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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: September 2010

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

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Learn PowerPoint: Creating PowerPoint Outlines in Microsoft Word 2007

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

I already showed how you can create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in Word 2003. There are other applications like Notepad (on Microsoft Windows) and TextEdit (on Mac OS X) in which you can create the outlines. In this tutorial we'll explore the procedure of creating an outline for your next presentation using Microsoft Word 2007. Follow these steps to create an outline for your PowerPoint presentation using Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows.

Learn more here.

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:14 AM IST

Nancy DuarteNancy Duarte has been a Principal of Duarte Design since 1990. Her firm is in the heart of the Silicon Valley and the client list is loaded with Fortune 500 companies. Her passion for business communications that are clear, meaningful and attractive has opened doors for her in a business world full of cluttered and complex visual communications.

ResonateNancy's much awaited book Resonate has just been released, and is a prequel to her best selling book, Slide:ology -- in Resonate, Nancy looks at the concept of creating better stories so that you can end up with more effective presentations. In this Indezine exclusive interview, Nancy discusses Resonate and more.

Read the interview here.

Categories: design, interviews, powerpoint, storyboarding

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

As the creator of the Opazity add-in for PowerPoint and Sales Director for the company that produces the Perspector add-in, Steve Hards has been interested for a long time in the additional resources for PowerPoint that are available. He recently launched some free software, called the Encyclopedia of Free Resources for PowerPoint, which he discusses in this conversation.

Geetesh: Why are free resources for PowerPoint important, and do tell us about some of these resources.

Steve: One of my favourite quotes about presenting is from Jim Endicott, who says "Bad PowerPoint can wreck otherwise good presenters." It highlights that good slide design is a make-or-break issue. Above all this is true if you want to stand out from other presenters. So, for most people, who are not 'designers', there is the question of how to improve.

The way I look at this whole issue is that there is PowerPoint, which is a feature-rich program in its own right, and there are paid add-ins and other resources that take PowerPoint to a much higher level. But many people do not take the journey from one level to the other. Maybe they do not want to start on an unknown learning curve but it is frequently rationalized on the basis of time, cost, and of PowerPoint being 'good enough'. Which is a pity.

However, 'free resources ' are important because they knock down the cost argument. Then, once people start to see the benefits of using external resources, the 'good enough' and 'learning curve' excuses tend to evaporate.

When you start digging into it, there are masses of free resources to enhance PowerPoint scattered across the internet. I have grouped the ones I have found, and that I think are good, into several categories.

A major one is templates and backgrounds. Every provider of professional templates has some giveaways because they want you to experience their quality, as you know well, Geetesh, being one of those providers!

Another big section is on sources of free photos. I really worry about people who grab often poor quality photos from Google images, ignoring Google's warning about copyright infringement. Never mind being sued, it only takes one awkward audience member to challenge you on a copyright issue to derail your presentation. My Encyclopedia software has links to sources where you automatically have permission to use them in any way you want. It's much more relaxing to work with material when you know you have the right to use it.

The same goes for music. I'm frequently surprised at people's naivety. Just because it is on the internet doesn't mean that you can use it freely! Like the situation with templates, providers of free images and music often do so in the hope that some users of the free material will become paying customers.

In addition to those types of resources, there are a number of people who are consistently giving away very good advice on how to become a better presenter. There really is no excuse on cost grounds not to start to get better at it. I'm still learning all the time.

Geetesh: Tell us about your Free PowerPoint Resources list, and how it evolved.

Steve: The Encyclopedia software is the third incarnation of a list which started out about five years ago for my own use. I then produced it as a PDF and gave it away as a bonus to people who bought Perspector. However, such a document is not just impossible to update but it's not very inspiring to use or pass on.

My next attempt was to list the resources on a website, However, it didn't get many visitors, so it never took off.

Now I have taken the step of putting it inside the free Encyclopedia software where users will get updates of the free resources automatically and immediately. I'm hoping that this will achieve several things. The first is that it will give users a concentrated experience in their mission to find the resources they want. The second is that it will be more handy, as someone said, than trying to keep all those resource sites bookmarked. Thirdly, I hope that it will inspire people to pass it on to their friends, as in 'Look at the cool free software I found!" If they do, it will fulfill my ambition to help lots more people get started on developing their PowerPoint and presenting skills.

