PowerPoint 2007: Setting Up Your PowerPoint Environment


PowerPoint 2007 introduced a completely redesigned user interface from previous versions. Taking some time to understand the new environment and customize it to your preferences can greatly improve your productivity when creating presentations. This article will guide you through the key aspects of the PowerPoint 2007 interface and how to set it up for optimal use.

The Ribbon

The most noticeable change in PowerPoint 2007 is the introduction of the Ribbon – a tabbed toolbar that replaces the old menu system. The Ribbon organizes all of PowerPoint’s features into related tabs and groups:

  • Home – Basic slide editing tools
  • Insert – Adding objects like pictures and charts
  • Design – Changing slide theme and layout
  • Animations – Adding animations
  • Slide Show – Slide show tools
  • Review – Proofing and comments
  • View – Changing document views

This makes it much easier to discover and access different tools. You can customize the Ribbon display to only show the tabs you use most often.

The Quick Access Toolbar

To the right of the Ribbon tabs is the Quick Access Toolbar. This displays shortcuts to frequently used commands like Save, Undo and Redo. You can customize this toolbar by adding your preferred commands. This allows quick access without having to switch Ribbon tabs.


PowerPoint 2007 features several ways to view your presentation. Each view has advantages for specific tasks:

  • Normal – Standard editing view
  • Slide Sorter – Organize and reorder slides
  • Notes Page – Add speaker notes
  • Slide Show – Preview presentation

Learning keyboard shortcuts to quickly switch between views can greatly boost your productivity.

Customization Options

Beyond the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar, PowerPoint 2007 offers many ways to customize the environment to suit your preferences:

  • Change default program settings
  • Modify size and colors of interface elements
  • Show/hide interface items like rulers and gridlines
  • Define custom color schemes
  • Adjust AutoRecover and AutoSave behavior
  • Set default file locations

Investing some time to set up PowerPoint to your liking will pay off every time you create a new presentation.

Top Customizations

Here are some of the most useful customizations to consider for improving your PowerPoint work environment:

Quick Access Toolbar

Add shortcuts for commonly used commands like:

  • Insert picture
  • Insert chart
  • Animations pane
  • Slide master
  • Notes page view

Ribbon Display

Reduce clutter by collapsing groups you rarely use. Only enable Ribbon tabs you need.

AutoRecover Settings

Set to save every 5 minutes for protection against crashes.

Default File Locations

Set custom default locations to keep presentations organized.


Enable gridlines at 0.25″ intervals for precision alignment of objects.


Increase size to 120% or 150% for easier editing of text and graphics.

Color Scheme

Pick a darker color scheme if you present in low light conditions.


Taking the time to learn your way around the new PowerPoint 2007 interface and set up customizations tailored to your workflow can greatly boost your productivity and efficiency when creating presentations. The program offers a wealth of options for tweaking the environment to best suit your specific needs and preferences. Invest in setting up PowerPoint 2007 properly, and you will reap long-term benefits each time you build a new presentation.