PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: July 2012
Thoughts and impressions of whatever is happening in the world of PowerPoint.
We talked about PowerPoint 2013 last week, and promised you that you'll hear from us soon. So here it is -- in this issue, we are focusing on how you can participate in the Office Customer Preview, and install Office 2013, which of course includes PowerPoint 2013. First things first -- if you head straight to the Office Customer Preview site and see no mention of Office 2013 anywhere on that site, don't get confused! The Preview site uses the term Office 365 everywhere, and Microsoft's vision of Office 365 is a set of services you subscribe to -- and some Office 365 subscriptions include a desktop license for Office 2013. The free subscription that Microsoft is giving away as part of the Office Customer Preview thus is actually an Office 365 subscription plan with 5 licenses of Office 2013 included.
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Categories: ezine, powerpoint
We already explored how you can install the Consumer Preview version of Office 2013 using the conventional CTR approach where the entire installation is streamed to your computer. This of course requires that you have lots of time, a fast internet connection -- and worse, if you want to install the Consumer Preview on multiple machines, you'll have to repeat the process for each machine!
Clearly there has to be an alternative option -- and indeed there is. This download that runs the setup locally on your system is available as an MSI file. However, be aware that if you choose this download MSI option, you cannot run Office 2013 along with an older version of Office on the same system.
You get this download version by clicking the link right at the bottom of this page -- Microsoft really went out of their way to hide this link!
Here's a step-by-step walk through of the process:
- Clicking the link provided above asks you to sign in to your Microsoft account -- this is essentially your Windows Live account. If you already have a Hotmail, MSN, or XBox Live account, then that's your Microsoft account. You can sign in with your Microsoft account, or choose the alternative to create a new account altogether just for this beta -- that's what we did.
- Once you are signed in, you see this page with your serial number provided (we blacked out the serial number for this screenshot). Select a language, and then click either the Download 32-bit Software (shown in the screenshot) or the Download 64-bit Software button (not visible in the screenshot).
- If you are using a browser other than Internet Explorer, you'll see a Please wait while the download begins screen, and the download may begin immediately at this point. If you are using Internet Explorer, you will see a Please wait while the Download Manager begins your download screen.
- Internet Explorer users will next see a Download Manager that lets you pause and resume the download (see the screen-shots below).
- The entire download is not too large at 625 mb.
In PowerPoint, a Motion Path is a path or route along which a slide object animates on your slide. Motion Paths can be either anchored to the slide object, or not. The anchoring (unlocking) and unanchoring (locking) of Motion Paths are rarely explored options, and that may be because these are not too well documented or even intuitive. However, it's good to know more about anchoring of Motion Paths, since this knowledge can help you create better animations. You have already learned how to add a Motion Path animation to any slide object. We also explained the concept of reversing paths and opening or closing paths. Now, follow the steps below to learn how to access and use the options to unanchor / anchor Motion Paths.
Learn about the anchor options for Motion Paths in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Categories: animation, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials
In previous posts, we have explored about Getting the Office 2013 Customer Preview Beta and Before Installing Office 2013 Customer Preview. Now let's take you step-by-step through the entire install process. All through this post, you will find screenshots -- feel free to click on the actual screenshots to see larger representations.
- Go to the Office 2013 Customer Preview site, and click the large green Sign Up button.
- This gets you to the Welcome to the new Office screen -- unless you want to Learn more, click the Try now link.
- You now need to sign into your Microsoft account -- this is essentially your Windows Live account -- also if you have a Hotmail, MSN, or XBox Live account -- then you already have a Microsoft account. You can sign in with your Microsoft account -- or do what I did, and create a new account altogether just for this beta.
- If you successfully signed in (or signed up), you will see the screen shown below. Click the green Get started now button.
- You'll now see the Welcome to your account page screen -- just go ahead and click the green Install button.
- You'll see a message right near your browser's status bar (at least in Internet Explorer) that asks you if you want to run or save the installation file -- go ahead and click the Run option.
- Next, you will see an indication of the installation beginning, and then connecting to your account -- see the two screenshots below.
- And then you see the screen that believes you will love Office -- click the Next button to continue.
- Now you need to accept the Microsoft license agreement by clicking the Accept button.
- And now for something you would least expect -- a small video clip about the new Office -- here are two screenshots from the video.
- OK, now you must sign in -- again! We know you already signed in, but that one was for the installation site -- and this one is for your local computer -- so press the orange Sign In button. Notice the smiling and frowning faces on the top right -- click those to tell Microsoft if you are happy or not!
- Now you actually sign in -- use the new Microsoft ID you created.
- Now you are welcomed -- and you can also choose a patterned theme for your Office 2013 program interface -- we just chose the None option. Then click the Next button.
- You next meet SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage solution -- click the Next button to proceed.
- Now Microsoft wants you to take a look at some other great stuff while they wrap things up -- we just politely clicked the No thanks option.