Go to the Encyclopedia of Free Resources for PowerPoint

Categories: clip_media, interviews, powerpoint, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

The Task Pane is a docked window within the PowerPoint 2010 interface that provides more options than normal dialog boxes -- also unlike most dialog boxes, you can view both the active slide(s) and the Task Pane at the same time -- thus the task panes provide a more streamlined workflow. Task Panes made their debut with PowerPoint 2002 (XP) -- and for most of the time, they work in exactly the same way in PowerPoint 2010 except for one big difference -- you can now have more than one Task Pane visible at the same time.

Learn more about the Task Pane in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Monday, September 27, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

Avi BenitaAvi Benita is an industrial engineer and statistician with a special expertise in design and analysis of organizational surveys and development of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). He owns Metrics Institute, a consultation company working with leading Israeli firms. As a byproduct of its expertise, Avi develops Excel based utilities, as EzPaste-xl2anywhere, for improving work productivity. EzPaste has been originally developed for PowerPoint only. The last version is able to deal with other applications as well.

In this conversation, Avi discusses EzPaste-xl2anywhere.

Geetesh: What exactly does EzPaste-xl2anywhere do, and how can it be helpful to PowerPoint users?

Avi: Copying data and charts from Excel to other applications such as PowerPoint are very common activities performed by people involved in preparing presentations. You build the tables and the charts in Excel, and present them to your audience in PowerPoint, Word or other programs.

Usually, this basic operation is accomplished by quite tediously copying each data/chart from Excel to the clipboard separately, and then pasting it to the application. Have you ever asked yourself, why isn’t this operation automatic and more efficient? We have, and EzPaste-xl2anywhere is definitely our answer!


EzPaste is a truly unique productivity tool intended for copying at once hundreds of charts or tables from Excel to PowerPoint, Word, HTML, or PDF. It has been engineered with the end users' needs in mind allowing them full control over the process.

EzPaste automatically identifies all charts and tables in the active Excel workbook, and pastes them to the selected application active file as pictures, Excel editable objects, or linked objects. But even for performing an isolated copy/paste of the current Excel selection (chart or data), EzPaste replaces the 4-5 steps usually involved with one swift click!

Geetesh: How can EzPaste-xl2anywhere help in a quicker workflowws where content from Excel is automatically updated on PowerPoint slides.

Avi: EzPaste's advantages are obvious when you have to prepare the same presentation again and again based on the same Excel file where only the data changes. With a click of a button, all the work is done!

Suppose that you have to prepare a monthly PowerPoint presentation from an Excel master file where only the values of the different cells change every month and that some 50 charts and tables are to be included in the presentation.

You prepare a master PowerPoint file and link it to the Excel master file with EzPaste. Now, EzPaste knows exactly to which slide in the presentation to paste every chart or table from Excel. Once a month, with a click of a button, EzPaste will update the master PowerPoint file with the updated Excel charts and tables.

Moreover EzPaste has the ability to paste Excel objects as linked objects, meaning that every change in Excel will be reflected automatically in PowerPoint, assuming both files are open.

Categories: add-in, excel, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

The interface options in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 are almost the same, yet very different from the earlier versions such as PowerPoint 2003. Apart from the Ribbon with its tabs, the Backstage view, and the Quick Access Toolbar, PowerPoint 2010 also includes the Mini Toolbar, a semitransparent floating toolbar that spawns right next to the cursor -- and it is also available instantly with a right-click.

Learn more about the Mini Toolbar in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Friday, September 24, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 2:53 PM IST

PowerPoint 2010 with the new features such as the snazzy transitions and the ability to control media in a much better way does create better presentations. Ironically when Microsoft provided these amazing features in this version, they took away the ability to create self running CDs and DVDs. In its place they provided a solution that's not elegant and assumes that people viewing off CDs are always connected online! Presentation Deployer, our review product addresses this problem.

