One of PowerPoint's greatest qualities is that you can get all sorts of content from disparate sources and add them all within one presentation to create a unified document. Pictures are one of the most important content types you add on your slides. However, each picture you insert may have different resolutions, and thus even though you may have sized your picture to look like a small postage stamp on your slide, it may be increasing your file size by several megabytes.
Learn how to set document resolution in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Yes, undoubtedly a presentation with relevant pictures is more effective than plain text slides. However, even if pictures enhance appearances, they can also phenomenally increase the size of your presentation file. Picture compression can help. Recent versions of PowerPoint do some automatic picture compression, even if you are not aware. There are options to make any such compression even more effective.
Learn how to compress pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
PowerPoint is a slide program but that doesn't mean that it does not have some cool picture editing tricks up its sleeve. When we say "cool", we certainly do not mean just inserting a picture, or even the fact that you can apply corrections or recolor hues. PowerPoint 2016 provides around 23 filters as part of its Artistic Effects options. Some of these filters (effects) can make your pictures look like paintings or sketches, and others can change the texture of your pictures.
Learn how you can apply Artistic Effects to pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Rob Dysell of Pickit features in an exclusive conversation, in which he talks about Pickit's Talk Like a Rosling collection that comprises content inspired by the Rosling family. Rishabh Pugalia explains how you can create a pop-up effect with pictures within PowerPoint. We also bring you Gear Graphics for PowerPoint.
In the Tutorials section, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about saving PDFs (both Windows and Mac), removing backgrounds from pictures, picture corrections, and changing color of pictures. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.
Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.
If you are working on a presentation with your clients or even a co-worker, then you might end up in a situation where you both did not work on the same copy, one after the other. Instead, you worked on two different copies. These copies may contain changes done by you both, some similar and some different. Now you need to compare and merge these copies into a single, cohesive file without losing anything at all!
Learn how to compare and merge presentations in PowerPoint 2016.
Sometimes we come across slides that can be hazardous to our vision because such slides have nothing understated about them. Such loud slides can ensure that audiences get distracted. You might end up with such slides even with no fault of yours because someone else prepared them for you! You now need to eradicate all the formatting on the slide to make it look more simple and clean. You may need to change the position, size, and text layout for the placeholders on the slide too. Fortunately, there is an easy, one-click process to restore some sanity in such slides. It's called the Reset option.
Learn how to reset your slide formatting with one click in PowerPoint 2016.
One of the coolest options for editing pictures in PowerPoint is to change the hue of your entire picture so that it looks almost like a duotone picture. Similar to how you apply corrections to your inserted pictures, this Color option can also help you do more with your pictures. Be aware though that this Color option does not work like a coloring book; rather it changes the overall hue color of the entire picture, saturates color values, changes the overall color tone, and does more.
Learn how to change the color hue of pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
A picture needs to be "corrected" when its appearance is too dark or too bright. You could end up with pictures that need correction if the lighting was not proper when you clicked the original picture. Additionally, you may also want to make some tonal changes to a picture so that it stands apart. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make corrections to inserted pictures regarding their brightness, sharpness, softness, and contrast values; all from within PowerPoint 2016 without having to use an external program.
Learn about the Correction option for pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Rob Dysell is the CMO of Pickit. His job is to make sure that the perceived offer of the online service is always increasing and that sales are successful. Rob has worked over 10 years in advertising, design and digital marketing. Before working at Pickit, he ran the strategic department of the advertising Agency Acne in Stockholm. He has a mixed background: after graduating in social sciences, media & communication, he went on as a self-taught adventurer in the world of technical platforms.
In this conversation, Rob talks about Pickit's Talk Like a Rosling collection.
Geetesh: Rob, tell us about your new Talk Like a Rosling collection, and what prompted you to create an entire visual collection identified with the Rosling family?
Rob: Our original goal at Pickit is to provide pictures for people with something to say. We aim to make it possible for people to access great quality pictures and creative content in a fast and easy way. Very often, Pickit users use our pictures for presentations (inside the PowerPoint add-in or the Word add-in). I am sure these are already very good presentations but if they can convey a powerful message, it’s even better! This is exactly what the Roslings are doing.
Hans Rosling is a Swedish professor of global health who became hugely popular for his many TED Talks and his non-profit organization, Gapminder, which he founded with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna. For years, they have been focusing on dismantling common misconceptions about the developing world—something that Anna is passing on with Gapminder’s newest project, Dollar Street.
Dollar Street aims to give an insight into people’s lives in more than 200 countries thanks to photos, making stereotypes fall apart and helping data come to life thanks to pictures. That was the first thing that prompted us to create a whole collection identified with the Rosling family; we feel incredibly inspired by their work—with both Gapminder and Dollar Street—and admirative of how they use powerful photos as data, making it possible for people to get a better understanding of other people’s lives and relate to them more easily.
