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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: April 2009

Thoughts and impressions of whatever is happening in the world of PowerPoint

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Learn PowerPoint 2007: Insert Multiple New Slide Pages in Adobe Acrobat

Thursday, April 30, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:26 AM IST



This tutorial is part of the PowerPoint to Secure PDF series -- in the previous tutorial, I showed how to create PDFs from a single exported PNGs. In this tutorial we'll explore options in Adobe Acrobat Pro to insert multiple PNG files.

Follow these steps...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:00 PM IST



Creating PDFs from exported PNGs forms the next sequence of the PowerPoint to Secure PDF tutorial series. Before you proceed, make sure that you have the slides exported as PNGs from within PowerPoint. You'll also need to have Adobe Acrobat Pro installed on your system -- this is a different animal than the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download a trial version of Adobe Acrobat Pro from the Adobe site -- at the time of writing, version 9 of Adobe Acrobat Pro was current. If you have a different version of Adobe Acrobat Pro, the process will be still similar.

Read more now...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 1:42 PM IST



PowerPoint allows you to save your slides to many graphic file formats, which can later be used in other applications as required. This series of tutorials shows you how to create a new secure PDF with slides exported from PowerPoint. Of course, you can create your PDFs straight from PowerPoint but that process allows you to copy text and graphics individually from within the PDF. Compared to that process, this tutorial uses flattened slides that don't have any selectable or editable text. Get started by exporting your slides as individual PNGs from within PowerPoint.

Learn more now...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 11:22 AM IST




SlideShare
, an online presentation sharing site now ups the ante by supporting more file formats including:

  • Microsoft Office Word: DOC, DOCX
  • Microsoft Office Word: RTF
  • Microsoft Office Excel: XLS
  • OpenOffice: ODT, ODS
  • Apple iWork Pages
And all sorts of PDFs and PowerPoint presentations can still be upoaded -- a few months ago, SlideShare added support for Apple Keynote presentations as well.

All such documents can be easily embedded in WordPress and other blog platforms, as well as on LinkedIn networks.

Categories: microsoft_office, online_presentations, powerpoint, slideshare

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:37 PM IST



Imagine a presentation with moving rather than static backgrounds. Will it add even more value? It all depends on many factors -- whether the movement is subtle enough, or just a haphazard jumble of disparate elements and colors. What you use is certainly a decision left to you, but in this review we are going to show you how these moving backgrounds can be added to PowerPoint presentations with a third party add-in called PowerPlugs: Video Backgrounds from CrystalGraphics.


Read the review here...


Categories: add-in, crystalgraphics, powerpoint

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Monday, April 27, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 7:33 PM IST



Here's a cool link that Echo shared with me.

It's called the Online Color Challenge, and it ascertains how well you see color -- and how well you can differentiate between the various hues of a color as they evolve from one value to another. In its orginal form, this contains four rows of jumbled-up color chips that you need to drag and place so that each color chip is suitably similar to the ones before and after them.

I am going to show you how I managed to rearrange all the color chips -- even though I did not get it entirely right! Figure 1 shows my rearranged clips. And you can click this and other figures in this blog post to see larger previews.

Online Color Challenge - 1
Figure 1: Rearranged Color Chips

OK -- Figure 2 is how my results look like -- my score was 12 -- and smaller scores are better than larger ones. One of my friends got 3, and someone else was somewhere near 90!

Online Color Challenge - 2
Figure 2: The score

I was then asked to provide my age and gender, and my score was compared with others who were the same gender in a similar age group -- and this comparison was shown in Figure 3.

Online Color Challenge - 3
Figure 3: Comparing scores

This is great fun if you have 10 to 15 minutes to spare -- go here to play...

Categories: accessibility, color

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posted by Geetesh on 4:39 PM IST



It's awesome that PowerPoint 2007's Help is integrated to Office Help online, and that new articles are added all the time by the PowerPoint Content Publishing Team. However, there are times when you want to share something in PowerPoint Help with a friend or colleague. Here's a quick tip to show you how you can do that.

Learn more here...

Categories: office_online, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Saturday, April 25, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 1:57 PM IST



If you use many images in your PowerPoint slides, you will find this webinar interesting. Copyright Clearance Center is hosting a webinar on copyright and the licensing of images next Wednesday, the 29th of April, 2009. The webinar will include a demo of ReadyImages.

