Gil Segal is the creator of ToolsToo and a senior software consultant. Gil is always on the lookout for ways to automate manual tasks in any software he uses and has been a PowerPoint power-user since the mid 90’s.
In this conversation, Gil talks about his new ToolsToo v6.2 add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint.
Geetesh: Can you tell us more about the new features added to ToolsToo v6.2?
Gil: ToolsToo v6.2 adds support for manipulating shapes within groups. Now many of the powerful ToolsToo productivity tools can be applied to the shapes within a group and not just to the group in its entirety. The new version also adds the exciting ability to add shapes to an existing group (or to a single shape) while preserving any animation applied to the original group (shape) and its layering.
ToolsToo v6.2 also adds a new tool to Make Same Table Column Width. This tool applies the column widths of the table the user specifies as the Reference Shape to the selected target tables. If any of the target tables have more columns than the Reference Shape table, the additional columns retain their original widths. If the Reference Shape is not a table, then all columns in the target tables are set to the width of the Reference Shape.
One oddly missing feature in PowerPoint is the ability to set the language across the presentation. Instead, PowerPoint sets the language separately for each object: shapes (text boxes, in particular), notes, chart titles and axes, and tables. ToolsToo v6.2 rectifies this with its new Set Language tool.
Lastly, ToolsToo v6.2 expands on the set of tools used to reduce presentation size by adding two tools to remove unused layouts. Some layouts can get quite large, particularly if they contain embedded images.
Geetesh: What according to you is the most time-saving option available within ToolsToo?
Gil: That is a difficult question to answer given that ToolsToo has more than 70 tools specifically designed to improve PowerPoint editing productivity. It is a question of whether we are looking at saving a small amount of time for something that is used very frequently (such as the various alignment tools) or a lot of time for things that are done less frequently. It also depends on the nature of the presentation itself as to which tools are used while editing that presentation.
The tools that stand out in my experience as saving the most time when they are used are the Copy Agenda Slide tool, the Reformat Slides tool, and the new Add to Group tool.
The Copy Agenda Slide tool replicates Agenda slides throughout a presentation wherever one is needed and shows progression through the presentation by dimming all topics other than the current topic. Instead of tediously manually updating all of the agenda slides throughout the presentation, you update just the wording for one agenda slide without worrying about the current topic and then click on the tool to take care of all the rest.
When copying slides from one presentation to another, often some or all of the colors of the slide content change to match the color scheme of the target presentation. When this is not wanted, it is quite tedious to manually change the colors. The Reformat Slides tool merges the look and feel of the target presentation with the color scheme of the source presentation in a single click.
The Add to Group tool adds shapes to an existing group (or a single shape) while preserving any animation applied to the original group and its layering. A single click on the Add to Group tool replaces all the manual steps required to add the shapes to the group, restore all the animations, resequence all the animations, and place the group in its correct layer.
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