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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: September 2013

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

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Color Swatch for PowerPoint 2003: Conversation with Jamie Garroch

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



Jamie GarrochJamie Garroch, CEO of GMARK Ltd. and owner of i-present.co.uk, founded the company to provide presentation professionals with presentation software, content and training. Jamie uses a range of presentation and e-learning tools on PC and Mac from PowerPoint to Keynote, Adobe CS and iSpring for presentations and Articulate Storyline for e-learning. He also uses PowerPoint as a programming environment to create authoring automation for his company's productivity needs, custom add-ins for clients and off-the-shelf products for presentation designers.

In this conversation, Jamie discusses the new Color Swatch add-in for PowerPoint 2003.

Geetesh: Tell us about your free Color Swatch add-in for PowerPoint 2003 users and how this evolved?

Jamie: We love problem solving at GMARK. It's in our DNA and there's nothing better than providing solutions to them for clients and seeing them make a difference in the real world. Outside of our day-to-day client responsibilities, we also love to read about the challenges people face in the wider presenting community. LinkedIn Groups are one of the places we find high quality tips and discussions in addition to some real head-scratching questions.

Recently, someone asked in the Indezine PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff group: What's the best way to convert a PowerPoint 2010 template to PowerPoint 2003?.



During the conversation that ensued, it became apparent that the poster's corporate client needed the same branding colors to be available to both PowerPoint 2010 and 2003 users. While PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2013 provide a more flexible approach to color palettes or 'swatches' through their use of Themes, PowerPoint 2003 provided a more limited set of color schemes. We therefore wondered if it was possible to create an add-in for PowerPoint 2003 that provided extended color features for two distinct user roles within organisations that use multiple version of PowerPoint:

  1. Designer Role: Be able to create a custom color swatch/palette in PowerPoint 2003
  2. User Role: Be able to use the custom color swatch/palette when authoring presentation content

The designer role is a one-off activity and helps the original LinkedIn poster to replicate the custom color swatch available in newer versions of PowerPoint within PowerPoint 2003.

The user role is a day-to-day use case whereby they need to access the extended palette from newer versions of PowerPoint to change text and shape outline & fill colors.

We designed and coded the initial add-in in a single day using the VBA functionality available in PowerPoint although we will add additional features in the coming weeks. The result is a new toolbar that provides both the designer and user extended color features as shown in this screenshot:



You can download the add-in and we'd love to hear what you think of it!

Geetesh: Isn’t it strange that so many corporate clients still use PowerPoint 2003 -- in fact I still do training for clients on 2003! Can you share some thoughts on why PowerPoint 2003 represents such an important client base?

Jamie:There are all sizes of clients, from single consultant business through SMEs to large multi-national corporations. For the smaller companies, they tend to keep up with the latest software technology and are often using the latest version of Microsoft Office, if not the one before.

For larger corporations, keeping up with Microsoft Office, Windows, Exchange and various other software required to keep the company running is a massive investment. It's not just about the cost of upgrading licenses but the testing of a new environment to make sure other interconnected systems don't fall over and eventually, the end user training programs that are required. This can often lead to thousands if not millions of dollars.

Taking an example, we have a client in the US that employees almost half a million people world-wide. They have to upgrade users based on priority and we see the marketing and communications teams [that we interface with] getting the latest versions of Microsoft Office much earlier, often one to two years, than the thousands of sales executives on the field. It's these 'designer' types of roles that need the latest versions of creative software to keep their brand fresh while the 'field' employees tend to consume the content and hence don't need the full authoring access. They could often get away with the free PowerPoint viewer but that's a whole different conversation!

Categories: color, interviews, powerpoint_2003

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2 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



OK -- you want to draw a square box on your slide -- and none of the options within the Shapes gallery are called "Box" or "Square"! Yes, there's a Rectangle option but the shapes drawn using this option almost never have the same width and height. The solution may be to manually resize the Rectangle so that it has the equal proportions of a Square but that again is a long process -- don't you want something easier and quicker? The short answer must be Yes! We already showed you how to draw a perfect circle. Now, we'll show you how to draw a perfect square in PowerPoint 2013 using those same principles.