- Now the actual installation starts -- it seems to start from 14% rather than 0% or 1%. Be prepared for a long wait.
- And then after an hour and half, our installation was done. We tested this installation on a 4 mbps online connection.
- Launch your program -- we launched PowerPoint 2013. In a few moments, the program was automatically activated.
Each Theme contains several unique facets that set it apart from other Themes. These include Theme Fonts, Theme Colors, and Theme Effects. When you apply a different Theme to your PowerPoint presentation, the fonts, colors, and effects applied to your slides change. Unless you override this on a per slide basis, these changes show up in all slides in the presentation. The resulting slides all look consistent. If you explore examples of the same slide with different Themes applied, you will notice that all the slides differ in terms of colors, fonts, and effects applied. Yet the text content is still the same.
Explore what Theme Fonts are in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.
Categories: fonts, powerpoint_2007, powerpoint_2010, themes, tutorials
All you need to do is go to the Office 2013 Customer Preview site, and follow the instructions to quickly install a beta version of Office 2013 on your computer. Well, not all of that was true -- we are not saying that it's a herculean task to install this Customer Preview, but it's no piece of cake either!
First of all, you must fulfill the following prerequisites and recommendations:
- You must be running either Windows 7 or 8 -- of course the latter has not yet released, and is only available in a Preview version, much like Office 2013.
- Make sure you have a full backup of your system -- and ideally this should not be your primary work environment -- we know many users will not care and still go ahead with this install -- but we did warn you!
- If possible, consider installing Office 2013 on a virtual environment -- this means that you can create a virtual machine using VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC, or VirtualBox. The latter two are free, while you will have to buy a license for VMware's Workstation product. VMware also creates Fusion, a product that lets you create Windows virtual machines on your Mac. The benefit of using a virtual machine is that you can remove the entire machine with just one Delete action, and the rest of your computer remains unaffected with all pre-release software.
- You can use any web browser to visit the install site, and thereafter install Office -- but we strongly recommend you use Internet Explorer.
- You also need lots of time -- bargain for at least two hours if you have a very fast internet connection. If you have a slow connection, then start this process in the morning at your office -- or in the evening at home. Make sure you have no appointments for a few hours!
The Office 2013 Customer Preview will install on a computer that already has an older version of Microsoft Office installed -- but be warned that the new version of Outlook will not co-exist with any older version of the same program. It's a known fact that you can have only one version of Outlook installed on your system. Again, make sure you install Office 2013's Customer Preview version only on a test system or a virtual machine.
We have already explained some install options in our Getting the Office 2013 Customer Preview Beta post. In the next post of this series, we will explore the actual installation process.
Here are some silhouettes of businesspeople in a meeting environment. Since these silhouettes are neutral visuals, they are the best options to be considered when you are presenting to an international audience. These also work great in scenarios like surveys and legal presentations. These business meeting themed silhouettes are contained within the sample PowerPoint presentation that you will download. You will find them in two colors, black and white, on two different slides, and also some other variations using PowerPoint’s native fills, lines and effects. Go ahead and change the PowerPoint fills, lines, and effects to create your personalized versions of these silhouettes, and explore what works best for you to make them look great on your PowerPoint slide.
Use these silhouette graphics in your slides.
Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples
Arranging shapes and other objects on PowerPoint slides is just one of the few things that could be more intuitive -- and did you ever want to make all shapes on your slide equally sized? If you wish that there were better aligning options that PowerPoint included, then you are not alone. Many PowerPoint users, especially those who create slide all day want features that will make their workflows simpler and faster. ToolsToo, our review product is a PowerPoint add-in that tries to be that simpler and faster option right inside PowerPoint.
Learn about ToolsToo, a collection of tools that can reduce the time you spend creating your PowerPoint slides.
Categories: add-in, powerpoint
While working with Motion Paths, especially after drawing a Custom Motion Path to animate your slide object, you may feel that the path drawn is not very smooth. Or you may have used one of the preset Motion Paths to animate your slide object, and now you want to make some changes. Maybe you want to extend the path, or use smoother corners rather than the default pointed ones. Drawing with a mouse typically results in paths that look more segmented than curved!
Learn how you can edit Motion Paths using the Edit Points option in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Categories: animation, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials
Limited Time Offer: Until August 31, 2012 you can get OfficeOne Shape Locker for 50% off the listed price -- so you pay only $24.97 instead of $49.95 -- just remember to use the promo coupon code: INDEZINE-SHAPELOCK50
For the longest time, PowerPoint users have been asking Microsoft to provide lock and unlock options for slide objects so that some objects cannot be moved from their positions, resized, or even selected. We haven't been lucky yet, but looks like there's a third party vendor who's taken up this challenge to create an add-in that does all the locking and unlocking. Shape Locker is a PowerPoint add-in that allows you to lock several attributes so that slide objects are prevented from further modifications. These objects can be on slides, Master slides, and even Slide layouts.
