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PowerPoint Notes: November 2007

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

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3D Lists in PowerPoint 2007 with Perspector 4.0

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:29 PM IST

This quick tutorial was provided with George McCaskill of Visual Exemplars, a UK based company that creates Perspector, a 3D add-in for PowerPoint.

  1. Starting with a normal slide with around three bullet points:

    • one
    • two
    • three

  2. On the Perspector panel, select "Convert PowerPoint bullet list to a 3D list". Choose the "Simple Flow Across" image to end up with what you can see in Figure 1.


    Figure 1: A Perspector 3D list.

  3. Now do some simple Perspector editing like adjusting the angle of the flow in 3D, change font size and color (select all first), and save the Perspector image. As a final flourish, add a PowerPoint 2007 image reflection to the saved Perspector image (see Figure 2).


    Figure 2: A Perspector list with PowerPoint 2007 effects.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:27 PM IST

This article is not about creating your own macros or scripts to automate PowerPoint. However, if you just want to run any macros or scripts that a friend shares, or you just got it from a book or newsgroup, then you are on the right page.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Make sure you have a script ready -- you can download some scripts here.

  2. Open an existing presentation, or create a new one in PowerPoint. Then press Alt+F11 to access the Microsoft Visual Basic interface that you can see in Figure 1.


    Figure 1: The Visual Basic interface

  3. Choose Insert | Module, as shown in Figure 2.


    Figure 2: Insert a module

  4. This opens a new module window on the right side of the interface. Copy your VBA code source, and paste it here (see Figure 3).


    Figure 3: The pasted script

  5. Now you need to run this script as a macro from within PowerPoint. To do that, first exit the Visual Basic interface by choosing File | Close and Return to PowerPoint.

  6. Now the steps you take differ depending upon which version of PowerPoint you are using.

    PowerPoint 2007 users will need to enable the Developer tab on the Ribbon if it is not already visible. To do that, choose Office Button | PowerPoint Options, and select the Popular tab on the left. Then check the option that says Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.

    PowerPoint 2010 users can find instructions to enable the Developer tab of the Ribbon within our Enable The Developer Tab in the Ribbon - PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.

    Once you have enabled the Developer tab of the Ribbon, access this tab and click the Macro button to bring up the Macro dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. All scripts within the active presenttion will be displayed here. Select the script you want to run, and click the Run button.


    Figure 4: The Macro dialog box

    Versions before PowerPoint 2007: Choose Tools | Macros | Macro to bring up the same dialog box that you saw in Figure 4. Then select the script you want to run, and click the Run button.

Remember, some scripts may do nothing at all unless you have something selected on the slide before you run them!

Tip from Steve Rindsberg: You can store many, many macros/scripts/routines in a single PowerPoint file and as long as you have it open along with any other files, you can access the macros as described.

See Also: Create an Add-in with toolbars that run macros (PPT FAQ by Steve Rindsberg)

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:09 AM IST

Sometimes, it can be frustrating trying to do the simple things in PowerPoint such as duplicating an object right above the original. PowerPoint insists on placing the duplicated (or copy/pasted) object at an offset and there's no way to fine tune that setting. Maybe there's a registry tweak or something that I'm not aware of?

So why would anyone want to place a duplicated object right above the original? There are many scenarios that require such a placement:

  • You want to animate one object after the the other.
  • You want to rotate objects.
  • You want to make some changes to the duplicated object and then do a trigger animation.
  • You might want to do something else!
Meanwhile, here are some ideas and observations on how you can work around this limitation:
  • If you copy and paste a slide object on the same slide, it is placed at an offset. Sometimes, you can press the up arrow key twice, and then press the left arrow key twice to place the copied/duplicated object right above the slide, but even that does not work all the time. That setting only works if the Snap to Grid option is turned on.
  • If you copy a slide object (anything on a slide) and paste it on another empty slide, it is placed in the exact location as the original.
  • If some part of the original slide object exceeds the area off the edge of the slide, then the duplicated/pasted object will be pasted within the slide area as far as possible. Of course that only works if the object is not larger than the slide area.
  • The quickest way to place a duplicated object right above its original is to use a third-party add-in called Toolbox from Shyam Pillai. This includes a menu option called Toolbox | Shapes | Clone Shape(s).
  • Another way you can place pasted/duplicated objects right on top of the original is to use the Align tools. This works best if you have several duplicated objects. Select them all, and choose Align | Align Left, and Align | Align Top.
If you have found new ways to work around these issues, do add your comments to this post.

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