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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: September 2009

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
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FILEminimizer Pictures 2.0: The Indezine Review

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:23 PM IST



Imagine this scenario: you try uploading your vacation pictures to a social network site, or send it via e-mail to share it with your family and friends. And then you end up with an error message complaining about the file sizes and dimensions being too huge. Well, it's not your fault but that's what you get with 12 megapixel digital cameras! Fortunately, there is FILEminimizer Pictures 2.0.

Read the review here...

Categories: graphics, photos

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posted by Geetesh on 2:12 PM IST



SlideShare's annual presentation contest continues showcasing changes in PowerPoint design -- and also design in relation to SlideShare's social media evolution. The winner for this year's World’s Best Presentation Contest is a presentation called Healthcare Napkins All, created by Dan Roam with Dr. Tony Jones.



You can see all the winning entries on the SlideShare site.



Finalists were chosen by a panel of judges comprising Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, and David Armano, founding member of Dachis group and author of Logic + Emotion.

Also, read SlideShare CEO Rashmi Sinha's thoughts on this contest in this Indezine exclusive interview.

Categories: online_presentations, powerpoint, presentation_samples, slideshare

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posted by Geetesh on 1:38 PM IST



Liber RodriguezLiber Rodriguez-Florez works as the Sales Director of Novatrox AB where he is responsible for the technical sales towards international customers. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but is resident in Sweden and holds a Master of Science in Engineering Physics. Prior to joining Novatrox AB, Liber worked several years at Relevant Traffic, a highly competitive Search Engine Marketing company, as Technical Director cooperating closely with the Relevant Traffic sales department.

In this discussion, Liber discusses the new 2.9 version of Novatrox's Slide Executive product.

Geetesh: The new version 2.9 of Slide Executive Desktop includes a convenient search option inside PowerPoint 2007 – can you tell us more about this feature?

Liber: Anyone who has ever tried to find a slide among previous presentations, knows that it is a very time consuming task, if even possible. The Slide Executive Add-In gives you an advanced search tool right at your fingertips from within PowerPoint. This means it is easy for you to find and re-use slides you have made before. Better so, you can add slide(s) right from the search result into your presentation.

Furthermore imagine the possibilities if you are a group of people sharing presentations on a shared drive, i.e. a slide library at your fingertips. Well used this could be a huge boost of productivity for your work group.

Geetesh: What is your other, new favorite feature or improvement in this release?

Liber: Between the search relevancy and the greatly improved indexing speed I will have to choose the greatly improved speed of indexing. You can now index huge amounts of presentations in a relatively short time. In one of our tests Slide Executive Desktop indexed over 100 presentations in 20 minutes. And this was on a 3 year old portable…

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, slide_management

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posted by Geetesh on 12:34 PM IST



Rashmi SinhaRashmi Sinha is cofounder and CEO of SlideShare, the world's largest community for sharing presentations. She manages design and business development at SlideShare. Rashmi has a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University. She did a PostDoc at UC Berkeley in Human Computer Interaction. She blogs at www.rashmisinha.com about social software and running a startup.

Geetesh: Three presentation contests in as many years – how has SlideShare’s World Best Presentation Contest evolved over the years?

Rashmi: The first year, it was a straightforward contest - to identify great presentations. But we realized that there were different categories of presentations and introduced categories (Tech, Education, About Me, Business, Creative / Offbeat), the second time. This time, we have new judges - people who are social media experts and understand the power of presentations as web media. And that is the focus of the contest this time: Presentations as social media.

Geetesh: Tell me about the winner?

Rashmi: The winning presentation is one of those that that makes an impact on you straight away. Health care is such a complex issue. Its really hard to get one's head around it. Dan Roam has done a remarkable job of summarizing how health care works in America in 57 slides. Its quite impressive.

I wish there would be a series of such presentations explaining complex topics in simple terms.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the Best Acrobat Presentation subset that’s being organized as part of this contest.

