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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: July 2016

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

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Updates for Office 365 Applications

Friday, July 29, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Once in a while, or quite frequently, you may discover a surprising new feature such as the Morph transition effect in PowerPoint. Maybe your colleague, George had the same Morph transition effect available months ago? And Cally, your friend is complaining because she has no Morph transition effect although she seems to be running the same version of PowerPoint!

Delivering Office 365 Updates

Is this normal? And if yes, why does this happen? The answers to all these questions can be found by understanding how Microsoft updates Office applications.

I asked some of these questions to my friends, Dave Barnett and Anneliese Wirth at Microsoft, and they answered all my queries patiently. Thank you so much to both of you, Dave and Anneliese!

Do note that we will look at this topic with a wide perspective now, and in future posts, we will get to other detailed aspects as we narrow the subject further.

Let's first look at Cally's question: Why do I not see any Morph transition effect in PowerPoint?

The reason why Cally sees no Morph transition effect or any other new feature in PowerPoint or the rest of her Microsoft Office 2016 suite is because she has purchased a perpetual license for Microsoft Office 2016. She will not get any new features that Microsoft develops and releases for Office 2016. However, she will continue to get updates (such as security updates, bug fixes, stability improvements, etc.) and any Service Packs, if and when released.

For Heaven's Sake, What is a Perpetual License?

A perpetual license is something you buy only once, and you can then use the product as long as you want. If you have been using computer software for a long time, you know that is exactly how software was bought all these years until the subscription model changed everything upside down!

To paraphrase again, a perpetual license is a "one-time purchase". To use an analogy, think of subscription vs. perpetual as similar to the rent vs. buy example.

To get any new features, Cally will have to either:

  • Sign up for an Office 365 subscription to get the new features immediately.
  • Alternatively, wait for the release of the next perpetual version of Microsoft Office. At the time of writing, the available version of Microsoft Office is 2016, both on Windows and Mac platforms.
Now let us look at my question: Why did I get the Morph transition effect later than George? And how do I know whether I am going to receive any new features at all?

The reason you got the Morph transition feature later than George is because you did nothing at all, and were also in no hurry!

When you install Microsoft Office as part of an active Office 365 subscription, you typically will get new features after they have been thoroughly tested and implemented widely (at least that is the intention). This ensures that you experience no glitches or teething problems, as testing by initial users will result in a fairly smooth implementation.

About your second question, you will eventually get the new feature as long as you have an Office 365 subscription.

OK, I have another question! Is it possible for me, as an active Office 365 subscriber to get no new features at all?

Well, you could but that would mean opting out of all updates that get you the new features. That would essentially turn your Office 365 subscription into the perpetual version that Cally has. The updates are the distinguishing feature of Office 365.

And before we end this post, here is a question from George: I thought I was plain lucky that Microsoft blessed me with the Morph feature before anyone else! Now, are you telling me that this is something that I opted for? But I don't seem to remember doing so.

You don't have to be opting for any quicker updates on your own. If you work in a large company, your system administrator may have turned on this option for you.

Typically, all updates are delivered via the Current and Deferred channels to Office 365 subscribers. As the names themselves suggest, the Current channel delivers updates quicker than the Deferred channel. Having said so, there are several subsets within both the channels, and we can discuss these differences in a future post!

We used the Morph transition effect in PowerPoint 2016 as an example of a new feature made available only to Office 365 subscribers. There are many such new features across all Office applications delivered only to Office 365 subscribers.

Note: Is your Office 365 subscription managed by a System Administrator? In that case, your System Administrator decides when to update you to the newest release. Although you may see that your Office programs are updated, that may mean that you are updated to the extent that your System Administrator has allowed!

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Are you unable to locate PowerPoint 2016 on your computer? Sometimes, such a question can be embarrassing! Or are there other versions of PowerPoint on your computer -- maybe older versions? Yes, we know that this can happen, although it does sound a little strange. However, there are perfectly valid excuses for you to be unable to locate PowerPoint, mainly in scenarios such as these.



Do you have PowerPoint 2016 installed? Here's how you can find out, and change your default PowerPoint version.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

If you are part of the Office Insiders program, you will notice a new feature in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. This new feature, named PowerPoint Zoom lets you easily create interactive, non-linear presentations with smooth hyperlinking between slides and sections. Plus, you can create slide thumbnails with hyperlinks on the fly!

