Blog2021-05-06T12:54:43-07:00

Create a Custom Puzzle Image for Your Presentation

Puzzles are a great visual metaphor for presentations. We are sharing our process for creating a custom image for a presentation, with a puzzle piece theme. We do not want a single, flat image as that limits our presentation design options. But rather than create dozens of custom puzzle piece images in Illustrator or Photoshop, we prep a few images in these programs and let PowerPoint do most of the work.

1. In Illustrator we created a set of 5 puzzle piece shapes. These were exported as .SVG (vector) images.

2. Next we created a library of flag images that would be used in the puzzle pieces. These could be PNG or SVG format. We like the scalable nature of vector .svg images, and flags work well in this format. Here is an example of one flag image:

3. Insert the puzzle piece INSERT tab >> IMAGES group >> PICTURE. From the dialog find the puzzle piece file.

4. Right click the puzzle piece and select FORMAT PICTURE.

5. On the left pane select FILL. In the right pane select PICTURE OR TEXTURE FILL.

6. Click FILE and from the dialog find the American Flag image.

7. Check the box to TILE the picture as texture.

8. UNCHECK the box at the bottom “ROTATE WITH SHAPE”.

9. Optionally select CROP and then use the outer dots (not crop bars) to adjust the flag image size and position.

10. Have fun with formatting your shape! All PowerPoint style effects are available: bevel, drop shadow, reflection, etc.

11. Because the ROTATE WITH SHAPE option is turned off the puzzle piece shape rotates, but the flag stays in the same orientation!

By |May 17th, 2021|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

CreativePro Week – is next week!

Direct from the event website:

“CreativePro Week is the world’s best HOW-TO event for creative professionals who design, create, or edit in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Microsoft PowerPoint. No matter your skill level, you’ll learn techniques and best practices you can start using immediately to improve your productivity.”

On The Presentation Podcast, episode 125, David Blatner, Director of Creative Pro, joined us for a great conversation. Listen to the conversation here.

CreativePro Week is a virtual event this year (but a live, in-person event again next year) with over 40 expert speakers and more than 100 sessions! CreativePro Week is five days of in-depth training and inspiration. And in a unique option, passes can be 1-5 days with a choose-your-own adventure as to what days and what sessions you attend.

Also of note (for us here at TLC Creative): Friday, May 21st, our very own Troy Chollar of TLC Creative is a presenter  (that is just 1 week from today!). His session is “What’s New with Remote/Virtual Presentations”.

If you have not registered, here is the promo code extended to The Presentation Podcast listeners, for a $100 discount, CPWNH.

Jace @ TLC

By |May 14th, 2021|PowerPoint|

PowerPoint Designer, On-Demand

The AI powered “Designer” feature is truly fantastic. But, for the TLC Creative design team, we do not have have Designer active by default.

The good news is turning off Designer does not disable it, it just makes the automatic recommendations not happen. So, how do we use it?

From any slide, go to HOME tab > DESIGNER section > and click DESIGN IDEAS. This activates Designer and the Design Ideas pane opens on the right for us to see the AI powered design ideas and use if we want.

Troy @ TLC

By |May 12th, 2021|PowerPoint|

Microsoft Edge Webview2 – Does It Matter to PowerPoint?

Further blurring the boundary between native, and web-app development – enter Microsoft Webview2

As more and more apps become cloud-based there is a near seamless transition between desktop and mobile devices. Microsoft has been hard at work on this transition, and the coding challenges it presents for developers.  Enter Edge Webview2, which is only one component of Microsoft’s much larger Project Reunion. Project Reunion is an initiative to modernize and evolve Windows Application and Webapp development with a new set of unified tools and API’s.

So, what does webview2 do? Simply put, it allows you to add web content, HTML, CSS, Javascipt, etc. into your native applications. Native apps for each OS; Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, etc., each have differing coding languages and requirements. But Webview2 allows developers to use consolidated language base, coding for the web, and have a native application use that code – on any platform. It is easy to see why Microsoft would want to enable simplifying things in this way now that the O365 suite has essentially become a set of hybrid apps (they run on desktop, but require internet access for components of their functionality – or the same app can run, with almost 100% features, as a web app).

