Parts of the main Impress window

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The main Impress window has three parts: the Slides pane, Workspace, and Tasks pane. Additionally, several toolbars can be displayed or hidden during the creation of a presentation.

Main window of Impress
Tip.png You can remove the Slides pane or Tasks pane from view by clicking the X in the upper right corner. You can also show or hide these panes using View > Slide Pane or View > Tasks Pane.

Slides pane

The Slides pane contains thumbnail pictures of the slides in your presentation, in the order they will be shown (unless you change the order). Clicking a slide selects it and places it in the Workspace. While it is there, you can apply any changes desired to that particular slide.

Several additional operations can be performed on one or more slides in the Slides pane:

  • Add new slides at any place within the presentation after the first slide.
  • Mark a slide as hidden so that it will not be shown as part of the slide show.
  • Delete a slide from the presentation if it is no longer needed.
  • Rename a slide.
  • Copy or move the contents of one slide to another (copy and paste, or cut and paste, respectively).

It is also possible to perform the following operations, although there are more efficient methods than using the Slides pane:

  • Change the slide transition following the selected slide or after each slide in a group of slides.
  • Change the sequence of slides in the presentation.
  • Change the slide design. (A window opens allowing you to load your own design.)
  • Change slide layout for a group of slides simultaneously. (This requires using the Layouts section of the Tasks pane.)

Tasks pane

The Tasks pane has five sections.

Master Pages

Here you define the page style for your presentation. Impress contains 28 prepackaged Master Pages (slide masters). One of them—Default—is blank, and the rest have a background.

Tip.png Press F11 to open the Styles and Formating window, where you can modify the styles used in any slide master to suit your purpose. This can be done at any time.


Twenty prepackaged layouts are shown. You can choose the one you want, use it as it is or modify it to your own requirements. At present it is not possible to create custom layouts.

Table Design

Eleven standard table styles are provided in this pane. You can further modify the appearance of a table with the selections to show or hide specific rows and columns, or to apply a banded appearance to the rows and columns.

Custom Animation

A variety of animations for selected elements of a slide are listed. Animation can be added to a slide, and it can also be changed or removed later.

Slide Transition

Fifty-six transitions are available, including No Transition. You can select the transition speed (slow, medium, fast). You can also choose between an automatic or manual transition, and how long you want the selected slide to be shown (automatic transition only).


The Workspace has five tabs: Normal, Outline, Notes, Handout, and Slide Sorter. These five tabs are called View buttons. There are also many toolbars that can be used during slide creation; they are revealed by selecting them with View > Toolbars. The Workspace is below the View buttons. This is where you assemble the various parts of your selected slide.

Each view is designed to make completing certain tasks easier. In summary:

  • Normal view is the main view for creating individual slides. Use this view to format and design slides and to add text, graphics, and animation effects.
  • Outline view shows topic titles, bulleted lists, and numbered lists for each slide in outline format. Use this view to rearrange the order of slides, edit titles and headings, rearrange the order of items in a list, and add new slides.
  • Notes view lets you add notes to each slide that are not seen when the presentation is shown.
  • Slide Sorter view shows a thumbnail of each slide in order. Use this view to rearrange the order of slides, produce a timed slide show, or add transitions between selected slides.
  • Handout view lets you print your slides for a handout. You can choose one, two, three, four, or six slides per page from Tasks pane > Layouts. Thumbnails can be re-arranged in this view by dragging and dropping them.


The various Impress toolbars can be displayed or hidden by clicking View > Toolbars and selecting from the menu. You can also select the icons that you wish to appear on each toolbar. For more information, refer to Chapter 1 (Introducing

Many of the toolbars in Impress are similar to the toolbars in OOo Draw. Refer to the Draw Guide for details on the functions available and how to use them.


The Navigator displays all objects contained in a document. It provides another convenient way to move around a document and find items in it. The Navigator icon Nav-icon.jpg is located on the Standard toolbar. You can also display the Navigator by choosing Edit > Navigator on the menu bar or pressing Ctrl+Shift+F5.

The Navigator is more useful if you give your slides and objects (pictures, spreadsheets, and so on) meaningful names, instead of leaving them as the default “Slide 1” and “Picture 1”.


Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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