You can sign up here...

Categories: powerpoint, photos

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posted by Geetesh on 1:04 PM IST



A PowerPoint presentation is a great platform -- it lets you create a framework for the content you are presenting. However, since most PowerPoint presentations look so similar and static, there's been a move to use animated, yet subtle backgrounds for slides. Now I am not a very big fan of adding animated backgrounds, yet I do believe that if you use the right animated loop, you can achieve a different, contemporary look. Again, everything works best in moderation.

The product I am reviewing is looping video backgrounds from PowerFinish. These video backgrounds can be directly used in your presentations, or can be used through third party video engines that we explore later in this review.

Read the review here...

Categories: powerpoint, templates

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Thursday, April 23, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:09 AM IST



Vnunet reported concerns about a flaw in Microsoft PowerPoint that may be exploited by malware writers.

The post adds that:

"This PowerPoint exploit is in the wild right now," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "It comes in the form of a presentation showing naked Japanese girls bathing in rockpools, or as an IQ test, to lure the user in. We're hoping Microsoft will patch this soon."

Categories: powerpoint

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:46 PM IST



This article by Robert Lane and Andre Vlcek explains why including pictures in presentations is a simple and powerful way of expanding your expressive potential as a speaker. Pictures communicate at levels beyond the descriptive possibilities of words and bathe the brain in much desired visual stimulation. At the same time, not all pictures are created equally.

Robert Lane  Andre Vlcek

Choosing the right images, and using them in the right ways, can greatly impact your effectiveness.

Read this now...

Categories: design, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 2:26 PM IST



The Save to PDF option is not built within PowerPoint 2007, or the other programs in Office 2007 by default. However, you can easily download a small add-in that makes it possible to save PDFs from within PowerPoint 2007 by following the steps in the Getting Office 2007's Save as PDF Add-in tutorial. Once you have downloaded and installed the Save as PDF Add-in, follow these steps to use it in PowerPoint 2007.

Learn more here...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:56 AM IST



Although PowerPoint 2007 and other Microsoft Office 2007 applications do have the capability to save their outputs as PDF, this option is not built in within PowerPoint or the other programs by default. However, you can easily download a small add-in that makes it possible to save PDFs within PowerPoint 2007. PowerPoint itself helps you install the add-in for the first time you attempt to create a PDF, as I explain next.

Learn more here...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:38 AM IST



authorSTREAM, a leading slide sharing site launched their Premium services that offers many options over and above the free services. The free services are still available, and are unnchanged with the launch of the new Premium services.

Premium services are available in two flavors:

  • Premium Plus, $ 9.95 per month
  • Premium Pro, $ 29.95 per month
Jagdeep Singh Pannu of authorSTREAM sent me this link that explains the differences between all their services

Comparison of Free, Pro and Plus Premium Memberships

And here's an embedded presentation that explains more.



Categories: authorstream, online_presentations, powerpoint

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1 comments




Tuesday, April 14, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:56 AM IST



You can ungroup a slide object only if they are grouped in the first place. Before starting this tutorial, make sure you have a group of slide objects. Thereafter, follow these steps to ungroup objects in PowerPoint 2007 or higher versions.

Learn more now...

Categories: positioning, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:51 AM IST



Before starting this tutorial, make sure you have a group of slide objects. Thereafter, follow these steps to ungroup objects in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

Read more here...

Categories: positioning, powerpoint, tutorials

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Monday, April 13, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:24 PM IST



If you already installed Theme Builder and created a new theme by playing around, you might get disappointed to learn that PowerPoint complains about the theme files you created being corrupt.

Learn how to get over this problem...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, themes, tutorials

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Saturday, April 11, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:41 AM IST



Spring cleaning my computer hard disk is something that cannot get over in just one season -- the time factor aside, I need to decide what to do with all the stuff I save. A case in point is this small walkthrough of PowerPoint 3 that I made years ago using TechSmith's Camtasia Studio 2. It was a retrospective thing when I made it, it's even more of a retrospective now! So I uploaded this to the Community Clips section of Microsoft's Office Online, and embedded it on this page in Indezine's Memorabilia section.

