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Pickit Brings Free Pictures to PowerPoint Again

Friday, May 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

A while ago, Microsoft discontinued their hugely popular Clip Art collection that allowed you to search and insert visual content right from within PowerPoint without having to pay anything extra. Even better, most of the time you never had to worry about licensing since Microsoft made those available to you as part of an option within their own program.

And now Microsoft has have teamed up with Pickit, a Swedish resource of pictures.


Don't expect to choose the Pictures or the Online Pictures option from the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and then find an option to search and insert pictures from Pickit. The process works a little differently. Tom Kuhlmann of Articulate has a detailed post. Additionally, Articulate also posted a video to easily explain the process:

And the folks from Pickit have created a small video that explains how you can use their add-in inside PowerPoint.

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Monday, May 09, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

Timelines are graphics that show a sequential happening of events—these events may be in the past, the present, or the future. Typical timeline graphics emulate a ruler-style measurement bar with text captions. The problem with these timelines is that they all look the same! If you have seen one, you have seen them all.

We already looked at a timeline slide that looked a little unconventional in the first post in this series. And now we will explore another timeline slide, from another vendor. This one is not only different in concept and appearance than the first sample we saw—but it is also different than the hundreds of other timeline slides you may have encountered.

Our second timeline sample is from My Product Roadmap, a UK-based design agency. My contact was Jon Heathcote.

Explore this particular slide template for a timeline. My Product Roadmap calls this a Ten Step Timeline.

Timeline My Product Roadmap Milestone Timeline

Each of the ten steps is identified as a milestone, and a grayed out version that shows just one step active is also part of the template, as shown in the figure below.

Timeline My Product Roadmap Milestone Timeline

I suggest you use all the grayed out milestones in your slide, and then animate-in the colored milestones one after the other to use this template with even more impact.

Template Link | Aspect Ratio: Standard (4:3) Only

If you have found a timeline template that's different than others, do let us know by adding a comment. Also, if you are a vendor who wants their templates to be featured as part of this series, do get in touch with us via our feedback form.

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Friday, May 06, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

PowerPoint makes it easy to create info diagrams, and the SmartArt feature is awesome. Yet, there are times when PowerPoint's offerings need to be supplemented by third-party content. Timelines are a great example, and this is the first in a series that will explore timeline slides.

While you can quickly create a timeline in PowerPoint using available shapes, it's always more interesting if your timelines look different. Why? That's because if you want your content to stand out in a crowd, it must be different. Audiences get bored of slides that look the same, and some people in the audience may even be unconsciously not receptive to the straight-line timeline that most PowerPoint users create!

We explored the collections of all slide template vendors, and found 7 timeline graphics that win brownie points for being different. Our first, different timeline comes from SlideTeam, among the largest resources of PowerPoint slide content, with offices in the United States and India. My contact was Akash Bathla

Look at this particular slide template for a timeline. SlideTeam calls it a GPS Road Map : )

Timeline SlideTeam GPS Road Map

Although you could ideally use it as a GPS Road Map, there's nothing preventing you from using this template in any slide scenario that calls for a simple, 6 step timeline. You can also use it for timelines that require 4 or 5 steps by deleting extra timeline stops.

You will notice that each timeline stop is a map pin, and these pins are all native PowerPoint objects that can be customized as required. The template you download from SlideTeam has specific instructions for such customizations, as shown in the figure below.

Customization instructions for Timeline SlideTeam GPS Road Map

While the slides you download are not animated, each map pin/timeline stop is an individual object, as are all the text boxes. You can, therefore, animate these in sequence as required. Also, all objects on the slide can be recolored, and instructions to do so are included as part of the template slides.

Template Link | Aspect Ratio: Standard (4:3) Only

If you have found a timeline template that's different than others, do let us know by adding a comment. Also, if you are a vendor who wants their templates to be featured as part of this series, do get in touch with us via our feedback form.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 3:54 PM IST

Here's a question I was recently asked.

I created a training PowerPoint presentation that has links to other PowerPoint presentation. But when I am finished the other linked PowerPoints, they are still open. Is there a way to have them close when you link back to the original one?

The answer is quite simple, but not very obvious. Here are some guidelines that will help:

  • You need not link back from the linked presentation -- to the original one. In fact, make sure you do not do so!
  • Now you only have a one-way link from the original, source presentation to the destination presentation.
  • Click the link from the original, source presentation to the destination presentation.
  • Play the destination presentation. When you are done, simply press the Esc key on your keyboard to close the destination presentation.
  • Once the destination presentation is closed, you will be landed right back to your original, source presentation. In fact, you will get back to the same slide from where you linked!
Do explore some of our linking tutorials:

Linking Between Slides in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows | Linking to Another Presentation in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows | Linking to Web Pages in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST

OK, for all of you (and me too!) PowerPoint users, Prezi is not so easy to understand. That's not because Prezi is a difficult tool to use -- rather that's because we all have been so used to doing tasks in a certain way and expect the same workflows in Prezi, and that does not always happen! Clearly some unlearning is required.

The one task that had me stumped initially was trying to change the font (yes, typeface for the purists) within one of the text placeholders. That's a simple task in PowerPoint -- you can select any text you want, and change the font to anything you want. In fact, you can take a seven character word like "seasons", and have a separate font for each character! OK -- don't do that unless you have a compelling reason to do so -- but looks like that's not doable in Prezi?

OK, at least it appears that it is not possible to add a non-Theme font in Prezi. If you have found a workaround, please do add a comment on this post.
So as of now, looks like there's no way to even use a different font for an entire text placeholder. There are three font choices for any text you create:

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Body

Figure 1, below shows Prezi's font choices toolbar.

Figure 1: Prezi's font choices

Each of these choices (styles) has a font allotted to itself. And all these three choices are part of a Prezi theme. Now Prezi themes are similar to PowerPoint themes that also have font choices set up. Unlike Prezi, PowerPoint has two font choices within the theme:

  1. Headings (equivalent to Prezi's Title)
  2. Body (same as Prezi)

Figure 2, below shows PowerPoint's Font gallery.

Figure 2: PowerPoint's font choices

Now beyond these similarities, there's a difference. While PowerPoint does recommend that you use theme fonts, it does not prevent you from using any other font. That definitely is a plus factor. But Prezi's approach of not allowing a non-theme font assures that your text looks consistent -- and that's a plus too for some folks.

For those of you who are ready to change themes to add another font in your Prezi, this video might help:

This same video can be found with instructions on this page: Changing fonts in Prezi

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