I had to share this setup from a recent corporate event. I am onsite managing the presentations for a large event, in what I call my “office for the week”. But this one was a bit unique.

First the tech setup was a single 8′ table for 3 techs (I generally have a 6′ table for my computers, monitors and space to have presenters review, and edit slides). Fortunately, I include a computer stacker in my tech kit. But what made this really unique is where the tech area is. I am generally backstage, or sometimes front of house. But for this meeting, the room was a bit small and in order to maximize attendee seating (~250 attendees), I was outside the meeting room in the hall!

On the positive side, I did not need any of the work lights I pack for the dark backstage environment!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-09-27T16:13:18-07:00September 28th, 2023|Personal|

Why Separate Text Boxes Over Shapes is BAD

Continuing on from the previous post, “Circles and Text (that does not fit)“, with some best practice reasons for NOT stacking a text box on top of a shape.

  • It is lazy formatting.
  • Often it is because knowing how to control PowerPoint’s text formatting within a shape are not features used (see the previous post on using shape internal margins as an example of formatting options that are not commonly used).
  • It makes future edits to the slide tedious. As an example, two elements, the shape and the text box, need to be moved together to stay aligned.
  • Text boxes stacked on top of a shape generally are not truly horizontally aligned to the shape. As example, a text box stacked on top of a shape with the text horizontally centered is most likely not actually centered, because the text box margins push the text off center – ugh!
  • Animation seems easier, but again, a shape and text within the shape can be set as independent elements on the animation timeline – overcoming almost every instance where the two separate elements have been stacked and animated separately.
  • The Office/PowerPoint accessibility tools do not work, because they have several limitations on identifying stacked elements. As example, white text on top of a light blue shape is (currently) not seen by the accessibility checker as a flagged low contrast item, because PowerPoint looks at a text box, what that text box shape fill color is, and then the slide background. It ignores layered elements.
  • It is easier to manage text line wraps if the text is within a shape vs. manually adjusting – and the line wrap needs are automatically updated when the shape, or the text size, is updated – if the text is part of the shape.

The important message is, creating PowerPoint slides is a balancing act of what is fast and looks okay vs. using best practices to create slides that are future-proofed for easy formatting and use.

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-31T16:21:06-07:00September 1st, 2023|Personal, PowerPoint|

Now returning to our regularly scheduled program

I hope everyone had a great summer! It has been busy here at TLC Creative Services, and the PowerPoint blog summer hiatus enabled me to focus on some specialty projects.

My original thought when setting up the summer break was “how much can happen in PowerPoint, the presentation industry, and at TLC Creative over the summer?” Well, turns out it was a busy summer and there has been a lot of change and news! One planning update is The PowerPoint Blog will have fresh presentation and PowerPoint posts every Tuesday and Thursday, starting today.

-Troy @ TLC


By |2023-08-01T14:57:02-07:00August 1st, 2023|Personal|

Summer Hiatus

The PowerPoint Blog is going to pause through the summer and resume in August (of this year!). At TLC Creative Services we are happily busy. And we are busy with finalizing a major roll out of a new virtual meeting service and Meeting Planner tools, which is a big time commitment on my part. I have a list of blog posts to write up, but not enough time to get to them right now. So I am doing an official pause on blog posts through the summer months (June and July).

Have a great summer! See you in the Fall!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-06-04T16:24:02-07:00May 25th, 2023|Personal|

Brightslide Selection Pane Shortcut

This is the final day of the shortest month of the year. A short month kind of means shorter number of work hours for projects. After working on complex slides for the past few days, I am indebted to the Brightslide team! These 2 buttons have literally saved me 3 hours this past week!

When I first played with these tools on the Brightslide toolbar a few years ago, I was dubious of them. They seem too simple. Select an object on a slide, click the left icon and it activates the Selection Pane view to turn off, or hide that object. The right icon is the Selection Pane, show all – e.g. show everything that was hidden or turned off.

Eventually both of these buttons made there way to spots on my QAT, which is the core of my formatting workflow in PowerPoint. This past week working on complex, layered content slides (think vector maps where each state or country is a selectable object with overlays to animate on to have the map follow the talk, and then overlays of “map pins” to further support the talk). The ability to not need the Selection Pane open, scroll up and down it to find the object to hide has saved hours of my production time – just in the past week!

Kudos, and thank you to the Brightslide PowerPoint add-in dev team!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-02-28T00:27:52-07:00February 28th, 2023|Personal, PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins|

What is a PPT File ?

I have been doing some video editing and was adding from Adobe Premiere templates for effects. I had not noticed this before, but an Adobe “Premiere Pro Template” file is also labelled “PPT”! PPT of course being a PowerPoint file in my world. Ironically, this is also becoming an outdated term as it refers to the now legacy file format .ppt (now .pptx).

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-01-23T09:34:20-07:00January 24th, 2023|Personal, PowerPoint|

2023 Holiday Survey (again)

Because I created the post last week (Dec 24) and the results image was not included – oops. Here are the results of the TLC Creative Services holiday survey, and the opportunity to still participate!

Let us know your holiday picks to the survey questions. Use this QR code to open the survey (it’s all anonymous and not tracked, just fun).

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-01-01T15:56:19-07:00January 5th, 2023|Personal|

PowerPoint – and Luxury

As my final blog post of 2022, I had to get this image somehow. PowerPoint is our company and it is so much more than just “PowerPoint”. But everyone now and then, PowerPoint is big (like the top image of Lori running presentations TLC Creative designed for a 32′ screen) and luxury (like the bottom image with Lori showcasing the personalized monogram bed pillows while at an event!).

Troy @ TLC

By |2022-11-12T12:00:27-07:00December 30th, 2022|Personal|
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