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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: July 2009

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

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Office 2008 SP2 Adds New Abilities to PowerPoint 2008

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:37 PM IST

Microsoft's new Service Pack 2 update for Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac has ushered in improvements that are a pleasant surprise. Topping the list is the option to add motion path animations in PowerPoint that have been available to Windows users of PowerPoint since PowerPoint 2002 (XP)! All this while, Mac versions of PowerPoint have been able to view motion path animations added by their Windows-based colleagues but they have never been able to add or edit them. This changes everything -- look at Figure 1 below to see the new motion path animations option in PowerPoint 2008.

Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2008
Figure 1: Adding Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac

I still don't see the preset motion path options that are available to Windows users of PowerPoint, but that may be a blessing in disguise?

Other improvements in SP2 include the ability to now choose your own default theme including custom themes. Also, when you double-click in any part of a slide, you can start typing. Animated GIFs work as expected (learn more here about the earlier problems), and dynamic guides work better! The last option is still not available to Windows users of PowerPoint.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint

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Monday, July 20, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:01 PM IST

Many of us need to create non-linear PowerPoint presentations where all slides are interlinked to each other using hyperlinks. Think of creating kiosk style PowerPoints or just something that makes a PowerPoint presentation function as a web page. The most important part of such a presentation is to decide how many levels deep you want your slide hierarchies to go, and then creating the actual structure of slides that contain all your content. Something like this is prone to error, even if you do all the planning in the world -- and an automated solution that can help you with something like this is a welcome feature. Enter the InterActiv™ Presentation Wizard, a PowerPoint add-in that does just something of this sort!

Read on to learn more...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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Friday, July 17, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:55 PM IST

Umesh SharmaUmesh Sharma is the Product Head at authorSTREAM, an online slide sharing site integrated with social media. Based in Chandigarh, India -- Umesh's profiles includes developing product roadmaps and managing media interactions. In this conversation, Umesh discusses the new authorSTREAM Desktop product.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new authorSTREAM Desktop product – what is it's raison d'être?

Umesh: To help create more compelling content with PowerPoint -- easily and fast. It so happens many times while creating a PowerPoint presentation that we need visual content like images and videos. You have the words but its really difficult to get graphics to convey the power of the message, or similarly, say you have seen a YouTube video added to your favorites that you thought you would use in some presentation some day. authorSTREAM Desktop does exactly that for you: it helps you search and insert content like images and YouTube videos without making you to leave PowerPoint. We will be adding more features in this direction in subsequent versions.

Ease of upload to authorSTREAM is another reason to use authorSTREAM Desktop. With authorSTREAM Desktop installed, you can upload large PowerPoint files along with all linked media files easily, which otherwise is not easily possible via a web upload. Under the hood, we are using an FTP upload, which is much faster than web (HTTP) uploads.

Geetesh: How does authorSTREAM Desktop handle the copyright issues involved in a product of its nature – do you warn users that some of the search results may not be usable? Tell us more.

Umesh: At the moment, we have an alert at the top search task-pane. In addition, clicking on the title of an image or video in search results will take you to it's source page, which in most cases should contain licensing details. Mostly, image copyrights don't really affect a user for 'fair use' - personal, non-profit or educational and amongst a small group of viewers. However, we do understand that showing users all that there is to the licensing of the image would be more usable. We have plans to include results, which carry these details (Creative Commons or any other) in the next versions of the software.

See Also: authorSTREAM Desktop: Search Bing, YouTube, and Upload to authorSTREAM

Categories: add-in, authorstream, interviews, powerpoint_2007, youtube

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Thursday, July 16, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 8:45 AM IST

authorSTREAM has introduced the new authorSTREAM Desktop product that installs as an add-in to PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. The product is entirely free, and when successfully installed, it shows up as a new tab in the Ribbon of PowerPoint 2007 as shown in Figure 1, below.

authorSTREAM Desktop tab in the PowerPoint 2007 Ribbon
Figure 1: The authorSTREAM tab in the PowerPoint 2007 Ribbon