On the obvious side, why is there a “2” in the name? Because there is already a “Webview.” The question is, how is Webview2 different from Webview?  Webview2 is Chromium based (vs. a more proprietary Windows based language).  Chromium  is an industry-standard for code and development. The part that made the “new” Microsoft Edge web browser new, is that it is now based on Chromium (basically Microsoft stopped its proprietary code language development and used the industry standard and open source Chromium language).  Microsoft does make it clear that Webview2 does not mean Microsoft Edge needs to be installed. But Microsoft Edge is what renders all Webview2 content, so even if it is not installed as a web browser, it is running behind the scenes, albeit with a little more stealth, running anything utilizing Webview2. For software development with the goal of developing both native and webapps, and native apps that are cross platform, Webview2 makes that effort far less daunting.

So why the timing of this blog post now? Because Microsoft started pushing out the runtime to Windows PC’s starting April 1st and it has now been released for general availability. So Webview2 is now open to all developers.  If you want to get into more of the technical documentation, look at the Overview and Roadmap for detailed information.

For PowerPoint, we don’t have a list of any features that are specifically Webview2 coded. I imagine many of the new features, those that are available in PowerPoint for Web, but not the desktop version are leveraging this new coding option. It will definitely make it easier for the Microsoft team in maintaining functionality and feature set parity across platforms without having to develop everything from the ground up, two, three or five times. Stay tuned, because even if we do not directly see Webview2, no matter what platform we are using PowerPoint on, we certainly will be using features that are leveraging the features Webview2 enables.

Josh @ TLC

By |May 10th, 2021|Resource/Misc|

Talk to Your Slides!

With everyone working remote, I have found myself using more dictation and voice command options than I was in our design studio (where everyone could overhear, and be distracted by, my “conversations” with my computer). Microsoft Office, and specifically PowerPoint, has a really good voice-to-text tool called “Dictate”. It is super easy to use, and I find it almost perfect on converting me talking to my slide to text on the slide.

Of note: in the demo video I am using the Windows desktop version of PowerPoint. The same feature is on Mac and PowerPoint for web.

Troy @ TLC

By |May 7th, 2021|PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins|

Conversation with David Blatner of CreativePro Week

Episode 125 of The Presentation Podcast released this week. Listen to a great conversation with David Blatner, the force behind the CreativePro Week conference. We talk specifically about the 20+ sessions dedicated to presentation design. Labelled “The Essential HOW-TO Conference for Creative Pros” and it happens May 17-21, 2021.

Oh, and I am presenting a session on Friday, 5/21/21 “What’s New with Remote/Virtual Presentations”. I am looking forward to it!

Troy @ TLC

By |May 5th, 2021|Resource/Misc|

Time for a Restart!

2020 became a major restart.

We restarted TLC Creative Services with a new offering: virtual corporate events on a secure, scalable, and highly visual customizable platform. With the loss of nearly 100% of live events, we had time and a team of talented people to focus on the VXP Meeting Platform. And, we continued to provide presentation design, template development, and graphic design services (though like most of the world, at a reduced volume of requests).

2021 is time to restart The PowerPoint Blog!

Here, The PowerPoint Blog, went on an unofficial hiatus. More things to focus on than time allowed. Business development, platform development, and client requests came first. The PowerPoint Podcast came next and many other TLC Creative projects went on hold – including our time here.

Ideas

This is not to say my list of presentation examples, PowerPoint tutorials, and resources stopped. The list of blog topics has continued to grow for literally a year and it is now overflowing! The TLC Creative team is still busy (thankfully!), and The Presentation Podcast is going strong (with topic planned into 2022). The VXP meeting platform is less in a development stage and is now a stable functioning offering. All of these things make May 2021 the time to restart The PowerPoint Blog.

Welcome!

If you are new here, welcome! and search the archives. There are 1,ooo’s of blog posts (seriously, there are a lot, spanning back to 2006!) with lots of great how-to tutorials, examples of presentation design, and reviews of presentation design resources.

If you are a long time visitor, welcome back! Sorry for the pause, but the world gone crazy with a global Pandemic forced reshuffled priorities. Now we are focused here, on The PowerPoint Blog once again 🙂

your friend,
Troy Chollar

By |May 3rd, 2021|Personal|
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