PowerPoint Tip – Rename Objects Using Selection Pane

I’m putting together a PowerPoint 2007  slide at the moment and wanted to add some custom animation to ensure objects in a diagram appear one at a time.  Simple enough, but there are 20 odd pictures on the slide and having them all with generic names like “Picture 1”, “Picture 2”, “Picture 3” etc. was annoying me.

I know that if I ever want to change the order for whatever reason it will just be irritating, so I wanted to change the names but couldn’t see an obvious way to do this (in other words, right-clicking didn’t work!  Worse, there was nothing in the context-speicfic “Format” panel of the ribbon).  What to do.

It took some slightly less than intuitive Googling but I found Ellen Finkelstein’s post on her PowerPoint Tips blog: “The wonderful Selection pane lets you easily hide objects, select them and even rename them” – which did exactly what I wanted.  Cheers Ellen.

You just need to go to the Home tab -> Editing panel and choose Selection -> Selection Pane.  Then you can just edit the names of any objects on the slide. Easy.

PowerPoint 2007 screen shot illustrating the location of Selection Pane under Selection in the Edit pane of the Home tab
The Selection Pane under Selection in the Edit pane of the Home tab in PowerPoint 2007 (click to enlarge)

PS – I haven’t got PowerPoint 2010 to verify this yet so let me know if something similar works there.