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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: October 2013

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

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Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Chart Area Font Options

Thursday, October 31, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



By default, text used within a chart is not really formatted and looks very simple. Note that the font style used by default is derived from the information available within the Theme or template used for the slides. Now you really should not change the text formats within your chart unless you have a compelling reason to do so because there's no reason to make appearances inconsistent just because PowerPoint allows you to do so!



Learn how to format text within the Chart Area in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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



by Eric Albertson, Doug Neff, Corey Rothermel from Duarte.com/edy



We’ve all seen them. We may have even created them ourselves. Frankenslides.

You know, the decks where we borrow a few slides from that person in Finance and combine them with the product slides from Engineering, then throw in a few compulsory "features and benefits" slides from Marketing—each of which has its own look and feel? The content may be great, but the execution—not so much. The inconsistent treatment of all those different design elements leaves your audience feeling unsettled and makes your idea seem only half-baked.

So how do you combine slides from different decks so that they don’t end up being a mess?

  1. Apply a consistent template. Choose one template to use for your deck, and apply that to all your slides. This will create a consistent color scheme and background for every slide in your deck. Note that applying the template to slides from other decks may shift things around on your slides, so be prepared to re-align text boxes, titles, photos, charts, etc. Still, this is a good first step in getting all your slides to look like they belong together.


  2. Apply slide layouts. Once you have all your slides in a consistent template, go back and apply the appropriate slide layout for the type of content you have. Assuming the content was created in the regular placeholders, this will snap titles back to their correct locations, change the font to the template font, and bring another layer of consistency to your slides.


  3. Make colors, fonts and images consistent. Even after applying layouts, there may still be elements that need updating.

    Colors: Go through and make sure all of the colors are ones from the template’s color scheme.

    Fonts: Check all the fonts to make sure there are no incorrect ones in there. A good technique is to use the Replace Fonts feature to update the fonts in the whole document. In addition to the font itself, make sure the formatting is consistent. For example, if you highlight text with bold and red, make sure you use that design element consistently throughout the presentation.

    Images: Look at the images (photos and illustrations) in your document. Do they all look like they came from the same photo session or the same illustration library? Do you have a mixture of styles, like photos and clip art? Remove or replace graphics that do not fit within the photo or illustration style. Also, make sure you've used a consistent image treatment (outline, reflection, shadow, shape, bevel, etc.)


  4. Review your slides in Slide Sorter mode. Once you feel like you have your slides in order, put them in Slide Sorter mode to see them all at a glance. What stands out? The things that are not consistent will jump out. Address these things, and then repeat this step until all the slides feel like they belong to the same family.

You can combine slides from other sources, but make sure you take the time to make them consistent. Otherwise, your dream deck will come across as a nightmare!


Duarte.com/edy is a web series from the minds at Duarte that teaches the ABCs of creating great presentations, told with a little humor, a bit of advice, and maybe a monster or two. Eric Albertson serves as the Director of Instructional Design at Duarte. Doug Neff is the Content Director. Corey Rothermel is the web series director.

See Also: Duarte.com/edy: Conversation with Eric, Doug, and Corey

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills, training

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Add a quick gradient fill to your shape, and you may run into limitations -- for one, PowerPoint's default gradient options choose all the gradient colors for you -- and all available gradients seem to be based on the same color family. While this sort of restraint does keep your slides looking consistent and aesthetic, they also seem to prevent you from playing more with gradients. To play more, you must choose the More Gradients option -- this option leads you to a detailed gradient editor that's capable of making changes to the gradient type, direction, angle, color, etc. We explain these extra gradient options available within PowerPoint 2013 in this tutorial.



Learn about the different options within More Gradients in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, David Cowan of FlexiPrez discusses the new FlexiPrez add-in for PowerPoint that lets you make your PowerPoint presentations more interactive. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn all about the basic and advanced options that let you play with picture fills within shapes. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can explore Data Labels in charts, and also the entire Chart Area. 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 9:00 AM IST



In the charts you create within PowerPoint, the Chart Area doesn't show any fill or any kind of formatting unless you have applied a particular Chart Style -- in fact the Chart Area is completely transparent with no fill or outline attribute. This default status works well most of the time since essentially the Chart Area is just the area above which all chart elements are placed. However, you can opt to format this area as required -- this is quite easy and entails just a few clicks.