Learn how to draw a perfect square in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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0 comments




Friday, September 27, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Most of the time, you must start from scratch and then insert a new chart on your PowerPoint slide. This of course brings up Excel with some dummy data -- and indeed you can type in your own data to replace this dummy data. However, what if you already have some data that's within an Excel sheet -- why can't you use that data to create your PowerPoint chart? Why does PowerPoint in fact insist that you use the new Excel sheet and not any of your existing Excel sheets? And even if you must use that new Excel sheet, where does that sheet reside -- and can't you bring in your own data to that sheet in a way that does not make you type everything all over again? Wow -- that's a bunch of very genuine questions -- this article will attempt to provide you with some answers!



Learn how to use already available Excel data to create charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, September 26, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Drawing shapes is drop-dead easy with the vast repertoire of ready-made shapes available in PowerPoint 2013. You can easily insert these shapes with a click or two, but once in a while you may get stumped. One such scenario is when you need to draw a circle -- you'll find that PowerPoint's Shape gallery has no Circle shape! Don't worry -- all is not lost because there is an Oval shape and that can be used to draw a perfect circle.



Learn how to draw a perfect circle in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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0 comments




Wednesday, September 25, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Any typical chart inserted in PowerPoint contains two types of data -- one of these show as the Series within your charts, and the second data type ends up representing Categories. By default, the Series are shown as the individual chart elements -- for example as individual columns in a column chart. Also, the Series show up as the Legend for the chart. Categories on the other hand constitute the groups of these individual columns. If needed, you can quickly swap the visual representation of Series and Categories in the chart.



Learn how to switch data for your Series and Categories in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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0 comments




Tuesday, September 24, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we first explore this new set of Sticky Tape graphics, all with a distinctive polka dot pattern. We then bring you a list of rarely known keyboard sequences that work almost like keyboard shortcuts -- learn how you can use these sequences to change views and align objects in PowerPoint. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn how to space objects, group shapes, and nudge them. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can explore tricks with chart series. And finally, do not miss the new discussions and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



If your PowerPoint slide has umpteen shapes or slide objects, you may find that some of these objects are hidden or overlapped. Or you probably do not know if there are any objects hidden behind the large shape or picture on your slide? How can you tackle this issue? It's easy to solve this problem if you know how to work with the Reorder options. These Reorder options allow you to bring forward any shape or slide object so that it stays right on top of all other objects. Similarly, you can send any shape or slide object behind everything else on your slide.



Learn how to change the order of shapes and other slide objects in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, September 23, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:32 PM IST



Sam Horn, well known as the Intrigue Expert delivered the first keynote session for this year's Presentation Summit on Monday morning.

Embedded image permalink

She started with three questions we all need to ask ourselves:

  1. Are you eager to get up in the morning?

  2. What are you good at that you can point at?

  3. How do you know that you are making a difference?

Here are some thoughts shared by Sam:

  • If you have answers to all these questions, the "light" is probably on in your eyes, and you are in the state of "SerenDestiny".

  • It is not enough for the light to be on in your eyes, you must make the light go on in the eyes of the others.

  • Keep your eyebrows raised up to show intrigue.
    Knit your eyebrows to show confusion

  • What are the three "did-you-know" questions that the decision makers don't know -- and you know. Frame your "did-you-know" questions based on these thoughts:

    The size of the market
    The scope of the solution
    The importance of cost

  • Use the word "imagine" often in your narrative -- your audience will pay more attention, and they will no longer check emails, or do something else. They now have your attention.

  • Make sure your content is such that your audience is smarter than what they were 20 seconds ago.

Sam then involved the audience in an interactive exercise and asked them to first imagine a situation about which they need to convince a decision maker -- here are the steps for this exercise:

  1. What is the situation?

  2. Who is the decision maker?

  3. What do I want the decision maker to do?

Here are some more thoughts from Sam:

  • What are the three eyebrow up questions you have to do for the decision maker. Start with "Did you know......?"

