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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: February 2014

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

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Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows: Drawing Lines

Friday, February 28, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint is primarily considered a slide program within which you can bring in text, graphics, multimedia, animation, etc. to deliver your message or story. Working with PowerPoint, you will discover an amazing repertoire of tools that you can use to create awesome slides. Beyond being a tool to create slides, PowerPoint is also a great drawing program with tools and options that rival top end graphic programs. This introductory tutorial shows you how to draw a simple line on the slide.



Learn how to draw a line in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, February 27, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



On a touch device such as Micosoft's Surface tablets, you may not have access to a regular keyboard and mouse. Everything happens with a tap or a slide or some other gesture. Unlike the desktop versions of Office programs, the touch versions have a floatie -- this is a floating toolbar that contains options that are relevant to the tapped object. There are various floatie iterations -- the one you see is dependent on the tapped slide object. Other than the Shape floatie and the Picture floatie, there's also the Text floatie that we explore in this tutorial. Tap on any selected text to see the Text floatie.



Explore various options within the text floatie in PowerPoint 2013 on a touch device.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, powerpoint_touch, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Carmine Gallo is a communication coach for the world’s most admired brands. He has helped transform the storytelling culture at Intel, Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, Chevron, and many others. He is an Emmy award-winning journalist, Forbes.com columnist, and popular keynote speaker on the topic of leadership and communication.

In this conversation, Carmine discusses his new book, Talk Like TED.

Geetesh: Your new book, Talk Like TED talks about how anyone can deliver TED like presentations. What made you notice these characteristics that set some presentations apart from the others?

Carmine: The annual TED conference and the smaller, independent TEDx events have raised the bar on presentation excellence.

TED is now the gold standard by which many presenters are measured. Like it or not, you're being compared to TED. I studied 500 TED talks (150 hours’ worth), interviewed the most popular TED speakers, and also dived into the neuroscience of persuasion. I discovered 9 qualities that all successful TED talks share. What I'm most excited about is the fact that anyone can incorporate these techniques into their very next pitch or presentation, even if they never set foot on a TED stage.



Geetesh: You have reiterated that you don’t need to be a TED speaker to benefit from the ideas within this book. So why use TED as an example – tell us more.

Carmine: Think about what an amazing resource we have at our fingertips! Thanks to broadband Internet connections and TED.com, we can now view thousands of the world's greatest presentations on computers and mobile devices. There is no better learning tool to help transform your presentation skills. You can turn to TED.com to see speakers tell powerful stories and to watch beautifully designed presentations that take PowerPoint to a new level.



See Also: Carmine Gallo on Indezine

Categories: books, delivery, interviews, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



If any two programs were meant to work together in the Microsoft Office suite, they have to be Excel and PowerPoint. Almost everyone who works with Excel has to use PowerPoint to present data and charts to an audience, or even create their business reports in PowerPoint. On the other hand, all PowerPoint charts are essentially created by Excel, even if many of you may not be aware of this fact.



Learn about the best practices for working together with Excel and PowerPoint.

Categories: excel, powerpoint, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Just inserting Action Buttons on your slide is not sufficient -- you need to apply hyperlinks to them so that they have some function. You have already learnt how to insert Action Buttons. In this tutorial we'll learn more detailed techniques on working with Action Buttons. Each Action Button has a default action associated -- this typically is a hyperlink to some other slide in your presentation. You can change this link, or even add another link such as a link to your web site, another document, and more. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add or change the hyperlinks for Action Buttons.



Explore options to add and edit hyperlinks for Action Buttons in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 12:33 PM IST



In this issue, we bring you ready-to-use Countdown Timers for PowerPoint, and also Visual Resume templates. We also look at a different type of callout: a hand drawn callout. We then explore more features that PowerPoint provides on Touch devices such as the Microsoft Surface.

PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about rotating text 180 degrees, and how you can work with Action Buttons. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn about ascertaining the length of a diagonal line, and changing a diagonal line to a perfectly straight horizontal or vertical line. Also learn about rotating text 180 degrees on the Mac versions of PowerPoint.