Read the Indezine review of Presentation Deployer.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 1:21 PM IST

Simon MortonSimon Morton founded Eyeful in 2003 to provide presentation services to businesses looking to improve the way they share information with their most important audiences – prospects, customers, employees & shareholders. The company firmly believes that key to their success is their unique approach of addressing the entire presentation process through their Presentation Optimization methodology. This holistic approach ensures that clients’ presentations are made more effective, not just prettier.

In this conversation, Simon talks about the prevalent PowerPoint sins, and what users can do to stay away from them!

Geetesh:What according to you are the highest ranking PowerPoint sins – tell us about them.

PowerPoint SinsSimon: We’ve seen an interesting increase in the perception of PowerPoint sins over the last few years. Phrases like Death by PowerPoint are now commonplace and with high profile media stories surrounding hideous PowerPoints slides being used by the likes of the US Military, fuel is frequently added to the flames.

The most glaring PowerPoint sin is the use of too much text on a slide. This, combined with a blizzard of bullet points, will strike fear into the heart of most audiences.

Coming a close second are the aesthetic crimes people commit – the clichéd stock images (we’ve banned "shaking hands" in our studio!), redundant clip art (duck hitting computer with mallet springs to mind) and downright inconsistencies with fonts, templates and color schemes (normally down to some careless copy and pasting by the user!).

PowerPoint SinsControversially, I’d suggest that these are the least of the PowerPoint sins and certainly the easiest to fix. More telling is the lack of thought that goes into presentation planning. We believe that most Death by PowerPoint occurs as a result of a lack of structure and/or focused message. This is the result of the presenter either not understanding their audience or, even worse, not particularly caring if their message is of any relevance to the poor people in the audience.

This lack of focus is often seen in sales pitches where the majority of the presentation is dedicated to telling everyone how big and successful the company is whilst forgetting to explain why their product or service might be of any value to the comatose audience sitting in front of them. This usually manifests itself in slide after slide of financial charts, pictures of their impressive Head Office and, in one particularly shocking example, a full organizational chart with pictures of each member of the board! The audience must be silently screaming "So what?! This is irrelevant!!"

Finally, carefully planning your presentation (a process we call Presentation Optimization) allows you to think differently about the medium to use. Does your PowerPoint need to be linear? How about building in interactivity to help build engagement with your audience or allow you react to their questions? How about using something we call Blended Presenting by which we mean applying different mediums at different points, for example moving from PowerPoint to Whiteboard to build further engagement with the audience?

So in short, PowerPoint sins run much deeper than simply banning bullet points! It’s about re-thinking the entire purpose and process of your presentation and building up from there.

Geetesh: To not sin at all, that may be possible if people knew they were doing so – but most users just don’t give that sort of attention or thought to the slides they create – how can they be educated?

Simon: We get ourselves very hot under the collar when it comes to the value attributed to presentations. Eyeful’s 2010 Business Presentation Survey highlighted the continually important role presentations play in sales pitches, internal communications and financial reporting. Yet despite this, presentation decks are normally created in-house with little or no expertise. We call this the Presentation Paradox and have even created a White Paper highlighting the gap between the impact quality presentations have versus the typical investment made.

PowerPoint Sins

So how to address the issue and educate purveyors of poor PowerPoint?

Your first step should be to watch the people who deliver focused, compelling and effective presentations. Steve Jobs is the stock answer to this and yes, he’s very good…but in his position, he should be! But don’t just follow the superstars - look how normal people in your own business or industry deliver their presentations. What works? What doesn’t? Write down your thoughts and incorporate them into your next presentation.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to speak up! Bad presentations have sadly become the norm because audiences have not made their feelings known.

Audiences deserve better than the typical death by PowerPoint presentations that are inflicted upon them - it’s that simple. As a result, we’ll often approach speakers after conferences, not to pitch our services to them but to offer feedback on what worked as well as what elements might benefit from new ideas or a different approach. To date, presenters have taken this feedback on board gladly (for this read no-one has punched us yet!) because everyone wants to improve.

