Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hints - Apple - PowerPoint Hints

Start the Show Instantly
We've all seen too much of presenter's laptop screens, full of messy icon-strewn desktops or unread emails, as they try to start a PowerPoint presentation. Get right to it by naming the file with a .PPS (or .PPSX) file extension. That's a PowerPoint Show, and a quick double click on it goes right into the slideshow, not PowerPoint editing mode. Click Esc to exit the slideshow
Go B or W to Get the Focus on You
When you're presenting, the slides are meant to help you, the speaker—not become a distraction. When the time comes to make sure the audience is paying attention to you alone, hit the B key to send the screen to a complete black out, or the W key to go to a white out. Then hit any key or click with the mouse to get back to the slides. It's a good technique to get all eyes on you, even if the slide is full of notes, animation, or video. 
Skip the Bullets
Take a cue from Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Bulleted lists don't look right. The smart way to do a list is to drop each list item in one at a time, preferably next to some big image that is the real focus. Give each list item its own due as you talk...but never with the bullets. 

Easily Capture Screenshots
If your presentation is all about demoing something that's usually on your computer screen, PowerPoint makes it easy to grab screenshots. On the Insert tab, click the Screenshot icon, and you'll see a thumbnail of each of your currently open windows. Resize the window to show exactly what you want first, then come back and select it—it'll get dropped into the slide you're editing.

Start with a Blank Canvas
A lot of people blame bad slide presentations on one culprit: pre-made slide templates. There are plenty of them included with PowerPoint, and thousands of them online, for free and for sale. The best thing you can do to make a presentation your own is to start from nothing. Bring up the blank, personalize it with your own art, and use some unique fonts. It goes a long way toward making something unique and memorable to the audience.

Keep Selection Pane Handy
On the Home tab, go to the Editing section and choose Select >Selection Pane. It'll appear on the right side (you can drag it to the left). Keep it open while you're working—this the control panel that allows you to not only name every element on the screen, but re-arrange the order of the layers of items (for example, if a picture is behind the text, move it up). Click the little eye icon next to each element to hide it so you can concentrate on the other areas.

Insert Pics From Flickr, OneNote
Go to the Insert tab and select Online Pictures. Among the options you'll see for picture insertion are the standard things like Office.com Clip Art and Bing Image Search (make sure they're Creative Commons images!), but also Flickr, OneNote, and Facebook. A quick click on each will tie your Microsoft account to the accounts in question (in Flickr's case, it's your Yahoo ID), so you can snag pics from your account to insert. Click the See More option and there's a search box. You can't search other people's accounts, just your own. So Flickr users, you still have to visit the site to download great, high-resolution Creative Commons free-to-use images in your presentation.

Animate Your Charts
Sticking an Excel-esque chart is about as simple as it gets in PowerPoint: Go to the Insert Tab, click Chart, and it'll stick one in with sample info you can easily replace. What's cool: animating the chart one element at a time. Once you've inserted a chart, click the Animations tab, then turn on the Animations Pane, and then click Add Animation. Pick an animated effect. Then, in the Animation Pane where you see the entry for the chart's animation, right click and select Effect Options. This lets you add sound and change the animation timing, but on the final tab—Chart Animation—change Group Chart from "As One Object" to "By Category." Then, when the chart is show on screen, it'll appear one element at a time as you click, with bars or pieces of pie arriving one after the other, as if each was its own slide. 

Use Reading View to Preview
You don't have to jump to the slideshow mode to see what the presentation will look like as you work. Switch to the Reading View, one of the choices on the View tab, and you'll get an instant inkling, without PowerPoint taking over the entire screen (including the Windows toolbar). The even quicker way: click the "open book" icon in the status bar at the bottom of PowerPoint to quickly skip back and forth. 
Set Up a Kiosk Presentation
Kiosk mode is when your presentation is set to just play, over and over again, whether with human intervention or not. Either way, it just plays and doesn't skip out to give the viewer access to the desktop. It's perfect for trade shows and, naturally, kiosks like you'd find in a mall.