Note: Now I need to do something similar for PowerPoint 1 using the old Powerbook Mac that allows me use that program -- now that's even more retro!

OK -- this way to the PowerPoint 3 retro...

Categories: memorabilia, powerpoint

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:03 PM IST



Vivek ThangaswamyVivek Thangaswamy is a Software Solution developer and technical author based Chennai, India. He specializes in Microsoft enterprise application architectures and server-based product integrations. Vivek is a Microsoft MVP and he completed his Bachelor of technology degree in Information Technology and is currently pursuing a MBA in Finance. In this conversation, Vivek discusses his newly released book: VSTO 3.0 for Office 2007 Programming.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your VSTO for Office 2007 book, and what is the profile of your typical reader?

Vivek: Although there are numerous web resources available for VSTO, there are very few books available on this suject. I find it is always nice to refer to a book as and when required. When choosing a book for a new technology, readers always look for one that teaches from the ground level. In my VSTO 3.0 for Office 2007 Programming book, I start from the basics and make readers competent enough to take control over the VSTO programming. This book addresses all segments of the audience including beginners, intermediate users, and VBA programmers -- it is also a good resource for VBA programmers who want to learn VSTO. I make them comfortable with C# programming in VSTO, which info is not available in any other resource that I am aware of. The entire book was written in a style that calls for short and crisp content to make learning easier and faster. Full examples are provided using the latest Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite, and the code snippets are done using C#.

You will learn about VSTO, how VSTO compares to VBA, and features and limitations of the current version of VSTO, including its architecture. Each individual Office application is handled precisely in separate chapters of the book, including InfoPath and Excel. The book covers new ground by exploring VSTO programming for PowerPoint, Visio and Project, again that's something I haven't found covered elsewhere. You learn new concepts like Ribbon programming, application level solutions, and document level solutions for Microsoft Office 2007. Object models for each Office application are covered.

As part of a team with Packt Publications, I aimed to create a quality book for budding developers.

Geetesh: Tell us about your experiences working with the object model in PowerPoint 2007, and controlling it with VSTO.

Vivek: Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the finest presentation tools available. However, I was not a frequent PowerPoint user -- so I brainstormed with some frequent PowerPoint users about the essential operations that all PowerPoint users perform frequently, and used those observations for programming examples using VSTO for PowerPoint in my book.

First I cover all the basic programmability of PowerPoint using VSTO, and than explain the object model for PowerPoint. There is a huge collection of objects available to be explored by the PowerPoint programmer. While I don't cover it all, I have worked with the basics in the book so that the budding programmer has a strong foundation to start with PowerPoint programming using VSTO. Currently I don’t see as many PowerPoint programmers in the community as for other Office applications. I hope that my book will raise the PowerPoint programming interest in the community.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint_2007, programming

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:28 PM IST



We all live in a world where media assaults at every angle -- be it in the form of television and online video, or even in the form of digicam pictures and music tracks. And of course, this can be extended to something much more huge by the plethora of file formats inhabiting everybody's computer hard disks in the form of ubiquitous PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel sheets, Adobe PDFs, Flash movies, and more.

So how does one create logical collections of such photos, document files, music tracks, and video files in one place, and will this collection be easy to maintain and share? That's a challenge we all face each day. Take an iPod for example -- it comes with iTunes that allows you to make some sense of your huge music collection by creating manual and intelligent playlists so that they can be played in an organized, arranged, and presequenced manner. Freepath, the product which I am reviewing tackles many of these challenges by extending the playlist metaphor to all your document and media formats, including all the formats discussed in the preceding paragraph. In addition, it also tackles QuickTime movies, YouTube videos, and live websites.

Read the Indezine review of Freepath 2.0 here...

Categories: freepath, playlists, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 11:02 AM IST



This tutorial shows you how you can group slide objects in PowerPoint 2007 and higher with regular Ribbon tab controls, right-click options, and shortcut keys. When you have many (or more than one) slide objects on a slide that you want to manipulate in the same way, you might want to consider grouping them. Grouping can be helpful in many scenarios.

Learn more now...