Rashmi: Adobe is helping make the contest happen on a much larger scale than before. We have been able to organize it on a bigger scale, offer some great prizes for SlideShare users - all thanks to Adobe. Adobe recently introduce Acrobat 9, a new platform for creating presentations, and we wanted SlideShare users to have a chance to explore this new platform.

See Also: The World's Best Presentation Contest 2008: Conversation with Rashmi Sinha

Categories: interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint, presentation_samples, slideshare

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Saturday, September 26, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:46 PM IST



Although SmartArt contains text, it is not too easy to edit, add, or delete text contained within a shape inside a SmartArt graphic. Thankfully, the Text Pane available to edit text in a SmartArt graphic makes it a whole lot more intuitive! This page explores options for working with the Text Pane for SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2007.

Learn more here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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Friday, September 25, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:05 PM IST



Joel MishonJoel Mishon is the co-founder and co-director of CartoonStock Ltd. Prior to starting the business more than 10 years ago he was a freelance cartoonist in the UK producing work for national titles such as Private Eye, The Times, Readers Digest and The Spectator. He lives and works in Bath, UK. In this conversation, Joel discusses the CartoonStock web site.

Geetesh: Tell us more about CartoonStock, and how the media provided by your site can be used in PowerPoint presentations.

Joel: CartoonStock is the world's largest cartoon library that allows instant licensing and downloading of cartoons. We represent more than 500 professional cartoonists and animators from around the world, and license their work to everyone from major international publishers and advertisers to private individuals and organizations for education and presentation use. We work with artists whose work appears in well known titles such as Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and The Times so presentation clients wishing to utilize our collection have access to some of the best cartoons and cartoonists in the world at fees that reflect the more modest usage. To license use of a top quality cartoon for a presentations for up to a year costs just USD20. There are more than 150,000 cartoons to chose from and they are all searchable and downloadable instantly at CartoonStock Ltd.


Cartoon used with permission from: CartoonStock.com

CartoonStock started as a company specialising in print cartoons for publishing and presentation use. However as the demand for more multimedia content has increased, CartoonStock now offers professional animations as well. This means that clients can enliven their presentations not just with still images but with full professional animations. Before the service existed there was no easy, reasonably priced, legal way for clients giving presentations to gain access to this sort of material so we are creating a new market, and hopefully providing a very useful service.
All our images are high resolution JPEG files and animation files can be downloaded at the resolution and in the format you choose, so both can be slotted into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds.

Geetesh: About your foray into cartoon animations – how is it a win-win situation for users and creators of these animations?

Joel: Users gain from access to very good quality animations for presentations. This is the sort of high quality content they wouldn't have had access to previously. Creating animations is a very expensive a time consuming process that requires a great deal of talent. It would be very rare that someone could afford to commission new work from an animator, but for a small fee they can now legally used appropriate work.


Cartoon used with permission from: CartoonStock.com

New technology has allowed animators to create more content more quickly than they did before but it remains a time consuming and expensive process and the new work that is being creating previously had no obvious outlet and had been hard to monetize. Animators might display it for free on sites dedicated to animation, or might wait for the work to be picked up by one major media client, but with a service like CartoonStock's they can now make lots of smaller sales rather than a) only allowing viewing or b) waiting for one broadcast client.

Categories: cartoons, clip_media, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:36 AM IST



In a previous tutorial, I showed you how you can insert SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007. However that works only when you are creating a new slides. Many times you may alraedy have your slides that contain bulleted text. This tutorial shows how you can convert such bulleted text to a SmartArt graphic in a jiffy within PowerPoint 2007. Follow these steps to convert existing bulleted text on a slide to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2007.

Learn more here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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Thursday, September 24, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:01 PM IST



SmartArt is the name of the new diagram component within PowerPoint 2007. This tutorial shows you how you can insert SmartArt graphics within PowerPoint 2007. If you are new to this, do take a look at the What is SmartArt? and SmartArt Samples pages.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 12:05 PM IST



On this page you can see some samples of SmartArt created within PowerPoint 2007. Each sample has a caption that tells you the name of that particular SmartArt graphic variant.

