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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: June 2016

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

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Dynamic LIKES: Conversation with Kurt Dupont

Thursday, June 30, 2016
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 three 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 Dynamic LIKES, an add-in that lets you promote your Facebook page on your PowerPoint slides, continuously updated.

Geetesh: Kurt, tell us more about Dynamic LIKES – what motivated you to create this add-in that displays Facebook likes on a PowerPoint slide?

Kurt: Thanks Geetesh. You know that PresentationPoint stands for dynamic PowerPoint presentations. So no static text in text boxes on our slides. No. Dynamic information, that is linked to a data source and gets updated whenever you open a presentation. Or when you run the slide show, then the information could be updated every second or minute.

Next to database information about production and sales figures, we wanted to have something on social media. People, organizations, and companies want to get as many people to "Like" them as possible to send their pictures, stories, and news. Nowadays this is often done via a hand-written paper or flyer, and that does not get the attention it needs.

Dynamic LIKES in PowerPoint

Geetesh: Can you share some real world scenarios where Dynamic LIKES can be used? Also, can Dynamic LIKES be used along with your other add-ins on the same slide?

Kurt: Imagine that you are running a shop. You use a computer screen or television, connected to a computer. The brightness of a television, the animation of slides and shapes, are a real eye-catcher for your audience. On your PowerPoint slides, you can add your opening hours, running promotions, upcoming events, announce holidays etc.

You just add one more slide to promote your Facebook page. Put on the thumbs-up icon of Facebook and your Facebook address or URL. You can even use a Quick Response (QR) code to let people scan the Facebook URL.

Dynamic LIKES in PowerPoint

When they are on your Facebook page, they just have to like it to subscribe to news and promotions. On your slide, you display the number of likes in real-time. And whenever someone likes your page, this number is automatically incremented. The person that liked your page will feel accepted with this positive feedback on the screen. This is a motivation for others to test this out!

And to answer your other question; Yes, Dynamic LIKES works fine with our other PowerPoint add-ons. Next to the number of Facebook likes, you can e.g. display real-time RSS news and weather information of your city.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 are very useful in representing design or content, or in showing a process or a sequence. However, when you create a slide that has many such shapes, you'll find that most of your shapes may be the same size and may also share other similar attributes. Yes, you can go ahead and insert the same shape into PowerPoint repeatedly, but that will consume much of your productive time that you could have used elsewhere! There are quicker alternatives for duplicating shapes that can be learned if you follow these guidelines.



Learn how to duplicate shapes by dragging them on a slide in PowerPoint 2016.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Robert BefusBob Befus is passionate about helping scientists and clinicians present the results of their research. In the 1980s, he co-founded a company that eventually became Research Presentation Strategies (RPS). RPS developed and manages SlideSource.com, a presentation management tool that lets you organize and share your presentations from one secure online library anytime, anywhere.

In this conversation, Bob discusses Presentitis.

Geetesh: Bob, what exactly is Presentitis? Also, are those who suffer from Presentitis aware that they have a problem?

Bob: Presentitis (pre-sen-TIE-tis) is a serious, slide-related stress disorder that is common among all types of PowerPoint users. It causes a wide range of chronic health problems for both presenters and the people who create and manage their presentations.

Recent studies have shown that presentitis is on the rise around the world and often goes undiagnosed. It may affect as many as 26,000,000 people in the United States alone. But sufferers may not even realize they have this serious, debilitating condition.

Diagnosing presentitis can be tricky. Symptoms can be vague or extremely similar to other ailments like gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infections or gastritis.

Presentitis - SlideSource

One of the first symptoms sufferers become aware of is a profound and chronic state of frustration resulting from disorganized PowerPoint slides and presentations. The second is often an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day due to anxiety and sleeplessness at night. While other symptoms may vary greatly from one sufferer to another, the most common symptoms occurring in the majority of sufferers include:

  • Feelings of frustration when changes to presentations are lost
  • Difficulty concentrating due to feeling overworked
  • A dull ache in the cranial region
  • Loss of appetite or cravings for comfort foods
  • Anxiety over version control problems
  • Sleeplessness as a result of having to recreate lost slides or merge versions of presentations
  • Embarrassment when the wrong version of your presentation makes its way to the screen
  • Cognitive dissonance when the slides you thought were in the presentation have inexplicably and completely disappeared
  • Feeling like you are the only person in your organization who understands the importance of effective presentation management
Presentitis - SlideSource

Geetesh: Can you tell us more about the cure for this state?