The second factor behind the decision to build the Talk Like a Rosling collection was Hans Rosling himself. Not only has he become famous for his inspiring and uplifting TED Talks, he presents them in a stunning way and manages to bring otherwise dreary data, statistics and facts to life. I can’t really think of anyone else who presents data the way he does. Hans uses solid statistics, very often straight from the United Nations database, and illustrates them thanks to fun animations, charts, and even props on stage. He also does it with a particular energy and enthusiasm that brought many to see him as a model when it comes to presenting and public speaking, even as a ‘guru presenter’ or ‘super statistician’!
Since a lot of our users use Pickit images to build presentations with our add-in in Office PowerPoint and Office Word, we thought it would be a great way to inspire them to create even better, more meaningful presentations. We provided them with material to do so: not only new pictures, but also pre-packaged slides and quotes directly inspired from Hans Rosling, Gapminder and Dollar Street. We also wrote an article on our blog with tips and techniques drawn from the all the Roslings presentations.
Geetesh: Can you give us some ideas on how users can add these images to their slides: which Pickit solutions can help?
Rob: These images are the perfect example on how visuals and effective presentation tools can aid better storytelling! Our users can use them directly in their presentations, or create their own by following the ‘Rosling’ model: for instance, using photos as data can be as effective as just using graphs or numbers. A powerful quote can also have a big impact on an audience when presenting.
Anyone whishing to use the images and pre-packaged slides can access the Talk Like a Rosling collection by installing Pickit in the Office Store. For those who already have Pickit, just open the add-in and the collection is right there! Double-click on the slide or image you want to use to add it to your document, and there it is. It’s as simple as that!
Saving a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is that recipients won’t be able to edit your slides, and you can embed fonts easily. An even better advantage is that you may use PDFs as a substitute for printing drafts or finished slides, thus saving so much paper. Disadvantages include that you cannot be entirely multimedia-friendly. Whatever your thoughts may be, PowerPoint makes it very easy to create PDFs.
Learn how you can create PDFs from your presentations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Kurt Dupont of PresentationPoint explains how their add-in DataPoint generates dynamic slides from a database. Additionally, he talks about a new feature integrating Bluetooth buttons. And then we have Tucker Hatfield, a long-time Program Manager at Microsoft who shares some hitherto untold stories about PowerPoint's amazing Background Removal tool. We also feature celebrated author, Steve Bustin who talks about his book, The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking.
In the Tutorials section, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about Picture Borders, Inserting/Linking Pictures, Cropping Pictures, and also Cropping Pictures to Shapes. PowerPoint 2013 users can explore PDF saving options. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.
Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.
Do you want to remove a sky, a wall, any backdrop, or something else in a photograph so that the slide background shows through within those removed parts of the picture? The Remove Background option may be just what you need to remove the backdrop from an inserted picture.
Learn how to remove a part of your picture to make a transparent background in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Do you always struggle to make people focus on your presentations? Maybe you’re not a Photoshop pro who can spice up the images by using fancy layers and filters. Has it ever occurred to you that you can add the same Pop-out effect right in your PowerPoint presentation?
Let’s see how we can create a Remove Background effect or the Pop-out effect. It can be used if you have many images in your slides and want people to concentrate only on a certain aspect of your image.
Let us take an example of the given image file:
Image from Unsplash
Consider that you only have to concentrate on some aspects of the image. So you can highlight them and fade out rest of the image. So, if you want to focus on the window, you can show the image like this.
Let’s see how did we achieve this result:
Saving a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is that recipients won’t be able to edit, and you can embed fonts easily. An even better advantage is that you may use PDFs as a substitute for printing drafts or finished slides, thus saving so much paper. Disadvantages include that you cannot be entirely multimedia-friendly. Whatever your thoughts may be, PowerPoint makes it very easy to create PDFs.
Learn how you can create PDFs from your presentations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Steve Bustin has worked with major brands (MTV, TalkTalk, The Guardian) as well as charities (Stonewall, The WEA, Girls Not Brides) and hundreds of small businesses (SMEs) and individuals over the last 15 years. He has helped them to communicate better in order to build their business, reach new audiences and support their team.
In this conversation, Steve talks about his book, The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking.
Geetesh: Steve, tell is about your book, The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking. Who is the target audience for your book?
Steve: My new book, The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking is aimed at anyone who has to present or speak in public, from presenting to colleagues in a meeting to speaking at a conference in front of a large audience. I know the book has also been popular among students who have to give presentations as part of their studies and also amongst entrepreneurs and business owners who are pitching for work or pitching to investors.
Presenting and public speaking is not just an essential business skill but really an important life skill. Everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively whether that’s one-to-one or one-to-many.
In business, presenting can be part of your job even before you’ve got a job, as many recruitment processes and job interviews (especially for senior roles) now include a requirement to make a presentation.
