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PowerPoint Notes: June 2005

Info-things on PowerPoint usage including tips, techniques and tutorials.

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Start Presentation Sans Clicks

Sunday, June 26, 2005
posted by Geetesh on 10:22 AM IST

Is it possible to make a presentation start on space bar only - but without unplugging the mouse?

PowerPoint MVP David Marcovitz provides a solution.

1. You can virtually unplug the mouse by removing the check next to Advance on Mouse Click under the Slide Transition.

2. Do this for all the slides by going to Slide Sorter View (View | Slide Sorter) and selecting all the slides. Then choose Slide Show | Slide Transition to activate the Slide Transition task pane or dialog box depending upon which version of PowerPoint you are using.

3. Uncheck the On Mouse Click option under Advance Slide.

Note that this only disables the mouse advancement; it does not disable any keystrokes (space, arrows, page up, etc.), and it does not disable the other mouse functions including the little menu in the lower left of the screen and the menu that comes up with right click.

Thank you, David.

David Marcovitz, a PowerPoint MVP is also Associate Professor in the Education Department and Director of Graduate Programs in Educational Technology at Loyola College. David has also authored a book called PowerPoint for Educators.

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Friday, June 24, 2005
posted by Geetesh on 11:06 AM IST

Many times, you want to rip some tracks off a music CD and play it within your PowerPoint presentation, maybe as a background score that plays throughout the presentation. However, you might find that PowerPoint refuses to play those tracks! What is happening here?

Especially if you use Windows Media Player to rip the CDs, the real culprit might be DRM, which stands for Digital Rights Management and is a concept promoted by the music industry to prevent illegal distribution of their content. So, what's DRM doing inside PowerPoint? That's a good question - and DRM fits right into the PowerPoint world since most PowerPoint presentations are intended to be shown and distributed anyway.

However, I've ripped MP3s from music CDs using the new Windows Media Player 10 and no DRM is added to that - so why do some tracks get controlled by DMA and other don't?

PowerPoint MVP Austin Myers throws some insight into whatever is happening behind the scenes:

Windows Media Player doesn't add anything to it unless you tell it to. There are several "levels" of DRM built on newer music CDs and Windows Media Player simply passes them along into the ripped file. What can or cannot be done with it after that point depends upon how the content creator set DRM in the original file. In most cases you can rip to your machine for private use, but you cannot use it in a distribution application like PowerPoint (or BitTorrent).

Thank you, Austin.

Austin Myers creates a PowerPoint add-in that helps you shoo away your multimedia woes in PowerPoint. It is called PFCMedia and you can download a trial copy from his site...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005
posted by Geetesh on 2:57 PM IST

How can I change the alignment of all the numbers in a PowerPoint chart, i.e., the numbers (values) that are above the columns? I know how to change one individually, but how do you change the alignment (for example, from 0 degrees to 45 degrees) of all the values in just one or two steps?

PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford provides a solution.

1. The values are called data labels. Click the chart area so that they're not selected.

2. Then click one data label *once* so that you see black squares around *all* the data labels in a data series.

3. Now right-click and choose Format Data Labels. If the right-click is difficult and makes you select just the one individual data label, then choose Format on the menu at the top of the screen and from there, choose Selected Data Labels.

4. Then head to the alignment tab and type in 45.

Echo, thank you for allowing me to reproduce this content here.

Tip: You can find tons of hard-to-find chart related ideas on Echo's chart page...

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Monday, June 20, 2005
posted by Geetesh on 10:06 PM IST

Is it possible to save sound clips within the Clip Art Gallery and Task Pane onto a CD or hard drive?

If you are using PowerPoint 97 or 2000, you can drag the clips you need from Clip Gallery to the desktop.

PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 users can drag the clips off the Clip Art task pane to the desktop.

Once the clips are on the desktop, you can burn them on a CD.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005
posted by Geetesh on 10:31 PM IST

I am bringing a text placeholder onto a slide one bullet point at a time. However, my slides are pictures so I need to fill the text placeholder background with white fill. Is there a way to bring in the fill color with the bullet points so the audience sees only the unobstructed picture first then the text and white fill background for the text in the placeholder as I bring it in?

1. Create a new text box for every bullet you require. Make sure your text boxes have white fills and black text as you need. You might even want to experiment with the transparency of the fill if you are using PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 - you'll find all these options in the Format dialog box - to access this dialog box, just double-click the text box.

2. Then line up all the text boxes so that they appear to be a single text placeholder.

3. Animate each text box in succession so that the bullets build one after the other.

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