Bob: While presentitis is a common and serious disorder, it is largely preventable and can be cured even after symptoms appear. Preventing and curing presentitis is simple, and the cure has no adverse side effects.

Managing individual slides and presentations in an easy to use online library will prevent the onset of Presentitis… and quickly cure it once it has developed.

Years of research and clinical testing have gone into the development of SlideSource.com, the only approved cure for presentitis. Slidesource.com brings powerful slide and presentation management to every PowerPoint user and presenter in an easy to use cloud-based solution.

With SlideSource.com, users report 100% elimination of the symptoms of presentitis... along with increasing feelings of control and confidence because they always know where the most current versions of all their slides and presentations are.

If you are wondering if you might have presentitis, you can find excellent resources and even take a self-assessment test at Presentitis.com.

If you know you are a presentitis sufferer and want to move right to the cure, visit SlideSource.com.

Presentitis - SlideSource

See Also: So Many Slides: Conversation with Robert Befus

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The new Smart Lookup feature in PowerPoint 2016 is an option that brings up definitions, images, and other results from various online resources about a word or phrase, right within PowerPoint. PowerPoint’s online documentation sometimes calls this feature Insights, and it looks like the terms Insights and Smart Lookup are the same feature.



Learn about Smart Lookup in PowerPoint 2016 that provides access to reference sources within PowerPoint.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We start by looking at the circle in the sun. You may wonder what this has got to do with presenting? As this series evolves, we will explore how circles play an important part in presenting. We also bring you another installment of our Timelines that are Different series—this week we look at an offering from infoDiagram. And then we feature Vikas Agrawal in a guest column, where he talks about infographics and the presentation revolution.

PowerPoint 2016 for Windows users can learn about different formatting options for lines, such as dashes, thickness, arrowheads, and even gradients. We also look at the new Tell Me feature, introduced in PowerPoint 2016, that gets quick access to help. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



There are so many different types of shapes that PowerPoint provides you with, and you can format these shapes by resizing, rotating, flipping, etc. Other than these basic formatting tasks, you must explore the special yellow round handles. Most shapes in PowerPoint 2016 when selected, display eight resizing handles and a single rotation handle. In addition, some shapes also have one or more yellow round handles -- these yellow round handles enable you to change some facets of the selected shape, or in some cases you can change the entire shape.



Learn about the special yellow round handles, and how they allow you to manipulate shapes in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, June 27, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Motti NisaniMotti Nisani is the CEO of emaze, a company that produces a tool of the same name. With emaze, you can create presentations in virtual 3D worlds or simply in slides like. Motti has a B.Sc. degree in Engineering from Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

In this interview, Motti discusses the new Android app for emaze.

Geetesh: Motti, tell us more about your new emaze Android app. What motivated you to create this app?

Motti: Our new Android app is something that we have been wanting to implement for some time now. We felt that clearly there was a need for something that lets users watch their own presentations, share presentations with others or explore millions of emaze presentations by topic.

The motivation to create the Android app came from our users. Most of Internet consumption today done via mobile devices. In order to give to emaze users a smooth and slick experience to use emaze, we created this mobile application.

emaze Android App

Geetesh: Do you plan to build this app for other platforms such as iOS?

Motti: Yes indeed. Our iOS app is coming in few weeks' time.

emaze Android App

See Also: emaze Announces New Android App! | Automaze in emaze: Conversation with Motti Nisani

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you believe in the freedom of creativity, you may not want to restraint objects on a slide to be aligned geometrically. Indeed, you may want everything placed in an organic, non-aligned manner. Ultimately, the decision to align is influenced by the scenario -- sometimes it works, and some other times, an unaligned bunch of shapes looks perfectly natural and organic.



Learn how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, June 24, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Long, long ago I talked about circles and had wanted to bring up this amazing shape back to focus again. It has been a while, but the circle is as important as ever, and will always be.

Why have people, over the years, played around with circles? What is it about a circle that draws people across lands? Probably, the circle was the most important shape known to ancient man and represented the sun. And the sun showed up brightly in the sky, and represented a new beginning, every single day!

Sun is a Circle
Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

Many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and the Indians, revered the sun as God. And in turn, these cultures also respected the circle, which represented the sun! In fact, the sun provided inspiration that gave birth to the mandala in India, and we will talk about mandalas in another post. For now, let us look at the relationship between the sun and the circle

The Egyptians worshipped Ra, the Sun God who is often showed balancing the sun on his head. Over the sun, there is typically a serpent. The picture below shows Ra carved in the tomb of Ramses IV, found in the Valley of the Kings.