Look here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:32 AM IST



SmartArt is a new component within PowerPoint 2007, and replaces the diagram options in previous versions of PowerPoint. Other than that, SmartArt also allows you to replace boring bullet points with info-graphic content using text-within-shapes that's more logical to view and present.

Learn more here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 5:00 PM IST



If you work with tons of PowerPoint slides from clients, reviews, and samples like I do, you may soon land yourself into a slide nightmare. Slide nightmare is a state of slides (and mind) where you know that you do have the particular slide you want, but can't locate the presentation deck that contains that slide! It's time to invest in a slide management program like Slide Executive. In the past, I have reviewed previous versions of this program -- and this new review will focus on improvements and new features since the core program is relatively the same.

Read the review here...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint, slide_management

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posted by Geetesh on 4:47 PM IST



Concept Slides are ready-made slides that you can use to create opening and closing slides, or any other slide to illustrate a concept, relationship, or idea. Most of these are sets of ready-made shapes created in PowerPoint or imported from another source. All these concept designs are owned by Indezine.com.

This first-in-this-series sample comprises a six segment circle -- you can change the individual segments as well as the thin do-nut shaped circle around the segments using fill techniques for PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2003.

  

Download this free concept slide here...

Categories: shapes, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Saturday, September 19, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:52 AM IST



I found this cool video clip on creating simple graphics really quick using SmartDraw -- these can be then used in your PowerPoint slides. Watch Daniel Hoffman take you through this walkthrough.



Categories: graphics, powerpoint, smartdraw

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Friday, September 18, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:00 PM IST



Since there is no easy, intuitive way to create semi-circles in PowerPoint 2003, I already showed you three ways to create them! And now here's one more way to do just that but this might be the easiest of them all. Thanks to PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford who sent me these steps and allowed me to put them up on this site.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 2:00 PM IST



This exclusive Indezine excerpt is from PowerPoint for Court, a book that has been the definitive manual for preparing and presenting digital material in a court of law since 2002. Used by universities, attorneys and government agencies throughout the world, PowerPoint for Court has now been updated in 2009 for use with the latest version of PowerPoint.

Here are couple of excerpts, reproduced here with permission from Herbert Rubinstein, author of the book. Read here...

Categories: books, legal, powerpoint

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Monday, September 14, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:45 PM IST



Many PowerPoint users have a fascination with Flash but still prefer PowerPoint's ease of use and logical workflows rather than dabbling with Flash that has a longer learning curve compared to PowerPoint's almost zero learning curve. Yet these same users like to insert Flash files into their PowerPoints, and sometimes they look for a way to export Flash files they have inserted within the PowerPoint presentations. However, that's not always easy since changes made by Microsoft to file formats from the PowerPoint 2003's PPT to PowerPoint 2007's PPTX have made everything uncertain. A new add-in for PowerPoint tries to overcome some of these issues -- does it succeed?

Read on to learn more...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:25 AM IST



We already explored creating these three circles next to each other in PowerPoint 2003, and now we'll do the same thing in a much easier way in PowerPoint 2007: The first circle should be filled-in full (entirely), the second circle should be half full, and the third and last circle should have no fill (empty). The first and third circles are easy -- all you need to do is ensure that the first circle has both an outline and a solid fill, and that the third circle has only an outline with no fill. The second circle though is an easy challenge that I'll teach you in this one page tutorial using PowerPoint 2007.

Learn to create a half circle in PowerPoint 2007...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:15 AM IST



An Indezine reader asked me if he could create three circles next to each other, and make sure that they looked like this: The first circle should be filled-in full (entirely), the second circle should be half full, and the third and last circle should have no fill (empty). The first and third circles are easy -- all you need to do is ensure that the first circle has both an outline and a solid fill, and that the third circle has only an outline with no fill. The second circle though is an easy challenge that I'll teach you create in this one page tutorial using PowerPoint 2003.

Learn to create a half circle in PowerPoint 2003...