As you progress in a job you may be required to present in meetings to your colleagues or managers and you need your presenting skills to be good in order to impress. It doesn’t matter how good your results or work is if your presentation is a mess or you deliver it badly.
As you become more senior, you might be asked to pitch for business or investment, or you might have to present to clients. These are really responsible roles that can make or break for many businesses and again, you need to make sure your presenting skills are up to scratch.
As you get to management and leadership level, you could be asked to speak at conferences, to industry peers or to the media. Can you imagine the damage that could be done to your reputation (and that of your organization) if you come across poorly on stage?
Entrepreneurs and business owners are even more in need of strong presentation skills as they could find themselves talking to an audience of potential investors, angels or bankers as well as potential clients. Any business owner will also have to present their business at networking events.
Those business owners that are confident presenters also have a whole new business development opportunity open to them. Speaking at events, from business breakfasts to conventions, is an amazing opportunity to put your business, your products and services and yourself in front of hundreds of potential customers. If I speak at an event and don’t get at least a couple of new business inquiries afterward, I know something went wrong.
I wrote the book to appeal to all these people, giving a step by step approach to presentations, from outlining what you want your presentation to achieve (and perhaps more importantly, what your audience wants it to achieve), to finding a suitable structure that allows your audience to follow along and understand your message. I also look at bringing your presentation to life, with or without slides, and the stage and performance skills you need as a presenter.
My aim with the book was to give all these different audiences the confidence to create and deliver engaging and most importantly effective presentations.
Geetesh: Your book is peppered with exercises and tips and is yet a small book that one can read in a relatively short span of time. Can you tell us more about both these observations, and how these concepts will help the reader?
Steve: Who has the time or inclination these days to pick up and read a big heavy ‘tome’? The current trend in business books is for short, sharp and well-focused books packed with practical tips that you can apply immediately, and I hope The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking follows that trend.
The Authority Guides is a new series of business books covering all aspects of practical business skills from presenting and sales to mindfulness and emotional resilience. There are currently 7 Authority Guides, but in 2017 two new books will be added to the series every month, so by the end of the year there will be more than 30 available.
The series has been designed to be pocket-sized as the majority of sales of physical business books (as opposed to e-books) is at airports and railway stations as business travelers want something that will fit in their pocket and that they can read through in one flight or rail journey.
I also think a lot of business book authors want to prove how much they know so pad out their book with interesting but ultimately unnecessary content. I wanted my book to cut the waffle and deliver on the top tips and expertise. I know my stuff when it comes to presentations and public speaking, and I wanted to put it across in the clearest and most direct manner possible.
I included the exercises because the best way to learn and remember the skills I pass on is to try them. Don’t just think ‘oh yes, I really should set some objectives for my presentation.' Stop and actually try setting some. I wanted to give people ideas that they might not have considered before and to challenge them to stop doing the same old thing time and again and to try something new.
If readers work their way through the book and actually stop and undertake each exercise, by the time they’ve finished not only will they understand how to give better presentations but they’ll have the basis of a creative and effective presentation.
As well as speaking at events myself, I spend a lot of my time coaching speakers on a one-to-one basis or running group training sessions so I wanted this book to give the reader a similar experience to working with me in person, as I can only be in one training room at any one time!
It’s been exciting to hear from people who have read the book, to hear about how they’ve changed their presentations and presenting style based on what they’ve read and the exercises I’ve set them. I know people have got new jobs, been promoted or won new clients as a result of applying the advice in the book. That’s very satisfying to know and the reason I wanted to write the book in the first place!
While you can conventionally crop pictures in PowerPoint to a rectangular constraint, you can also opt to use another shape to crop instead. This tutorial explains the Crop to Shape option that lets you choose non-rectangular cropping shapes for your pictures; the results tend to look like a picture has been contained within a shape.
Learn to crop pictures using the Crop to Shape option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.
Tucker Hatfield has been working as a Program Manager at Microsoft for 18 years and the last ten of them have been in Office. He’s worked on Cropping, Background Removal, Artistic Effects, Co-authoring, and Comments. He’s currently working primarily on Pen and Ink improvements for Office, including the recent Ink Editor feature. When work and family allows, he indulges his love for photography and is trying to teach himself ukulele.
In this conversation, Tucker explores the Background Removal in PowerPoint.
Geetesh: Tucker, you have been involved with the amazing Background Removal options in PowerPoint. What prompted you to add this feature?
Tucker: Background Removal was a lucky synergy between Microsoft Research (MSR) and the Office Graphics team.
As digital cameras and smartphones were beginning to make use of images in Office documents more common, we began to get feedback from customers that they needed to do simple photo editing without having to invest in expensive editing software or involve an artist. During planning for Office 14 (Office 2010), we decided we needed to improve our support for pictures in the core applications to address those needs. As a result, we made improving picture editing a priority and began planning.