Categories: positioning, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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0 comments




Monday, April 06, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:11 PM IST



Steve RindsbergSteve Rindsberg is the founder and President of RDP, based in Cincinnati, OH (USA). Steve's been associated with PowerPoint since the product originated -- his PowerPoint FAQ site is a treasure trove of PowerPoint information. When he's not updating his site, he's creating new add-ins that expand possibilities. Steve's also into a lot of print technology related stuff.

Geetesh: How did the PowerPoint FAQ (PPT FAQ) evolve?

Steve: Back before the internet and web became mainstream, Microsoft had several support forums on Compuserve. I used to hang out on the PowerPoint forum and answer questions. In part, it was a great way to learn more about the software and to get ideas for a monthly column I used to write for Inside PowerPoint magazine, but mostly it was fun to be able to help other PowerPoint users.

Of course, newcomers always tended to have the same basic questions. Rather than type the same answers over and over again, I started to keep a couple of text files with "stock answers" that I could copy and and paste as responses. That may seem a little impersonal, but really, it works out better for everyone. Instead of dashing off a quick answer (and maybe leaving out important bits by mistake) I could take the time to write a nice, clear, complete answer once and many people could benefit from it. And that left more time to work on the tricky, less-frequently asked questions.

Then along came the web. Publishing all of these stock answers on my web site seemed like the obvious thing to do. That way people didn't have to wait for me to reply to their questions on the forums, they could just check the site for a quick answer.

Geetesh: How do you keep all this content updated?

Steve: For a while, I wrote the content and created the links in Word, then exported to HTML for the web. That worked fairly well when there were only a few dozen questions and answers, but the FAQ very quickly grew unmanageable in Word.

You know what they say: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Well, the not-so-tough, if they're nerds, write software.

I wrote my own program to create and update the questions and answers, create the HTML and publish it to the web. And of course I added features that make it easy for me to find an answer quickly and paste a link to it directly into forum and later newsgroup replies.

This all evolved into a program called Friday (for obscure reasons having to do with a 1950's TV detective show), that I use to maintain the PowerPoint FAQ, the various PPTools sites, and several other sites.

Interestingly, a lot of the work that went into Friday became the basis for our PPT2HTML add-in for PowerPoint, but that's another story for another day, I think.

Geetesh: Does the PowerPoint community help you?

Steve: Oh, absolutely! Somebody has to ask questions frequently in order for them to become frequently asked questions.

Without the PowerPoint community, the PowerPoint FAQ (at least my version of it) wouldn't exist. Between the users' questions and the contributions of the PowerPoint MVPs and other newsgroup regulars, there's no end of material for the FAQ. Even with Friday's help, I have trouble keeping up.

The PowerPoint FAQ really is a community effort. You might say that I'm more the librarian than the author. That's why this is one of the first things you see when you go there:

"Thanks to everyone on the newsgroups for asking such interesting and challenging questions, and a very special thanks to the PowerPoint MVPs and the OughtaBeMVPs who've contributed so much to this site and to the larger PowerPoint community."

And since I wrote that myself, I couldn't agree more.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:37 AM IST



When you have many (or more than one) slide objects on a slide that you want to manipulate in the same way, you might want to consider grouping them. Grouping can be helpful in the several scenarios: You want to animate several slide objects at the same time as a single object, or you have too many objects on the slide, and want them all grouped so that you don't have to select them individually all the time, or maybe you just like to have all objects on your slide organized.

Learn more now...

Categories: positioning, powerpoint, tutorials

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Saturday, April 04, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:00 PM IST



As far as possible, work with a presentation that has been saved at least once; then copy any movie/video file you want to insert to the same folder as the presentation. Thereafter, follow these steps to insert a movie clip in PowerPoint 2007.

Learn more here...

Categories: movies, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Friday, April 03, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:24 AM IST



Herbert RubinsteinHerbert Rubinstein has been involved in computer graphics for over 15 years as founder and CEO of ReGraphix, an award winning creative house for graphics and design. The past few years, Mr. Rubinstein has taken his presentation graphics experience and applied it to developing presentation techniques for the Courtroom. He has worked with the FBI, DEA, U.S. Customs Service and other government agencies, as well as many law firms across United States. In this conversation, Herb talks about his book and CD called PowerPoint For Court.