Learn how to change appearance of the Chart Area in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, October 28, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Gears – these denote that things are moving, something is happening. Yes, gears mean action. Did you ever wanted to use animated or non animated gear graphics in your PowerPoint slides? We created these special gear graphics for you that animate perfectly all the time. What’s more, we animated each of these gears so that you can be sure that they will work perfectly. Even better, we welcome you to copy these animated gears and paste them in your own slides. What could be easier?



Download and use these gears in your slides.

Categories: animation, design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Gradient fills are typically blended fills between two or more colors that graduate from one color to another. Although shapes filled with gradients look so incredible, make sure you choose the colors that form the gradient very carefully. PowePoint's basic gradients are all very useable since they just blend a basic color with white or black making the result lighter or darker.



Learn how to add a Gradient fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, October 25, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



The Chart Area is essentially the entire area that encompasses your chart. Everything on the chart is placed atop this area -- thus you can say that the Chart Area is that part of your chart that's placed below all other chart elements. By default, the Chart Area doesn't show any fill or any formatting unless you have used a particular Chart Style. Even though this default status works well, you can opt to format as required. You can change the appearance of the Chart Area, or make the entire chart text use a single font attribute, or change the position of the chart on the slide with just a few clicks.



Learn about Chart Area in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, October 24, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



There is much more you can do to your picture fill after adding a picture fill to a shape -- you can play around with the parameters for transparency, tiling, etc. This tutorial covers these advanced options for picture fills in PowerPoint 2013. These extra options can help you if you want your picture fill to stand apart and look out of the ordinary.



Learn how to use advanced picture fill options in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Adding Data Labels to your charts in PowerPoint is one of the ways to make it more effective. But sometimes using this option may spoil the look of your chart because the Data Labels you used are too long and overlap each other, below where Series names show as Data Labels. To avoid this kind of issues, and also to format the Data Labels for different purposes such as adding some more elements to them, or change their text color etc, you need to format them as explained in this tutorial.



Explore other options to format Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, Kurt Dupont of PresentationPoint discusses the new DataPoint 2 add-in for PowerPoint that lets you interface your slides with databases. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about changing charts from one type to another, and working with shape fills. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can also explore Data Labels in charts. 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



Picture fills may appear convincing or confusing -- well it all depends upon the type of picture you use for the fill. Do remember that using a detailed or crowded picture as a fill for a small shape will get you no awards for slide design! It's best to use pictures that have one focused object or are subtle in nature for this purpose. Any shape on your slide in PowerPoint 2013 can be provided with a picture fill in the same way as you add or change solid fills or gradient fills.



Learn how to add a picture fill to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, October 21, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



David CowanDavid Cowan is developer of the FlexiPrez add-in for PowerPoint. Although his educational background is in Civil Engineering, he has also worked in Project and Business Management roles including with the Salvation Army in Zambia and Bible College SA in Adelaide, Australia. It was while working in the education field that he developed an interest in making PowerPoint presentations more interactive, particularly for lecturers. This interest eventually led to the development of FlexiPrez.

In this conversation, David discusses FlexiPrez.

Geetesh: Tell us more about FlexiPrez, how this PowerPoint add-in evolved and how everyday users can benefit.

David: This add-in had its origins in 2003 when, while observing lecturers using PowerPoint, I noticed that class interaction could be stifled when a lecturer was reluctant to deviate from the predetermined order of slides. So commenced a personal interest project to see if there was a way to make PowerPoint presentations more interactive and flexible.

Slide hierarchies: The starting point was a consideration of the way slides are arranged in presentations. If text documents were more readable when grouped under headings and sub headings then could a similar arrangement be helpful for PowerPoint presentations?

Initially there was much experimentation to discover a simple means of rearranging slides. The breakthrough came with the arrival of PowerPoint 2007 when new features, together with the .NET Framework, made it possible to group slides under multi-level headings using a graphical user interface.



Slide navigation: It is one thing to group slides under multi-level headings, it is another to navigate them without becoming hopelessly lost!

What was needed was a non-linear method of slide navigation where presenters could still press an arrow key or click a mouse and have the slideshow intuitively advance to the correct slide. In particular, these features were required:

  • Hyperlinks and other jumps needed to return automatically since jumps to slides would originate from more than one source.

  • Presenters needed constant awareness, not only of where they were within the presentation but also of what was going to happen on the next mouse click or key press.