  • Never ask a person, "What do you do?" Ask them instead, "Can you give me an example of what you do?"

  • The empathy telescope says "We can put ourselves in the shoes of one person, we cannot put ourselves in the shoes of thousands".

Sam HornSam Horn has a 25+ year track record as a communication strategist with international clients that include Cisco, Fortune 500 Forum, MPI, Intel, NASA, and Four Seasons Resorts. She has authored five books and has been interviewed as a media resource on every network and in every major city. To learn more, visit her site. Categories: powerpoint, presentationsummit

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4 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



OK, so you want to change the order of your data series? Let's say your data series are Grapes, Apples, and Bananas -- and these show up in exactly the same order. Now, what if you want to change this order to Grapes, Bananas, and Apples? Yes, you could make these changes in the Excel sheet that contains the data for your PowerPoint chart -- but there must be an easier way? Indeed, there is -- read further to learn.



Learn how to change the order in which chart data series display in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Friday, September 20, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These "sticky tape" graphics have polka dot patterns and are already placed in PowerPoint slides – just copy them and paste within your slides to create a look that makes a picture, shape, or anything else appear as if it has been stuck on a surface, board, or wall with tape! These ready-made sticky tape segments are already within PowerPoint slides -- and have been provided in 10 different colors – and all colors have various transparency variations.



Download these sticky tapes, and use them in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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0 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Nudging a shape or any other slide object is essentially moving it just a wee bit, preferably using the arrow keys on your keyboard rather than the mouse. The Move option is different from a Nudge -- it is more of a super-nudge, and you can also use the mouse to move rather than just nudge. PowerPoint provides more than one way to nudge or move any selected shape or slide object.



Learn how to nudge or move shapes in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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0 comments




Thursday, September 19, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint 2011, the entire data that shows up on your chart in the form of series and categories is stored within an Excel sheet. These series and categories may show up on your chart in different ways -- sometimes as an individual column or a set of columns within a column chart. For some charts, this data may also be represented as values or a legend. However, almost any chart type -- even if it is not a column chart compares a set of values. Once you delete any of these values, they no longer show on your chart -- so the level of comparison reduces. However deleting is not always the best option, especially if you want to retrieve those values later whenever required. The solution is to temporarily hide values you no longer need -- and then unhide as and when you want to expose those values.



Learn how to hide Series and Categories for charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Many users are familiar with keyboard shortcuts -- yet there are no real shortcuts for tasks users need to perform all the time -- this includes changing PowerPoint 2007's views or even aligning or reordering slide objects. Thankfully, there are many keyboard sequences that work for these tasks. Most sequences entail that you press two buttons -- and then press a third button after a moment. So if the keyboard sequence is listed as Alt+S > H -- then you must press the Alt and S keys together -- let go those two keys and then press the H key.



Explore our listing of keyboard sequences for PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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0 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



So what exactly does grouping mean? And what is ungrouping and regrouping going to do further? The moment you select a slide object such as a shape on a PowerPoint slide, you will see some selection handles -- this indicates that the shape is selected. Select another shape while the first one is still selected and you see two sets of selection handles. If you need to similarly select many shapes on a slide fairly often, this sort of selection may become cumbersome -- and waste so much time. In that case, it's best you select all the shapes you need to work with, and then combine them into one "group".



Learn how to group, ungroup, and regroup shapes in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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0 comments




Tuesday, September 17, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we bring you our revamped Sticky Tape collection – this works like the real sticky tapes but is limited to your slides! Have you wondered why there are no keyboard shortcuts to change views or even align objects in PowerPoint? We have no solutions but we got something close enough to work – we call these keyboard sequences! And we have an amazing interview with Tom Howell on how he creates fancy videos using PowerPoint. Claudyne Wilder is featured again with an awesome article on holding your audience’s attention. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about aligning and distributing shapes. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn about using proofing dictionaries of foreign languages – and how they can edit chart data. And finally, do not miss the new discussions and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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0 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Any new chart that you add within PowerPoint 2011 has its roots in Excel -- all the data for the chart is also stored within an Excel sheet. Editing chart data within Excel involves a little more than just changing values. There may be times when you want to add a new Series or Category -- in chart terminology, Series are represented by individual columns within your Excel sheet -- these show up as the columns within a typical column chart. Categories on the other hand are essentially a set of series. Let's now learn how we can add and delete Series and Categories.