Geetesh: How are presentations created for the courtroom different than your conventional PowerPoint presentations?

Herb: I believe that the main difference would be in style Courtroom Presentations need to be, stylistically speaking, bland. If the judge feels that you are trying to influence a decision by including design elements that are prejudicial, it will not be allowed.

Case in point. A Paralegal for a District Attorney prepared a Cast of Character illustration using the SmartArt feature of PowerPoint. For the background he used a gray/blue but it had little pin stripes, very subtle, in the background. The judge would not allow it to be presented claiming that the pin stripe design was reminiscent of Prison Clothing and was therefore prejudicial to the client.

When designing for Courtroom display, you need to keep the design clean and devoid of distracting graphic elements.

Another area that is quite different is in the presentation. The show may need to be paused repeatedly because of objections from opposing counsel.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your new book on using PowerPoint in the courtroom.

Herb: The new PowerPoint for Court updated for 2009 has all the screenshots from the latest version of PowerPoint. This e-manual is not meant as a complete PowerPoint bible, it has been designed specifically for the Legal Profession. You can hand this to a staff member and have them up and running creating cutting edge Trial Presentation material in a very short time.

Dealing with audio clips, opening PDF’s, proper preparation of images, inserting Flash animations and how to work with Deposition Video are just a few of the many subjects covered and updated in this latest release.

If you want to continue winning in the courtroom you must utilize the latest court technologies. PowerPoint for Court 2009 will help you and your staff accomplish this.

PowerPoint for Court 2009 is now available as an instant download, as well as on CD and the price has been reduced! Now the CD package is $99 (with free shipping) and the instant download package is $89 with instant access to the Resource page on our website that includes all the resources mentioned in the book.

Categories: books, interviews, legal, powerpoint

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Thursday, April 02, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:28 PM IST



Dinesh AwasthiDinesh Awasthi is Product Manager for authorSTREAM.com at authorGEN (authorSTREAM's parent company). In addition to developing the strategic product roadmap and implementation of various features on authorSTREAM, he works with the development team and keeps an eye on user feedback to formulate new releases. Dinesh holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications, and certifications in Quality Management and Software Testing.

Geetesh: What are these new presentation channels on authorSTREAM?

Dinesh: authorSTREAM Presentation Channels are your personalized web pages that showcase a collection of presentations -- be it on one topic or a theme. We realized that each individual usually has a bunch of presentations on each topic, and that everyone has a variety of interests. authorSTREAM Channels allow users to create multiple channels, say each focusing on one topic of interest. For example, a channel on photography would cater to photography enthusiasts and another one on China travel would help people find information on traveling to China. One can start a channel on 'Global Warming'. Companies can create a channel for each of their products and services. We went a step further by empowering channel owners to allow other users to upload presentations in their (owner's) channels. Say, an instructor might want to let all her students upload their English assignment presentations in one channel and so on.

Geetesh: How do you think channels will help users in a web-social way? Also, do you plan to provide a pro level channel with more abilities?

Dinesh: We have visualized authorSTREAM Channels as a platform for creative collaboration. Channel owners can also invite other authorSTREAM members to add presentations to their channel. A university department can create a channel and allow its professors to contribute, a journalist can start a channel about a story or an event where witnesses to the event can post their own point of view. A teacher can create a channel on a homework assignment and allow her/his students to submit their assignments there. This gives people the freedom and the ability to keep a lively discussion going about any particular topic or theme.

If you like a particular channel, you can subscribe to it with a single click and authorSTREAM will keep you updated about them on your dashboard. Soon, you will also see the RSS feed of a channel. If you like to embed a particular channel on your blog or website, simply use the channel embed code -- in a small area on your website, all the channel presentations would show up! The buzz has already started with people creating channels on fashion, spirituality, marketing, beliefs etc.

In the coming months, we have plans to add pro level channels with advanced features.

Categories: authorstream, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:11 PM IST



You need to re-order your animations mainly because you might have more than one animated object on a slide, and you discover that some re-sequencing of animations as they happen in relation to each other may provide a better result. For something of this sort, PowerPoint provides a Re-order option that lets you play with the sequence of the animation.

Learn more now...

Categories: animation, powerpoint, tutorials

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