Slidewise has a FREE Version Now!

Starting with Slidewise version 2.1 there is a FREE version – and you should have it!

The free version is a feature-limited version of Slidewise. But the features it does include are invaluable (paying for all of the features is better)!

Basically, free-Slidewise is going to allow you to inspect a presentation, but not have access to the tools that automate fixing presentation issues.

As example, Slidewise shows there are are 25 fonts in this slide deck (ugh!) and several are not Microsoft fonts, because they are not embedded. The free version provides this super helpful information. The paid version enables tools to quickly update fonts throughout the deck (which is amazing!).

Another example is Slidewise Free shows a list of all images in the presentation – and displays the image file size of each image. This is super helpful in finding oversize images that are making the presentation file large. Slidewise Free keeps the ability to select an image from the list and jump to that slide, with that image selected (try it, it is fantastic!). But some of the image management tools are not available.

Two notes:

  1. Slidewise is currently a Windows PowerPoint add-in. No Mac PowerPoint option available.
  2. Just download the trial version and after the trial period ends it automatically goes to the free mode.

Checkout Slidewise at the developer website here.

Troy @ TLC

By |2024-02-03T09:09:28-07:00February 15th, 2024|Software/Add-Ins|

New Tools in Slidewise 2.1!

Slidewise 2.1 has released! Version 2.0 was released in October 2024 and added an amazing set of new tools (color audit, find cropped images, improved way to see assigned layouts and update the layout assigned to slides, and more). Now, only 3 months after having access to version 2.0, version 2.1 has been released!

Open a presentation and click the Slidewise button on the HOME tab to get an amazing audit of the slides.

Version 2.1 replaces the row of icons to select Slidewise tools with a dropdown menu. I particularly like this navigation improvement for 2 reasons; first, if the PowerPoint action pane was too narrow, not all of the icons displayed. And second, I was constantly spending time mousing over and waiting for the tooltip to display to remind me what icon led to what tool – in the drop down menu the tool names are instantly there (yay!)

The ability to audit what slides use what Master Slide, and what Master Layout has been a huge time saver in presentation clean up. The Consolidate Masters feature has gotten better!

  • First note, this feature is still hard to find, so I feel a lot of people miss it (and it is awesome!). Go to the SLIDE MASTERS tool. Click the down arrow on any master slide listed and select CONSOLIDATE MASTERS from the fly out menu
  • This is the updated Consolidate Masters dialog. The big improvement are the checkboxes next to each master. (1) select the Slide Master you want to move other slides too. (2) check mark 1 or more (yay!) of the “bad” Slide Masters. (3) click CONSOLIDATE MASTERS and all of the slides assigned to the “bad” Slide Masters are instantly moved to the selected “good” Slide Master (double yay!!).
    • Note: if the “good” Slide Master does not have a Master Layout of the same name, PowerPoint will create new/Frankenstein layouts for those slides, but everything is consolidated to the Slide Master selected.

The last Slidewise tool I am covering in this blog post is the IMAGE AUDIT and the addition of a CROPPED images audit.

  • The first note is I think a lot of people miss the true Image Audit tool and features, because when Slidewise opens the default view is the FONTS AND MEDIA tab, which has an IMAGES section that provides a lot of great info and options.
  • But the IMAGE AUDIT tab offers even more! For me, the Image Audit is turned off when going to the tab (not sure why(
  • Turn ON the Image Audit and a number of amazing options are available to inspect, and correct, by image size – compression – quality – and more.
  • Version 2.1 adds to the list of options, a CROPPED image audit. Expand and see a list of every image that has a PowerPoint crop applied.
  • Click the down arrow next to any image and from the fly out menu click SHOW IN POWERPOINT to go directly to that slide and have that image selected.

Bonus: I am not 100% certain this is new in v2.1. I may have been added in v2.0, but it is new to me, all images and videos have an option to EXPORT ORIGINAL IMAGE/MEDIA now, which is another great addition to an already amazing productivity set of tools!

Check out the Slidewise PowerPoint add-in here.

Troy @ TLC


By |2024-02-03T08:52:33-07:00February 13th, 2024|Software/Add-Ins|

ToolsToo Updates (some cool new features!)

ToolsToo released v10 of the PowerPoint add-in suite in January 2022. There was a sprinkling of updates through 2022. Fast forward to 2024 and v11 of the ToolsToo  productivity suite has been released!

Here are my top 3 new tools from my initial few weeks running the new version.


Here is this one-click formatting tool in use. The top bar is the template default font and font size – too small for the callout bar. Select the text box and go to ToolsToo > Shape Tools > Autofit Text to Shape and the font is instantly sized to fit the bar.

This is not a dynamic sizing. resize the bar and text does not automatically change size (which is the way I prefer text boxes to behave). On the bottom image I updated the text margins and reapplied the Toolstoo text sizing. Easy – fast – reliable!


This is like Make Same Size, which easily one of the most helpful add-in tools to PowerPoint!, with the crop tool. As example, here are two images I added to a slide.