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



You might have come across slides that look plainly bad. One look at such a slide , and it really doesn't matter whether the content is great or not. You just feel like looking away from it! Also, some visually loud slides can ensure that audiences concentrate more on the horrors presented by the look of the slide rather than the content. You might end up with such slides even with no fault of yours, because someone else designed them for you?



Learn how to reset your slide formatting with one click in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, February 24, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Damith RajapakseDamith C. Rajapakse is a faculty member at the School of Computing, National University of Singapore. He has a deep interest, and many years of experience, in presentation design and the craft of software building. He is the project mentor for the PowerPointLabs project and other similar efforts.

In this conversation, Damith discusses the Animate in Slide options the currently free PowerPointLabs add-in for PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Your Animate in Slide option does something that was very painstakingly slow in just an instant – can you explain this feature and what motivated you to automate this?

Damith: When presenting a detailed slide, moving a shape (e.g. an arrow) around the slide in multiple steps can help the audience follow your explanations. Here are some examples:



As you pointed out, creating such an animation used to be a painstakingly slow process. We thought it was time we did something about it. With the PowerPointLab's Animate in Slide feature, all one has to do it is select the shapes and click a button. It takes just a few seconds only and the results are always perfect, which was not the case when using the traditional method.

Geetesh: Animation does receive a lot of criticism and people complain that it often distracts the audience rather than holding their attention. However, there's a purpose behind animation – how much animation is sufficient and when do you know that you have crossed the limit?

Damith: We are here because our ancestors were good at detecting movements, which helped them to detect dangers quicker, which in turn helped them survive longer so that they could pass down their genes. That is why we are hardwired to pay attention to moving things, so much so that we cannot ignore movements even if we wanted to. It is in our genes. That is also why animation can enhance or ruin the audience' experience, depending on how it is used in a presentation. For example, animation is a great tool for catching and directing audience attention (as in the example animations above), but when used excessively, it becomes a distraction. When used for directing attention, it should last no longer than it is enough to catch the eye of the audience.

In addition, we can use animations to convey meaning. For example, the animation below (also created using PowerPointLabs) shows how a bad cell embeds itself among good cells, which may be easier to understand when animated like this than when showing a static diagram only. When using animations to convey meaning, we should still make it as short as possible, and strictly use only animations that convey the right meaning. An animation that neither directs attention nor conveys meaning has no place in a presentation.



Categories: add-in, animation, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Once you place Action Buttons on your slide in PowerPoint 2013, you can make them do all sorts of actions when clicked. What sets Action Buttons apart from other shape types in PowerPoint is the iconography they contain. For most users, an icon such as a leftwards arrow indicates moving to the previous slide and a rightwards arrow does indicate progressing to the next slide. Another advantage of these icon-equipped Action Buttons is that they are language independent, and can work very well in multi-language and international presentations. In this tutorial you are going to explore the different types of Action Buttons, and their default behaviors.



Explore the different types of Action buttons and their default behavior in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, February 21, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



While creating PowerPoint slides, you will invariably add pictures -- and of course you can also add pictures in Word documents or Excel sheets. If you are using any of these programs on a touch device such as Microsoft Surface, this process works just like how you would insert pictures on a desktop version of PowerPoint 2013. The differences between working within a desktop and a touch environment become a little more pronounced when you want to do something simple with your pictures -- like cropping them. Yes, cropping can make your picture more pertinent by removing areas that may be not required. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can crop a picture within PowerPoint 2013 on a touch device such as Surface -- the process works in the same way on Word and Excel versions of Office 2013.



Learn how to crop pictures within PowerPoint 2013 on a touch device.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, powerpoint_touch, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This is part of our "sometimes" series on how you can explore design treatments for callouts within your slides. And here's another very interesting and organic sample to share. The fact that this sample does not just try to appear hand drawn, but that it actually travels all the way on the hand drawn path is what makes this stand apart.



Even the callout shapes look so organic and different. Notice that you have a regular speech balloon, simple arrows, even lines, and also a very different callout that has been created using parentheses. Amazingly enough, the hand drawn look provides a unity to the entire design.

And of course, the fonts used are amazing too -- no two fonts are the same -- and that would seem like throwing every design rule book in the trash. But again, this mishmash works here!

