Uses of Icons in Microsoft Powerpoint

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The popular presentation software Microsoft PowerPoint allows users to create impressive productions for business, education or personal functions. To take advantage of the powerful functions available in this program, users must understand what PowerPoint specific icons stand for. Icons, small buttons located toward the top of the work area, represent different tools. In versions of the program prior to PowerPoint 2007, toolbars contain icons. PowerPoint 2007 or later features icons on The Ribbon.

New Slide Icon

  • The New Slide icon resembles a rectangle with a star burst on the top left corner. This icon allows the user to add new slides into his presentation. Clicking this icon opens a dialog box featuring numerous choices of different kinds of slides to select. For example, the operator has the option to select a slide containing a bullet point slide suitable for creating lists.

Custom Animation Icon

  • The Custom Animation Icon allows users to add animations of their choice to the parts of the slide. Users have a choice of hundreds of animation options, including entrance, exit and emphasis features. For instance, if a text box contains a bullet pointed list, the presentation designer may add entrance animations causing the text of each bullet point to appear one line at a time.

    The icon resembles an arrow, an audio speaker and clock face, because it controls transition, sound and timing of animations in a slide.

Slide Design Icon

  • An icon featuring a rectangle with a fountain pen, the Slide Design icon gives users the power to easily change the appearance of the overall design of the presentation.

    PowerPoint has numerous slide designs built into the program. Designs combine background art with text colors, size and styles pre-formatted.

Insert Chart Icon

  • Like Excel, PowerPoint’s sister program in Microsoft Office, the program features an Insert Chart icon. The icon looks like a bar chart. Clicking this icon activates the chart function, which walks users through the design options for inserting a chart into the current slide. Once activated, the user chooses the kind of chart he desires. Options include bar, pie and area.

    An Excel spreadsheet opens, allowing users to input the data the chart bases its design.

Insert Diagram

  • The Insert Diagram PowerPoint icon resembles a circle of arrows and dots. Selecting this icon gives access to diagram features and insert a chart. Many different kinds of charts exist, including organizational charts, circle diagrams, radial diagrams and pyramid diagrams. Once inserted, the charts have flexible editing options, allowing operators to manipulate content, size and colors.

3-D Style Icon

  • Designed to resemble a box drawn in 3-D fashion, this icon allows users to add three-dimensional effects to objects in a slide. For example, to give a chart a 3-D effect, select the chart and click on the 3-D Style icon.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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