Finally, we’d recommend downloading a new eBook, Beating Death by PowerPoint in your Business from here. Share it freely with your colleagues and perhaps through a collective effort, we may be able to drive the quality of presentations up a couple of notches. We can only try!

Categories: design, interviews, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 1:09 PM IST

I already showed you how you can create outlines for your PowerPoint presentation in Notepad (Microsoft Windows) and TextEdit (Mac OS X). I still maintain that it's best you use either of these text editors but if you already created a structure for your presentation in Microsoft Word (or if your boss or colleague sent you one), it makes no sense to abandon it for a text editor. Follow these steps to create an outline for your PowerPoint presentation using Microsoft Word 2003 for Windows.

Learn more here.

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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Thursday, September 23, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 10:51 AM IST

Mark PierceMark Pierce is VP of Business Development at GoldMail, a PowerPoint integrated communication platform that is available for free. Previously, Mark spent the better part of 6 years leading sales teams for Microsoft’s Unified Communications group.

In this conversation, Mark discusses how GoldMail can help easily create convincing messages with voice-overs using PowerPoint content.

Geetesh: What exactly does GoldMail do, and how can PowerPoint users benefit?

Mark: GoldMail gives you the ability to easily overlay your voice on top of content and then share your on-demand slide show via email or post it online. With GoldMail, a non-technical business person can take a PowerPoint presentation, a picture or a screenshot and then record, in their own voice, a personalized message that puts the images in context and conveys -- with nuances and affect -- what is most important.

Geetesh: Can you share some scenarios that will show how GoldMail can benefit business users.

Mark: GoldMail helps businesses drive revenue, cut costs and save time by giving them a breakthrough way to communicate in an on-demand fashion.

It gives business user the easiest way to create compelling on-demand presentations and messages that create business impact. Some scenarios:

  • Eliminate one direction conference calls by sending a GoldMail instead.
  • Don’t let associates guess what your PowerPoint deck means, your voice matters in person and it also matters online. Quickly narrate over materials for impact, clarity and emotion.
  • Lead to better collaboration, by sending a GoldMail before a meeting, now, participants are updated about with information and ready to make decisions.
  • Catch the attention of a new prospect by sending a GoldMail that explains your value proposition.
  • Update geographically dispersed colleagues so you can make decisions, quicker.
  • Have subject matter experts record GoldMails that can be used over and over again in the sales process.
  • Save time and money when training, re-use GoldMails over and over again.
GoldMail is available for free here.

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:13 AM IST

PowerPoint is used by a multitude of people including business persons, educators, students, trainers, and even hobbyists who spend endless hours creating countless presentations around the world. With some easy to use techniques and helpful tips, you can easily cut down your presentation creation time by half and also end up creating better PowerPoint presentations. Danny Rocks' 50 Best PowerPoint 2007 Tips, Tricks, & Techniques DVD is full of cool videos that help you attain that objective.

Read the Indezine review of 50 Best PowerPoint 2007 Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.

Categories: powerpoint, training

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:49 PM IST

Cliff AtkinsonCliff Atkinson is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and an independent consultant to leading attorneys and Fortune 500 companies. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation's first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called "frighteningly powerful."

Cliff's bestselling book Beyond Bullet Points (Microsoft Press, 2007) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of, and it expands on a communications approach he has taught at many of the country's top law firms, government agencies, business schools and corporations, including Sony, Toyota, Nestlé, Nokia, Nationwide, Deloitte, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel, Microsoft and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal.

In this interview, Cliff discusses the Beyond Bullet Points Live Courses.

Geetesh: What exactly is the Beyond Bullet Points Live course – and who can benefit from these 1-day courses?

Cliff: When Microsoft first published Beyond Bullet Points five years ago, the book opened up a new way of thinking about PowerPoint presentations. It shifted the focus away from bullet points and templates, and toward improving the underlying story and structure of a presentation. Beyond Bullet Points Live CoursesAfter all, if you have clear ideas, you will have clear slides.