This graphic was on the cover of British Airways' inflight magazine Highlife for the month of February 2013.

See Also: Callout Sample 01: Arrow Pointing to a Map | Callout Sample 02: Colored Callouts | Callout Sample 03: Curved, Connected Callouts

Categories: callouts, design, graphics, opinion, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint 2011, you can change the direction of rotation for text contained within a shape. However you actually cannot find an option to rotate your text within a shape by 180°! Funnily enough, there are options called Rotate to 90° Counterclockwise which actually rotates your text by 270° and Rotate to 90° Clockwise which rotates your text by 90°. So, you can rotate your shape text by 90° and 270°, but there is no option to rotate your text by 180°.



Learn how to rotate text 180° within a shape in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, February 20, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Shapes may look basic or even primitive, but they are the building blocks of almost anything you create on your PowerPoint slides. Fortunately, you are not deprived of choices because PowerPoint provides plenty of shapes, neatly categorized into nine types. Among all the shape types, Action Buttons behave differently -- these are essentially rectangular shapes that are used as navigation aids to navigate between slides, or even another presentation, document, or a web URL. You insert an Action Button in almost the same way as you insert any other shape.



Learn how to insert an Action button on a slide in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Tap on a selected picture on a Touch device and you will see a floatie spawning right there -- in this case you see the Picture floatie that provides formatting options for the tapped picture. In this tutorial, we'll explore various options within this floatie.



Explore various options within the picture floatie in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, powerpoint_touch, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Here are a bunch of Countdown Timer slides that you can use to create or embed in your own PowerPoint presentation slides. This entire kit contains 5 different styles of Countdown Timer. We made these available in two slide sizes for both standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) resolutions. You can get this kit for only $5.



Download and use in your slides.

Categories: animation, design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Did you ever draw a line in PowerPoint that was slanted or sloped -- and then you wanted to know the length of your line? Believe it or not, there is no option to do this within the program! For all practical purposes, a slanted or sloped line is essentially a diagonal line, and the only attributes that PowerPoint provides for this line is a Length and a Width! You might be curious about how a line can have a Height and a Width rather than just a Length?



Learn how to find out the length of a diagonal line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we review Flip PowerPoint Professional, a product that creates flipping ebooks from your PowerPoint slides. We then have an exclusive conversation with Chris Finneral of SketchDeck who discusses their new service that can convert sketches into PowerPoint slides. We start exploring the special features that PowerPoint provides on Touch devices such as the Microsoft Surface.

PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about creating half circles, adding text to shapes, and also how they can align text within those shapes. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn about attributing and positioning Callout shapes, and how you can format them.

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 you have worked aplenty with text in PowerPoint, you must be aware that you cannot rotate text within a shape by 180°. What's surprising is that you can rotate text by 90° and 270° within a shape, but not by 180°! In this tutorial, we'll show you a step by step procedure that will allow you to rotate text 180° within a shape in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn how to rotate text 180° within a shape in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, text, tutorials

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Monday, February 17, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Whenever you tap on an object in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint versions of Office 2013 while using a touch device such as the Microsoft Surface, you will see a floatie spawning right there! In our Using the Touch Floatie in Office 2013 tutorial, we explored how you can bring up floaties with differing options, depending upon the object you tap -- the resultant floatie contains all the options required to format the tapped slide object. In this tutorial, we'll explore various options within the Shape floatie -- you access this floatie by tapping a Shape.



Explore various options within the shape floatie in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, powerpoint_touch, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Do you want to create your own interesting visual resume within minutes, with or without any designing experience? What about creating this all within PowerPoint, without anything else? You need our amazing Visual Resume templates for PowerPoint. These ready to use PowerPoint templates come with placeholders for text and pictures. All templates are made available as part of a kit that you can customize in seconds to create your own visual resume.



Buy these slides for $5+.

Categories: powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint you rotate shapes using the green rotation handle that appears when you select a shape. However, did you ever notice that the open line shape in PowerPoint doesn't show a green rotation handle? Even though you may think that you hit a dead end, there is a workaround using which you can rotate a Line shape using the Width and Height attributes available.



Learn how to change a diagonal line to a horizontal / vertical line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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