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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: February 2013

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

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PowerPoint Concept Slides: Organic Squares

Thursday, February 28, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:39 AM IST



If you have drawn on a flip chart or even a blackboard -- or just doodled on the back of a napkin, then you must have drawn a square (or just let us call it a “box”) with just a pencil or a marker? How about achieving that same hand-drawn look on your slides? Yes, you can use PowerPoint’s built-in shapes but you’ll end up with a square that’s so perfect! On the other hand, a hand drawn square will look distinct and different -- it's almost a powerful statement. Squares are just one of the 8 shape types we have included in this Organic Shapes collection – and each 8 of these shape types have 10 variants each – so you end up with 80 hand-drawn shape options!

  

Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After adding a Bookmark to an audio clip, you may want to edit or remove the Bookmark altogether. In PowerPoint you can't edit a Bookmark -- for example, you cannot change the time of your Bookmark from 30 seconds to 28 seconds. To achieve this change, you have to delete the earlier Bookmark, and then add a new Bookmark on the time position that you want.



Learn how to remove Bookmarks from audio clips in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: music, powerpoint_2010, sounds, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Have you tried to draw a circle with just holding a pencil or marker in your hand? You’ll end up with a circle that may fail you in a geometry test but it still looks human, personal, and different -- just like these organic circle shapes. Circles are just one of the 8 shape types we have included in this Organic Shapes collection – and each 8 of these shape types have 10 variants each – so you end up with 80 hand-drawn shape options! These shapes will help break the monotony of text heavy slides, and assist you in explaining difficult concepts better to your audiences. Using these organic shapes also convinces your audiences that you care enough about them to make the slides look appealing and comprehensible. What's more, these shapes are also so much fun to use!

  

Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we have an interview with Yossi Pinkas who discusses MagPointer, an amazing plug-in that lets you zoom and enhance your slides while presenting – do try playing with their free trial. You can also download our Six Petals circle that lets you create an info-graphic that’s different yet subtle. PowerPoint 2010 users can learn how to fade audio clips, and PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can get started with indents for bulleted lists.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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Saturday, February 23, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Six Petals Circle graphics are part of our Petal Circles series that add stylized tips to your circle shapes. These two tip styles: Rounded and Pointed make your circles look different from conventional segmented circle graphics. They also break the monotony of text heavy slides, and help you explain concepts better to your audiences. Using these circle shapes also convinces your audiences that you care enough about them to make the slides look appealing and comprehensible. What's more, these shapes are also so much fun to use!



Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Yossi PinkasYossi Pinkas is co-founder of MagPointer. MagPointer is the developer of a PowerPoint add-on for improving audience engagement during presentations, making presentations more interactive and easier to follow.

In this discussion, Yossi explains how you can use MagPointer to make your presentations more responsive and interesting.

Geetesh: Please tell us what MagPointer does, and in how many ways can presenters use it?

Yossi: MagPointer is a PowerPoint add-in that helps the audience follow the presenter and remain focused and engaged. The software allows presenters to enlarge, focus or highlight specific slide elements, on-the-fly and without any preparations in advance.

With MagPointer, the presenter can highlight text or specific table elements (cells, columns or rows), enlarge objects, create frames and zoom on slide areas. All this is done in real time, with no need for any preparations in advance.

In many cases, MagPointer relieves presenters from the tedious and time consuming task of preparing slideshow animations in advance. Beyond time savings, the real-time nature of MagPointer makes presentations more interactive, as the presenter can choose what to highlight or focus on in response to questions or comments from the audience. The application also enables a smooth navigation back-and-forth between slide objects, keeping the presentation flowing when the need arises to refer to previous or future slides and objects.



MagPointer is targeted mainly at data-rich presentations, such as those presented by university and school teachers, trainers, consultants and various other professionals.

MagPointer is extremely useful for webinars and online presentations, where the lack of eye-contact make presentations difficult to follow. It is also valuable for face-to-face presentations, and its floating smart bar makes it easy to control MagPointer operations using remote control devices or apps such as the mobile mouse application for iPhone and Android handsets.

Geetesh: Can you share how MagPointer evolved, and why you decided you create this PowerPoint add-in?

Yossi: MagPointer was developed by my co-founder, Vadim. In his role as a technical lead in a large high-tech company, he was presenting to his team or managers presentations which include rather detailed slides describing project technical details, system architectures and design requirements etc. He felt there should be a better way to focus his audience on a certain slide object than stepping to the screen and pointing it out. As he was familiar with the internals of Microsoft Office and its APIs, he decided to develop an add-on that will identify the different objects in each slide and allow real time manipulation of those objects.



I have joined Vadim after realizing how useful the MagPointer app is in my activities being part of an investor's group. We often had Skype conference calls with startup companies seeking investment, and those included PowerPoint presentations using screen share. The presentations usually included schematics or tables such as revenue forecasts, competitive analysis, etc. that were rather difficult to follow. We found that with MagPointer we could easily follow the presenter, and even when losing attention for a moment, could always go back and find what he was referring to on the slide.