Ra, from the tomb of Ramses IV
Creative Commons: Image by Riccardov

In India, the Sun God was rarely shown as a circle—rather he was shown in a human form. Yet, there were always circles in many forms wherever the Sun God was worshipped. In the Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha, the temple itself was built as a large chariot with 12 pairs (24) of wheels. Of course, the wheel is again a circle.

Chariot wheel of Konark temple
Creative Commons: Image by Kiranraj120

In future posts of this series, we will look at other cultural and design aspects that represent and refer to the circle shape.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Everyone who uses PowerPoint has faced this situation: you know what you want to do with a slide or a slide object, but you don't know where to find the related option in PowerPoint! PowerPoint 2016 has a new feature called Tell Me that will tell you what you need to do! Tell Me is a text field that you can see in PowerPoint 2016 after the last Tab of the Ribbon.



Learn about the new Tell Me feature in PowerPoint 2016.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint 2016 provides plenty of options to format Shape Outlines -- this tutorial explores an attribute that's rarely associated with shape outlines but can provide a surprisingly different look, especially when applied to lines that are thicker in weight. This attribute, Gradient Outlines is not accessible from the Shape Outline gallery in the Ribbon but directly from the Format Shape Task Pane that we will explore later on this page.



Learn how to apply gradients to outlines in PowerPoint 2016.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint provides two types of shapes: open and close shapes. Shapes, such as rectangles, circles, etc. are closed shapes. Regular line shapes, such as straight lines, curves, scribbles, etc. are open shapes. Arrowheads can be added only to open shapes. That's because an arrow needs a pronounced, visible beginning and end.



Learn how to format arrowheads for lines in PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Janet Giesen of discusses the new Shutterstock plugin for PowerPoint that lets you find and insert pictures right within PowerPoint. On our Timelines that are Different series, we look at our fifth different timeline graphic from PresentationLoad. Nova Fisher of Xara talks about the new Photo & Graphic Designer 365 product.

PowerPoint 2016 for Windows users can learn about nudging shapes, and also how you can convert text to shapes via the Intersect and Fragment options. We also explore the Eyedropper option that lets you copy fill colors. And then we show you how you can merge shapes and pictures together. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored how to format shape outlines and change their weight. In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply a Dash style to shape outline. A dashed line can have plenty of variations: from a line with fewer dashes to ones with longer or smaller dashes, or even alternating small and long dashes.



Learn how to apply the Dash attribute to shape outlines in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, June 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

'A picture says a thousand words' is perhaps a hackneyed truism, but infographics are proving it right all over again in the digital age.

Infographics transform complex facts and figures into simple images and depictions which enable viewers to grasp difficult concepts instantly and make easy comparisons. These colorful, mesmerizing visual tools masquerading as work actually make learning fun.

If you want to engage the audience with creativity and flair at your next presentation, you should consider using infographics.

If you aren't entirely convinced, here is some information to consider.


People are seeing - and sharing - more infographics than ever before.
Image Courtesy: FreeImages

Massive Uptake

Infographics may have been a long time coming, but now that Pandora's Box has been opened, the overwhelmingly positive response is stimulating an increase in their production of an amazing 1% every day.

This means that if you haven’t enlisted the services of an infographic designer to showcase your content, the odds are your competitors have, and are reaching more potential clients than you are because of it.

It's Simple Math

Research shows people respond better to visual images over text by a margin of 40% and that 90% of what the brain registers in any given period is visual.


Do you see what I see?
Image Source: Pixcove

The takeaway from these figures is that if you are failing to convert your text and data into captivating visuals that fascinate people, you are losing viewers and potential investors and clients in droves. Along with the revenue that they would have generated.

Instant Authority

It seems that infographics have the 'white lab coat effect' and wear the coat for you.


Take two infographics and call me in the morning!
Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

Just like TV commercials convince us that actors in white coats playing the roles of doctors and dentists give us good advice, an infographic puts a stamp of authority on otherwise unremarkable text and voice.

Of course, you are not being dishonest with your audience (that never ends well); you are simply attracting their undivided attention for some time to get your message across.

Audience Appeal

Which do you think would be shared more - a picture of the world, the word 'world', or the image below?


Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

The right infographic creator can replace pages of text and reams of data with a series of images just like this.

The imagination, creativity, and effort that was invested in such a graphic are immediately apparent, even to a layperson.