I cropped the left image.

To make the right image match, I used the ToolsToo Make Same Crop. Select the left/cropped image, then the right image > ToolsToo > Make Same > Make Same Crop

The right image is one-click cropped!

I do not know the algorithm being applied behind the scenes, but I am impressed that the crop is not just center-center of image, but appears to take into account the content! Just fine tune the image in the crop to be sized and positioned as needed.

3. Select Same Size

This is one of those tools you never thought of, or needed – until it was given to you and now I’m addicted to using it!

Question – which of these shapes are not the same size? (no scrolling down to see the answer )

Select all of the shapes, go to ToolsToo > Select Same > Select Same Size

The first shape selected is the reference for sizing, I selected shape #2 from left. And ToolsToo did not select the 2 of the shapes – they do not match the others!

ToolsToo is one of the best values at ~$20 USD for an amazing set of productivity tools. Version 11 is another great addition to the presentation designer tools. Details at the ToolsToo website here.

Troy @ TLC


By |2024-02-07T07:45:06-07:00February 8th, 2024|Software/Add-Ins|

The Noun Project SVGs

The Noun Project has a direct integration with PowerPoint and as a presentation designer is invaluable. If unfamiliar the Noun Project has “the most diverse collection of free icons and stock photos with over 5 million art-quality icons and free photos.”

  • side note: I have had a paid Noun Project plan for many years, and did know they offered images/photos! There are separate plans for icons and photos. Offering looks good, but not something we use at TLC Creative. 

Three great callouts:

  1. It is an add-in that makes it entirely accessible directly in PowerPoint.
  2. Icons can be downloaded as raster .png (transparent background!) or vector .svg (yay, scalable, color change and edit directly in PowerPoint!).
  3. It is budget friendly at ~$40 year for unlimited use.


  • Under the insert tab select “Get Add-ins” and search for “Noun Project”
  • Once added the add-in is installed, use the ICONS button on PowerPoint’s INSERT tab. Review current pricing and plans on the Noun Project website.
  • Click the ICONS button and the Noun Project interface opens as a Pane in PowerPoint on the right side. The first time you open the Noun Project pane, click LOG IN TO NOUN PROJECT and add your account credentials.
  • note: if you have not paid for the service, the option to create a free login by clicking on the login will then allow icons searches, but they are “locked”. 
  • After logging into your Noun Project account, search for any icon.
  • Select the icon to see larger, choose a color, and insert.
  • If you have selected to import .svg vector icons (and you should!), the ability to change the fill color – outline and other formatting options are the same as formatting a PowerPoint rectangle.
  • Additionally, inserted Noun Project icons can be ungrouped – which will display this message (click YES).
  • Ungroup a 2nd time and the icon will be broken into individual pieces.
  • Advanced shape design can also be done by right-clicking, selecting EDIT POINTS, and modifying the shape (aka “Illustrator-lite”)

Troy @ TLC

By |2024-01-23T19:59:22-07:00January 25th, 2024|PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins, Tutorial|

Error Message when Opening a PowerPoint File from MS Teams

Working a set of our TLC Creative show computers I had this frustrating error when attempting to open the MS Teams based presentation:

I confirmed MS Teams was logged in with my credentials. Confirmed I can access the Team, folder and file. I also confirmed I was able to open the PowerPoint file in the Teams viewer and web-based browser version of PowerPoint. But I did not confirm PowerPoint/MS Office was logged in with my account – the user seen in the upper right of PowerPoint.

Each time I went through the process of logging myself as the profile for Office to use, the above error taunted me (argh!!). The solution, which I have confirmed works on yet another computer having the same Microsoft seizure, is to SIGN OUT of all profiles. Then sign in with your credentials. I have no idea why Office errors out when trying to login your profiles sometimes, but it does. And I now have a solution that works (but sorry to everyone else that needs to also use that computer and must go through the login profile process vs. just clicking to change profiles…).

– Troy @ TLC

By |2024-01-23T19:29:08-07:00January 23rd, 2024|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc, Software/Add-Ins|

Things Not Working, Check Microsoft Updates

ote, this post is for Windows only (although Mac has its own dilemmas with update needs). I find that a feature I have been using, perhaps earlier that same day, suddenly is not available or does not work. My new thinking is things do not continue working until broken, they now work until Windows or something Microsoft has an update and things stop working because they see an update is needed.

I am constantly running 4 update checks to limit these random not working/error messages. Most likely only need 3 apply to your, but I am covering all 4.

Windows OS updates
Go to Start > Settings > Windows Update > click Windwos Update (in upper right)

Click Check for updates

O365 Updates
Open PowerPoint > File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.

Windows Store updates
The Windows Store is controlling more and more of the installed apps.
In the Start menu search for “Store”

Select and open the Microsoft Store app > Library > Get updates.

Lenovo Vantage
This only applies to Lenovo computers, but Dell, Asus and others have their own update apps.
In the Start menu search for “Lenovo”

Select and open the Lenovo Commercial Vantage app > Run System Update

Install updates following information provided.

