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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: July 2014

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

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Edit Audio in Adobe Presenter

Thursday, July 31, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



After recording a narration and syncing the audio and animation timings, you may want to edit the recorded narration. Although there are many audio applications with which you can edit the recorded audio file, including Adobe's Audition, you may not have to venture that far for basic edits. Adobe Presenter provided a built-in audio editor which makes your task more easier.



Explore the edit audio options within Adobe Presenter.

Categories: add-in, adobe_presenter, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Want to create a different kind of first slide for your presentation? Or do you want some content to stand apart in any of your slides? You'll need some text content, for sure -- that you can show as an article within a newspaper! You need no other product, just an online connection to use the cool Newspaper Generator!



Learn how to create a cool newspaper clipping for your slide.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Let's say you have used a Fade animation for a slide object, and now you want to use a Wipe animation instead. It's been observed that most of the time, users may remove an animation and apply another one rather than one animation into another. This may be because in PowerPoint 2013, there is no particular option within the interface that changes the animation. But there is still a very easy one-click operation to change an existing animation to another one, as you will learn in this tutorial.



Learn how to change animations for a given slide object in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



After recording narrations within Adobe Presenter, or even after importing audio files for your slides, you do not hit a road block. There's so much more that you can do with your narrations, and Adobe Presenter lets you edit the timing of PowerPoint animations to synchronize better with audio files. For instance, let us imagine that you are working on a slide with bulleted text that has entrance animations. You can use the Sync option to adjust animation timings so that the narrative matches the text being animated.



Learn how to sync the audio and animation timings within Adobe Presenter.

Categories: add-in, adobe_presenter, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Perfect squares and rectangles everywhere, all neatly lined up! Yes, that looks clean, but also monotonous! What if you could make all these shapes curved, slanted, and natural looking – like waves in the sea? Won’t that look more organic? If you agree, then you will certainly love these new irregular shapes for PowerPoint.



Download and use these shapes in your slides.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples, shapes

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



There's more to text animation than just adding some movement to your selected text. By default, when you animate a text placeholder or text box, all the text contained animates at one go unless your text content is within a bulleted or numbered list -- in that case, all text animates as sequenced paragraphs. Even then, the animation is sequenced to first level paragraphs (first level bullets) -- and any sub-bullet levels contained in your text placeholders or text boxes animate along with the parent level.



Explore the extra options available for text animations in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, text, tutorials

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



First of all, look at these awesome Irregular Shapes, that you can get for next to nothing. Then we explore 3 of our favorite and free stencil fonts. We then look at the Preview options in Adobe Presenter, one of the most full-featured PowerPoint add-in products. We also have an exclusive interview with Dr. James Smith about his amazing new book, Meaningful Graphs.

PowerPoint 2013 users can learn about animating tables without actually animating them! We also look at motion path animations, editing them, and the new position previews introduced in PowerPoint 2013. You will also learn about animation events, animation speed, and removing animations. We also explore switching series and categories for 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 9:45 AM IST



Once you have installed Adobe Presenter, the first thing you possibly want to do is to open your existing PowerPoint presentation and start adding voice narrations to the slides. You could of course use PowerPoint's built-in Record Slides option to add narrations, but Adobe Presenter has many more options, which we will explore within this tutorial.



Explore the record options within Adobe Presenter.

Categories: add-in, adobe_presenter, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored how you can animate any slide object, and then tweak the animation speed and animation events. Although you add animation to a chart in the same way as you animate any other object, PowerPoint provides some extra animation options that are applicable only to charts. For example, you can animate series and categories individually as required. If your example chart is a column chart, then you can individually control the animation of every single column!



Learn how to animate charts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Monday, July 28, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



We have explored what color models are, and also looked at RGB, one of the most used color models. The second color model we are exploring is CMYK. Like RGB, where the alphabets stand for color names Red, Green, and Blue, CMYK also has one color name representing each alphabet – in this case, the colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.



Learn about how Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black comprise the primary colors used by the print industry.

