Progress Indicator Add-in for PowerPoint: by Olaf Nöhring

Created: Friday, July 28, 2017, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:45 am

Probably you know this situation: your presentation gets longer and longer and you want to help your audience to know which topic you are on and help them keep track of what has been covered already and what is still coming up. Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not provide an easy way to implement a progress indicator like this. This where the free Progress Indicator add-in comes into play.

The free Progress Indicator add-in provides an easy and intuitive way to add visual structure for your audience (and yourself), as well as easy and quick navigation options that allow you to jump to every slide of your presentation.

The Progress Indicator works on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and newer (currently 2016), on 32 and 64-bit versions of the software and on Windows and Mac OS.

Progress Indicator Ribbon

The add-in adds a new tab to the Ribbon. On the Progress Indicator tab, you find plenty of options to create a custom Progress Indicator that matches your individual presentation. Each time you change something, the Progress Indicator on your slides will update immediately.

On each slide, indicators are placed and color-coded depending on the position in your presentation: Indicators on slides that have been seen can use a different color than those on slides that have not been seen yet. You can choose from about 190 existing shapes. The most common ones are found in the top of the dropdown list. Of course, you can also select the size and use a color-chooser to define the color you want the shapes to be. Each time the color-chooser opens it offers a wide range of colors that match the current theme.

Progress Indicator Color Chooser

Besides the indicators, the add-in also allows automatic partitioning of the indicators into your PowerPoint sections. The names of your sections can either be displayed not at all, above or below the indicator icons. As you guessed, you are able to set colors – as well as the font for the section titles. An easy font-chooser allows simple selection from all installed fonts.

Progress Indicator Font Chooser

Special section names allow further customization: If you name your section PISectionHidden none of the slides in this section will have indicators. This is very useful if you have some additional slides at the end of your presentation which you do not plan to show.

Your hidden slides can be ignored as well so that the progress indicators are continuous. If you want to skip a single slide (maybe you have a video there and you do not need the indicator) you can easily do so with a single click.

Progress Indicator Slide Ignore

In presentation mode, moving your mouse over an indicator or section title will bring up information about that slide and allow you to click and jump directly to that slide.

The Progress Indicator add-in is completely free. You can also find the source code on GitHub.

Olaf Nöhring is the founder of, and usually, develops customer specific database solutions based on Microsoft Access for regional customers. Olaf has specialized in database design with Microsoft Access for almost 20 years and also has experience in web development and deep understanding of Microsoft Excel.

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  • Interesting add-in and even more interesting delivery approach. I’ve seen free add-ins before but not Open Source. If Olaf is reading, what was the strategic reason for this approach?

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