To do it, click the Slide Show tab, select Set Up Slide Show, and in the dialog box click next to Browsed at kiosk (full screen). You can also set it to loop continuously, or even to skip audio narration you've built in, or any animations. After that, go to the Transitions tab to the Duration box, so you can set a time for how long a slide will show—the time is in seconds. If you click Apply to All, it assigns that timing to each slide, of course.

The secret to escaping kiosk mode presentations? Hit Esc key.

Output to Video
The other option for a kiosk-like presentation that just plays and plays, is to output the entire slide deck to a video format. It'll use the transition times you've preset, the audio you've recorded to play with each slide, even the animations you've set in each slide. (Videos, too, if they're from your hard drive—it doesn't output an embedded video from YouTube or the like.) The resulting WMA or MP4 file works like a charm in a player like VLC Player, which can itself be set to full screen with a constant loop. 

Make Music Extend Over Multiple Slides
Inserting Audio in a slide is easy—you click the Insert tab, select Audio, and you can pick from Online Audio (though it never works for me—I only get Microsoft Clip Art as an option with nothing to choose from; MS needs a deal with SoundCloud), audio on your hard drive like an MP3 file, or the option to record your own narration. By default, any audio inserted on a slide plays for just that slide. You can change that.

Click the speaker icon that shows you've got embedded audio. You'll see Audio Tools above the tabs at the top. Select the new Playback tab. In the Start section, check the box for "Play Across Slides." That's it—now the audio will play across the next few slides, until the music runs out. Better yet, click Trim Audio to get just the chunk of it you need. You can also make the music icon invisible by checking "Hide During Show," but that makes it impossible to click it and start the audio. (It's a good idea to use it when outputting the slides to video, however.)

This doesn't really work well with voice overs, but you can try it. Each audio embed has its own volume slider, so turn down the overall loudness on a musical background track if you plan to insert other audio. 
Don't Copy & Paste; Duplicate. 
You can hit Ctlr-C to copy and Ctrl-V to paste constantly if you have to reuse an element on a slide over and over. Duplication is easier: hold Ctrl while you click and drag on the object in question. It'll make an exact dupe. Keep selecting and making dupes and they'll all evenly space themselves out, too.

The big thing to dupe is entire slide or set of slides. Just select one or more slides in the left navigation pane, go to Insert, click New Slide menu, and select Duplicate Selected Slides. 

Animate Anything
You can grab just about any element of a PPT slide and make it move. Select the element, go to the Animations tab, and at the right end of the Animations Gallery, click the down arrow to get "More." There will be many, many motion options to pick from for how an element appears, gets emphasis, or disappears—but for animated motion, go to the fourth section. If you pick Custom Path, you can get the object to do just about any wild motions you want on the screen before it settles down.

Of course, one of the rules of good presentations tends to be don't animate anything if you can help it. So keep that in mind. No one wants an audience with motion sickness. 

Combine Shapes
You can insert lots of pre-created shapes from the Insert tab. But did you know you can mix and match them to make unique new shapes? Just put them where you want, select all the objects, click the Drawing Tools > Format tab, and use the Merge shapes menu to make some something new that combines them, subtract one from the other where they intersect, and other fun options. It's a cool way to make a Venn Diagram. That tool even works with text and images, so you could insert a picture into a shape, pictures into a word, or insert text into a shape. 

Remove Picture Backgrounds

You can clean up an image by taking out the background. Select it, click the Picture Tools > Format tab, then click Remove Background. It's almost that simple, but what you'll see is an image coated in purple—everything in that color is what PowerPoint wants to remove. You need to adjust it with the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove tools. First adjust the area so you get all of the picture you want—it'll try to crop it tight. When you use one of the tools, click and drag lines to show what should stay or go (minus sign means it'll be deleted), or just click different spots. Click on Keep Changes to kill that background dead.