PowerPoint Notes

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

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 11:03 AM IST

Trend Micro released a comprehensive blog post that talks about a trojan horse malware triggered by PowerPoint’s Mouse-Over action setting. This action setting can run a PowerPoint macro.

OK, this is not as bad as it may sound. Why? I can think of three good reasons:

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:30 AM IST

Switch Row/Column Grayed

Once you insert a chart in PowerPoint, you may find that you mixed up the series and categories! It’s easy to switch between both of them by clicking the Switch Row/Column button on the Chart Tools Design tab of the Ribbon–but wait, do you see the Switch Row/Column button grayed out, as shown highlighted in red within the screenshot below?

Switch Row/Column Grayed Out for a Chart in PowerPoint

The solution is simple, although not so apparent. All you need to do is to right-click the chart on your slide to bring up the contextual menu, shown below. Now select the Edit Data option.

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Friday, June 2, 2017
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:30 AM IST

We finally explore the seventh timeline example in our series on different timelines that stand apart because they are unique.

This timeline is from our friends at Presenter Media, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based organization. My contact at Presenter Media was Art Holden.

Presenter Media Timeline Navigate 01

So what do we like about this timeline? We love the fact that the curve makes this timeline fit in more timeline stops in a smaller area. Plus, the current timeline stop shows up larger and gets more attention than the stops that denote earlier times.

Presenter Media calls this timeline the Navigate Timeline. This particular timeline includes several extras within the timeline presentation you download from their site.

  • Presenter Media Timeline Navigate 02
  • Presenter Media Timeline Navigate 03
  • Presenter Media Timeline Navigate 04
  • Presenter Media Timeline Navigate 052

Template Link | Aspect Ratio: Standard (4:3) and Widescreen (16:9). Apple Keynote variant also available.

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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 AM IST

Many of you have been following our Timelines that are Different series, and it’s now time to show you another fantastic timeline that you can use on your PowerPoint slides. The requirement to be featured in this series is not to be just useful and interesting, but the featured timeline also needs to be different and stand apart from usual timeline offerings.

Our sixth timeline slide is from infoDiagram, a template site based out of London, UK. My contact at infoDiagram was Peter Zvirinsky.

This particular timeline looks very simple indeed, and that in itself provides it with an amazingly, different attribute. The watercolor-stroke appearance of this timeline is uncomplicated and captivating at the same time. infoDiagram calls this diagram a Watercolor Timeline Arrow.

Watercolor Timeline Arrow

The limitation of this timeline is that you cannot add too many timeline stops. The sample shown above already has four stops, and you may be able to squeeze in an extra timeline stop at the most. Fortunately, this timeline slide is part of many other similarly styled Watercolor slides, and you may use elements from other slides to create more coordinated slides!

Watercolor Timeline Arrow

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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 AM IST

As part of our very popular series on timelines that are “different”, let us now explore our fifth, different timeline! In this series, we are not exploring the “best” timelines that you can add to your slides. And realistically speaking, it was a conscious decision to choose “different” rather than “best” for this series because we wanted to bring you timeline slides that are not seen too frequently; and thus, will stand apart from the commonplace.

Our fifth timeline slide is from PresentationLoad, a slide vendor based out of Nierstein, Germany. My contact was Frank Hodrea.

So how is this timeline different than the typical timeline slide? First of all, this timeline is so much more visual that most timelines. Also, it makes the best use of the larger width of the widescreen aspect ratio to fit in so many pictures! PresentationLoad calls this a Company History Timeline.

Company History Timeline

Although all pictures are grouped, you can still change them individually because newer versions of PowerPoint let you change pictures, even if they are within a group. And if you don’t want to change pictures, PresentationLoad seems to have carefully chosen neutral pictures that will work in most scenarios! All put together, this is a set of 28 slides, and 27 of them have editable timelines!

Company History Timeline

Template Link | Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9) and Standard (4:3)

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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Monday, May 30, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:15 AM IST

Creating timeline slides can be so much fun, not just because your options are so many—but also since each timeline is completely different from another. We have been looking at the collections of major slide vendors, and are picking timeline templates from their collections that number several hundred slides! Choosing just seven slides from such a large repertoire is not easy because so much thought and visual talent has been used to create the available options.

Our fourth timeline slide is from SlideModel, a slide vendor based out of Uruguay. My contact was Germán Viera.

This timeline is different than the usual single-line timeline. Yet, it uses less slide real estate optimally with a from-the-top look at a maze-style line. SlideModel calls this a Horizon Perspective Timeline.

Horizon Perspective Timeline

You can use any number of time values although it would be difficult to use more than ten time values with captions. Steps/stops are provided using two variants; you can use a colored map pin, or a numbered, colored map pin.

Horizon Perspective Timeline

You can also use multiple slides with one step/stop per slide. Some sample slides that illustrate this effect are included.

Template Link | Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9) 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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:15 AM IST

We have already explored two timelines that are different than the typical straight-line timelines you usually encounter in PowerPoint slides. And while straight timelines are great, and must be used if you have ten or more time values, there are opportunities when you can benefit from a differently styled timeline.

Our third, different timeline is from PoweredTemplate, a slide vendor based out of London, UK. My contact was Joanna Miller.

Look at this timeline template carefully. PoweredTemplate calls this a Timeline Concept.

Timeline Concept PoweredTemplate

You can use up to six time values. The slide you see above uses a year for each time value, but you could use any other value you want. Notice that the timeline has been represented by bars that seem stacked up a wall, or rather two walls to create a 3D illusion. This allows you to add two text descriptions for each time value.

Timeline Concept PoweredTemplate

The actual deck you download has many more timeline variations included. There are 8 slides using both light and dark background variations.

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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Friday, May 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:15 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.

Pickit

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 9, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:15 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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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Friday, May 6, 2016
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:15 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.

See More Timelines that are Different: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

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