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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: December 2012

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

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Buy Office 2010 or 2011, and Get Office 2013 Free!

Monday, December 31, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 3:04 PM IST



Tomorrow is a new year -- 2013 to be precise. And Office 2013 is expected to be released sometime soon in the first quarter of 2013. Conventional wisdom in such a scenario is to postpone any decision to buy the existing version of Office -- and wait for the new one to be released. Yet, there's a compelling reason to ignore that conventional wisdom and take the plunge now! Even if you already have Office 2010 for Windows -- or Office 2011 for Mac, it makes sense to get a license today.

Here are a few reasons:

  1. Microsoft has announced that anyone who buys a licensed copy of Office 2010 for Windows will get a free upgrade to Office 2013 (or Office 365) when it is released. You could have actually availed of this offer anytime after October 26th 2012 -- so if you bought a license of Office last week or two months ago, you may still be eligible to get a free copy of Office 2013!

        

  2. Microsoft has opened up this offer to Mac users of Office too -- if you buy Office 2011 for Mac, you will still be eligible to get upgraded to Office 365 Home Premium -- the Office 365 Home Premium product includes latest versions of Office for 5 computers (both Macs and Windows are supported).



  3. So if you buy, install, and activate Office 2010 or 2011 today -- you still get to use that version, and the new version too! That's always good because the new version may have added, changed, or removed some features -- and you have access to an older version just in case! This also gives you time to migrate from the older to the newer version at your own convenience.



  4. Also there may be plenty of offers available for those who buy Office 2010 or 2011 today -- once Office 2013 is released, you'll have to pay premium price and not expect any great offers for at least a few months. Microsoft is offering a free USB portable speaker to those who buy a copy of Office Home and Student 2010 in some countries (here's a link to the offer for India) -- other countries may have similar offers. Amazon has also discounted some editions of Office by as much as 33% off their published prices -- and yes, these are all eligible to get you the next version of Office for free!

  5. If you run both Windows and Mac computers, this is a great offer since you can get Office 2011 for Mac and have access to latest Office products for both your Mac and Windows computers as part of Office 365 Home Premium.

  6. Remember that Office 2013 only runs on Windows 7 and 8 -- if you are running Windows XP or Vista, then this is a great chance to get Office 2010, which does run on those older Windows versions -- and then a license for Office 2013 when you ultimately upgrade to Windows 7 or 8!

Do note though that you should read the fine print on Microsoft's site to confirm if you are eligible -- also find out if this offer is valid in your country. Once you find you are eligible, you will have to install and activate your Office 2010 or 2011 now -- then send an easy e-mail reminder to Microsoft who in turn will let you know how to download your license for Office 2013 or Office 365 once the new product is available -- you then download and install the new version for free!

Categories: office_2010, office_2013, office_mac

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



There are a number of sites that provide royalty-free pictures that can be used in your PowerPoint presentations -- one such site is Microsoft's Office.com site -- and there are also several other sites that provide free pictures. However, none of these resources can match the amazing breadth and variety of picture content you can find at Flickr, a photo-sharing site from Yahoo! Additionally, Flickr makes it easy for you to find pictures that you can legally use in your presentations since it lets you search for pictures within the Creative Common license.



Learn how to search Creative Commons pictures on Flickr.com.

Categories: graphics, pictures, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We explored differences between the Slide Master and its Slide Layouts within the Slide Master view. Also you learned how you can change Background Styles within the Slide Master -- when you do so, you may end up changing the Background Style for all dependent Slide Layouts. However, it is not necessary for all your Slide Layouts to possess the same Background Style as the Slide Master -- or even another Slide Layout. Each Layout can have its own independent Background Style -- as you will learn in the rest of this tutorial.



Learn how to apply Background Styles to individual Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Friday, December 28, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These New Year themed clip arts for PowerPoint are all silhouettes that are ready to use within your PowerPoint presentation slides. These have been provided in both black and white colors -- both variations are contained within two separate sample presentations that you can download. Copy the graphics of your choice from the downloaded presentations, and paste them into your PowerPoint presentation slides. You can also paste them into a Word document, an Excel worksheet, or any other program.