At the same time we were planning, MSR was also investigating ways to improve the picture editing experience. During our research, we found an internal website from MSR Cambridge showing images of a program they were calling “Grabcut” that could isolate parts of a picture and let you remove the background. It included some demo videos that were short but impressive and we contacted them to find out how long it might be before that technology was available.
To our surprise, they responded by sending back a demo app that actually worked. It had a very minimal user interface and a required a little finesse to use, but it worked quite well, so we started deeper discussions about how to get it into Office. Integrating Grabcut involved a lot of work to make it compatible with Office code, our rendering system, and our user interface, but MSR helped us every step of the way. In fact, our team received a Technology Transfer Award from Microsoft Research for our collaboration.
We shipped it in Office 2010, along with other picture editing features. During Office 2013 (Office 15) development, our India Development Center took over developing picture features and have made further improvements.
Geetesh: Have you been surprised by ways in which the Background Removal tool has been used—in other words, have you seen Background Removal being used in ways never imagined before? Alternatively, do you want to share a story or some trivia about the Background Removal tool?
Tucker: It’s been amusing to see how much we use Background Removal ourselves. We do a lot of decks and specification documents where product shots, images of a user interface, or logos need to be used and we use Background Removal so that the image “floats” instead of having a rectangular border and a bland background. It also gets used a lot to remove parts of the image that we don’t want to show or to isolate an objects or UI so that it’s the focus of the discussion. Seeing it used so frequently in work documents is very cool.
But I’d have to say that the most impressive use I’ve seen background removal put to was shown to me by one of the people who make decks for some of Microsoft’s major presentations. It’s a process where they take a single picture, remove specific background elements of it, and then “layer” it on top of itself. The result is that you can have objects look like they’re behind one element of the image and in front of another. You can even animate the shapes.
In the example I was first shown, the author used an animated icon of a skier skiing between background-removed layers of mountains. You can also animate layers moving horizontally at slightly different speeds to give a “Ken Burns” style pan of a static image. I’ve used these stacked images a lot since discovering the technique – it can add a lot of interest to an otherwise static picture.
As an example, I can take three versions of a mountain landscape: one complete, one with just the sky removed, and one with the sky and mountains removed. I then stack them so that they align and look like the original, but by adding in shapes at various Z-orders in the stack of images, I can create a 3D effect.
The Selection Pane helps a lot in ordering them correctly and since pictures “snap” in alignment, it’s easy to realign the separate images.
Geetesh: Thank you so much for sharing some amazing thoughts in this feature, Tucker. Many Indezine readers will find inspiration from the Background Layers trick! I look forward to interviewing you again.
See Also: PowerPoint Feedback and UserVoice: Does This Go Anywhere?
After inserting a picture in your slide, you should first consider if the picture you have used complements the message of your presentation and slide. Even if it is relevant, you should consider making it more pertinent by removing the areas that may be not required. In other words, you must ponder and decide whether you want to use PowerPoint's Crop options. Cropping an area removes extraneous areas, and lets you add focus to the areas of the picture that are appropriate to the topic of your presentation.
Learn how to work with crop options for pictures in PowerPoint 2016.
Let me show our latest project where we use PowerPoint to streamline a waiting queue.
Inserting a picture on PowerPoint slide is a frequent and commonplace task, and to you, this may look like a simple activity. But this simple task includes few options. You know that pictures located in any of your folders can be inserted on a slide. By default, PowerPoint retains no relation; even if you delete or move the original picture file you inserted, the copy on your slide will still be retained since PowerPoint saves the picture as a part of the file it creates. Yet, there are options within PowerPoint that let you maintain the relation between the original picture and the inserted picture. For example, if you make changes to your original picture, PowerPoint will update its copy on the slide!
Learn about the options available for inserting and/or linking pictures in PowerPoint 2016.
PowerPoint can only embed TrueType fonts. And the newer fonts are all OpenType. But how do you identify these fonts? Learn more in our Identify Font File Types in PowerPoint tutorial. Fifteen years ago, Neuxpower released NXPowerLite, the first PowerPoint compression tool that reduced file sizes. In the ensuing years, NXPowerLite has evolved and reinvented itself. Mike Power, the founder and Managing Director of Neuxpower explores NXPowerLite retrospectively and looks at the near future.
In the Tutorials section, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about changing the PowerPoint interface color, Picture Styles, adjusting Picture options, and Picture Effects. PowerPoint 2010 users can explore PDF saving options. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.
Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.
Saving a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is that recipients won’t be able to edit, and you can embed fonts easily. Disadvantages include that you cannot be multimedia-friendly. Whatever your thoughts may be, PowerPoint makes it very easy to create PDFs.
Learn how you can create PDFs from your presentations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.
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