PowerPoint Zoom

Microsoft put up a video showcasing the PowerPoint Zoom feature, shown below.

You access the Zoom feature in the Insert tab of the Ribbon in the Links group (see figure below).

PowerPoint Zoom

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Presentation properties are the details about a presentation such as a title, author name, subject, and keywords that identify the document's topic or contents etc. It's important to specify relevant values for the presentation's Property attributes because they help to identify the presentation. Populating the fields for various Properties also helps you search for particular slides more efficiently later.



Learn how to view and edit current presentation properties in PowerPoint 2013.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

As a presentation designer, do you need to buy stock photos to use in your client presentations? But did you know that you may be breaking the rules, without being aware—even if you are paying to license the photos?

Thanks to Nancy Duarte for highlighting this area in a recent conversation. Here is what she said:

There's a little-known clause in terms of stock photo houses that states that agencies cannot buy images on behalf of others (we can't transfer rights of images to others). So, we have to open individual accounts in each client's name and the stock houses don't let you know this. We spent tons-o-time on the phone with them trying to explain that this is standard practice for agencies to buy images and bill them back but they confirmed that those are not in the terms (and other large agencies confirmed that they avoid many stock photo houses like the plague due to the liability). Look closely at the terms of your favorite stock photo houses because you contractually cannot act as an agency on behalf of clients.

Do You Buy Stock Photos for Clients? - Nancy Duarte

See Also: Illuminate: Conversation with Nancy Duarte

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Just like many other users of PowerPoint, you might have also faced this situation: you have been working on a presentation for hours and suddenly PowerPoint or even the computer crashes? This may happen due to a power outage, instability of the system, or even PowerPoint itself may crash. You realize that you had not saved the presentation for a long time and you may have lost most of your work! Although you can keep your programs updated, system secure, and even save your file often, there is no guarantee that you will never see a crash again and lose all or some of your work.



Learn how to enable AutoRecover and AutoSave options in PowerPoint 2013.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Another wrong picture choice? Not again. Jullietta Stoencheva of Pickit discusses how you can choose the right picture for your slides.

PowerPoint 2016 and 2013 for Windows users can learn about the new Screen Recording feature. We also explore other features for PowerPoint 2013 such as Inspect Document, Check Accessibility, and Check Compatibility. 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 9:30 AM IST



Imagine this situation: You started working on a presentation, saved it couple of times, then got so much involved in your work that you spent an inordinate amount of time working on it without saving it. Then, your computer unexpectedly crashes or just shuts off due to some unexpected crisis. Or maybe just PowerPoint crashes for some reason. Does it mean you are now left with your presentation in the status when you last saved it and lost all your work? Not really because you can restart PowerPoint, and one of two occurrences may happen.



Learn how to recover unsaved presentations in PowerPoint 2013.

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Monday, July 25, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Have you ever created a new presentation in PowerPoint and then closed it without saving it for even once? This scenario seems to be little strange and impossible since even if you accidentally close your presentation, PowerPoint prompts you whether you want to save your presentation. Yet, you can be in a similar scenario if you lose all your file changes to a system or PowerPoint crash. Fortunately, there are chances that your unsaved presentation is safe in some state! Most of the time, PowerPoint will salvage your file and offer to open it for you the next time you launch the program. Alternatively, even if you don't see any files being offered for recovery, you can set the process in action manually.



Learn how to recover a new presentation manually in PowerPoint 2013, which was never saved.

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Friday, July 22, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



You might have experienced this scenario: you have created a presentation within PowerPoint 2013, but you are not sure whether your client, boss, friend, or colleague, who has an earlier version of PowerPoint will be able to view and edit this presentation using the same options that you have used? And, if you save this presentation as a file compatible with an earlier version of PowerPoint, there are chances that you could lose some attributes of the presentation that are not available in previous versions. Or worse, your editable content could just change to flat, non-editable pictures!



Learn to check compatibility with other PowerPoint versions in PowerPoint 2013.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



An understanding has grown over the years to make all kinds of computer-generated content available to people with disabilities. PowerPoint is no stranger to this accessibility concept, and has many options up its sleeve that help your slides be more relevant to those with accessibility impairments. Similar to how PowerPoint's spell checker alerts you to potential spelling errors, the built-in Accessibility Checker highlights potential accessibility issues in your presentation so that you can fix these potential problems and make your content accessible to everyone.



