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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: February 2017

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting News: February 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

We start with something unusual: how you can draw a petal shape in PowerPoint. This result is very easy to achieve, and yet not so obvious. We also provide a video tutorial on creating a petal shape in PowerPoint. We then bring you a review of Wondershare Filmora, a new video editing program. You can also learn how to identify the version and license of the PowerPoint instance installed on your computer. We cover this tutorial for Windows users; a similar tutorial for Mac users has already been provided. And finally, PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haims pays his tribute to Hans Rosling by sharing a technique that lets you morph between bubble charts in PowerPoint.

In the Tutorials section, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about the types of vertexes, also known as points. You will encounter points when you edit shapes. In this same series, we also show opening and closing paths, and curved/straight line segments. We also show you how you can insert pictures from Bing and Flickr, right inside PowerPoint. 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



One of PowerPoint’s amazing options is the feature that lets you convert your existing bulleted text to a SmartArt graphic. Many times, though, you might want to do the reverse; that is converting SmartArt back to bulleted text. When Microsoft introduced SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007, this reverse conversion was not possible but in later versions, Microsoft added this ability. Follow these steps to do the conversion of SmartArt to bulleted text in PowerPoint 2016. Do note though that you will be left with just plain text rather than any shapes or visuals.



Learn how to convert SmartArt graphics to bulleted text in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, February 27, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Pictures have an important role in presentation slides since they add imagination and visualization to your slides. To make pictures more impactful, you can even apply borders and effects to them, and also try some Picture Styles that PowerPoint offers. Other than these options, there is one more option that works in the same way as how you convert text to SmartArt. This is the Picture Layout option that similarly converts selected pictures into SmartArt.



Learn about Picture Layouts that let you add pictures within SmartArt in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, February 24, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

OK, the title of this post is missing an important word, but I won't tell you about the missing word right away. First, let us remember Hans Rosling, who died on 7 February 2017 aged 68. He was an amazing speaker, and his TED talks have been viewed many times. He was also known for his non-profit organization, Gapminder, which he founded with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna. Hans Rosling played with data by literally moving data with his hand gestures in fascinating ways.

And that's the topic of today's post. Fellow MVP, Nolan Haims created this amazing tribute video, in which he also shares a Rosling-inspired PowerPoint technique.



Nolan HaimsI put forth some questions to Nolan:

Geetesh: Nolan, what inspired you most about Hans Rosling?

Nolan: The thing that continually inspired me (and probably most people) about Hans Rosling was his unbridled enthusiasm and passion for data and being able to bring it to life visually to tell a story.

Geetesh: What was your eureka moment like when you realized that you could create Hans Rosling like charts with PowerPoint’s Morph transition?

Nolan: I have for a while been breaking charts apart for various reasons including breaking bubble charts apart to make use of the proportionally sized circles. As soon as Morph was introduced, I immediately tried it out on charts and was disappointed to learn that it only really worked on shapes. But then I quickly thought that if you could turn a chart into shapes, Morph would work. A couple of quick tests later I was morphing bubble charts. Interestingly, it is harder to break apart simpler charts like bar and columns into separate shapes to do something similar with them, but I’m working on it…

And that's the reason I mentioned that the title is misleading. It should have read, "Animate Fake Bubble Charts in PowerPoint with Morph!"

TED Talks: Hans Rosling

See Also: Talk Like a Rosling: Conversation with Rob Dysell

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



There are many, many options as far as inserting pictures from online sources within PowerPoint are concerned. Other than using the Bing Image Search options, you can also access Flickr. Flickr is probably the greatest online resource for pictures uploaded by photographers and enthusiasts all over the world. However, unlike with the Bing option, PowerPoint does not allow you to simply go and insert anyone's Creative Commons licensed pictures from Flickr.



Learn how to insert pictures from Flickr in PowerPoint 2016.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



If you use PowerPoint or any other Microsoft Office program on Windows, then here's a quick question for you. Do you know which version you are using? And if the version question seemed easy, do you know what sort of license you have for Microsoft Office?