Learn how to add and delete Series and Categories for charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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0 comments




Monday, September 16, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Many users are familiar with keyboard shortcuts -- yet there are no real shortcuts for tasks users need to perform all the time -- this includes changing PowerPoint 2010's views or even aligning or reordering slide objects. Thankfully, there are many keyboard sequences that work for these tasks. Most sequences entail that you press two buttons -- and then press a third button after a moment. So if the keyboard sequence is listed as Alt+S > H -- then you must press the Alt and S keys together -- let go those two keys and then press the H key.



Explore our listing of keyboard sequences for PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

Labels: ,

0 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



With many objects, your slide may end up looking crowded -- and that's certainly something you do not want to happen. At times though, your slide may appear cluttered even if you really do not have too many objects -- and this can happen because the objects are not spaced out well in relation to each other. You obviously want your slide objects to be properly spaced -- and in earlier versions of PowerPoint, you could achieve proper spacing with the help of Align and Distribute options -- and these options are still available. However, you can now space your objects merely by dragging them around in PowerPoint 2013, with the help of Smart Guides.



Learn how to space objects equally in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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0 comments




Friday, September 13, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Many users are familiar with keyboard shortcuts -- yet there are no real shortcuts for tasks users need to perform all the time -- this includes changing PowerPoint's views or even aligning or reordering slide objects. Thankfully, there are many keyboard sequences that work for these tasks. Most sequences entail that you press two buttons -- and then press a third button after a moment. So if the keyboard sequence is listed as Alt+S > H -- then you must press the Alt and S keys together -- let go those two keys and then press the H key.



Explore our listing of keyboard sequences for PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

Labels: ,

0 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you insert a chart in PowerPoint 2011, you might notice that Excel pops up with some dummy data for your chart -- you then change the data within the Excel sheet to auto-update the chart within PowerPoint. However, this Excel instance that stores your data has no separate existence -- there's no separate Excel sheet that contains your data. In fact, this Excel sheet is stored within your PowerPoint presentation itself. Now, what do you do when you want to edit the underlying data?



Learn how to edit chart data in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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0 comments




Thursday, September 12, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



There is a belief floating around out there about presenting that goes something like this: "We've got to be consistent. Act consistent. Look consistent. Talk in the same consistent voice. Show the same slides. This will brand our company."

Yes, that will certainly brand your company with your audience. They'll think of you as the company that makes boring presentations. We will talk about the slides another time. Today let's talk about the presenter.

Misconception 1: I have to keep the same pace during my whole talk. "I should start talking and stop when my presentation is finished."

Reality: Anything done the same way over a period of time is boring. To talk with the same speed and voice inflection is boring. To not change the speed of your delivery is boring. You must also change the tone of your voice. If you don't, you will hypnotize your audience into a trance. They'll just sit there, not really listening nor engaging in what you are saying.

Exercise: When talking, practice slowing down your speed. Say the words and points that are most important to your audience much more slowly.

Misconception 2: I should keep the same voice volume. "I can't change my voice volume. That's just me being quiet."

Reality: Your speaking in a quiet voice all the time will also hypnotize your audience. You must vary the volume. Not everything you say is of the same importance. When you are delivering your key points, make your voice louder at the beginning of each one. This signals to your audience that you are about to make an important point.

Exercise: When talking, practice speaking softer and louder. Listen to how you signal to your audience that you have something very important to tell them.



Claudyne WilderClaudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.

Do visit Claudyne's site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.

Claudyne's next Get to the Message Workshop in Boston is September 9 and 10, 2013. It is a very small intimate group with only ten people.

See Also: Claudyne Wilder on Indezine

Categories: delivery, guest_post, presentation_skills

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