It’s good practice for a developer to ‘name’ all your objects. When creating a PowerPoint presentation I make no exception. Every object I use in my presentation gets named. Why would you want to do that one might ask. Well when developing a complex presentation with a lot of objects in one slide stacked on top of each other it’s very hard to select the object you might want to edit. Using the selection pane makes this an easy task.
The selection pane in PowerPoint
When I first met the selection pane in PowerPoint I couldn’t help thinking that it looked a lot like something a had seen before in Photoshop. What is the ‘eye’ for? Could it be that you can temporarily hide objects? Yes it is. Well that makes life easy. Could it also be possible to name your objects so you can select a certain object by clicking on its name? Yes this is also possible… Wow that can save me hours of clicking the wrong object before I actually select the one I need.
Ok let’s start a simple slide in powerpoint. I’ve added three objects on this slide. It looks something like this:
Now we will go to the selection pane. By default you don’t see this selectionpane so you have to activate it. Go to the [Home] tab in the ribbon. All the way at the right side of the ribbon you’ll see the [group] – [editing]. Click on the arrow to see the various options and choose select. In the dropdown choice choose the option [Selection Pane].
If done correctly you’ll see the selection pane appear on the right side of your screen. For this example it means that you will see three objects in the selection pane. Depending on what you have chosen the objects will get deafult names with a numbering. Now we are going to adjust this. Click on one of the objects in the slide (leave the selection pane open). When clicked the object in the selectionpane will get selected. Now either click once in the selected object in the selectionpane and rename the object to something more explanatory then TextBox3. I renamed it to txtAboutMe. Change the other objects as well. It should look something like this
As you can see the objects have much more explaning names then before they were renamed. The advantages of naming your objects will reflect also if you choose to add an animation to your presentation. When selected your renamed object will also show up as the renamed object in your animation pane.
No more chaos
When creating more complex presentations you’ll find this technique very useful. No more chaos in finding out which object to select before finally selecting the right one. Try to make a habit out of naming objects and once you do you won’t go back believe me 😉