  • A powerful search facility was needed to locate slides quickly.

With these features in mind, a Slideshow Control, providing presenters with the tools and feedback necessary for user-friendly non-linear navigation, was developed.

Hyperlinks: With the likelihood that presentations would be larger and contain many more hyperlinks, a more efficient approach to creating and maintaining hyperlinks was necessary. The solution was to give each slide a distinctive name and make the text of any hyperlink pointing to the slide match.

Once this was put in place, it was then possible to develop a special Hyperlink Tool that could quickly create hyperlinks and ensure links were not broken.

Originally commencing as a personal interest project, in recent years the software has been further developed and made ready for release to the public. It will be of interest to educators, executives, salespeople and the like.

Its main benefits can be summarized in this way:

  • Communication and learning: Grouping material under multi-level headings significantly enhances communication and learning in PowerPoint presentations just as it does for text documents.

  • Interaction: With the ability to access any slide or change direction at any time, presenters are better able to interact with audiences. They are not restricted to progressing linearly from one slide to the next.

  • Quality: Because of the way slides are grouped, presenters can replace their smaller presentations with one large, high quality, reusable presentation. Continuous improvement over time is made easier because there are no duplicated slides.

Geetesh: What can an average PowerPoint user accomplish with FlexiPrez in the first 30 minutes of using?

David: For users looking to show non-linear presentations developed by others, 30 minutes is more than enough time to become familiar with the FlexiPrez slideshow control and experiment with showing a presentation. A user manual is available

For users looking to author their own presentations, the first 30 minutes could be used to have a quick look at the sample presentation, work through an introductory tutorial and create a simple non-linear presentation. The 12 minute Introducing FlexiPrez video series is also a useful learning tool. All of these learning aids are available from the Welcome Screen which appears when FlexiPrez is first enabled.



FlexiPrez is quite intuitive and forgiving. Users can try enabling FlexiPrez for one of their own presentations and experimenting. Comprehensive help screens are available.

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint, you can use category names, series names, or values as Data Labels within charts -- more often than not, most charts show values as Data Labels -- and values denote numbers! When you use numbers as Data Labels, you may want to format them for several reasons such as limiting or expanding the number of decimal digits shown, or including the currency symbol along with the values, or show the value in percentage etc.



Learn how to format Chart Data Labels (numbers) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Friday, October 18, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Whenever a new shape is inserted on a slide in PowerPoint 2013, it is filled by default with a solid color (or something else depending on the Theme your presentation is based on). Other than a solid fill type, PowerPoint 2013 provides several more options that let you fill a shape with a picture, a gradient, a pattern, or a texture -- and we have explored these other fill options in our Fills for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can work with solid color fills.



Learn how to add solid fill to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, October 17, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint even though you can use Category or Series names as Data Labels, most of the time users tend to use Values as Data Labels. Values are typically numbers, and there are many ways in which you can format these Data Labels. You may want to do so for several reasons such as limiting or expanding the number of decimal digits shown, or to show a currency symbol along with the values, or even to show the value in percentage etc. Do note that these format changes can be made both within Excel and PowerPoint -- in this tutorial, we explore how you do so in Excel at the data level (all data for PowerPoint charts resides in Excel).



Learn how to format numbers used as Chart Data Labels using Excel in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Kurt DupontKurt Dupont, based out of Belgium heads PresentationPoint, a company that creates several amazing PowerPoint add-ins. After his Computer Science studies, Kurt started with Andersen Consulting (Accenture nowadays) in Brussels. After 3 years he moved to the Brussels Airport Terminal Company that runs the Brussels airport - this last placement inspired the start-up of Take-off (now known as PresentationPoint) in 1998.

In this conversation, Kurt discusses DataPoint 2, the new version of his flagship product that lets you integrate data from external sources within PowerPoint slides.

Geetesh: DataPoint is already a very capable PowerPoint add-in that displays updated data streams on slides – what's been updated for the new version 2 release?

Kurt: Well, in this major update of our DataPoint product we've completely rewritten the code based on the latest technologies and also based on the latest Microsoft PowerPoint versions, especially Office 2010 and 2013. So we are now fully using the Ribbon. We have made an inventory of all user comments and with that list in mind we have built DataPoint 2.0.