After filing a patent application, we released a beta version of MagPointer in June 2012. Following feedback we've received on the first beta version, we have completely redesigned the user interface and added a floating smart bar that made the use of the software highly intuitive and provided better support for using remote controls in face-to-face presentations.

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Although this is not so obvious, the position of the bullets or numbers in a list is influenced by indent markers you see on the Horizontal Ruler within PowerPoint. There are three types of Indent Markers -- the First Line Indent Marker, the Hanging Indent Marker, and the Left Indent Marker. In this tutorial, we will explore how the First Line Indent Marker influences the position of the bullets (or numbers). The First Line Indent Marker determines the left most edge of the bullet character itself. If you drag this First Line Indent Marker along the Horizontal Ruler, the bullets associated with the selected text also move accordingly.



Learn how to tweak bulleted or numbered paragraphs using the first line indent marker in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, text, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



What is it about 30 million PowerPoint presentations being created each day -- is the source for that figure fact or is it fiction? Read more in the cover story of this week's Indezine News. We've heard from so many of you who have loved the new Petal Circles series -- this issue, we bring you a 5 petaled variation of the circle -- use these in your slides! We also have the usual bunch of PowerPoint tutorials -- learn about fading sounds, formatting 3D charts, and PowerPoint 2013 customization. We also explore SlideBoom, an online presentations site.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



One of the very important, new abilities in PowerPoint 2010 relates to you being able to play your audio files from a certain point within the clip. To do so, you need to use the Bookmarks feature. Bookmarks in PowerPoint are similar to the conventional bookmarks you place within the pages of a book you read. In the same way that you can easily access a particular page with the help of a bookmark, the Bookmarks you add to an audio clip become indicators of the position you want to play the clip from.



Learn how to add Bookmarks to audio clips in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: music, powerpoint_2010, sounds, tutorials

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Monday, February 18, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Have you pulled your hair trying to adjust spacing before and after bulleted and numbered lists in PowerPoint? And if you have been valiant enough to try, did you succeed? And even if you succeeded to some extent, were you satisfied -- or did you want more control? This is at least one of those scenarios where we can tell you that PowerPoint has all the options you are looking for -- but where exactly you will tweak these options is not intuitive at all! Read on to learn more -- some part of this tutorial can be a little technical -- but we'll try to explain with use of plain English terms and several visuals.



Learn about the Indent Markers that influence the positioning and spacing of bulleted and numbered paragraphs in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, text, tutorials

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Saturday, February 16, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Five Petals Circle graphics are part of our Petal Circles series that add stylized tips to your circle shapes. These two tip styles: Rounded and Pointed make your circles look different from conventional segmented circle graphics. They also break the monotony of text heavy slides, and help you explain concepts better to your audiences. Using these circle shapes also convinces your audiences that you care enough about them to make the slides look appealing and comprehensible. What's more, these shapes are also so much fun to use!



Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, February 15, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



If you have a bunch of commands that you use frequently, you may want to keep them more accessible within PowerPoint 2013 by customizing your Quick Access Toolbar -- you populate the QAT with commands you use often. Over a period of time, these customizations may become a valuable asset you want to save or share -- let us explore these scenarios.



Learn how to reset, export, and import QAT customization in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Thursday, February 14, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you place a chart on your slide that contains a Z-axis, you will notice that unlike conventional 2D charts, these charts have distinct walls and a floor. Also by default, these walls and floor show no fill or even a border (see chart in Figure 1) -- the lines you see within the walls are gridlines, and not borders. If your slide background is a solid color like white or black, these defaults could work best for you -- however you may want to play a bit with changing the fill or line attributes for the wall and floor elements. Do remember though that you should leave these elements in their default state unless you have a compelling reason to change them!



Learn how to format the walls and floor of a 3D chart in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Insert an audio file within your PowerPoint slide, and you can play it either with a click, or set it to play automatically. Whichever option you choose, some files can sound loud and unexpected! Have you not experienced the sudden scare or shock when a shrill voice interrupts an almost silent environment? Rather than shake the soul of your audiences, you can use PowerPoint's fade options to add a gradual increase to the volume of your audio files. PowerPoint provides both Fade In and Fade Out effects that you can add to the beginning and end of your audio clips. These fade options make your audio clips sound smoother and more subtle.



Learn how to fade in or fade out your audio clips in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: music, powerpoint_2010, sounds, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Do you frown at 3D charts, or do you love them? Either way, the Z-axis should be your friend -- let us introduce you to him in this newsletter issue! Also in this issue you will discover the 4 petal circle shape that can certainly add some pizzazz to make your everyday circles look better and more distinguished. We continue showing you how much customization PowerPoint 2013 offers -- you can do some incredible stuff with your Ribbon tabs. And if you love animation, then this amazingly simple Twin Trigger animation will make you blink stuff of your slides -- literally! We have two awesome interviews with Sam Thatte and Peter Zvirinsky, and an amazing guest column by Jerry Weissman. PowerPoint for Mac users can continue learning about charts -- explore crossed axes and adding transparency to 3D columns this time. All put together, this is an amazingly packed issue -- see you again next week.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When your 3D chart comprises columns of various heights, chances are that some of the columns hide other columns placed behind them. This is especially true with 3D charts that have a Z axis. One of the ways to make the columns placed behind visible is to make the taller columns transparent. The other way to solve this issue is to rotate the 3D chart so that you end up with a view in which the shorter columns become clearly visible.