Check accessibility options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

You've probably heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same goes for presentation photos. Whether it's using PowerPoint, Sway, or one of those old school overhead projectors (ok, so we might be wrong about that last one), images make messages stronger.

But why?

Well, without getting all geeky about it, research shows that the human brain processes information more easily when supported by pictures. In fact, we remember slides with visual cues 55% better. Pictures just linger in our minds longer than words. So, adding a nice-looking shot to that slide full of bullet points might just help them do their job better.

Like it or not, we’re all visual learners.

That said, don't go overboard. Images need to illustrate your point, not compete with it. Nor should they just be used for decoration. See, because they're so memorable, it's crucial that the images you use actually support your topic, otherwise your audience will be remembering the wrong thing, and that would be a little annoying.

Plant your ideas
© Skitterphoto/Pickit.com

Skip the cliché cogs and archery targets.

Instead, go for images that illustrate genuine emotions that connect with your audience on a more personal level. Emotion-evoking presentations increase engagement, so support your message with shots that shock, surprise or make people laugh.

The Introduction Slide
© Skitterphoto/Pickit.com

Show them something they haven't seen.

Memes and classic images may be recognizable, but chances are that your listeners will switch off. Worse still, they might associate them with another context where they've seen them and not to your presentation. All of a sudden, your photo is distracting and detracting from your message instead of supporting it. As for that handshake photo on your introduction slide – your audience has seen that one too many times. Give them something fresh to make them smile instead.

Call to Action
© Skitterphoto/Pickit.com

Make the right point with the right metaphor.

For example, if your slide is a call-to-action, make sure the picture illustrates the same action. Be bold, creative, and have fun when choosing your visuals.

Lastly, don’t forget about quality and style.

Here’s a few things to avoid:
  • Small, pixelated or grainy images
  • Overly saturated, flashy image colors
  • Images that don't match the rest of your color palette
  • Pictures that are hard to look at or steal all the attention.

Jullietta StoenchevaJullietta Stoencheva is a Media Psychology graduate from the University of Cologne, Germany. Jullietta manages the content and community of Pickit.com, a marketplace for presentation images. In addition, she is responsible for PR and media inquiries, as well as social media management of the company. Outside of work, Jullietta is a photo enthusiast, passionate about reading, literature and meeting new people.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When your presentation is something you deliver, it rarely matters if you have any content invisible to your audiences, such as your slide notes, comments, and document properties. Typically, none of these are visible to your audience, and you are free to add any information in these areas that will enable you to be better prepared to deliver your slides. However, if you need to share the same PowerPoint presentation with colleagues, or even publish it online, the scenario will be different. Most users don't even think twice about all this information simply due to lack of awareness. They should because most of this content may include hidden data or information that you or your company may not want to share.



Learn how to use the Inspect Document feature to find and remove confidential or personal information from your presentations.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Kurt Dupont of PresentationPoint teaches how you can create a timer in PowerPoint -- he explains two ways to do so.

PowerPoint 2016 for Windows users can learn about the new six chart types introduced in this version. You can also learn about aligning text within shapes and text boxes, how you can create cookie-cutter shapes to end up with fantastic, triangular tables, and also how you can align objects precisely on the center of a slide. We also explore the concepts of grouping, ungrouping, and regrouping. 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



Similar to the Screenshot option that lets you capture still screenshots, you can use the new Screen Recording option in PowerPoint 2013 to quickly record a video clip of your onscreen activity, from within the program. Do note though that this Screen Recording option is among the new features introduced in PowerPoint 2016, and also added as part of the February 2015 updates to PowerPoint 2013. You will only find this option in PowerPoint 2013 if you have installed all recent updates.



Learn about the new Screen Recording option in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.

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Monday, July 18, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Have you worked with the Screenshot option in previous versions such as PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2013? This option allowed you to add a screenshot from within PowerPoint. PowerPoint 2016 goes a step further with the new Screen Recording option that allows you similarly to record a video clip of your onscreen activity, again from within the program.



Learn about the new Screen Recording option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.

