab

The first tab in the Ribbon is the Home tab. This contains the basic formatting tools.


If you recall the section on Windows, Cut, Copy and Paste are functions of the Clipboard.

Cut, Copy, and Paste should be easy to understand. Office 2007, however, adds extra power to the clipboard; by clicking on the dialog box button, you can see the last 24 things that you copied or cut, and you can paste any one of them.

Additionally, you can use the Format Painter. This is to copy the special formatting of text or other objects. For example, if some text is colored red with a specific font and style, you can copy the exact same color and styles to other text. Here's how:

  1. First, select the text (or object) which has the desired formatting;
  2. Second, click the "Format Painter" button; you will see the cursor change to an I-beam and a paintbrush;
  3. Third, select the text (or object) you want to copy the style to.

That's all. The same effect can be performed in Word or Excel.

This section of the Home tab on the Ribbon deals with Slide basics.

  • New Slide: just as it says, you get a new slide. When you choose a new slide, you can choose a layout for the slide in the drop-down menu.
  • Layout: this allows you to choose a new layout for slides you have already made.
  • Reset: If you changed the location or style of a slide layout, this button returns the placeholders to their original positions and styles. The text you types stays the same.
  • Delete: this deletes the whole slide or slides that you have selected.


This area allows you to change the style of text which has been selected.

Top row:

  • Font: choose which tyoeface you will use
  • Size: choose which point size you will use
  • Increase/Decrease Font Size: will increase or decrease fonts size by steps (not 1 point per click only)
  • Erase Formatting: this will get rid of all font style changes, but will leave your words as they are

Bottom row:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Shadow
  • Character Spacing: this will move the letters closer together or farther apart
  • Change Case: you can change selected text to UPPERCASE, lowercase, Sentence case, etc.
  • Font Color

If you click on the Dialog Box, you will get:

Here, you can change more items. We will discuss many of these when we study Microsoft Word.


This area allows you to change the paragraph-level settings:

Top row:

  • Bullet List: make a list like this one (you can choose the format by clicking on the small arrow)
  • Numbered List: make a list which is automatically numbered (you can choose the format by clicking on the small arrow)
  • Decrease/Increase Indent: move paragraphs to the left and right by 0.5" jumps
  • Line Spacing: choose single space, 1.5 space, double space, etc.

Bottom row:

  • Alignment: Left, center, right, or justified
  • Columns: choose the number of columns a text area will be divided into

Special Buttons (on the right):

  • Text Direction: allow text to go up-down in addition to right-left
  • Align Text: align the text top-to-bottom
  • Convert to Smart Art


This area allows you to draw shapes, arrange them, and style them:

On the left there are Autoshapes, starting with Recently Used Shapes. This can include a Text Box, which is counted as a Basic Shape. Notice that there are three buttons on the right side of the Autoshapes box. The top two will scroll up and down the list of different shape types. The bottom button will show the whole list of shapes.

Next, you can arrange the Shapes:

Choose Quick Styles ("presets") for decorating the shapes:

And then, finally, on the far right, you can use one of the three buttons for:

  • Shape Fill: choose a fill color (background color) for a shape;
  • Shape Outline: choose a color and style for the shape's outline
  • Shape Effects: choose between the many special and 3-D effects: Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft edges, Bevel, or 3-D Rotation. There are also presets for you to choose from.


Finally, there is a small area on the right side of the Home tab which allows you to do three actions which are probably not so useful in PowerPoint:

You can explore this area on your own, if you wish.