I’ve had a great deal of interest to teach this approach in private workshops, where I go onsite and teach teams at organizations including top law firms as well as Sony, Intel, Microsoft, Del Monte, Deloitte, and even the United Nations. In the meantime, I’ve had many individuals, consultants and small organizations ask for the training, but I haven’t had a way to offer it. So now I’m providing the opportunity for the same training publicly at two 1-day courses on Nov. 11 and 12 in Los Angeles. No matter what your profession - graphic designer, creative services director, executive assistant, management consultant, attorney or executive – you will walk away with vastly improved skills in storytelling, storyboarding and delivery.

Geetesh: There are 2 courses that span a day each – are they both complementary to each other?

Cliff: The “BBP 101” course on the first day teaches the fundamentals of Beyond Bullet Points in an accelerated format. There are some fun exercises at the start including Visual Improv, where we create a story as a group using only images as prompts. We also cover a bit of theory, but then jump right into building a real presentation step-by-step from the materials that participants bring with them. We begin with story structure, then storyboarding, and then by the end of the day participants stand up and deliver what they built, so they can experience the impact of this effective approach for themselves. Where the first 1-day course is focused on building a presentation quickly to completion, the second 1-day “BBP Advanced” course goes into more detail on advanced story structures, accelerated storyboarding graphic design techniques, and effective delivery.

Those who attend both days are welcome to attend a third certification training day at no cost, so they can learn how to teach BBP to others. If any Indezine readers interested in improving your presentations well Beyond Bullet Points, I hope you can join me!

Categories: interviews, training, powerpoint

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Monday, September 20, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:00 PM IST

Motti NisaniMotti Nisani co-founded VisualBee based on 18 years of experience in the high-tech industry. Previously, Motti was VP Business Development at NICE Systems Ltd. He has a B.Sc. degree in engineering from Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

In this interview, Motti discusses the VisualBee product that lets you enhance your PowerPoint presentations with a single click.

Geetesh: What exactly is VisualBee, and how can it help create better everyday PowerPoint presentations?

Motti: Presentations have become the most effective method of conveying messages. Thousands of presentations are held each day around the world, almost all of which include visual aids, such as presentations created using Microsoft PowerPoint.

VisualBee is a Microsoft PowerPoint plug-in (add-in), automatically enhancing PowerPoint presentations to create professional and effective showcases. Incorporated into PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, VisualBee is an automatic graphic design tool that saves hours spent tediously designing PowerPoint presentations.

VisualBee analyzes the text and structure of the original presentation and creates a new professionally designed presentation, incorporating appropriate images, layouts, templates and style. The final enhanced presentation may be kept, forwarded and redesigned as a regular PowerPoint presentation.

With VisualBee, it’s easy to create and amend PowerPoint presentations in no time. All one needs is to write or paste text onto a blank PowerPoint presentation and press “Enhance Presentation” in the PowerPoint application. VisualBee will design the presentation for you. One can even choose the presentation style best suited for the venue in which it will be presented: classic, formal, colorful, artistic or extreme.


VisualBee is also a great solution for businesses wishing to ensure on-brand messaging and look of all their presentations. VisualBee can customize layouts and styles to match each brand and ensure all presentations enhanced by VisualBee be branded accordingly. Customized branded VisualBee layouts have already been created for major companies, such as Alvarion (NASDAQ:ALVR).

Geetesh: What happens if a presentation created by VisualBee needs to be changed -- does it allow users to change visual content as well simultaneously? Also what if a picture selected by VisualBee is not appropriate -- can that be changed too?

Motti: VisualBee’s revolutionary software allows users to amend and redesign presentations during and even after enhancement.

Before saving the presentation, one can redesign each slide, replacing its layout and images, as well as reverting back to the original slide design. One doesn’t have to download images from the Internet and insert them - Images are included in the VisualBee image bank. One can find images by keywords or just let VisualBee choose the appropriate image, based on the text.

In addition, unlike other presentation making tools currently in the market, each presentation enhanced by VisualBee is saved as an ordinary PowerPoint presentation file (*.pptx). That means it can be amended using the regular PowerPoint application - any text can be amended and images replaced after its enhancement. Additional slides can also be incorporated into the enhanced presentation by the VisualBee re-enhance feature, making sure the design of such new slides match the style of the already enhanced presentation.