This is a lot of ongoing effort. It feels that more the 50% of the time, whatever issue I was having is resolved with these updates. Hopefully this is a good reference and resource!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-09-15T11:06:38-07:00September 26th, 2023|Resource/Misc, Software/Add-Ins|

Windows Snipping Tool Has Taken Over the PRINTSCREEN Button

I have been a Techsmith Snagit user for a long time, and I use it 10-50 times each day, primarily for screen captures (design feedback where an image is easier than 2 paragraphs, or tutorials like the screen capture images in this blog post!).

Windows added the “Windows Snipping Tool” to the OS, and it is a nice screen capture tool. We use it on our rental fleet of show computers. But I cannot live without Snagit.

A recent Windows 11 update changed the behavior of my PRINT SCRN button – it made the Windows Snipping Tool activate when it was clicked. But I have purposefully set the PRINT SCRN button on my computer to launch the Snagit app. And, the Windows OS settings are different now, making it a bit more awkward to allow a different app (instead of Windows Snipping Tool app) use the PRINT SCRN button. If you found this blog post from a search, I am guessing you too want to change what app is opened when print screen is clicked. Here is the solution:

  • Open the Windows Search bar
  • Type “Snipping Tool”
  • Select the option “Use the Print screen key to open Snipping Tool”
  • This opens the Settings >  Accessibility > Keyboard dialog
  • Turn OFF the option telling Windows to open the Snipping Tool app when the Print Screen button is clicked


That’s it. Now the preferences in Snagit, or any other app, can be set to use the Print Screen button.

Now, here is what I am guessing you did (I did):

  • Open the Snipping Tool app
  • Click the 3-dot menu and select SETTINGS
  • Scroll down to the SHORTCUTS section and become perplexed by the info to open Windows Settings…
  • Eventually go to the Windows Settings and update as noted above.

Keep this blog post handy. I assume each major Windows 11 update will reset this setting and the Print Screen button will revert to opening Windows native screen capture app – Snipping Too.

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-16T09:31:43-07:00August 24th, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

Slidewise Has a New Icon (Yay!!)

Neuxpower’s Slidewise PowerPoint add-in has an updated version. Version If you have Slidewise installed, it is a free and quick install. Go to Slidewise on the PowerPoint toolbar and select CHECK FOR UPDATES, which opens the Slidewise website to the download page (or go here).

There are a few feature updates. But the update that has me excited is the app icon has changed! This is most likely only going to be exciting for those that also use Slido – which I do. Both icons are located on the HOME tab. Both are green. Both have a large letter “S”. And both (were) round. All the similarities to assure you click the wrong icon often!

I welcome the new square Slidewise icon and say THANK YOU to the Neuxpower dev team for making changes to their app to help users!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-18T09:55:25-07:00August 22nd, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

Outlook’s New Emoji Reply to Emails

Microsoft Office apps continue to evolve. I mentioned this on The Presentation Podcast episode that was released this week – Outlook has a new “emoji” reply option.

So instead of replying with an email message we can now make our replies like a text message and “like-heart-smiley” them…

If you give an emoji reply, Outlook replies with an email like this:

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-15T09:00:29-07:00August 17th, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

NXPowerlite Update – v10

NXPowerLite is one of those PowerPoint add-ins the TLC Creative Services design team relies on and uses continuously (no paid endorsement, this truly is software we use!).

If you are not familiar, NXPoweriLte from Neuxpower, is a file compression add-in. We use NXPowerLite  for PowerPoint, but it also handles Word, Excel, PDF, and JPG images.

I have a custom set of optimize profiles. We have the same set of profiles on all of the TLC Creative team so we are literally doing the same thing. In version 10 of NXPowerlite, there is an improved set of default profiles that should make the compression options easier and better when used right-out-of-the box. Note: currently v10 is only available for Windows OS. It can be run as a standalone app (drag and drop PPTX files onto the app), or activated from within PowerPoint and it will optimize the file that is currently open.

The big improvement I am most excited about is NXPowerLite now being better and overcoming issues that stop a file from being compressed. e.g. the compression process fails. It still does not identify the issue (generally an image in a file format that errors out), but there is a host of really good online info and a direct integration with 7-zip to open the PowerPoint file and deal with the problem image directly. I think many “power-users” will find this a faster process to what they were already doing (we have 7-zip installed on all computers here at TLC Creative and all of the design team has been trained on how to open a .pptx file, locate the problem file, edit and replace).

Lots of other improvements too. One that I am excited to see – because it has created problems many times for me – is maintaining the EXIF orientation data in compressed images. This should eliminate a conflict where a cropped image is compressed and then displays in the wrong orientation and squeezed into the image container size after running NXPowerLite.

More details on the v10 updates can be read about on the Neuxpower website here. The NXPowerLite product page, including download of free trial to test, is here.

-Troy @ TLC

By |2023-07-28T11:02:26-07:00August 3rd, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|
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