Categories: color, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



By default, animation effects are numbered in the order in which they are applied to slide objects. You might need to re-order your animations mainly because you may have more than one animated object on a slide, and re-sequencing of animations as they happen in relation to each other may provide a better result. Or you may just want some animations to happen before the others. Also, there are logical reasons to re-order animations since typically entrance and exit animations need to be the first and last animations for any slide object. PowerPoint's Re-Order options for animations lets you play with their sequencing.



Learn how to re-order animations on a slide in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Friday, July 25, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:20 AM IST



James M. SmithDr. James M. Smith gives lectures at facilities/colleges and conferences across the country showing healthcare staff how to analyze and present data more effectively. He shows how data presented as data are meaningless, but data presented as information are priceless.

In this conversation, James discusses his new book, Meaningful Graphs.

Geetesh: James, tell us more about what motivated you to author your Meaningful Graphs book?

Meaningful GraphsJames: Although poorly drawn graphs ("charts" in Excel) appear everywhere, my own personal motivation came from my experience in healthcare settings. I had often seen remarkable improvement projects conducted by physicians, nurses, QI staff, managers, and others. The clinical or management issues they addressed were significant and the methods they used were generally good, given that the projects were conducted in an applied setting and not in the isolation of a controlled study. What was often lacking was a clear graphic presentation of the results: the wrong type of chart was selected for the data, mental gymnastics were required to interpret the chart, axes were inappropriately truncated, color was used incorrectly, or the chart was cluttered with chartjunk, to name just a few.

I truly felt badly for those who had conducted the study; in poster sessions they often spent more time explaining how their graphs were constructed than on the significance of the results. In some cases, the graph was ineffective because they had failed to identify the story in their data -- that's a fatal flaw at the outset of any graph design process. In other cases, the issue was that they didn't know the principles of good graph design and/or how to implement these in Excel. In these cases, the graphs could have been dramatically improved if only those creating them knew a little more about general and chart-specific principles of graph design and a little more about the techniques of Excel. This isn't rocket science. But if you don’t know it, you'll have major problems.

Geetesh: Although your book mentions Excel within the title, almost everything applies to PowerPoint as well since Excel is the charting engine for PowerPoint -- also your book is simple to understand and gets great results -- just what PowerPoint users need! Can you share some thoughts?

James: The audience for my book includes many people who have only an occasional need for a chart. For them, creating the chart in PowerPoint is ideal. Once you select a chart type/variation from the menu, a split screen appears with the chart on one side and sample data on the other. All they have to do is replace the sample data with their own data, expanding or contracting the data field as necessary. There's no worrying about how to set up and manipulate an Excel spreadsheet. Creating charts in PowerPoint is easy and intuitive.

One of the problems, of course, is that PowerPoint (Excel) has an abundance of chart types and variations from which to choose (73 in all). It's clear that I like charts -- charts are a good thing -- but this is too much of a good thing. I think some people are dazzled by the possibilities and try to pick some chart type that others have not seen in order to make their presentation unique. In most instances, the uniqueness comes at a price: information confusion or loss.

3-D charts are a good example. Judging from how many I see, people really like these. Yet, nearly all design experts agree that they are not good at communicating information. Of the 73 chart types/variations available in PowerPoint (Excel), 37 are 3-D charts, either labelled as such by Microsoft or functionally so without the label (cylinder, cone, and pyramid versions of column and bar charts). Other graph types also present problems including the ubiquitous pie chart. Frankly, if you want to convey information quickly and easily using a chart, there's more to dislike about the options available in PowerPoint (Excel) than to like -- at least for my audiences.

Finally, there's the issue of how to convey complex information with a complex chart without information overload for the audience. Here's where PowerPoint really shines because of its ability to animate charts. You can step your audience through a complex chart and they will not be overwhelmed by it. To do this, I sometimes use the PowerPoint chart animation feature. However, more often than not I use slide transitions to animate charts (as well as other material). When I describe how to do this in my book, I refer to it as the "clunky way." Its real strength is that it draws on a PowerPoint feature that most users already know and once I show my audiences how to do it, they don't forget it. As you say, simple to understand and gets results.