If you know the answers to both these questions, or even if you don't, this post is for you. Let us explore easy ways to identify version and license details for Microsoft Office on your Windows system.

Broadly speaking, new versions come with new features. For example, PowerPoint 2013 for Windows introduced the Eyedropper tool, Enhanced Presenter View, and other niceties.

However, the introduction of new features is no longer dependent upon the release of a new version—your license type may provide you with new features even a new version is not released yet! Yes, we are talking about Office 365 Subscription licenses that bring you new features every few months. That's the reason why it is important to find out whether you have a Subscription (Office 365) or a Perpetual (Retail) product license installed!
We have used PowerPoint for all the screen shots. However, the same process should also work with Word, Excel, and other Office programs. Follow these steps:

  1. Run PowerPoint. If you see the Presentation Gallery, opt to create a new presentation, or alternatively open any existing presentation. Yes, you do not want to create or edit presentations now—but PowerPoint will not let you identify it under the hood unless you open a presentation first! We just created a new presentation, as shown in Figure 1 below.

    PowerPoint for Windows interface
    Figure 1: Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows interface

  2. Next choose the File | Account menu option, as shown in Figure 2 below.

    PowerPoint for Windows About
    Figure 2: About PowerPoint

  3. You will see an updated screen, as shown in Figure 3, below. Do notice that you can see that no information about any subscription is shown. Note that you can read the Product Activated and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 indications, as highlighted in red.

    PowerPoint for Windows Retail
    Figure 3: Office Retail License

    The same dialog from a subscribed version will show a different license type: Subscription Product and Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, as you can see highlighted in red within Figure 4 below (compare with Figure 3).

    PowerPoint for Windows 365
    Figure 4: Office 365 Subscription License

  4. Do you want to see the actual version number of the product? To do so, click the About PowerPoint button, highlighted in blue in both Figures 3 and 4. This will load up the dialog boxes shown in Figures 5 and 6 below.

    PowerPoint for Windows Retail License
    Figure 5: Office Retail License Details

    PowerPoint for Windows Subscription License
    Figure 6: Office Subscription License Details

    Although Microsoft names their releases with nomenclature such as Office 2016, Office 2013, etc., they follow a different nomenclature internally. Any version number that begins with "16" in the About dialog box indicates that you are running Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows.

    Similarly, any version number that begins with "15" indicates that you are running Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, below.

    PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
    Figure 7: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

    And any version number that begins with "14" indicates that you are running Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows

    Additionally, there may be other numbers after the 16, 15, or 14. Those other numbers indicate updates released after the initial first release.

Thank you so much, Anneliese Wirth, at Microsoft who helped me create this post.

See Also: Identify Your Version and License of Microsoft PowerPoint and Office on Mac

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Although you can search for pictures on Google Images or Bing, these pictures show in web browsers, and even then you cannot use most pictures in your slides since that would be a copyright violation. Fortunately, PowerPoint provides an option to search for pictures on Bing, which makes sure that you find Creative Common pictures so that you don’t end up being on the wrong side of the law. Even better, this Bing option shows picture search results directly within PowerPoint.



Learn how to insert pictures from Bing in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Video is the most powerful, pervasive, and performance-oriented media these days. No wonder then that everyone wants to upload videos to share on their sites, or on social media, or even upload via YouTube. In fact, many videos end up on your phone these days as attachments for WhatsApp and other social chat platforms. The problem though is the actual creation. Video creation is a time-consuming process and is not typically very easy to achieve when you want high-quality results. Our review product, Wondershare Filmora can help.



Let us explore Filmora, a quick video creation tool from Wondershare.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



A line (outline) in PowerPoint contains both points and segments. It is easy to understand the relationship between points and segments using a connect-the-dots analogy. The points represent the dots whereas the segments represent the lines you draw between the dots. Among points and segments, we have already explored the types of points in PowerPoint 2016. We now explore the two types of Segments in PowerPoint 2016: Straight and Curved. Segments can be edited, and you can also convert a straight segment to a curved segment and vice versa, as you will learn in this tutorial.



