PowerPoint Subtitles (Different than Presentation Live Translation)

We are super excited about all the features included with Microsoft’s new release of PowerPoint Live Presentations; remote audience seeing your slides and hearing the presenter on their mobile device, seeing earlier slides, and – most impressive of all – live transcription of the presenter’s speech in the language choice of each viewer.

But the last item, live transcription, can be confusing. Presentation Live’s transcription is different than the existing PowerPoint Subtitles (which is also a live transcription feature).

I believe both services are powered by the same engine (which does a very good job, and is improving with expanded use). Here is the way I am describing each, and how they differ:

PowerPoint Subtitles – These display on the presenter’s slide in one selected language.

PowerPoint Live’s Live Transcription – These display on the screen of anyone logged in and viewing the presentation. They do not display on the presenter’s screen, because everyone can choose what language is displayed on their own screen.

Both features need access to the presenter’s microphone, and both have the ability to instantly translate into 60+ languages .


See the previous few posts for examples of Presentation Live’s live transcription. For the balance of this post, I am going to overview the PowerPoint Subtitles feature.

When you start a presentation with subtitles turned on, this info dialog greets you (same cartoon character styling as the Presentation Live QR Welcome screen)

Before the slide show starts, most of the subtitle settings can be accessed directly in the ribbon. After the slide show starts, clicking CHECK SETTINGS from the info dialog gives you another chance to set details for how the subtitles will display. As example, from the ribbon and check settings dialog, where the subtitle text will display can be set.

Click MORE SETTINGS (WINDOWS) and the Windows Closed Captions settings options opens (assuming you are running PowerPoint for Windows). This is a great clue that many of the new services are not exclusive to Office, but a collaboration among several Microsoft development teams.

And here is the sample presentation in slide show using the default “Below Slide” position. Note: I am not a fan of how this was implemented. The slide maintains the correct aspect ratio, is sized down to make room for 3 lines of subtitle text and leaves the unused area on the left and right as part of a thick black border. I understand my ideas for making this more eloquent require a lot of coding, but I cannot justify this simple approach as an onscreen display for a professional meeting. 

If I was to use PowerPoint subtitles in a professional meeting, I would have a template that integrates a clear area in the lower section and use the BOTTOM (OVERLAID) position. The slides would remain full screen, the sub-titles would have a branded area to display on, and the presenters would need to adhere to the clear area in their slide design.

The important point is, PowerPoint Subtitles and Presentation Live transcription are different features, display the translation in different locations, and can actually be used at the same time (I will leave it to you to experiment with that idea 🙂 ).

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-29T12:20:56-07:00June 29th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

PowerPoint Live Gotcha’s

PowerPoint Live is an amazing addition to presenting with PowerPoint. I am excited for the potential of this feature in use, especially with the sudden surge of online and remote meetings and conferences. As side note, just this week at TLC creative, a client conversation was about how to handle multiple languages for their meeting. At past, onsite events, there was translation booths at the back of the ballroom with translators providing live translation. But in the new virtual meeting world, this is a different process. I tossed out the idea that Microsoft’s new Presentation Live feature may be an option. Reading a transcription is not as powerful as translation, but PowerPoint Live is now a very easy-to-offer solution for a virtual meeting. No decision on this meeting yet, but this new feature has already made it into project conversations for me.

As great as PowerPoint Live is, there are many “gotchas” we have already discovered.

Setup and Logistics

You need to use an updated browser. Not only will Presentation Live not work, if you are the presenter, the option may not even be available. The official list of supported browsers is Microsoft Edge version 80+, Google Chrome version 72+, Mozilla Firefox version 68+, or Opera version 60+ on Windows or Mac. Currently Safari is not supported for presenters, but works fine for audience members.

The presenter must have a Microsoft 365 account, but the audience does not need a subscription, or need to be signed in to a Microsoft account to participate. But it’s not that easy.

There are two “share” options, my organization and anyone. The default setting for sharing a presentation is “Only People in my Organization.” This means anyone connecting to see the presentation will need to sign into their Microsoft 365 account to prove they are in the presenter’s organization. So much for the note about the audience does not even need a Microsoft account, now they need a Microsoft 365 account, with the same domain. 

To enable anyone, with or without a Microsoft account to watch the presentation, the presenter must change the audience option to “Anyone” (every time they start a presentation).

Running the Presentation

Presentations must run from PowerPoint Online. And PowerPoint Online has two options for the toolbar: Expanded Ribbon, which is more similar to the desktop app, and the Simplified Ribbon, which is a very streamlined set of options. The PRESENT LIVE button is in the SLIDE SHOW tab (which makes sense) on the Simplified Ribbon!

In the Expanded Ribbon, it’s more hidden. Go to the VIEW tab to find it.


