Slidewise v1.3 is Here!

First, if you work with presentations from others, I highly recommend having Slidewise installed. For those not familiar with this add-in, Slidewise is the asset manager that PowerPoint has been missing (and it is not for a lack of everyone asking Microsoft for a presentation asset manager!).

As example, this slide deck uses 3 fonts, has 4 images, has 1 audio file, and 1 video file. All of these details instantly summarized in a single window – the Slidewise info pane. In addition, we can instantly see the file size of everything and expand to see individual assets.

Neuxpower has released v1.2 and v1.3 in rapid succession, and things just get better with each version! Here are a few of my observations on the new version:

The HOME tab now has a show/hide button to bring up Slidewise (same button as on the Slidewise tab, just now also available on the Home tab)

There is now a separate Master slide tab to identify what slides use what master layout. As example, this sample slide deck has 1 master slide, and only 1 master layout. Slidewise displays this in the SLIDE MASTERS tab (1 slide master, 25 slides using the 1 master layout)

And my favorite feature, which has been in Slidewise since release, is it’s REPLACE FONT system! First, find random fonts with Slidewise identifying the exact slide and exact object where the font is used (amazing!). In addition, the Slidewise Replace Font system is not limited by the single-byte vs double-byte file issue that PowerPoint’s native replace font cannot.

If you have Slidewise, I definitely recommend installing the updated v1.3. Download here.

Get all the info about slidewise at the Neuxpower website here.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-10-22T08:33:22-07:00October 27th, 2021|PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins|

The PowerPoint Blog – New Episode!

Jump over to The Presentation Podcast for a great conversation about client questions! Clients ask questions, and many of the same questions. This podcast episode Troy, Nolan and Sandy pose the questions they hear from clients consistently to see if the others also hear the same question – and their answers to those questions.

Listen here.

By |2021-09-07T07:47:05-07:00September 7th, 2021|PowerPoint|

Quotes and Full Frame Images

I am wrapping up this series on slide layout ideas for Quotes and PowerPoint formatting tips with a set of slide layouts created by several designers on the TLC Creative Services team. They all share the concept of using an image that provides an open, focal point area for the quote text to be positioned.

This does not mean each image was ready to use when downloaded. Most were sized, cropped, and positioned to fit the slide. All were cropped to have a focal point area for the quote text. All also used PowerPoint typography for the text.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-08-22T11:43:06-07:00September 3rd, 2021|PowerPoint|

Quotes and Curved Text

Thank you to Kelli Willcoxson for the inspiration slide.

Design Process:

  • Find an image to support the quote
  • Size, position and crop the image to create a clear area for the quote text
  • Stylize and position the quote text

PowerPoint Formatting Tip:

  • This layout has a lot of custom PowerPoint formatting applied to the text. Easy to do in Adobe Illustrator, a bit harder in PowerPoint.
  • The text is filled with a gradient giving it a subtle blending effect with the background
  • The text also has a subtle glow effect applied, making it seem to glow like the stars in the background
  • But most impressive, and difficult, is the text has a curved layout – using PowerPoint options, and remains 100% editable!
    – Applying the curve effect is a hidden feature in PowerPoint
    – Select the text > go the SHAPE FORMAT tab > go to the WORDART STYLES section of the ribbon > click TEXT EFFECTS > click TRANSFORM (I believe this is the only way to access the text transform feature in PowerPoint) > select a WARP effect, the curve down effect was selected for this slide layout
  • Note: the text warp effect has no interface adjustments, but it is adjustable.
    – By stretching and adjusting the text box the warp changes. As example, make the text box very tall and thin and the curve becomes more pronounced

    – All warp effects have an adjust node, the yellow dot. Sometimes the adjustment is helpful, other times… well, it is obvious we are not using Adobe Illustrator with its greater control options 🙂

Download the editable version of this slide HERE.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-08-22T11:37:27-07:00September 1st, 2021|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Quotes with an Overlay Block

Thanks to … for this post’s inspiration slide.

Design Process

  • Locate an image that coordinates with the quote
  • Create a color scheme for the slide (tip: download the editable version of this slide with the link below and look for the awesome image transparency trick!)
  • Create a semi-transparent PowerPoint shape for the quote text
  • Format the quote and attribution text in the PowerPoint shape (no layered text boxes to keep aligned!)
  • Add the quote marks as separate text boxes (okay, not everything can always be formatted in a single text box)

Formatting Tip

  • The text overlay block has transparency so the image can be seen through it, creating a smooth flowing layout
  • Here is the same overlay block on another background to better see its transparency
  • 1 – The image was cropped from the larger original and created the open area for the quote
    2 – The text box has a fill and set to 10% transparency, AND all text is in the single text box
    3-4 – The quote marks are editable text, but are layered on top as separate text boxes to make the unique line spacing and positioning possible

Download the editable version of this slide HERE.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-08-22T11:13:39-07:00August 30th, 2021|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Quotes – Rotate the Text

Thanks Kelli (who has moved to another great design job – great for Kelli, sad for TLC Creative) for today’s quote inspiration.