Download these free New Year clip art graphics here.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you select the "Invert if negative option" for a chart that has any negative data values in a series, you end up seeing those negative series with an inverted gradient fill. Since there appears little difference between the gradient fill used for positive and negative values as far as appearance is concerned, you may wish your negative series to show in a solid color that contrasts with the positive series. This color can be red (or any other color). In this tutorial, let us learn how you can do so in PowerPoint 2011.



Learn how to change the color of negative value data series to a color of your choice in PowerPoint 2011's charts.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, December 27, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



When working with adding sound within PowerPoint -- be it adding sound to an animation or even adding sound to a slide transition, you'll realize that only WAV files can be used as sounds in either of these scenarios. What's more -- the same WAV file is always larger in size than its MP3 alternative and since animation and transition sounds are always embedded within PowerPoint, you can end up with really large PowerPoint file sizes! Note that adding an MP3 file for animation or transition sounds is normally not doable since PowerPoint won't accept a file that has an MP3 file extension -- that's unfortunate because MP3 files can be almost 10x smaller than WAV files.



Learn how to use CDex to add WAV headers to MP3 files.

Categories: sounds, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already explored how you can change between different Slide Layouts in our Change Slide Layout in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial -- when you access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Layout button, you see the Layout drop-down gallery. The number of Slide Layouts that you see in this gallery may differ from Theme to Theme -- but with PowerPoint's default Office Theme applied, you will see 9 layouts. So, where do these Slide Layouts come from? What influences how they look, or how the placeholders within them are laid out?



Explore Slide Layouts within Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 3:24 PM IST



New Year celebrations commemorate the end of one year, and the beginning of the next year. New Year's Day is celebrated worldwide on the night of December 31st, and continues until January 1st. To celebrate the New Year, we have put up this special page to provide you with a free collection of New Year PowerPoint templates, clip art, presentations, scrapbook backdrops, embellishments, Snagit stamps and more goodies.



Download New Year goodies here.

Categories: clip_media, graphics, powerpoint, snagit, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 10:16 AM IST



Does your chart has any data with negative values? PowerPoint by default uses the same fill color for negative values as is used for positive values. Of course, you can override this nature of PowerPoint using the Invert if Negative option, that we last explored at the end of our Changing Fills and Outlines of Charts tutorial. In this tutorial, let us explore this option further.



Learn how you can highlight negative values in a chart within PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We have plenty of new content in this issue -- but first things first! We wish you enjoy Christmas, the holidays, New Year and all the festivities that this season brings forth -- take a look at our Season's Greetings card we made entirely inside PowerPoint! And then we have two collections of Notes shapes for you to use on your slides. And also two collections of ready-to-place skyscraper skylines! Alex Salop of Brainshark discusses their new Mobile Player -- and you get to learn how PowerPoint 2013's Accounts options work. We also have our ongoing series of tutorials on both PowerPoint for Windows and Mac -- learn more about pictures, charts, and headers / footers.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The Slide Master is something that influences the layout and look of all slides in your presentation. The simplest change you can make to your Slide Master is changing the Background Style used -- so that all slide layouts and actual slides in your presentation use a new slide background. In this tutorial, we will explore how you can change between any of the 12 available Background Styles to apply to the Slide Master.



Learn how to change Background Styles within the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Monday, December 24, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



In PowerPoint 2013, and in other Office 2013 programs you typically need to sign in to a Microsoft Account so that you can access settings, customizations, and even some files off the cloud. You typically do this by managing your Account, right inside PowerPoint or another Office 2013 program such as Word and Excel -- the Account Management window allows you to sign in to your Microsoft Account, and automatically connect to your SkyDrive account. In this tutorial you'll learn how to access PowerPoint 2013's Account Management window, and explore the options provided.



Learn how to manage Accounts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



David KleinDavid Klein is senior director of product management at Brainshark, Inc., leading the product team in developing innovative business solutions. Brainshark's cloud-based software lets users create online and mobile video presentations -- using simple business tools like PowerPoint and the phone or computer microphone -- and share and track their content. Brainshark is also the creator of the award-winning SlideShark app for viewing, presenting and sharing PowerPoints on the iPad and iPhone.

