Steve Rindsberg has been associated with PowerPoint since the product originated more than two decades ago -- his PowerPoint FAQ site is a treasure trove of PowerPoint information. When he's not updating his site, he's creating new PowerPoint add-ins that expand possibilities within PowerPoint. Steve's also into a lot of print technology related stuff.
In this conversation, Steve discusses PPTools Resize, his new PowerPoint add-in that resizes slide dimensions.
Geetesh: What is PPTools Resize, and how did this new PowerPoint add-in evolve?
Steve: PPTools Resize is a PowerPoint add-in that allows PowerPoint users to change the size of their slides without distorting anything on the slides.
Oddly, it solves a problem I used to struggle with daily when I was in the 35mm slide service bureau business, years and years ago. The default PowerPoint slide size, then as now, was On-screen Show (4:3) 10x7.5 inches or the equivalent in metric. But 35mm slides are differently proportioned, 11.25x7.5 inches. Early on, when customers would send in default-sized presentations (which most of them did), we'd have to make manual adjustments.
And then, as now, you can't just change the page size. When you do that, everything on the slide gets stretched or squished. Your pie charts all become egg-charts! So we'd create a new copy of the presentation, change the size, delete anything that got distorted and finally, copy and the paste deleted shapes back into the presentation from the unchanged original. This. Took. Time. Lots. Of. Time.
At the time, there was no way of writing add-ins for PowerPoint, and by the time there was, slide-making software and hardware had evolved to the point where there were relatively simple ways of dealing with incorrectly sized presentations.
So while I began writing add-ins to solve other problems, I forgot all about this one.
Then came wide-screen laptops, monitors and projectors. PowerPoint got new wide-screen slide sizes in Office 2007 and immediately, users began to have the same problem as we'd had back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and presenters used 35mm slides: the default presentation size didn't fill their laptop screens and if they changed the page size so it did .... egg-charts again!
I assumed that Microsoft would include a fix for this problem in the next version of PowerPoint, but Office 2010 came out and left users with egg(-chart) on their faces again. If Microsoft wasn't going to fix the problem, I decided that I would.
Perhaps this feature will appear in PowerPoint 20-whatever's-next. Perhaps it won't. But we know that it'll never appear in PowerPoint 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 or 2000. Resize is here now, and works with all of them.
Geetesh: What does PPTools Resize do differently than the Page Setup options within PowerPoint?
Steve: When you change the Page Setup in PowerPoint and select a new size that's not proportional to the current size, PowerPoint stretches your slides to fit. And in the process, it stretches everything ON your slides ... remember our egg-charts? To most PowerPoint users, that's simply not acceptable.
But with Resize, you choose a new size for your presentation from among PowerPoint's standard sizes or several additional special-purpose pre-defined sizes or any custom size you care to define. Instead of squeezing your original presentation out of shape, Resize creates a copy of it, changes its page size, then copy/pastes all the content from the original presentation, undistorted, into the new slides, masters and layouts.
By default, Resize pops this content into the center of the newly resized pesentation, making it as large as it can without distortion, but it also lets you adjust the left/right and top/bottom position of content on the new presentation or even add a margin all around the content. It's all a bit difficult to visualize, but your Resize review on Indezine has some great visual examples. So does the PDF Help / Manual included with Resize (which you can also download independently -- links to a PDF).
Could you do all of this manually in PowerPoint, no add-in needed? You could, but remember, you have to change the size of everything on every slide. And every Master and Slide Layout. If there's text, you need to change the font size of every bit of text. And change the line spacing. And paragraph spacing. And line widths of each shape. And ... and ... and ...
Resize will finish your entire presentation in less time than it takes to convert a single slide manually.
Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint
Steve, you are a PPT rockstar.
*waves from Columbus*
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | July 2015 | August 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | November 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | April 2016 | May 2016 | June 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.