Design Process:

  • This slide started with finding a great image, then researching a quote to use with the image
  • The original image showed more, and it was cropped in PowerPoint to create the layout
  • Typeset the text, select the font, set the size, adjust the line spacing, set the color (pulled from the pink pen in the image)

Formatting Tip:

  • Use PowerPoint’s ability to rotate shapes and text boxes
  • Adjust the angle of any text box by click-and-dragging the rotate icon at the top of the text box, or manually in the FORMAT SHAPE dialog

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-08-22T11:01:44-07:00August 27th, 2021|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Quotes in a Circle

Thanks to Jake on our design team for today’s slide design.

Design Process:

  • Review the quote
  • Search for an image that aligns with the quote
  • Develop a slide layout that highlights the quote as the focal point, integrates the coordinating image, and use PowerPoint shapes to create accent graphics

PowerPoint Formatting Tip:

  • Text in circles is not always easy!
  • For the slide quote, all text is inside the circle shape (not a second text box placed on top of the circle). All text is in a single text block. So the bold text, colored text and the smaller attribution text is all formatted in the same text block.
  • Formatting text in a circle requires making some adjustments to the shape formatting properties.
    – Right-click the circle and select FORMAT SHAPE
    – Go to the TEXT OPTIONS and TEXT BOX options
    – [Personal preference] Select “DO NOT AUTOFIT”
    – Adjust all margins to zero’s (although for this example the top margin was manually set to compensate for the smaller font size text at the bottom and keep the layout vertically centered in the circle shape)
    – WRAP TEXT IN SHAPE: this is generally turned on, so the text automatically stays inside the circle. But if the text needs to be just a bit closer the edge, maybe even slightly overlapping the edge, turn this off and use SHIFT+RETURNs to manually create the line breaks

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-08-22T10:54:21-07:00August 25th, 2021|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

“Rounded” is the New Look

With the Microsoft new office look, there is a generous use of rounded corners, which Microsoft labels “Soft Corners.” But is this good for presentation design?

As example, all four corners of the Ribbon, and in my setup the top of the Ribbon and bottom of my QAT because it is positioned below the ribbon, have a subtle rounded corner styling.

In edit view, the left film strip slide sorter has been changed so all slides have a subtle rounded corner design. Very mobile app and social media inspired. The actual work slide area maintains the full rectangle shape.

New is not always better. Are rounded corners on the slide sorter better? While I appreciate the creativity the Dev team has implemented, I am voting that this update can impact visual reference of the slide design. As example, this presentation in the full slide sorter view – which also has the rounded corner styling applied.

The template, developed here by the TLC Creative design team, has a very linear styling. These newly introduced rounded corners to the slide preview add to, alter, and impact the viewer interpretation of that design. In addition to cutting out (small) portions of the content at each corner. For reference, here is the Title slide layout in full (rectangle) view. I feel the above slide sorter view of the slides and this full slide have very different design aesthetics, even though they are the same slides.

That’s it, just an observation. As an end user we cannot turn off this new view, it is what PowerPoint gives us. The Microsoft PowerPoint team has already received lots of feedback on this aspect of the new Office look and I am hopeful that this specific update revert to the more practical slide shape is what is represented everywhere.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-07-21T16:21:24-07:00July 28th, 2021|PowerPoint|

My QAT is All Words! Give Me Back My Icons!

Part of the New Office look are some improvements to the QAT. But in the excitement to showcase what is new, Microsoft steps on our customized settings and alters the QAT for those users that rely on it. Aside from the initial shock of my QAT becoming virtually useless, there are good improvements.

So here is my standard QAT; 37 curated action icons set in specific groupings and order that enable the TLC design team to work faster and more efficient in PowerPoint. The QAT on all TLC design computers is positioned below the ribbon.

After the New Office Look update, my QAT looked like this. 12 icons + the word description of those action items. This rendering my QAT, and my workflow virtually useless.

It took some looking. Here is the action item you want to know and do. Find an open space on the QAT between the left most icon and the right most icon. Right click to bring up the QAT right-click options menu (it will most likely take several attempts). I am sure this menu is accessible in another location, but I have not found it yet.

The important new addition is the HIDE COMMAND LABELS option. Click it and your QAT will return to the efficient icon layout and presentation work can return to normal.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-07-21T16:16:10-07:00July 26th, 2021|PowerPoint|

Microsoft Office Apps have a “New” Look

Microsoft has started rolling out the “new Office look”. On my test computer, running the Office Insider, Beta Channel build the “new” Office look was updated last week. So, all builds of Office 365 should see this in their updates within the next few weeks.

If you clicked the “not now” message to the mini info tour of what the new Office look is all about, here are the 4 information screens – when clicking “Show Me”.

Troy @ TLC

By |2021-07-21T16:13:43-07:00July 23rd, 2021|PowerPoint|
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