Displaying an infographic during your presentation does not have to be an act in isolation. Platforms like Slideshare allow you to share your material with the world, and for them to share it with their own social circles.

We have created this highly informative infographic to help you get the most out of SlideShare.

Here is The A to Z Guide to Slideshare: Your Cheat Sheet for Mastering the World's Largest Business Content Community!

A to Z Guide To Slideshare Infographic
Image Courtesy: Infobrandz

Besides these 26 amazing capabilities of Slideshare, there are several strategic reasons it is strategically indispensable to every business. To discover those reasons, you have to click here.

Riding the Social Media Wave


Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

When you give a presentation, it is not just an insulated event – it is the opportunity to exponentially magnify your reach through your audience and their associates.

It may be argued that every single social media marketing tactic has one aim - to create viral content. A presentation that includes a share-worthy infographic can be exactly that.

Remember to always link to your online and social media presence, if not prominently then at least unambiguously; every screen your presentations and infographics appear on is another foot in the door to new clients and investment.

It has taken some time into the digital age for content creators to unleash the power of the infographic upon the world, but the tremendous audience response has made them the must-have ingredient of a powerful presentation. Discover why with one of your own.
Vikas AgrawalVikas Agrawal is co-founder of the infographic design agency Infobrandz.com that offers creative and premium graphic solutions like infographics, ebooks, presentations, and pitch decks. His infographics have secured high rankings in many lists of best infographics of 2015.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have explained the basics of formatting shape outlines in PowerPoint 2016. Now we take you further ahead to explore how you can change line weight to make the outlines thinner and thicker. So why would you want to alter the weight of an outline? There are many reasons -- more often than not, you may want a line that's almost invisible or very thin -- this lets your audience focus on other areas. At other times when you want the attention of your audience to focus on a particular line, then you can do so by thickening its weight. In this tutorial, we will also cover compound lines such as those that encompass double or triple lines.



Learn how to change the weight attribute of shape outlines in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, June 17, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Janet GiesenJanet Giesen is Senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Shutterstock. She runs integrated partnerships, co-marketing initiatives, and data deals for the company. Before joining Shutterstock, Janet managed affiliate and digital media partnerships for American Express OPEN. Janet holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, a Professional Certification in Publishing from Columbia's School of Journalism, and a BA from Boston College.

In this interview, Janet talks about the Shutterstock Plug-in for PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Janet, can you tell us more about why you created the Shutterstock plug-in for PowerPoint?

Janet: Most PowerPoint presentations are made up of two elements: images and text. We wanted to create a plug-in for PowerPoint that would provide immediate access to high-quality, professional images and also solve the blank canvas (or 'blank slide') problem. We know that one of the most common ways business professionals use Shutterstock images is to enhance presentations, and with hundreds of millions of users, PowerPoint is one of the most successful presentation tools in the world.

In creating the plug-in, we wanted to create a way for users to easily search our collection of over 80 million images directly within PowerPoint to create more impactful presentations. This brings time-saving functionality to professionals who can choose images they love and preview them in a slide before buying.

Shutterstock Plug-in for PowerPoint

Geetesh: What feedback have you received from users of the Shutterstock plug-in for PowerPoint – can you share some thoughts?

Janet: Our customers have been very receptive to the new plug-in and its functionality. We've had a considerably high visit-to-install rate and lots of positive feedback in the first week. Users have been particularly excited about the ability to preview images inside a presentation before purchase. We've also had users express interest in making the plug-in available for Mac, as well as access to their lightboxes / saved images on Shutterstock inside the plug-in.

Shutterstock Plug-in for PowerPoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint takes the Merge Shapes command to a whole new level – you can merge shapes with other shapes and text, and you can also merge shapes with pictures! First, you may wonder what's so awesome about merging shapes with pictures? But play a bit and you'll realize that this opens up huge possibilities. We will start simple in this tutorial and explore how you can create cookie cutter shapes with this option.



Learn how to merge shapes with pictures in PowerPoint 2016.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Although PowerPoint allows you to choose almost any color you want, it is often difficult to choose the same color for text as the grass or the sky in a picture on the same slide! PowerPoint 2016's Eyedropper option enables you to pick an exact color from anywhere, sometimes even from somewhere outside PowerPoint! Even better, when you are picking up the color from a source, you get to see the color preview as well as the RGB value of the color you are picking.



Learn how the Eyedropper option works in PowerPoint 2016.

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