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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: April 2013

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting News: April 30, 2013

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



We first explore how you can share PowerPoint slides with anyone who has an online connection, and how they can view your slides with full fidelity even if they have no PowerPoint installed, thanks to the new Microsoft Office Web Viewer. We then explore some cool VBA code that lets you remove underlines from descenders -- read more to understand this well. We also look at common video and audio formats, and which versions of PowerPoint are compatible with each of these formats. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about the new Guide options, whereas PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users will explore cool stuff you can do with videos (movie clips).



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You can always use movie clips inserted in your PowerPoint slides as they are. However, to enhance their appearance and make them look more coordinated with the look of your slides, you can also apply Corrections, Recolor, Movie Styles, and Movie Borders to your inserted movies. Having said so, you are certainly not limited to the options mentioned above -- PowerPoint also offers you Movie Effects, which are very similar to Shape Effects. Movie Effects let you apply various effects such as Shadow, Glow, Bevel, 3-D Rotation, Soft Edges etc. to a selected movie clip.



Learn how to apply various Movie Effects to movie clips in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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Monday, April 29, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already showed how you can turn off notifications in Windows 8 for a while -- maybe you want these notifications off while you are presenting your PowerPoint slides. Although these notifications can be useful, some of them can be very irritating and even embarrassing when you show slides to an audience. Some people hate them so much that they want them barred even when they are not presenting -- if your thought processes work the same way, you can turn these notifications off permanently.



Learn how to permanently turn off notifications in Windows 8.

Categories: microsoft_windows, tutorials

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Saturday, April 27, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Different PowerPoint versions support a number of audio file formats – obviously, the new PowerPoint versions support a larger number of file formats for audio. This table provides information about audio file format compatibility at a quick glance.



Learn about the audio file formats that are supported by various PowerPoint versions.

Categories: powerpoint, sounds

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Friday, April 26, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



After placing a movie clip on your slide, you can do so much to enhance its look. For example, you may apply corrections, or recolor your movies. Additionally, you can also apply any of the preset Movie Styles available which is a quick and easy way to enhance the look of your movie clip without spending too much time. In addition, there are few more options that PowerPoint 2011 provides -- in this tutorial, we'll explore how to add a frame like effect to your movie by using the Border option.



Learn how to add and edit borders for video (movie) clips in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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Thursday, April 25, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Among the many new features in PowerPoint 2013, probably the most useful yet less obvious ones are the capabilities added to Guides. New for this version are these extra capabilities: Guides can be added through the right-click menu, and you can add new Guides that are offset to your existing Guides. Guides also no longer need to be gray in color -- you can choose from 10 colors. You need not drag a Guide off the slide to remove it -- there's a dedicated Delete option.



Explore new Guide options in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Let us say that you want to share your PowerPoint presentations with others – but you don’t know if they have a version of PowerPoint installed on their computers. Or what if you change your presentation slides, and you want your audience or intended recipients to always have access to your updated content? If either of these scenarios sounds familiar to you, then you will love Microsoft’s new Microsoft Office Web Viewer.



Learn how to share PowerPoint presentations online, using the Microsoft Office Web Viewer.

Categories: online_presentations, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Movie Styles work for movie clips in the same way as Shape Styles work for shapes. PowerPoint provides you with ready to use Movie Styles for your movie (video) clips which add edges, constrain your movie clip to shapes, and also add effects to your movie clip -- and all of this can be applied with just a single click. Your movie clips no longer need to be rectangular -- some of the Movie Styles change the movie clip so that it plays within an oval or a rounded rectangle. Movie Styles also transform the look of your inserted movie clips by applying borders, 3-D effects, shadows, frames, etc. around your movie clip.



Learn how to apply preset Movie Styles to movie clips in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Do you like it when the underline you use for any word crosses the descenders for some characters? Looks like a strike-through? The good news is that you can stop underlining your descenders! That was about text -- and now about pictures. Here's a question: Are you sure that the Creative Commons licensed picture on Flickr is essentially an original picture? Get answers to this burning question! We also have an interview with Jan Schultink, author of a new book called Pitch It! And to top it all, you'll find the last installment of our Pushpin graphics collection. Finally, you will find simple-to-understand, cross referenced tutorials on PowerPoint tasks. If you use PowerPoint 2013 for Windows, look at our tutorials on working with Grids. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users will enjoy tutorials on Poster frames and Correction adjustments for movie clips.



