Create Digital Menu Boards with PowerPoint


Create Digital Menu Boards with PowerPoint

Created: Monday, March 15, 2021 posted by at 9:30 am


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By Kurt Dupont

What is a Digital Menu Board?

Digital menu boards are menus displayed on computer monitors or TV screens. These are commonly used in coffee shops and restaurants. They include pictures and prices of menu items. It is easy to update and can be connected to databases to automatically update across all the locations within a few minutes. In this article, we will show the exact steps that are used to create a menu board like the one below, how to add pictures, pricing, and videos and how to connect to a central database.

For more information on the advantages of digital menus, read Amy Nichol Smith’s article on How to Use Digital Menu Boards for Your Restaurant or Grocery.

Digital Menu Board

Digital Menu Board

Create a New Slide show

  1. Open PowerPoint and start with a new blank presentation.
  2. Create a new slide.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the slide, choose Layout and then Blank.

Change Layout

Change Layout

Change the Background

  1. In the Ribbon, select the Design tab.
  2. Click the Format Background icon.
  3. Select Solid Fill or Gradient fill.
  4. Open the Color sub menu and choose a color.
  5. If the user is using Gradient fill, the user will have to choose a color for each of the Gradient stops. Click stop to select it.

Change the Background

Change the Background

Add Digital Menu Boxes

Turn on the grid; hold Shift, press F9. Snap objects to grid:

  1. From the Ribbon, click on View, then in the Show group, click on the small object at the right side of the box.
  2. Put a check beside Snap objects to grid.
  3. Click OK.

Next, place boxes for the menu boards on the grid:

  1. In the Ribbon, select the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Shapes icon, choose a rectangle shape.
  3. Click and drag to place a rectangle.

Place as many rectangles as needed.

Add Digital Menu Boxes

Add Digital Menu Boxes

Color the Digital Menu Boxes

Once the user has the placeholder shapes for the menu boxes, set the background colors for each of the shapes that the user was created. How to change rectangle colors:

  1. Right-click a rectangle, click Format.
  2. A menu will come up on the right with options.
  3. Choose the color that the user wants.

How to make a rectangle transparent:

  1. Right-click a rectangle then click Format Shape.
  2. In the right menu, look under the Shape Options tab, drag the Transparency slider to 100%.

Color the Digital Menu Boxes

Color the Digital Menu Boxes

How to Add Images to Digital Menu Boards

How to insert an image:

  1. In the Ribbon, select the Insert tab, click the Pictures icon.
  2. Find picture, and click Insert.

How to copy an image: While holding Ctrl, click and drag the image. If the user wants to update images and other data in multiple locations, see the menu boards data connection instructions further down.

Add Images to Digital Menu Boards

Add Images to Digital Menu Boards

Adding Text to Digital Menu Boards

How to add a text box:

  1. In the Ribbon, select the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Text Box icon.
  3. Click and drag to place a text box.
  4. Place as many text boxes as needed.

How to change text size and color:

  1. Select the text, right click on the selection.
  2. Use the Font Size and Font Color icons.

Adding Text

Adding Text

How to Add Video to Digital Menu Boards

How to add a video:

  1. In the Ribbon, select the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Video icon. Choose Online Video or Video on My PC.
  3. Hold click the video and drag it to where the user like to place it.

How to Add Video to Digital Menu Boards

How to Add Video to Digital Menu Boards

Connecting to a Data Source

Connecting to a data source lets the user edit a data file to change all the menu items to all the locations via the Internet. The user will need the DataPoint PowerPoint add-in to connect the menu board to a database. The user can download this add-in on the PresentationPoint site. Another useful plugin for multiple locations is the digital signage player software, iPoint, also from PresentationPoint.

Create a Data Source

Create the data source. The user data can be sourced from:

  • Excel spreadsheet,
  • Microsoft Access database,
  • XML file,
  • RSS feed,
  • Oracle,
  • MySQL,
  • and many more

Here is an example of a data source we created for our digital menu – an Excel spreadsheet.

Create a Data Source

Create a Data Source

As the user can see, the data spreadsheet just includes the item name, description, and price along with a link to where the picture is we want to use.

To Add a Data Connection

Click on the DataPoint tab of the Ribbon, and then the List button.

Add a Data Connection

Add a Data Connection

Next, Add a Connection

  1. Choose the type of connection, which would be Excel in this case.
  2. Click on the Add Connection button.
  3. Browse to the data file the user created and click OK.

Add Connection

Add Connection

Then, Add a Query

  1. Click on the Add Query button. Now, it will show the data within the spreadsheet.
  2. Tick the box called The first row contains field names, if applicable.
  3. Set how often the user wants the data to refresh on the menu board.

Add Query

Review Data Preview

The data from the spreadsheet should show now. Click OK.

Review Data Preview

Review Data Preview

Connecting a Text Box to Data

  1. Click on the text box to connect.
  2. Click on the DataPoint tab of the Ribbon, and then the Text Box button.

Connecting a Text Box to Data

Connecting a Text Box to Data

Choose Data for Text Box

  1. Choose the Column and Row.
  2. The preview will show what will be added.
  3. Click OK.

Data for Text Box

Data for Text Box

The user will see the text box data updated, as shown below.

Data updated

Data updated

Connect Menu Board Images to Data Source

The user can connect images for the digital menu boards to the data source, the same way as the connected text box. Once done, the user has digital menu boards that the user can update from a central location just by updating the spreadsheet or other data source.


Kurt Dupont

Kurt Dupont
 
Kurt Dupont is a solution provider who would go out of his way just to ensure he brings out the best when it comes to issues that have to deal with data-driven presentations, data visualization, and digital signage software.

He started by working at airports worldwide to set up airport databases and flight information screens. This evolved to become the basis for PresentationPoint.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.




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