Although there are several buttons on this tab, there are three tasks that this add-in lets you achieve:

  1. Search images from Bing image search, and insert them into your slides.

  2. Search videos from YouTube, and insert them into your slides.

  3. Publish any created presentations to the authorSTREAM site.
The image and video searches open up as a separate task pane called Search and Insert, as shown in Figure 2, below:

authorSTREAM Desktop Image Search
Figure 2: authorSTREAM Desktop Image Search

Video searches work in the same way, as shown in Figure 3 below.

authorSTREAM Desktop - Video Search
Figure 3: authorSTREAM Desktop Video Search

Inserting YouTube videos does not actually insert the video clip inside PowerPoint -- it places a reference to the clip on the YouTube site, and you need to be online to view the clip. YouTube video clips only show in slide show mode within PowerPoint -- in editing mode, as shown in Figure 3 above, they show up as a box placeholder.

You upload PowerPoint presentations to your authorSTREAM account using the prominent Upload PowerPoint button in the Ribbon tab (refer to Figure 1).

The whole experience of using this add-in is easy and intuitive. However, do remember that most images and videos on Bing and YouTube and copyright protected -- and you ought to use caution before inserting anything that you find while searching!

Harman Singh of authorSTREAM has put up this video walkthrough of authorSTREAM Desktop -- you'll find this embedded below:

Categories: authorstream, powerpoint_2007, youtube

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 1:07 PM IST

PowerPoint 2010 is so much awaited, and it's great to know that Microsoft has unwrapped some information on what's new in this upcoming release of the world's leading presentation program.

The new Office 2010 site has videos that show new features for all of the Office 2010 programs including PowerPoint. PowerPoint 2010 provides cool Artistic Effects for photos with live previews. New transitions have been added, and the Animation Painter option copies animations from one slide object to another, and that's so cool if you have added and fine-tuned your animation sequences and timings for one object and want it repeated on another! There are new video options including reflections for video clips, video trimming capabilities, and new navigation controls. File compression works better and you can save your PowerPoints as video clips. New Slide Sections lets you organize your slides into logical sections. SharePoint integration gets better with the Broadcast feature for slide shows that lets you show your presentations to other in their web browsers!

This embedded video from YouTube shows you more.

And I cover the rest of the Office 2010 applications in my new Techmazine site: see What's New in Office 2010?

Categories: office_2010, powerpoint_2010

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Thursday, July 02, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:17 PM IST

A lot is at stake—power, money, reputation, future plans, justice. You need to win this case. Your presentation materials surely will play an important role in helping the judge and jury experience the sights, sounds, and details of the case … or not. The choice is up to you, says one tech-savvy attorney. It all depends upon whether you are willing to push PowerPoint beyond its normal boundaries to maximize its interactive and persuasive potential.

Robert Lane  Bruce A. Olson

This article by Robert Lane and Bruce A. Olson provides a better idea of using PowerPoint in court.

Read this now...

Categories: legal, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 2:07 PM IST

In an earlier tutorial of this PowerPoint to PDF series, I have shown you how to use the Office 2007's Save as PDF option, which is an easy way to convert a PowerPoint presentation to a PDF. But this option does have some limitations -- primarily you can only save your slides as PDFs. You cannot save your handouts as PDFs, or print multiple slides on a single PDF page. For that, you'll need to use Adobe's PDF Print Driver.

Learn how to create PDFs now...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:09 PM IST

This is the final part of the PowerPoint to Secure PDF series in which I show you how to do more than just create a secure PDF from your PowerPoint slides. You learned how you could create PDFs that played full screen and also had transitions! Now, it's time to make your PDF entirely secure with password access.

Follow these steps to get started...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 11:10 AM IST

Google is a web search engine which indexes all sorts of information on the World Wide Web. Search results on Google typically contain results that consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files. What many users don't know is that Google allows you to restrict your search for a particular file type, such as a PowerPoint presentation! In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can search for PowerPoint presentations only using Google's Advanced Search option.

Learn more now...

Categories: google, powerpoint, tutorials

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