When the presentation starts, you’ll see this Welcome Screen that allows audience members to join your presentation by just pointing their phone or tablet at the QR code (the process is easy and works flawlessly – even if I am not a fan of the cartoon like styling that does not align to my clients corporate style guide).

The slide show pop up tool bar has a new icon and options. Show the Welcome Screen again any time. Go to the Live Menu and select SHOW WELCOME SCREEN AGAIN.

You can also copy the URL link and send as a quick email or chat.

The audience has the option to send “Reactions”in real time while you are presenting (small emojis that float up on the presenter’s screen).

These only show up on the presenter’s screen. The audience viewing on their own devices do not see them. Of course, if the presenter is at a large meeting with the presentation on the screens, or if they are screen sharing their monitor, then everyone can see what you see, which includes the floating emojis. TIP: If you find the emoji reactions distracting or just don’t like seeing them, they can be turned off in the Live Menu (note that audience members can still send them; you just won’t see them).

Also important to note is the difference between pausing the presentation broadcast and ending the presentation session. You can pause the presentation any time you click away from PowerPoint. Pausing stops any animation and stops the live transcription. The presenter see this yellow band below the Ribbon:

The audience will see the last slide before the presentation was paused (so make it a good one!) and a notification that the presentation is paused.

ENDING a presentation clears the screen for anyone watching and the URL/QR code is no longer valid. The presenter needs to click the END SESSION button to truly end the presentation (vs. pause it). TIP: A presentation can be paused for 30 minutes, and then its broadcast auto-expires. There is also a countdown in the yellow notification bar. 

The Audience Perspective

Viewing a presentation on a cell phone can be portrait (vertical) or landscape (rotated to horizontal) orientation. We found  in landscape view, the transcription text seems finicky and does not always display on the screen.

One of the very exciting features is the ability for the audience to go back to a previous slide on their device, any time. Equally important is they cannot get ahead of the presenter and see upcoming slides. If the presenter goes back a few slides, everyone goes back a few slides. That slide is the ‘current slide’ no one can advance past, even if slides past it were shown earlier. When someone goes back to see an earlier slide, a CURRENT SLIDE button is active as a one click way to quickly get in sync with the presenter.

Warning: you may accidentally scare someone! Presentation Live tries to be helpful, but I feel showing the audience how many slides are in the deck may be a scare for some. As example, you have a sales deck of 400 slides, but the presentation is only using 20 of them. The audience sees the total number at 400 (and they fear a ‘death by PowerPoint’ meeting is happening)!

Also be aware, everyone will know where you are (sort of). Again, maybe this is a little too helpful. Presentation Live displays what your local time is (or is this the local time of the person viewing? – something I need to test). To me, this makes it easy for the audience to calculate how long you have been on each slide…

TIP: a mobile device screen is small. Good news, viewers can zoom in on the slides! Pinch to zoom is supported. 

Let everyone know they can turn off the transcription feature – they are in control of that. It is in the language selection dialog, on the audience interface, and they can turn off transcription.

Evaluations and feedback. Yes, every audience member is shown a Microsoft feedback form (no we cannot change its content – or styling – or turn it off). Don’t worry, Microsoft is not keeping your presentation evaluations. Presenters receive an email after the presentation with the feedback (see previous posts for an example). The Microsoft Forms are not kept on Microsoft servers for long, I believe under 10 days. 

Final Thoughts

Last, and perhaps the biggest question to those new to PowerPoint Live (oh wait, it’s brand new – that’s all of us!), is; what is ‘present live’? What is presentation live? What is PowerPoint Live Presentations? I feel Microsoft does an overall poor job in naming products (how many different services are called the same name; Skype, OneDrive, Office 365, Windows…). Maybe someone noticed this trend and decided to go in the opposite direction? Now we have 1 feature with three different names… For the record, the official name of the live presentation feature is PowerPoint Live Presentations, but it goes by the shorthand of PowerPoint Live. And ‘present live’ is the action you take to begin your live presentation.


Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-25T21:57:31-07:00June 26th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

How to Present with Presentation Live

PowerPoint’s Live Presentations are bound to be a game changer for virtual and remote meetings. As promised, today is about the process of setting up a Live Presentation.

Currently the presentation must be open in PowerPoint online (I am hopeful that the ability to open a OneDrive/Teams hosted presentation in desktop PowerPoint will be an option soon). TIP: to move a file to OneDrive and open in PowerPoint online, here is a very quick how-to: Open the presentation, go to File > Share > Share with People, and enter your Office email if PowerPoint is not logged in to your profile. Go to office.com/launch/powerpoint, find your presentation, and open in PowerPoint online.

In PowerPoint online, use the SIMPLIFIED RIBBON (more on this in the next post). Go to the SLIDE SHOW tab. Then go to PRESENT LIVE drop down menu. Choose between either Only people in your organization for added security and private meetings, or Anyone for a larger audience that may not be signed in to your organization.