I wrote Meaningful Graphs for those in applied settings (healthcare and other) who don't have the time or interest to read comprehensive books on graph design and Excel software. It provides one-stop shopping for the principles of good graph design and the software techniques of Excel as they relate to charts -- all the essential information needed to make charts more informative and more effective in problem-solving.


Information on James' "largely bullet free" presentations may be found on his website.

Categories: books, charting, excel, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Removing an animation in PowerPoint is a simple select-and-click option, but even before you remove any animation, do ascertain why you want to remove it. Here are some obvious scenarios to explore before removing animations.



Learn how to remove animation from slide objects in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Thursday, July 24, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



When you work on a presentation using Adobe Presenter within PowerPoint, then you really cannot preview using PowerPoint's Slide Show view. And that's because Adobe Presenter's output options are completely different than PowerPoint's. Now to preview, you will need to use Adobe Presenter's own Preview options. Having said so, these Preview options essentially render output on the fly and show it to you.



Explore the various preview options within Adobe Presenter.

Categories: add-in, adobe_presenter, powerpoint, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Stencils are something that were very useful in the years before printing wasn’t too common. You placed a stencil, and painted over it on a surface. While stencils came in all designs and shapes, one of the most common uses of stenciling was to paint alphabets. And today, even though we no longer need stenciled alphabets, they look distinctive. And that’s probably the reason why there’s a renewed interest in stenciled typefaces – we explore a few of them on this page. Before we explore further, do remember that stenciled fonts only look good at large sizes – don’t use them for your bulleted text or body type.



Explore our favorite, free Stencil fonts.

Categories: fonts, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After you add an animation to a selected slide object, you typically set an animation event. Another animation property you can set thereafter is the speed of the animation. Every animation you add within PowerPoint 2013 has a fixed, default speed. This speed essentially is a duration shown in seconds or part thereof, and differs from animation to animation. For example, the default duration of a Fade animation is half a second (00.50) whereas for the Wheel animation, it is two seconds (02.00).



Learn about animation speed in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Motion Path animations determine the route (path) and the direction in which the animated slide object moves across or around on the slide. When you add a motion path animation to an object, you see the path as a dotted line with two arrow heads. Additionally, PowerPoint 2013 sports the new faded preview of the animated slide object at the end point of the motion path. The benefit of this faded preview of the end position is that you know exactly where the slide object will stop once the animation concludes.



Explore the new faded position previews for Motion Path animations in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Boxes, boxes everywhere! Do your slides always have shapes that look so geometric and perfect? What if you could make all these shapes irregular? Won’t that be cool? Then you will love these irregular shapes for PowerPoint. These shapes are already within PowerPoint slides. Just copy them and paste within your slides.



Download and use these shapes in your slides.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples, shapes

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Once you add an animation to any slide object, you can play the animation in Slide Show view by clicking your mouse cursor or pressing the spacebar on your keyboard. Another option is to use a button on a presentation remote -- each of these options advances one animation at a time, or may even take you to the subsequent slide. While this approach works for slides that have an animation or two, you will quickly realize that this is certainly not the way to go if your slides have tens of animations, or more. If you add that many animations to any slide, you probably want your animations to be automatically sequenced and play one after the other without a click -- that's exactly where PowerPoint's animation events can help.



Learn about Animation Events in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we first look at how you can set a default recording device in Windows. We also have a conversation with James Ontra about Shufflrr, a document management system for presentations. We also explore how you can format content in Excel cells as text, important if your header rows are being formatted as data in your PowerPoint charts!

PowerPoint 2013 users can learn about Motion Path animations: adding them, drawing custom paths, reversing paths, and exploring opened/closed motion paths. We also look at animating ungrouped tables and adjusting the chart series overlaps.

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 9:45 AM IST



Any typical Column chart contains two sets of data -- one set shows as the Series within your charts, and the other set ends up representing the Categories. By default, the Series show up as the Legend (and columns) within the chart. Categories on the other hand constitute the groups of these individual columns. 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 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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