In this conversation, David discusses SlideShark's newly announced support for hyperlinks and how users of the app will benefit.

Geetesh: It's awesome that SlideShark now supports both internal and external hyperlinks contained in the original PowerPoint presentation. Can you tell us more about this feature?

David: Sure. Links appear in presentations for a number of different scenarios. External links point to URLs -- either to focus on a particular website or to invoke a document housed in cloud storage, like Box or Syncplicity. Tapping on the link in SlideShark will display a view of the website, and when you're done, one more tap on a button brings you back to your presentation.

Internal links are used to jump to another part of the presentation. So if you have a slide that acts like a table of contents for other sections of your story, it's easy to tap right over to that part of the deck. It’s like the ol' "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. We're actually seeing a lot presentations organized like websites -- navigating a person throughout the deck based on decision trees.

We've heard from users that they're especially excited about our new hyperlink support -- as it enables them to give even more informative and interactive presentations from their iOS devices.



Geetesh: Essentially, only hyperlinks within the presentation and web hyperlinks will work within SlideShark. What approach do you suggest to link to other files (i.e., documents, pictures, etc.) from within the SlideShark presentation? And also, do these links need to be put in place within the original PowerPoint file?

David: Cloud storage is such a popular trend among professionals and non-professionals alike. Each file out there is represented by a URL that could be secured if required. Take that URL and insert it into your slide, and SlideShark will treat it as an external link.

SlideShark also supports the mailto link, enabling you to tap and bring up your email client on the device with prepopulated To and Subject fields. It’s like a bookmark to email someone.

The links do need to be in place within the original PowerPoint file. SlideShark is designed to support the integrity of the PowerPoint file so that it can be presented the way it was supposed to be seen. And there are benefits of doing all of your work up front in PowerPoint versus doing additional production work in an app. For example, when marketing teams are challenged with controlling the number of ad-hoc presentations created after distributing their brand and data-sensitive content, SlideShark ensures that there remains only one version of that presentation. In that same relationship, you have one team authoring and another team presenting. So it behooves organizations and streamlines processes to have the production work done first.

We're glad to make hyperlink support available to our users and, as always, continue to endeavor to provide them with innovative, new features for a superior mobile presentation experience. Thanks, Geetesh, for the opportunity to discuss SlideShark.

See Also: SlideShark - Box OneCloud Integration: Conversation with David Klein

Categories: brainshark, interviews, ipad, iphone, online_presentations, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you add new charts in PowerPoint, the default fill and border (line) that PowerPoint 2011 applies to chart elements are perfectly adequate. Still, you might want to play with the Chart Styles available -- all these Styles are based on the Office Theme you have applied to the active presentation, and while this works great most of the time, there will be occasions when you may want to use a color for any of your data series that's not part of the Theme palette in your presentation. In times like these, you can control the fill and border of chart elements using the techniques explained on this page.



Learn how to change the fill and the border of selected chart elements within PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Saturday, December 22, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



New Office 2013 programs such as PowerPoint 2013 work with their own Accounts system. Many options within PowerPoint show up or change depending upon which Account you are signed into -- these include your Recent Files list, your connected services, and even the interface color for your program. While these customizations show up irrespective of whether you are running PowerPoint 2013 on Windows 8 or Windows 7, the process in which you sign in and switch Accounts differs a little in both these Windows versions. Windows 7 however does not provide its own Microsoft Account integration in the same way -- in this tutorial you'll explore the Account management for PowerPoint 2013 within a Windows 7 environment.



Learn how to sign in, sign out, and switch Microsoft Accounts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Notes Shapes have applied shadows, and fold effects, and are ready to use in your PowerPoint slides. The sample presentation that you download includes plenty of variants of these Notes Shapes, and also has complete instructions on how to use them in your own slides! Use these notes to add a personal touch to your slides and make them look different from the millions of other slides created each day. Also, since these notes are essentially native PowerPoint shapes, you can use all of PowerPoint's fills, lines, and effects to customize their appearance.