Learn how to rotate 3D charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, February 11, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



SlideBoom is a web site where you can upload and share your PowerPoint presentations -- at the back-end, a PowerPoint to HTML5 or Flash converting engine makes online movies of all your PowerPoint slides. Each uploaded presentation on SlideBoom is provided a unique page URL that you can share with friends and others who want to see your presentation.



Learn about SlideBoom -- a web site where you can upload and share your PowerPoint presentations.

Categories: online_presentations, powerpoint, slideboom

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

You may have heard—30 million PowerPoint presentations are created daily. Everyone quotes that figure! And the amazing part is not that 30 million is a big number. What I find more interesting than just the number is the fact that this big figure was first mentioned almost 12 years ago.

30 million PowerPoint presentations

Frankly, this 30 million figure brings forth more questions than answers:

  • What was the source of this 30 million figure? Are there scientific facts that corroborate this claim?

  • Let's ask each other: How many PowerPoint presentations did we or others we know create 12 years ago?

  • Do we create more presentations now than more than a decade ago? For most of us, the answer is a resounding "Yes"!

  • And if more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are really created each day, what could that number be in this year, 2013? 100 million? A billion?

No one knows the answers to all these questions, and I certainly do not. However, this 30 million figure needs to have a source. Funnily enough, one site even credits me as a possible source for this figure! Even though I cannot take this credit, I do realize that it does not matter what the exact figure may be. We all agree that an astronomical number of PowerPoint presentations are created and delivered each day—and most of these presentations have slides that are not too awesome! Now that "awesome" part is something we can discuss some other time; let us now get back to the 30 million figure.

Just for the sake of scale, let us believe that the older 30 million figure holds true for today! That would indicate that around 350 presentations are born each second! So maybe thousands of presentations are being created at the speed at which you read every single word within this article. Don't get scared; these presentations may still get created even if you don't read a single word!

Let us next explore retrospectively, and create a trail back to how this all started, and who better than Robert Gaskins, the founder of PowerPoint to answer this question. On his site, I found this quote (on the home page):

After I left, others from the original team continued working and ten years later, by 2003, PowerPoint revenues for Microsoft exceeded $1 billion annually. By then PowerPoint was being used by over 500 million people worldwide, with over 30 million PowerPoint presentations being made every day.

He did mention the year, 2003 -- and a quick Google search bought up this PDF of a paper from Microsoft Research. The paper is dated October 2003, and this was probably the first time that someone from Microsoft quoted the 30 million figure.

However this paper does credit their source to an article by Ian Parker called Absolute PowerPoint: Can a software package edit our thoughts? This article was published by The New Yorker in their May 28, 2001 issue (pages 76–87), and is still available in the archives at the New Yorker site. In this article, Ian Parker says:

According to Microsoft estimates, at least thirty million PowerPoint presentations are made every day

So who is Ian Parker? He became a staff writer for New Yorker in 2000, and has authored some amazing articles for the publication, but I doubt if anything he has written has achieved the fame and status that his PowerPoint article did! I looked at his other articles, and those are more about literature, the arts, and even current affairs, but not much about technology. Looked up on him online, and there's no contact info available on the New Yorker site; also no Twitter handle! So there's only so much to assume: Parker started this 30 million "rumor" that has raged on for more than a decade. I call this a rumor because nothing or no one has substantiated this claim of 30 million, and although Microsoft somehow may have confirmed this figure by quoting 30 million PowerPoint presentations a few times, it never bothered releasing an updated number in the last 12 years?

Hopefully, we will learn more about these 30 million PowerPoints! Until then, have a great day making and showing cool slides!

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint 2013 allows you to customize the Ribbon in a number of ways -- you can add Ribbon tabs, add Groups, and populate these with commands. And if you think you made a mess and were better off with the defaults, then you can always get back to square one. On another front, you can share your customizations with friends and colleagues -- or also your other computers. And you can export your customizations to a file saved as a backup for a rainy day!



Learn how to reset, export, and import Ribbon customization in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Saturday, February 09, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Four Petals Circle graphics are part of our Petal Circles series that add stylized tips to your circle shapes. These two tip styles: Rounded and Pointed make your circles look different from conventional segmented circle graphics. They also break the monotony of text heavy slides, and help you explain concepts better to your audiences. Using these circle shapes also convinces your audiences that you care enough about them to make the slides look appealing and comprehensible. What's more, these shapes are also so much fun to use!



Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

Labels: , , ,

0 comments








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