Read in Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Once you have made Guides visible on your PowerPoint slides, they show up in the same position on all other slides within the presentation. You'll find that only two Guides -- one horizontal and one vertical Guide are visible at first, and these two Guides intersect at the center of the slide. Most of the time, this might work for you, but you can actually add more Guides since these can help in positioning slide objects better across successive slides.



Learn how to add more Guides in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Monday, April 22, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Different PowerPoint versions support a plethora of video file formats – not surprisingly, the new PowerPoint versions support a larger number of file formats for video. This table provides information about video file format compatibility at a quick glance.



Learn about the video file formats that are supported by various PowerPoint versions.

Categories: movies, powerpoint, tutorials, video

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



PowerPoint 2011 allows you make limited changes to your inserted movie clips. In a previous tutorial, we have already explored how you can correct the brightness and contrast for an inserted movie by using the Corrections option. Additionally, you can also completely recolor your inserted movie -- for example, you can make your full color movie appear grayscale, or even like a duo-toned movie combining grayscale with any one color such as blue, green, etc. Do remember that the movie Recolor options work almost similarly to Picture Recolor options.



Learn about the Recolor options for videos (movies) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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Saturday, April 20, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Most applications underline everything you select -- the process is simple: you select a word, a sentence, or even an entire paragraph -- and then press a keyboard shortcut or choose an option so that all the selected text is underlined. PowerPoint behaves the same way -- but there's a difference -- not in the resultant text, but in how the text appears. Let us not forget that PowerPoint is a large format -- more akin to a billboard than a business card -- and text is often projected at large sizes.



Learn how you can selectively remove underlines from descender characters.

Categories: design, powerpoint, text, tutorials

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Friday, April 19, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Making gridlines visible on your slides in PowerPoint 2013 is only a good idea if you use the Grid feature to attain some results. If you are serious about using Grids to position slide objects with more precision, you must first visit the options available for changing Grid settings. Once you have played around with the grid settings, you are better equipped and prepared to explore how the Snap to Grid feature can help you accurately position and move slide objects such as pictures, shapes, or anything else you can select and move on a slide!



Learn how the Snap to Grid option works in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Thursday, April 18, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Pushpins can be used to pin a picture, or a note, or a letter to a surface, a notice-board, or a wall. Using our ready-made pushpin graphics, you can create a similar look on your slides that makes a picture, shape, or anything else appear as if it has been pinned! Here’s another set of pushpin graphics that look like real pushpins on your slides! These ready-made pushpin graphics are contained within the presentation you will download. You’ll see them in five colors. Just copy them and paste them on the edges of pictures in your presentation.



Download and use these pushpins in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Once you insert a movie clip on your slide in PowerPoint 2011, you may find out that the clip is too dark or light in terms of appearance. This is similar to what you may see on your television, especially a new television where you have to make a few adjustments to get the picture just right. Similar corrections can be made in any of the movie clips you insert within your PowerPoint slides. It's very important to understand that such adjustments may not only be necessary for the appearance of the movie clips on your computer, but also for how they show when projected onto a screen or even on a connected TV. Projectors are typically not as bright as computer screens, and some adjustments may help.



Learn about the Correction Adjustment options for videos (movies) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Flickr does happen to be among the best resources for Creative Commons pictures. Yet how do you know that the Creative Commons licensed picture that you have found on Flickr is indeed an original asset? Even outside of Flickr, there are so many copied pictures serenading as originals -- including some you find on Google's Image Search.



I do think that Flickr is a better source for original pictures -- but that may not always be true. As my friend, David Marcovitz rightly pointed out that "there's not much to stop someone from downloading any picture (legally or illegally) and posting it to Flickr and putting a Creative Commons License on it! Of course, most of the time, pictures on Flickr are posted by the people who take them, and I tell my students all the time to go to Flickr and search for Creative Commons pictures, but that is far from a guarantee of the picture's true status."