Click Present Live and you’re live! A PowerPoint live screen will overlay the presentation. This is the QR code attendees can scan, or the URL to add to a browser. The “___ have joined” is a nice addition and provides a nice analytic. Stay on this page for as long as needed to ensure everyone gets in. Click anywhere on the slide and the welcome screen is removed and displays slide 1 of the presentation.

 TIP: display the welcome screen and QR code any time during the presentation. In the pop up Slideshow Toolbar in the lower left, click the “Live” button and choose “Show Welcome Screen again.” Or use the copy the link to email or message it to anyone.

People viewing the presentation do not need a Microsoft 365 subscription. If viewing on a mobile device, they need at least iOS version 11, or Android version 8. Presenters must run from an updated version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera. TIP: Safari will not run a Presentation Live presentation, but it can be viewed on Safari. And PowerPoint Live, for both presenting and viewing, works on both Windows and Mac.

Come back to the next post, which is a list of potential “gotchas” to be aware of with Presentation Live.

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-24T10:10:08-07:00June 24th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

PowerPoint Presentation Live is LIVE!

A feature I’ve been excited for since the Microsoft team first teased it to the MVPs last year is finally here. Microsoft has been taunting us with the new Live Presentations feature, and it’s ready for you to try out – just in time for all the virtual meetings and conferences going on!

So what is it? PowerPoint Live Presentations is a new way to share a PowerPoint presentation. The presenter can now put the presentation right on their audiences’ devices. And it adds some new presentation capabilities for the audience. Anyone invited can watch the presentation you are presenting live on their mobile device or computer screen, they can go back to see any previously-presented slides (but not get ahead of you), give live feedback, and most amazing, see live transcription of your presentation – in virtual any language! And each person viewing can choose the language of their choice for the transcription!!

On the next post I am going to walk through the process of starting a presentation as a Live Presentation. But the basics are:

  • Presenters must have a Microsoft 365 subscription
  • The presentation must present from PowerPoint online (note: truly run PowerPoint only, not a OneDrive presentation opened in the desktop app or Teams)
  • Any viewing does not need a Microsoft 365 subscription (yay!)
  • The viewer just needs the QR code or URL (see the next post for how to and a demo)

The viewing/audience experience:

  • During the presentation, the slides display and update in real time
  • It is slides and voice, no webcam
  • Everyone watching can independently view previous slides (but can’t go past the slide you’re currently on)
  • Everyone watching can choose 1 of 60+ languages to have your talk automatically, and in very close to real time, transcription
  • The audience can “react” to each slide with a set of emojis such as “thumbs up,” “laughing,” or “puzzled” that appear briefly on the presenter’s screen (I am not certain I see this feature liked in professional corporate presentations, but it is going to be a hit with those younger than me!) 

After the presentation ends:

  • The audience screen pops up a short survey with categories such as Slide Design and Speaker Skills
  • The presenter receives an email with a summary of the feedback; how many reactions, which slide received the most reactions, and the audience evaluation (anonymous and compiled)

The live transcription, available in 60+ languages, is a technology marvel. I have the opportunity to be a part of several corporate meetings each year that have live audio translation. While the Presentation Live transcription is not going to replace that, it is amazing and will make presentations far more accessible to multiple language audiences.  The Presentation Live transcription is text only, not audio. It is fast, I would say pretty good, and in our internal tests, the bilingual members of our TLC creative team said that the other languages are pretty spot on.

We’re pretty exited about the capabilities and possibilities of PowerPoint Live Presentations. Stay tuned as we spend the next few posts going more in depth on the Presentation Live features!

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-21T16:27:24-07:00June 22nd, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

PowerPoint Synchronize – a new and exciting presentation feature!

Microsoft has just added a new feature to PowerPoint! This feature allows you to make changes to slides while presenting – and it is amazing!! The important thing is the presentation must be accessed from OneDrive or SharePoint. If you are a Microsoft Teams user, when you add a file to the FILES section, you are set, and I am going to use Teams for my example.  

In Microsoft Teams, and on the side menu bar, navigate to the “Files” button  

Click Files and on the next menu, click upload and go through process of moving the presentation from your computer to OneDrive (it is seamless and easy when done through Microsoft Teams) 

Here is the sample 2 slide presentation  

To demonstrate, here is the file opened from Microsoft Teams. 

In the SLIDE SHOW tab is a new option, KEEP SLIDES UPDATED. Keep Slides Updated, or PowerPoint Synchronize, is where teamwork comes into play. While presenting a slide show, another person can make edits from a separate computer, and those edits will be in the active slide show! Remember, for this to work the file needs to run from a OneDrive location, be shared with at least one other person, and the “Keep Slides Updated” option enabled.

