Jamie Garroch, CEO of YOUpresent (formerly GMARK) founded the company to provide presentation professionals with presentation software, content and training. Jamie uses a range of presentation and e-learning tools on PC and Mac from PowerPoint to Keynote, Adobe CS and iSpring for presentations and Articulate Storyline for e-learning. He also uses PowerPoint as a programming environment to create authoring automation for his company’s productivity needs, custom add-ins for clients and off-the-shelf products for presentation designers.
In this conversation, Jamie discusses the new Guides Manager option within his G-Tools add-in for PowerPoint.
Geetesh: What problems do you see working with PowerPoint guides in presentations and templates?
Jamie: Guides are a really useful addition to PowerPoint that help presentation authors align their content perfectly, an attribute of slide design that sets great presentations apart from the rest. Quite often, guides are part of the setup of an organization’s template but all too often we see guides in templates placed on slides. This is not the best place for them because it’s easy for users to accidentally move them, rendering them useless. And what’s more, Ctrl+Z/Undo doesn’t revert these accidental movements. So guides on slides should only really be used by users who place them there temporarily when building their slide content. Guides for templates should reside on the Slide Master (applied to all layouts) or to specific layouts, depending on their intended use.
The second challenge is that it’s often difficult, and in some cases, impossible to manually place a guide exactly where you want it. Even when you use the Alt key for precise control. That can lead to tiny white gaps between shapes that you are trying to align because the guide isn’t quite where you thought you’d placed it.
Geetesh: How does the new Guides Manager in G-Tools help overcome these problems?
Jamie: This new feature in G-Tools is a productivity solution to help template designers and users alike manage the addition, deletion and copying/moving of guides more effectively. It provides an easy way to add guides to all slides in a deck (applied across multiple masters) where users can move them in the normal view, or to a single master which protects them from accidental movement, or to individual layouts – without changing from the normal view.
Each of these three placement locations uses a different default color with grey used for slides, red for masters and orange for layouts. G-Tools allows you to add guides using the default colors or any you choose. With a shape selected on a slide (or master or layout), you can use the Guides Manager to precisely add new guides to the top, right, bottom or left edge of any shape. The Guides Manager also includes tools to easily create a series of any number of equally spaced guides, either horizontally or vertically, at a specific position defined in inches/cm/points, precise control of the deletion of guides from their various placement locations and to even copy them from one location to another e.g. from slide to master.
The Guides Manager is available as a free upgraded for all existing G-Tools customers. Others can download a free trial of G-Tools, which has over 50 useful tools.