And of course, the saved enhanced presentation is yours to keep forever. You may use and reuse it in your presentations, amend it and forward it as much as you like!

Categories: add-in, design, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 2:39 PM IST

After covering this subject for Windows users of PowerPoint (See: Create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in Notepad.), I now provide a similar tutorial for Mac users who can get the same options using TextEdit.

When you start creating a new presentation, many users just launch PowerPoint and start creating their slides. Many purists say that you should not even launch PowerPoint until you have an outline in place. Several programs can be used to create outlines but TextEdit, a small word processor that has been bundled with every release of Mac OS X is probably the easiest option.

Learn how you can create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in TextEdit.

Categories: powerpoint_mac, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 2:36 PM IST

After covering the concept of differences between text placeholders and text boxes using Windows versions of PowerPoint, I heard from some Indezine readers who wanted a similar tutorial for Mac versions of PowerPoint. The concept works in exactly the same way on the Mac, with these observations: Aren't text boxes and text placeholders the same? Are they really different? And why should I bother even if they are different? All these are valid questions, and the answers to them form one of the most important foundations in learning to create more structured presentations in PowerPoint.

Learn about text placeholders vs. text boxes in PowerPoint 2008 .

Categories: powerpoint_2008, powerpoint_mac, tutorials

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Saturday, September 18, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 1:21 PM IST

Damian McDonaldDamian McDonald is the founder of Visual Newmedia and has over 15 years’ experience in developing communication solutions for a number of leading global brands. Visual Newmedia just released Presentation Deployer, a program that lets you export PowerPoint presentations to CD that self-runs presentations on computers with or without PowerPoint installed.

Damian discusses Presentation Deployer in this conversation.

Geetesh: What need does your new Presentation Deployer product fulfill?

Damian: Presentation Deployer was designed to overcome some limitations we saw in PowerPoint 2010. For some reason Microsoft decided to remove the ability to include the viewer with exported presentations. In addition, they changed the functionality that automatically ran the presentation when an exported CD was inserted into a CD drive -- this now shows the user an HTML page with the presentation or presentations in a clickable list with a button to download the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer.

We had two issues with this.

  1. This is a presentation you are giving someone. Ideally it should be a positive experience, not a hit and miss experience. If you click on the presentation on the HTML page, it asks you if you want to open the presentation or save it locally. If you select open, and you have a compatible version of PowerPoint registered, it just opens the presentation in a window, you still need to run the presentation. If you have PowerPoint 2010 functionality in your presentation and the client has PowerPoint 2003 with the compatibility pack or PowerPoint 2007 you are going to get different results due to version compatibility issues with things like drop shadows on bulleted text, videos inserted with PowerPoint 2010 with effects etc. Not a particularly professional look when you want to distribute your presentations to clients.

  2. The second issue is that if the client has to install the PowerPoint Viewer, they are forced to download it from the internet with a 65MB download. Even when the installer is finally downloaded and installed, assuming they have internet access at the time, they then need to re-select the presentation on the HTML page which then opens the presentation in slide show mode in a window rather than full screen.
It seems such a shame that Microsoft have put great effort in improving the functionality of what PowerPoint can offer but have ignored the reality of how presentations are distributed and the slow adoption rate of businesses upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft Office.

Presentation Deployer

Presentation Deployer is designed to overcome these issues. It allows you to create an exportable presentation folder that can run from a CD or other media. You are able to target the version of PowerPoint you would ideally want to use to minimize version compatibility issues. The exported CD includes the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer Installer locally on the disk for installation only if required. We have focused very much on the user experience. When the exported CD is inserted into the client machine it searches for the target version of the PowerPoint application or Viewer, including checking for the Compatibility Pack. If it finds a suitable version, it selects that application and automatically runs your presentation in full screen mode. If your folder includes a presentation playlist it runs the list automatically. If you are targeting PowerPoint 2010, you have the option of running the presentation automatically as with previous versions of PowerPoint, or showing the client a form with the playlist. We decided to replace the Microsoft HTML form with a more intelligent solution that gives the user the ability to select a presentation which then automatically runs full screen in slideshow mode. If a compatible version of PowerPoint is installed it also shows a note icon next to the playlist so the user has the option to open the presentation in PowerPoint for printing, saving etc. At any point during the checking process, if Presentation Deployer recognizes that the 2010 Viewer is required, the Microsoft license is presented to the user and on acceptance the Viewer is automatically installed in the background then the presentation is automatically run.