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Friday, July 15, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



So what exactly does grouping mean? And what is ungrouping and regrouping going to do further? The moment you select a slide object such as a shape on a PowerPoint slide, you will see some selection handles -- this indicates that the shape is selected. Select another shape while the first one is still selected and you see two sets of selection handles. If you need to similarly select many shapes on a slide fairly often, this sort of selection may become cumbersome -- and waste so much time. In that case, it's best you select all the shapes you need to work with, and then combine them into one "group" of shapes.



Learn how to group, ungroup, and regroup shapes in PowerPoint 2016.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already shown you how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2016 -- however for alignment to work, you need to have more than one shape (or any other slide object) selected so that they can align with each other. However, you may want to align just one shape (or even a single group of shapes) to the exact center of your slide. Fortunately, that is easy to achieve.



Learn how to center a shape on a PowerPoint 2016 slide.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

A PowerPoint timer functions as a common everyday-timer in your presentation. But there are other uses too for a timer such as displaying it on an information screen or even showing real-time, dynamic information on your slide using a timer:

  • The user can use it for example on a school display system during play-time.
  • And also a timer for lunch time in the factory, and so on.
In this article, we will show you an easy way to create a timer presentation in PowerPoint. We will then show you how to use Dynamic TIME, a special timer add-in for PowerPoint so that the user can use to create timers much easier and with more efficiency.

Timer presentation with timed transitions

Visualize that we will use a timer of 10 minutes. Create your first slide and insert a text box. Type some static text within the text box, say "10 min" (see the figure below). Now duplicate the slide 10 times to end up with 11 similar slides. Change the text box content every time and slide for every minute you have. And for the last, an ending slide with your text.

Timer in PowerPoint

Click to open the Transitions tab. In the Timing group, uncheck the Advance Slide On Mouse Click option. Check the option After and set its value to 01:00:00 for a one minute wait. Click the Apply To All button.

Timer in PowerPoint

The user can now start the Slide Show. This technique will display every slide for 1 minute, and perform a countdown until the end.

These are two advantages of this method:
  1. This presentation is a simple to create.
  2. This is a solution that is included in PowerPoint for free.
These are the two disadvantages of this method:
  1. The user will only see minutes and no seconds when counting down.
  2. And another disadvantage is that if the user needs to change the timer, then he or she will have to edit the presentation and even add new slides.

Automated Timer Presentation

For dynamic time functions in PowerPoint, we have our Dynamic TIME add-in. Dynamic timer is one of the features of Dynamic TIME. After installation within the PowerPoint Ribbon, the user will find a Dynamic ELEMENTS tab.

Dynamic TIME in PowerPoint

Now follow these steps using Dynamic TIME:

  1. Click the Dynamic ELEMENTS tab in the Ribbon to see all the options available.
  2. Click the Time button. This action will open the Dynamic TIME pane on the right.
  3. Insert and select a new text box on the slide to host your dynamic timer value.

    Dynamic TIME in PowerPoint

  4. Set the mode to Timer. Set a timer value for 10 minutes for this presentation. Set the Display to As time. And choose to jump to slide 2 when 0 is hit.

    Dynamic TIME in PowerPoint

  5. This copies the dynamic timer value of 10 minutes into your text box.

    Dynamic TIME in PowerPoint

  6. You are all set now. Start the slide show and see your timer updated every second.

    Dynamic TIME in PowerPoint

These are the multiple advantages of using this method:
  • The timer is created more easily and quickly.
  • On top of that, you will get more precise information since it is automatically counting per second.
  • You can show multiple other slides when the timer is running. You can also add that same timer to other slides with product info and advertising and the timer will continue to run.
  • At the end of the timer, you can set it up, so that it will automatically jump to a selected slide.
  • And finally, the biggest advantage of this is that you can change and use any timer value without adding and duplicating the slides.
The only disadvantage of this method compared to the earlier method, is that you have to pay for this add-on. But that is an investment for so many years.

See Also: Dynamic TIME: The Indezine Review

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Do you want to create a triangular table? Even better, don't you want to use a process that not only makes the table completely editable but which ends up with a shape that is not limited to just a triangle? We are going to use two PowerPoint techniques to achieve this trick.



Learn how to make cookie cutter shapes in PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We explore a topic that we feel about very strongly, and that is visual clichés. In this guest post from Pickit, you will learn how you can move beyond clichés.

PowerPoint 2016 for Windows users can learn about rotating text 180 degrees, and explore the new Black interface. You can also learn to flip shapes, use the Selection Pane wisely, and about text within shapes. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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