Task panes are designed to simplify tasks by guiding you through each step of the process. Such task panes, including PowerPoint's Custom Animation task pane (shown below), replace complex dialog boxes and wizards from previous versions of Microsoft Office.

Custom Animation task pane

Task panes also consolidate options and commands used in common tasks.

To view a task pane:

  • Choose View → Task Pane
  • Press Ctrl+F1.
  • Some menu commands will invoke a task pane, including the File ? New command.

When any task pane is visible, you can:

  • Click the drop-down arrow in the task pane title bar to select another task pane.

    task pane menu

  • Use the back and forward buttons at the top of the task pane to go to recently viewed task bars.
  • Drag the border between the task pane and the document to change the size of the task pane.
  • Click the close button in the title bar of the task pane to close the task pane. task pane close button