A far more elegant solution I think.

Geetesh: Can you share scenarios in which Presentation Deployer can help, and what inspired you to create this product?

Damian: I think Presentation Deployer is applicable to any company that wishes to take advantage of the new functionality of PowerPoint 2010 and be able to distribute their presentations in PowerPoint with confidence.

We had a situation recently where we created a presentation for a client that was using PowerPoint 2010 for a major product launch; we struck this issue when they requested for CD’s to be created for distribution to clients and channel partners. The video effects of PowerPoint 2010 really improved the quality of the presentation so they were reluctant to save to an earlier version of PowerPoint and sacrifice quality. We ended up writing some rough code to get around the issue and then decided to enhance the solution for other clients that might have been having the same issue. Presentation Deployer became the final result of this thinking.

Presentation Deployer is applicable to presentation companies wishing to give clients a deployable presentation option in PowerPoint 2010 and companies using PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 1:15 PM IST

When you start creating a new presentation, many users just launch PowerPoint and start creating their slides. Many purists say that you should not even launch PowerPoint until you have an outline in place. Several programs can be used to create outlines but Notepad, a small text editing application that has been bundled with every release of Microsoft Windows is probably the easiest option.

Learn how you can create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in Notepad.

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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Thursday, September 16, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:52 AM IST

Typically, there are three ways in which slides can be added to your PowerPoint presentation -- and for any given presentation you can use either one of these ways, or all three! If you see the figure shown, you'll notice that I have represented these three ways by using overlapping circles -- that means you don't have to use just one way. You can combine whatever approach works best for you.

Learn more about creating new slides.

Categories: design, outline, powerpoint, tutorials

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 1:39 PM IST

Microsoft's MacBU (Mac Business Unit) has RTMed (Release to Manufacturing) the new Office 2011 for Mac suite of applications. They put up two very cool videos on YouTube that are embedded here.

The first video looks at the new features and highlights in Office 2011.

This second video is a fun clip -- don't take this too seriously :)

End Note: Watch out for my new, upcoming Microsoft Office 2011 All-in-One For Dummies -- I co-authored this book with Jim Gordon, who is also a Microsoft MVP. In addition, two more Microsoft MVPs helped us create this book -- more info to be shared soon! Amazon is already accepting pre-orders for the book.

Categories: office_mac



posted by Geetesh on 1:23 PM IST

Many bad presentations are a result of not using PowerPoint as a slide creation tool at all. Does that sound like a cryptic statement? Then let me encrypt it for you: many PowerPoint users just think of PowerPoint as an extension to Word and Excel, the other program that Microsoft included free of cost in the Office box.

It gets worse -- not only do they think PowerPoint is like Word or Excel, they even use it that way. So why do we get surprised when Word users create slides that have tons of text. And let's move on to Excel now -- you can see a PowerPoint slide created by the Pentagon to assess some activities in Afghanistan -- if you thought that was bad, look at the next figure that shows what Wired magazine calls Pentagon’s craziest PowerPoint slide! It doesn't require a certification in space science to realize that these slides have been created by Excel users!

Read more about how not to use PowerPoint like Word or Excel.

Categories: opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 11:46 AM IST

The Slide area in PowerPoint includes the actual slide, the slide workspace (blank area surrounding the slide), and the scrollbars that let you navigate to other slides. Learn about the slide area in PowerPoint 2010, and what you can do to make your slide editing easier and more productive.