Read the Indezine review of Shape Locker.
Categories: add-in, powerpoint
While working with Motion Paths, especially after drawing a Custom Motion Path to animate your slide object, you may feel that the path drawn is not very smooth. Or you may have used one of the preset Motion Paths to animate your slide object, and now you want to make some changes. Maybe you want to extend the path, or use smoother corners rather than the default pointed ones. Drawing with a mouse typically does result in paths that don't look too good!
Learn how to edit the motion paths with the help of Edit Points in PowerPoint 2010.
Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, tutorials
Now that Microsoft has released a publicly available customer preview of Office 2013, there's so much to explore and learn. In a few months, the next version of PowerPoint will be officially released -- but you do not have to wait that much longer to play with it. In fact, you can get your hands on this new version of Office (and PowerPoint) today, as we shall show you in the rest of this post.
There are two Office 2013 customer preview releases that you can download -- both of them differ in how they are downloaded and installed:
- The public preview of Office 2013 can be downloaded from Micosoft's Office preview site.
The site uses the term Office 365 all the time rather than Office 2013, although the downloaded product is still called Office 2013. Sounds confusing? You get to install Office 2013 as part of your Office 365 subscription. Still sounds confusing? OK, let's just call this the new version of Office.
This new version installs straight from Microsoft's servers using a cloud-enabled technology called CTR (Click-To-Run). That means there's no ISO, MSI, or other setup files to download. All you need is Windows 7 or 8 installed, and a nice fat pipe connection to the internet. Also add a few hours to the requirements list -- don't try this if you need to be somewhere else in an hour, although I know people who needed 7 hours for the installation to get done! It took me an hour and half to get done with this installation -- the installed version number was MSO (15.0.4128.1014) 32-bit.
- Yes, there's also a conventional MSI package available that runs the setup locally on your system -- if you choose this option, you cannot run Office 2013 along an older version of Office. You get this version by clicking the link right at the bottom of this page -- Microsoft probably wanted to make this link as difficult as possible for you to find!
In addition, there's also a third option available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers -- this is a conventional download option. You essentially get a simple EXE file that works even if you have an older version of Office installed. Why doesn't everyone else get this simple download? That's the price you pay for not having an MSDN or a TechNet subscripton! It looks like you end up with the same product with the CTR or the MSDN / TechNet download -- the version number for my MSDN download version was the same: MSO (15.0.4128.1014) 32-bit.
In subsequent posts we will explore all these installation options, especially the CTR experience.
Hong Nguyen is a software developer with 15 years of experience. He is currently based in Singapore. He started developing SlideGo as "hobby" software in 2009 due to his personal need to export PowerPoint animations to Flash. SlideGo.com has now grown into a HTML5 slide builder and still continues to add more features daily.
In this conversation, Hong discusses SlideGo.
Geetesh: Tell us about SlideGo, and what motivated you to create a PowerPoint compatible online web app?
Hong: SlideGo provides two key services: an online slide editor, and software to convert PowerPoint files for online editing. The idea behind SlideGo is "interactive slides", that is, to utilize the animation capabilities of PowerPoint. This creates huge options for authoring contents that serves purposes other than presentations: e-learning, children's books, interactive websites. And not surprisingly, users have been using PowerPoint for years for these purposes.
We started with a PowerPoint converter to HTML5, which now works great with high accuracy. But it is only available on Windows, and it lacks ready-to-use facilities to create interactive content (VBA macros are not converted). That motivated us to build the web app that everyone can have access to, and we can easily extend the features. To date, the editor already has most essential functionality of PowerPoint (shape drawing, animation, motion paths, master layouts, etc.), and it has a lot of add-ins that allows creating interactivity with just one click. The output is HTML5, which means it runs on most devices, but we also make it backward compatible with older desktops. In addition, we target tablets as a future platform for content creation, so we build the editor with touch functionalities in mind.
Geetesh: You do provide several output options from SlideGo, such as an ebook format that works with iBooks -- can you share some feedback about how people use these options?
Hong: As a free service, we allow users to download their converted content to view offline, or to upload to their own web server. With the advent of capable devices like iPad and smartphones, users also want to make their content mobile. We initially intended to package HTML5 into a mobile app. But you need approval before content can be available. Some of our users started porting the HTML5 output to the iBooks format manually, since they use PowerPoint to create training books. But iBooks is not just a book reader, it can play full HTML5 content with animation and audio as well. And users can download iBooks files to their devices without any restriction. So we added an option to export to iBooks format. Users who are content vendors are happy because they don't have to force their end-users to download another custom mobile app to view converted files. It just works out of the box. Now our users use it to show presentation offline. They also use it to store product brochures or training materials. We are working to add similar capability to other types of devices..
Categories: interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint
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