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PowerPoint Notes: February 2006

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

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7 Key Tips to Using PowerPoint

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 3:06 PM IST


Kevin Lerner of the Presentation Team shares some tips that will allow you to use PowerPoint more effectively.

It may be the leading presentation program on the market, but PowerPoint is rarely used to its most complete functionality. Here are seven tips to help make your next PowerPoint experience a bit fulfilling and simpler:

1. Content First...Then Visuals: When starting a new presentation, try not to become distracted by the desire to make it look good. Rather, focus on creating the content first. Use the outline view to get your bullets and main points in place. Also, the auto content wizard in newer versions of PowerPoint is helpful in getting the key messages in place.

2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts and Right Mouse: To improve efficiency and shave hours off your presentation development time, it's helpful to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Copy=Control+C, Paste=Control+V. A list of these shortcuts can be found in the help menu. Also, the right mouse button will present an array of additional options, depending on where it's clicked.

3. Make Alternate and Hidden Versions of Slides: Not sure how an effect will look? Want to have some extra detail on a slide that you may or may not use? By making duplicate versions (copy and paste your slides in the slide sorter) you can experiment with alternative versions. Select "hide slide" so it doesn't show when you're presenting.

4. Align and Grid are Your Friends: Graphics that are misaligned can subconsciously send the message of disorganization, and detract from your presentation. By using Guides and Grids (view menu or right click), you can get your text and graphics perfectly straight.

5. Tame Your Transitions: Just because PowerPoint has some really cool transitions, doesn't mean they should be used. Too much can detract from your presentation. And most of the time, a simple wipe or dissolve will suffice. Also, it's good to make the transitions consistent throughout your entire presentation.

6. Save Often, Locally, and with Backups: By saving every 30 minutes and with different versions (draft1.ppt, draft 2.ppt, etc.) you can save yourself headaches when the inevitable computer crash comes. Also, don't trust the networks. Save your presentation to your local PC and copy it later to the network.

7. Allow Enough Time for Output and Practice: Don┬Ět get caught by the clock! By stopping even 20 minutes before your actually deadline, or showtime, you can significantly enhance your message by taking time to practice and rehearse. Also, consider the time needed to print/copy/email the file.


Friday, February 17, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 1:26 PM IST

I recently saw a PowerPoint presentation in which the presenter showed a slide, then with a mouse click zoomed in to a part of it. I can't figure out how to do this.

You'll need either PowerPoint 2002 or 2003 to do this:

1. Select the object you want to zoom.

2. Choose Slide Show | Custom Animation to activate the Custom Animation
task pane.

3. In the Custom Animation task pane, choose Add Effect | Emphasis | Grow/Shrink - if the Grow/Shrink option is not available, choose Add Effect | Emphasis | More Effects | Basic | Grow/Shrink.

To finetune the Grow/Shrink effect, select the animation from the listing on
the task pane, and click the downward pointing arrow next to the listing to
reveal a fly-out menu. Choose Effect Options to summon a dialog box that
lets you play with the settings.


Thursday, February 16, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 1:28 PM IST

Creating scrolling credits works differently depending on which version of PowerPoint you are using.

PowerPoint 2002 or 2003:

1. Type some text in a text box or placeholder, or choose an existing text box or placeholder on a slide.

2. Select the text box or placeholder, and choose Slide Show | Custom Animation. This will activate the Custom Animation task pane.

3. In the Custom Animation task pane, click on the Add Effect button to reveal a fly-out menu. In this fly-out menu, choose Entrance | Credits. If the Credits option is not available, choose Entrance | More Effects to summon the Add Entrance Effect dialog box. Choose the Credits option in the Exciting category, and click OK.

4. You might want to change the speed to Medium in the Custom Animation task pane, and the Start option to With Previous (default is On Click).

To create a Star Wars style credits screen, look here...

PowerPoint 97 and 2000:

1. Create a text box - a regular rectangle or any AutoShape. Start inputting your text straightaway - for example:

Goodness God
Amazing Ants
Helpless Haunted House
PowerPoint Perils
Monday Merits

2. Now that you've entered all the names or any other text you need, deselect the text box. Click on the periphery of the text box to select the text box, not the text inside the box!

3. Press the Alt key on the keyboard - with the Alt key still pressed, drag and move the entire text box above the area off your slide. Right click your text box, and choose 'Custom Animation' from the options in the flyout menu.

4. In the 'Effects' tab of the Custom Animation dialog box, choose 'Crawl From Bottom' in the 'Entry Animation' drop down menu.

5. Proceed to the 'Order and Timing' tab and select the radio button representing 'Automatically' and change the value to 00:00 seconds. Preview your animation - tweak settings again in the 'Custom Animation' box if required.


Monday, February 06, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 10:39 AM IST


I have seen a PowerPoint presentation set up as a menu from which to run a number of seperate presentations from different speakers at a seminar. I cant find this in the help files - can someone please direct me to where I can find help to do this.

This is quite simple - follow these steps.

1. Create a new folder and copy all the presentations that you need to link from the menu presentation.

2. Create a single slide presentation, and save it in the same folder. This single slide is going to be the menu slide.

3. Create a text box for the first presentation you want to link from this menu slide, and type something descriptive that allows you to identify which presentation you're going to link to from a particular text box.

4. Right click one of the text boxes, choose the Action Settings option to open a dialog box of the same name.

5. In the Mouse Click tab, select the Hyperlink to dropdown list and choose the Other PowerPoint Presentation option - and navigate to and choose the other presentation.

6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 as often as required.

7. Save and test your menu presentation.


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