  

Download and use these Notes graphics in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, December 21, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These city skyline slides show combined or sectional panoramas of a typical city's skyscrapers and architectural structures against the sky. The sample presentation that you download includes 3 city skyline silhouettes that can also be used as conceptual graphics. As shown in one the slides in the presentation you will download, you can easily layer and overlap various skyline silhouettes to create a denser city graphic. You just need to copy and paste those graphics into your presentation.

  

Download and use these Skyline silhouette graphics in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored how you can add Headers and Footers to your slides -- additionally, you can also add Headers and Footers to your Notes and Handout pages. Unlike slides which are primarily presented through a display device such as a monitor, TV screen, or projector -- Notes and Handouts are essentially intended for printing. In this tutorial we will explore how you can add Headers and Footers to make your printed Notes and Handouts more professional and useful.



Learn how add Header and Footer to Notes and Handout pages in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Thursday, December 20, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Alex SalopAlex Salop is director of enterprise product marketing for Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark's cloud-based software lets users create online and mobile video presentations -- using simple business tools like PowerPoint and the phone or computer microphone -- and share and track their content. Thousands of companies use Brainshark to improve the reach and results of their business communications, while dramatically reducing costs.

In this conversation, Alex discusses the new Brainshark Mobile Player, which Brainshark recently announced.

Geetesh: What is the new HTML5-based "Brainshark Mobile Player," and how is it different from the regular Brainshark app on mobile and tablet devices?

Alex: We're very pleased to unveil a new player, based on the HTML5 standard. With the Brainshark Mobile Player, viewers on iOS and Android devices now have a more engaging and interactive experience when they watch Brainshark video presentations.

The Brainshark Mobile Player's comprehensive feature set makes it easy for viewers to interact with mobile video presentations -- with new and extended capabilities beyond those in our current apps. More important, the player's availability makes downloading an app unnecessary. So when companies reach out to mobile audiences with, say, training or marketing materials, they know recipients will have the best viewing experience possible -- able to answer questions, share content easily and more -- without hoping those viewers will take the extra step of downloading an app to do so. In fact, when someone is sent a Brainshark presentation and opens it on an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet, their device will automatically default to using the new player.



Some of the salient features in the Brainshark Mobile Player include the ability to:

  • View and respond to poll, survey and exam questions. This provides an interactive experience that is ideal for mobile learning (mLearning).

  • Click to navigate to any point in a presentation.

  • Open and view attachments associated with a presentation.

  • Share presentations instantly via email and social media.

  • Resume presentation views. The player remembers where you left off, so you have the option of starting from that point next time.

  • Use single sign-on (SSO) to access secure Brainshark content (if your organization employs SSO technology).

Geetesh: What are the advantages of using the Brainshark Mobile Player?

Alex: The advantages are twofold. Viewers, as I mentioned, get a more interactive and engaging experience. It's very easy for them to interact with mobile video -- no downloads required -- so the experience is intuitive.

Companies certainly benefit too, using mobile communications to reach more people, more effectively. Companies may already communicate using mobile video -- and given the skyrocketing use of smartphones and tablets, they should -- but now they can truly deliver superior and differentiating communications. In addition, the player provides comprehensive mLearning support -- making it easy for organizations to deploy and track mLearning content -- and supports enhanced video marketing. Brainshark also provides in-depth analytics, so organizations can see who viewed their content, when, what they saw, what type of device was used and more.

Brainshark’s "Create once, deliver anywhere" philosophy means that we make content creation easy for our customers, and then we handle all the formatting and behind-the-scenes work with content delivery. So after you've created Brainshark content -- adding voice and interactivity to your PowerPoint slides to create an online video presentation -- you can be confident it will be optimized for whatever type of device accesses it. The new Brainshark Mobile Player is an extension of this philosophy, and we're so glad for the opportunity to discuss it with you.



Categories: android, brainshark, interviews, ipad, iphone, online_presentations, powerpoint

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