One important change for database connections is that a DataPoint connection is now split up in a connection and a query. So now you first set up your connection (server name, database, username and password) and afterwards you set up one or multiple SQL statements or queries collecting different information. The big advantage here is that you do not have to maintain the connection information at every DataPoint connection. So when your password changes, you only have to modify this on the connection level and it will work for all queries.

Also interesting is that you now can put rules on a textbox or a table. First of all, you define a rule or condition. Then you specify an action. So when a certain value of your database returns negative values, then DataPoint can display the value or the background of the textbox in red. With these dynamic rules you can better emphasize the dynamic content of your presentation so that the viewers can take appropriate actions.

You can now also display some additional information next to your database content. You can set a text that should be shown before or after your database value. For example when you have a price column in your database, then you will of course display the price of a given product, but automatically you will add $-sign before the number. DataPoint can execute these repetitive tasks for you. Furthermore you can display a custom text e.g. 'There is a problem with our database' whenever network or database errors are encountered.



But best of all is now the new charting object of Microsoft that is now fully open and operational as before with the older Microsoft Graph object. Now again you can create real-time charts within PowerPoint with the new charting look which is much cleaner than before.

We have spent time on additional connections for DataPoint like we now directly support XML, Twitter feeds, MySQL, Oracle and now you can also display a real-time RSS feed of your favorite news channel directly in your presentation.

Now you will have no reason anymore to interrupt your running slide show and to modify its content

Geetesh: Who is the typical DataPoint user -- can you share some success stories?

Kurt: Everyone that has news, information, figures, targets, etc. can use DataPoint. Think about a school announcing class room changes or school messages. Factories displaying safety instructions or just the 'number of days without an accident' is frequently seen. Police stations displaying images of missing people, announcements of speeding controls. Hospitals displaying welcome information and guidance.

But next to online information as a real-time presentation, we also have customers that use DataPoint for statistics and reporting. For example you can run a customized proposal for your potential customer for insurances. Or generate a large product catalogue with our data scrolling feature. So DataPoint will create a slide for each product that you have in your product catalogue.

The best reference of DataPoint is Sotheby's, a multinational corporation operating as a broker of fine and decorative art. We regularly see them in the news when they have set another record selling e.g. the most expensive diamante ring. They use DataPoint for their auctions where they display in real-time an image of the object they are selling currently, accompanied with the hot pricing information of their bidders. That's DataPoint in action there.

See Also: NewsPoint: Conversation with Kurt Dupont

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint, presentationpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you insert shapes within a PowerPoint 2013 slide, you will notice that all shapes you insert contain the same fill. Most of the time, the shapes may contain a solid color fill. Similarly, you may insert hundreds of shapes and they all have this same default fill -- have you ever wanted to change this fill to something else? Before we explore changing fills, it is important to understand that the default fill you see for new, inserted shapes is influenced by the Theme applied to your presentation -- all new presentations have a simple Theme applied to them -- this Theme decides the default color or style for the new shape. Thus, all new shapes that you insert will have the same fill.



Learn about different fills types for shapes in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we bring you the fantastic Halloween PowerPoint Kit that contains everything you need to create Halloween themed picture slides. Chris Caruso of Brainshark discusses how you can use Embedly with Brainshark content to share it so much more elegantly on Facebook and LinkedIn. Dave Paradi discusses the fascinating results of his 2013 Annoying PowerPoint Survey. PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about various Chart Elements, including the Legend. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can also explore charting stuff such as Quick Layouts, Chart Titles and Data Labels. 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 9:00 AM IST



Adding Data Labels to your charts in PowerPoint is one of the ways in which you can make them more effective and relevant for your audience. Using options within the Format Data Labels dialog box, you can further format Data Labels to suit your requirements, as explained in this tutorial.



Learn how to format Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, October 14, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint 2013 provides all the basic chart types such as Column, Bar, Line, Pie, etc. -- and also some advanced charts like Radar, Surface etc. Together, all these chart types work for almost every kind of graphical data representation. To change a chart type from one to another, you first need to insert a chart in PowerPoint 2013. Thereafter, follow these steps to change the chart type.



Learn how you can change your chart type from one to another in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Friday, October 11, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Data Labels in charts are used to display the value, or the name of the Chart Series, or Categories right above or next to the Series on the chart. Adding Data Labels can help the presenter reveal exact values along with the Series, so that he or she need not check on the Y axis to ascertain approximate values of any Series. In this tutorial, let us learn how to add Data Labels in a chart.



Learn how to add Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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