Learn about Curved and Straight line segments within PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

We bring you night sky backgrounds that are starlit -- discover 5 backgrounds in amazing colors. We then interview Gavin McMahon who talks about his new Chart Chooser Cards he created with Dr. Stephanie D. H. Evergreen. We wind up the Identify Font Types series by showing how you can do so in Microsoft Windows 7. We also show you how you can create Word Clouds for PowerPoint using Word Cloud Generator.

In the Tutorials section, we explore SmartArt for all versions of PowerPoint. Additionally, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about inserting SmartArt, converting bulleted text to SmartArt, editing points for Shapes, and adding or deleting points in 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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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The Shapes gallery in PowerPoint consists of various shapes, both open and closed. Closed shapes are ones that do not have a “visible” beginning or an end such as the Rectangle, Ellipse, and Triangle shapes. Open shapes have a “visible” beginning and an end. An example of an open shape is a straight point to point line. Some tools within the Shapes gallery let you create both open and closed shapes; these are the Freeform Line, Curve, and Scribble tools. In addition, you can convert any closed shape into an open shape and vice versa, as you will learn in this tutorial.



Learn how you can open and close paths for shapes in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, February 20, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Do you want to create a flower diagram, or just draw a normal flower? You will soon realize that PowerPoint’s Shape Gallery offers no Petal shape or even no Leaf shape. However, PowerPoint’s amazing Merge Shapes tools allow you to create almost any shape without having actually to draw anything. And they also allow you to create convincing Petal shapes. We show you two ways to create a Petal shape in PowerPoint. The first way uses the Merge Shapes' Union tool to create a tapered petal whereas the second way uses the Merge Shapes' Fragment tool to create a curved petal.



Learn to draw petal shapes in PowerPoint quickly.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Every shape in PowerPoint is created using both points and segments. Points, also known as vertexes are pronounced areas of the shape, and segments are straight or curved lines that connect these points. It is easy to understand the relationship between points and segments using a connect-the-dots analogy. The points represent the dots whereas the segments represent the lines you draw between the dots. Both segments and points are only visible within Edit Points mode. We discuss segments in a subsequent tutorial; for now, let us explore different types of vertexes (points) in PowerPoint 2016.



Learn about different types of points (vertexes) in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, February 17, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The Edit Points option gives you control over how you want a shape to look, but sometimes you might find it difficult to edit a certain segment in a shape because there are no points available to manipulate. Conversely, there could be far too many points! PowerPoint provides a simple solution for this problem: you can add and delete vertexes from a shape.



Learn how to add or delete points (vertexes) for a shape in PowerPoint 2016.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Word Clouds provide creative ways to explore and explain a concept or a subject using relevant terms that support a central idea. Even better, they create a visual from some words and can be used effectively in presentation scenarios, such as within your PowerPoint slides. However, creating such a Word Cloud in PowerPoint can be both a daunting and a time-consuming task! To make this process easier, we have been exploring some online applications that will help you create Word Clouds in a few minutes. Let's look at the Word Cloud Generator.



Learn how to create word clouds for PowerPoint in Word Cloud Generator.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When a shape is inserted into a PowerPoint slide, its default appearance is related to the points that it contains. Alter the points, and you can change the original shape to anything you want. PowerPoint's native Edit Points tool makes it almost a drawing program that provides you the option to play with vertexes (points), handles, etc. This is very similar to what you would do in Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or another drawing program. By using the Edit Points tool, you can change a rectangle to a rhombus, or even edit a curved or freeform line differently.



Learn how to alter a shape in PowerPoint 2016 by using the Edit Points option.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Some applications do identify font types by placing icons next to a particular font in a listing. Such behavior is an exception rather than a norm, and many times you may not know which font type you are choosing. And by font type, we mean the various font file formats such as OpenType, TrueType, etc. that are recognized by Microsoft Windows.



