Office 2016 for Mac was updated on January 12th, 2016. One of the great, new features that they’ve brought into this update is the Selection Pane in PowerPoint! Moving from Windows to Mac, it was hard for me, at first, to not have this feature to help build my PowerPoint slides. Along the past few months, I’ve found myself regularly missing it.
With the Selection Pane back, you can now:
- Rename objects and object groups
- View object hierarchies in groups
- Easily change the Z-order of objects, by dragging items up or down in the list
- Toggle visibility of objects, when making edits to complex slides
- View the updated object names in the Animation Pane
This improvement makes it significantly easier to work with complex slides, that have lots of animations! The Windows version of PowerPoint has had the Selection Pane for quite some time. On the Mac version, the only work-around for renaming objects, and changing other attributes, has been to write macros. In fact, I wrote one such macro last week, at great cost to my time. Furthermore, the macro editor experience has been reduced to almost nothing, amid many complaints from the community. Hence, we are kind of at Microsoft’s mercy to add new features at this point.
How do I access the Selection Pane?
To access the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, go to the Home tab, and then choose Arrange –> Selection Pane (all the way at the bottom).
How do I rename PowerPoint objects?
Double-click the object name in the Selection Pane, and type the new object name.
How do I change the Z-order of objects?
Drag-and-drop the objects vertically, in the desired order. The top-most object in the list is the top-most object on the slide, and will cover and “lower” objects.
How do I toggle visibility of objects in the Selection Pane?
Click the “eye” button next to each object that you want to hide. The icon will change to a dash, which indicates that it is hidden. Click the dash to make it visible again.
I’m really excited that Microsoft has added this feature into PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, and I’m looking forward to the other improvements that they make to Office 2016 for Mac as a whole!