Here I am presenting the first slide.  

There is an error on the next slide with the chart listed as 2019, but it really is 2020 (no one experiences wrong info in their slides!). But the deck is shared with our colleague and they have got us covered. 

While we talk about slide 1, my colleague updates slide 2 on their computer so when I go to slide 2 it has the correct year – all while I was in slide show and presenting!  

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-03T19:24:32-07:00June 3rd, 2020|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Presentation Bandwidth of Screen Share vs. PowerPoint Online Present

This is on the technical, and geeky, side of presentations. In our current environment of remote presenting, we have been addressing questions and supporting remote meetings non-stop. Remote presenting has lots of technical obstacles, that are now the responsibility of each presenter to deal with (vs. showing up at a conference and knowing a professional AV team was in control of everything technical and you, as a presenter, just needed to focus on getting on stage and presenting).

I am sharing a video from Microsoft that demonstrates PowerPoint specifically. In my discussions over the past year with the Microsoft PowerPoint team I have been hearing about the advances they have accomplished in remote presenting and collaboration. Well, I am a believer and integrating PowerPoint Online presenting into several virtual meeting workflows. 

The big takeaway is presenting to a remote audience, using a PowerPoint presentation uploaded to (OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams) has amazing bandwidth savings for high quality visuals, video and animation over presenting a presentation shown as a shared screen.

[youtube src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/1PtDGmpXJj4?rel=0″]

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-05-25T12:05:59-07:00May 26th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

New PowerPoint Feature – YEAR!

You are probably wondering what the title of this blog post means… Well PowerPoint has a new feature, something that has been requested for year. And it makes me very happy to finally have it!

PowerPoint has added to the date footer list a new option. The ability to just list the year.

Where I see this simple addition being invaluable is for corporate PowerPoint templates (also Word and Excel templates). Every year the template automatically updates to display the current year! If you are not cheering, I am guessing your company template does not include a copyright statement – that needs to be manually updated each year (or updates automatically because your company paid for a very cool, but not cheap, add-in).

Here is a quick example of adding a copyright statement preset on the bottom of all slides in a corporate template. The year automatically updates so the copyright information is always current. For this example I am manually adding text in front of the year “(C) TLC Creative Services”. TIP: text can be added any of the footer placeholders and variable part, in this instance the date, remains coded to update. Works for source and page number footers.

Additional information:

  • This is a four digit year (e.g. “2020”)
  • It was release with Win32 build 16.0.12527+ and Mac build 16.35.2002+
  • It will display on all endpoints (Win32, Mac, mobile, web), including legacy builds (yay!).
  • It may not display on legacy builds that are localized to other languages, and in those instances it defaults to display the first datetime field type (eg. 4/20/2020 would display in the above example)

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-20T15:05:40-07:00April 23rd, 2020|PowerPoint|

PowerPoint Adds HEX Colors

Note: as of today, I see this new feature on the Office Insider build (early beta), but not yet on the Monthly Targeted build (enterprise beta) or Standard build (stable, no beta). So you may not have this available in your install just yet.

In the most recent Microsoft 365 Office update there is a new option in the color dialog – HEX colors (yay!). 

Select a shape, outline or text and choose MORE FILL COLORS

In the COLORS dialog, under the RGB values is a new option for HEX values.

Is HEX colors important? Yes and no. Anything expands the use of PowerPoint is good (in my opinion). Hex color values are primarily thought of in web design. For me, the addition of adding a Hex color directly in PowerPoint is time saver, because my biggest use is gathering colors from a corporate style guide where the colors are listed in PMS and HEX values.

My summary of RGB vs. Hex:

  • RGB sets each color as a value or Red-Green-Blue mixed, set as a number range of 0-255 for each. So a color can be a 3 digit to 9 digit value.
  • Hex is a set 6 digit value that based on a grid of 16 million colors. The 6 digit value is made up of both numbers and alpha letters.


Example of a Hex color chart:

Close up of a section of a Hex color chart, showing each color has a 6 digit value


Last note: the Hex color value was just added to PowerPoint desktop this week, but it has been in the PowerPoint for Web app for several months. The web app has a different color dialog (which I like). It prioritized the Hex value and does not include the HSL color option.

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-03-16T12:07:10-07:00March 19th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|

Animated .GIF of the TLC Creative Logo – Created in PowerPoint

I wanted to compare the image quality of an exported animated .gif and an exported .mp4 video. Jake, on the TLC Creative design team, created this simple and effective seamless loop animation of the TLC Creative Services logo. No PowerPoint animation or slide transition, just 6 slides of the logo elements in different positions and drop shadows in corresponding sizes.

Animated .GIF

.MP4 Video

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-20T18:45:12-07:00March 5th, 2020|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|
Go to Top