Learn how to identify font types in Windows 7.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Gavin McMahonGavin McMahon is a senior partner and co-founder of fassforward Consulting Group, where he advises Fortune 100/500 companies on business strategy. He brings a unique perspective on growth and innovation to his clients driving outcomes, traction, and results.

In this conversation, Gavin discusses his Chart Chooser Cards he created with Dr. Stephanie D. H. Evergreen.

Geetesh: Chart Chooser Cards seem like a great idea, but I am sure so much thought must have gone in their implementation. So what did you and Stephanie have to do so that the cards would be easy for others to use?

Gavin: It’s said that ‘data speaks for itself’, but this is rarely the case. In our experience, many professionals struggle to make their data sing. Most audiences are either confused by data or bored by it.

Data doesn’t need to be dry. It can tell powerful stories—if you know how to make it speak. But most of us don't. The skill to craft data into cohesive arguments is lacking.

That’s the challenge many business professionals face today. It's the challenge that Stephanie and I set out to address with our Chart Chooser Cards.

Chart Chooser Cards help professionals craft skillful arguments with data. No more using the same old pie chart over and over again. You can use the cards to choose the right chart design for your data to create storytelling impact.

Stephanie and I have worked together for years. We first met talking about presenter types, and later joined forces to develop a Presenting Data workshop for our clients. We started out developing Chart Chooser Cards for that workshop but put it on hold. Good ideas always come back, though, and here we are.

We looked at different charts that we found effective and categorized them. Some of those charts, such as bar charts, people would already be familiar with. Others are more unusual but far more effective for communicating, according to the research. What type of data you have determines the category of the chart. We color-coded those categories, so you have data based on time, that's one category. If you have data based on survey responses, that's another category, and so on.

It's not just a collection of different chart types. In the deck, we've also included information on what people are looking for in data, and how to clean up your graphs, so the story is very clear.

We also learned from our experience with the Dirty Rhetoric communication card deck. We wanted to demystify the whole process as much as possible. Each card has the name of the chart type, a visual example, and a simple definition. If the chart type goes by different names, you will find that on the card. You will also find notes on what the best use for that chart type is, and usage theory is something the data visualization community is lacking.

Chart Chooser Cards

Geetesh: Tell us more about the entire project—about Kickstarter, and about the extras such as templates you provide with the cards.

Gavin: We see KickStarter as a big brain trust for testing new ideas. It’s where thousands of innovative people go to look for unique concepts and to support projects.

Chart Chooser Cards are our second outing within the KickStarter community. We had success with Dirty Rhetoric on KickStarter. Dirty Rhetoric helps you find the perfect words. Chart Chooser helps you find the perfect chart.

KickStarter works best if you take part with comments and messages. It’s very easy—but you have to keep it alive. The more you add thoughts or content, the more that community rallies around your idea and contributes to it. And in the case of the Chart Chooser Cards, that support took us to 1297% of our goal.

Based on our previous experience we knew it was important to build in the right 'extras'. On Kickstarter, and now in the online store, Chart Chooser has extra options: an infographic poster, which is great in a classroom or cubicle, and a suite of Excel and Tableau templates that are a time-saving productivity tool.

Chart Chooser Cards

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Bulleted text slides are part of most PowerPoint presentations, even though some people abhor using bulleted content altogether. On the other hand, many others just cannot do without slides that do not contain bulleted lists. And if you are part of either of these two opposing camps, you will love this cool feature in PowerPoint that takes a middle road approach by using SmartArt. You can enhance the look of some bulleted slides by converting them to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2016.



Learn how to convert bulleted text to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

In an exclusive post, Jon Heathcote talks about the need to use roadmaps on PowerPoint slides. We also explore how you can identify font types in Microsoft Windows 8--we already have similar tutorials for other Windows versions.