Explore the PowerPoint 2010 Slide area here.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Monday, September 13, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 11:16 AM IST

The Notes pane is the highlighted area that you can see in Figure 1 -- right below the actual slide. This area provides space to add speaker's notes that can be so helpful to the presenter while presenting -- the Notes pane can be also used to write any sort of information about the presentation or individual slide. When there are no notes added for a particular slide, the Notes Pane just displays the "Click to add notes" boilerplate text.

Learn about the Notes pane in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Friday, September 10, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 1:18 PM IST

I have already covered the concept of differences between text placeholders and text boxes using PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2007 earlier, and now we will explore the same within PowerPoint 2010. Let us start with these thoughts: Aren't text boxes and text placeholders the same? Are they really different? And why should I bother even if they are different? All these are valid questions, and the answers to them form one of the most important foundations in learning to create more structured presentations in PowerPoint.

Learn about text placeholders vs. text boxes in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:44 AM IST

In PowerPoint 2010, many of the views remain unchanged from PowerPoint 2007 -- or are very slightly changed. In this article, we will explore all these view options. PowerPoint 2010 continues to provide the seven different views available in PowerPoint 2007, and adds a new Reading view to make a total of eight views. The Outline view from PowerPoint 2003 and earlier is still not accessible through a menu option or button, but we'll explore that later in this article. For the rest of the views, you can switch between all of them with a single click or a keyboard shortcut.

Learn about PowerPoint views here.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Thursday, September 09, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:28 PM IST

Microsoft Office applications allow plenty of customization for toolbars and menus -- and finally in Office 2010, you can even customize the Ribbon tabs. However as far as customization of keyboard shortcuts is concerned, these options are limited (or non-existent) in comparison. Our review product addresses that glaring omission and plugs seamlessly right into PowerPoint -- it works on all Windows versions of PowerPoint right from versions 2000 to 2010.

Read the Indezine review of OfficeOne Shortcut Manager 4.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 3:12 PM IST

Greg PassmoreGreg Passmore is a former professional musician who toured North and Latin America before transferring skills acquired in the studio and on stage to the corporate audiovisual market. After years of improvising and adapting on the job, he established Kryoco, Inc., to manufacture low cost solutions to high end problems.

In this conversation, Greg talks about his new device called the miniFreeze and how it allows you to do some amazing stuff while presenting.

Geetesh: What is the miniFreeze, and what is its reason for existence?

Greg: The miniFreeze was created to bring the elegance and professionalism of the larger, more technically advanced general session events to smaller, single laptop and projector type events.miniFreeze

Normally, these venues are given very informal treatment. I’ve always thought this was due to the fact that there weren’t simple low cost alternatives to the larger, more expensive switchers that offered the capability of freezing the screen while launching new applications. In many cases, the set-up described above can be found in larger, more formal events when previewing upcoming slides would be a welcome confirmation, yet this possibility is unavailable once the event is under way. It can be quite uncomfortable for a presenter to display his desktop, search for files, launch DVD’s, etc., with a room full of interested attendees.

Geetesh: Typically devices like the miniFreeze are used in large gatherings and conventions, where there are separate AV folks taking care of everything – yet the miniFreeze makes it possible for almost anyone to get that sort of control – do share your thoughts on this observation.

Greg: You just described my thoughts, Geetesh! It’s about giving people control. On numerous occasions, I found myself in situations where the idea was to plug the laptop directly into the projector and simply follow the script with no deviation. At one rather formal event, the gender of an award winner walking to the stage didn’t match that of the name being displayed on the screen and blindly advancing to the next slide from that point on caused quite a bit anxiety, as well as unwanted, frantic and very visible shuffling through slides on the screen.

There are a few environments, like churches, where the operators are nervous, just by virtue of being in that position and they feel much more confident previewing upcoming slides before taking the advance. Deviations from the script are much more easily managed when you can freeze the main screen and search the presentation to catch up with real time events. But beyond that, for more advanced productions, a laptop equipped with Playback Pro or Camtasia Studio, for example, in combination with a miniFreeze, can emulate the look of a large format switcher and bring that level of elegance to the smaller (or less well-funded) venues.

Categories: delivery, interviews, remotes, powerpoint

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