Categories: powerpoint, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, September 11, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 11:12 AM IST



PowerPoint 2007 makes it easier to draw a semi-circle than in previous versions, but it still isn't as intuitive. However, the steps in this tutorial will make it easy for you.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 11:07 AM IST



PowerPoint 2003 and previous versions don't allow you to draw a semi-circle shape although that's not an issue within PowerPoint 2007. In this tutorial, I'll show you three ways in which you can add a semi-circle to your PowerPoint 2003 slide -- whichever way you choose, make sure you save one semi-circle so that you can copy-paste and reuse it again whenever required.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:48 PM IST



Microsoft Talk is a new podcast series from Abhishek Baxi and Manan -- and Geetesh Bajaj has been featured in the second episode of this series as a guest. Hear this podcast to know more about PowerPoint, Indezine, Geetesh, and the upcoming Office 2010 -- also get some free templates for PowerPoint by sending some comments!

Get headed here...

Categories: interviews, powerpoint_2010

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2 comments




posted by Geetesh on 1:45 PM IST



Tables can be animated within PowerPoint 2007 too -- but either the entire table can be animated -- or nothing! Yes, that's a case of extremes -- either you have it all or don't have it. To get over this problem, the workaround is to ungroup the table so that your table gets converted to a collection of shapes. And although this does not work as well as it does in PowerPoint 2003, you still can animate every individual shape as you want.

Learn how you can ungroup tables in PowerPoint 2007 here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, tables, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 1:39 PM IST



Tables can be animated within PowerPoint -- but either the entire table can be animated -- or nothing! Yes, that's a case of extremes -- either you have it all or don't have it. To get over this problem, the workaround is to ungroup the table so that your table gets converted to a collection of shapes -- and then you can animate every individual shape as you want.

Learn how you can ungroup tables in PowerPoint 2003 here...

Categories: powerpoint, tables, tutorials

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:30 PM IST



Anthony DunleavyAnthony Dunleavy is CEO and founder of Atrixware LLC, a New Jersey company that develops e-learning software tools and learning management systems used all over the world since 1997. In this conversation, Anthony discusses their PowerPoint Flash Quiz Maker product.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the your PowerPoint Quiz Maker product, and the new improvements in the latest update.

Anthony: First, we redesigned the interface to look more like PowerPoint 2007 – with the Ribbon Interface toolbar along the top. We then implemented improved workflow and question banking ability by integrating the same workflow and question management abilities as we offer in our more expensive Easy Quiz Maker product (things like project based workflow, spellchecking, easy copy/paste of entire projects, quizzes, or groups of questions, assign images to questions, and a bunch more useful features). We changed the Publish-to-PowerPoint feature to use pre-designed PowerPoint Templates. PowerPoint Quiz Maker comes with a handful, but users can make their own (inside of PowerPoint) that work with PowerPoint Quiz Maker. Lastly, we added the ability to publish the quizzes to a web document so you can place it up on your website, and it will collect the student responses, email you the results, and even store results (this feature requires a subscription to our popular Quiz Management Service).

Atrixware PowerPoint Quiz Maker

Geetesh: Most PowerPoint quizzes are done using VBA or through inserting Flash quizzes – your approach is different. Can you tell me more about the benefits of this approach?

Anthony: VBA doesn’t really work well for quizzes because it does not work in the PowerPoint player, and also does not carry over when PowerPoint presentations are converted into Flash (which many people do). While there are some nice software tools out there that let you insert a quiz question into PowerPoint, they are typically more expensive than our PowerPoint Quiz Maker, and users will need to use that tool to make the modifications to the question(s) in regard to layout, whereas with PowerPoint Quiz Maker, the questions are in fact PowerPoint Slides, so you can use PowerPoint to modify them, which for many people, is much easier since they already know how to work with items on a slide inside PowerPoint.

Atrixware PowerPoint Quiz Maker

See Also: Atrixware PowerPoint Quiz Maker 2009: The Indezine Review

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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