In the Tutorials section, PowerPoint 2016 users can learn about drawing all types of lines: Straight, Curved, Freeform, and Scribbles. 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



SmartArt is a PowerPoint option that allows you to create diagrams easily. Did you know that SmartArt can function as a substitute for conventional bullet points? In this tutorial, you'll learn how to insert a SmartArt graphics within PowerPoint 2016. If you are new to SmartArt, do also take a look at the What is SmartArt and SmartArt Samples pages.



Learn how to insert SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, February 13, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

The ZIP file that you will download contains five Night Sky Starlit Backgrounds in three resolutions: Full Size: 4000x2250 pixels (16:9), Widescreen Size: 1365x768 pixels (16:9), and Standard Size: 1024x768 (4:3). Not only can you use these graphics for slide backgrounds, but these background designs can also animate between slides using PowerPoint's Morph transition.



Download and use these night sky backgrounds.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



SmartArt is a diagramming component first introduced within PowerPoint 2007 for Windows, and now available on most platforms where PowerPoint is available including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc. Among other niceties, SmartArt allows you to replace boring bullet points with info-graphic content using text within shapes.



Learn more about working with SmartArt within PowerPoint so that you can quickly create more effective diagrams.

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Friday, February 10, 2017
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

This is a promoted post.

There are only two certainties in life; death and taxes - so said, Benjamin Franklin. While the rest of our lives can’t be so easily predicted, if you’re alive in the 21st century it’s almost also a certainty that you’ve had to (or will have to) use PowerPoint to present something. Indeed PowerPoint has become so ubiquitous as a medium for communicating ideas, stories, and plans, that there’s no sign of it going away anytime soon either. In fact, for those that have learned to exercise the strengths of PowerPoint, it can become a flexible and powerful tool for educating and persuading audiences of all kinds—on all manners of subject.

My Product Roadmap

So while PowerPoint continues to be such a fundamental part of the way we all communicate, there will always be a need to help people create and deliver great messages through the use of PowerPoint. While this challenge is very much centered around the structure, the flow, and the content, it also helps to align those components around a visual framework to keep your audience interested and engaged. And that's exactly our mission here at My Product Roadmap. We build great looking PowerPoint templates that provide structure and flow for the business specific content our customers want to create a message around.

My Product Roadmap

Now while the number of types and styles of templates available for PowerPoint is vast, My Product Roadmap has a specific focus on creating unique roadmap templates. If you are a product or services company, you will more than likely maintain a roadmap for your product or service.

A roadmap is a communication tool, used to tell a story of trends and influences driving both your business and product strategy forward. Unlike a timeline template (which typically represents some tightly defined project schedule), it is a broad-strokes view of where a product is going in the future; that could be the next 6 months or the next 6 years, depending on the size and scope of the themes presented.

Roadmap presentations are an essential part of telling stakeholders, customers and even the market you serve, how your product or service is being built around them, and their needs and why your company is best placed to deserve their ongoing loyalty and custom.

My Product Roadmap

Anyone responsible for product portfolio management will appreciate the challenge of building and maintaining a product roadmap that is full of the right details, simple enough for their audience to comprehend and a pleasure to evangelize. Having that in a format that’s easy to share with customers and senior management alike really helps too. Like with many things in life, using the right product roadmap tools will help you get the job done quicker, more efficiently and with a better outcome, giving you more time to focus on all the other parts of the product or service management process.

For that reason, My Product Roadmap has built an extensive range of roadmap templates for Powerpoint that will help to deliver the right message in the right structure for most roadmap audiences. Whether you’re doing agile planning or showing off long time frame market themes, we're sure you'll find the strategic roadmap diagram that's right for you.

Please visit us at www.myproductroadmap.com to learn more about road mapping and find the template that's right for you.


Jon HeathcoteJon Heathcote is one of the founders of My Product Roadmap, a website he passionately helped start because of the gap he saw in the content made specifically available to product managers who still need to use PowerPoint. Jon has a background in product management, sales and marketing and in a former life was also a software engineer working on hi-tech computer vision technologies. Jon loves building great products that improve people's lives, and when he's not imagining the next big thing he can be found playing racket sports, running or chasing after his kids.

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