Completely agree with you, David! In fact, I am often asked whether Flickr is a more dependable source for original pictures compared to other sites -- and my answer is in the affirmative because there are a few Flickr features that make this site a better resource for copyright free pictures. But before we reach conclusions, let us ask some questions, similar to the ones David asked in the preceding paragraph:

  • Can anyone just create a Flickr account and upload some pictures that are not necessarily their own?

  • Can such Flickr members also attribute those pictures to a Creative Commons license?

  • Can such members continue doing so forever?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes for the first two questions. Fortunately, the answer is no for the last question!

I must add that it does not pay to be pessimistic about this whole topic. There are indeed millions of genuine Creative Commons pictures on Flickr -- and with a little housekeeping, you can certainly filter out the counterfeit stuff from the real. It also pays to be proactive by doing some research.

This is what I do when I look for Creative Commons licensed pictures on Flickr:

  • Copied pictures may not have the camera info on Flickr. Most people who upload others' pictures may only have access to an altered or compressed picture that no longer has any EXIF data -- the data that Flickr uses to tell you which camera was used to click the picture. Of course not all pictures are clicked with cameras -- you may want to use some digital art or even a composition created from multiple pictures -- in that case, you may ignore the lack of any camera information.



  • If there are a set of pictures clicked by the same photographer -- available on their Flickr profile -- then that may also be something to consider. Most pictures are clicked with digital cameras -- and most photographers click way too many pictures. With larger bandwidth availability and higher megapixel cameras, you may find that there are several pictures similar to the one you have chosen -- that's always a great sign to indicate that the pictures are original.

  • If the person has been a Flickr user for many years, then that reputation also counts. People who misuse others' pictures can get banned on Flickr and their accounts can be removed. If you end up finding someone uploading copied pictures to Flickr, you can take a proactive approach. Go to the Flickr page of the copied picture -- scroll down the page and look for a Report abuse link -- yes, the link is very well hidden -- if you cannot find it, use your browser's Find option to locate it!



  • Finally, check if this person has a free or Pro account on Flickr. Flickr's free account has many limitations that most professional photographers would not enjoy. I am not saying that Free account users have no right to upload genuine pictures and share them -- rather I am saying that very few offenders will create a Pro account, pay for it, and then upload pictures to share with everyone!

Even if you take all these issues into consideration, there may always be an occasion when you may be fooled -- but at least you tried your best! Remember that being curious and intuitive can help -- and that's where a human can score higher than a computer!

See Also: Attributing Creative Commons Pictures in your PowerPoint Slides

Categories: copyrights, flickr, pictures, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Once you make Gridlines visible on your slide in PowerPoint 2013, you may wonder if there's really any benefit using the Gridlines other than the obvious benefit of possessing a visual grid that lets you place slide objects. The answer is both Yes and No -- Yes because that's all you may believe happens on the surface -- and No because you should know about how the Snap to Grid option works -- this option is not active by default! The Snap to Grid option helps to get the proper position of the slide objects. Other than making this option active, you can change the grid settings -- such as changing the spacing in between the gridlines.



Learn how the gridlines snap and help you position slide objects in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We get you an exclusive interview with Drew Banks of Prezi -- he discusses the success and origins of Prezi -- and what sets it apart from other slide programs. Brainshark's Andy Zimmerman discusses their new Sales Enablement Portal -- and Jerry Weissman talks about his new book, Winning Strategies for Power Presentations. We also get your more pushpin graphics for your slides this week. Finally, you will find simple-to-understand, cross referenced tutorials on PowerPoint tasks. If you use PowerPoint 2013 for Windows, look at our tutorials on Gridlines and Guides that help you position your slide objects in place. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users will enjoy tutorials on Text Transforms and Inserting Movie clips.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you insert a video in your presentation, you might see that the placed video clip displays a blank or black rectangle on the slide. If your video clip does not show a black rectangle, then of course there is no issue concerned. However, if it does show this black rectangle, your viewers may not find this appealing at all. With PowerPoint 2011's Poster Frame feature, you can easily overcome this limitation, and change the black rectangle to an image by selecting a frame from the video itself, or even a picture from a different source.



Learn how to add a Poster Frame for your video clips in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: movies, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials, video

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