Lorem Ipsum Generator (by Websiteplanet)

The Websiteplanet Lorem Ipsum generator is easy to use and quickly creates standard Lorum Ipsum text.

Lorem Ipsum text is a long standing print layout tool and is a good tool to use for any PowerPoint designer. As example: when creating a template, we generally supply sample slides with lorem ipsum text filling text placeholders so slides can be viewed with a quick simulation of real-world content.

The options can create any number of words, sentences, paragraphs or lines. Set the parameters and click GENERATE. The website instantly creates the text, which can be copy/pasted directly into slide text placeholders.  

Troy @ TLC

By |2019-07-09T12:28:16-07:00July 12th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

Mixkit – FREE and Professional Videos for Your Next Presentation

Mikkit a site by Envato has video footage that is free to download. No account or other log in is required, just search and download.

We found the collection is fairly small. Categories range from abstract and animation to transport and lifestyle.

All content is under the MixKit license. Our take on the licensing is it permits you to download, copy, modify, distribute, publicly perform and broadcast the Items. Rights are non-exclusive, worldwide, sub-licensable and attribution is not required (complete user terms are here).

Video files are: 1920×1080, .mp4 file format. 

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-20T20:22:20-07:00July 10th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

How Long Will It Take to Say That?

When developing a presentation, factoring in the talk time is essential. Many of our presentation design projects are based on a talk script. We will run the script through an app that gives us an estimate of how long it will take for that amount of text to be spoken.

One free online tool for this is “Words to Time“. It has some great features to get a better talk time estimate;  number of words and reading speed.

It is very fast and easy to convert words to an estimated time. They offer a simple conversion chart for quick reference as well.

As an example, we converted Abraham Lincoln’ Getty Berg Address.

Lincoln’s speech was a small 267 words in total. Using the average reading speed (approx. 130 WMP) Words to Time estimated Lincoln’s speech to be about 2 minutes. According to the history, this is completely accurate! (Source: https://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/civil/jb_civil_gettysbg_1.html)

Troy @ TLC


By |2019-07-01T13:20:05-07:00July 4th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

Canva Presentation Animation Explained

Canva adds notices that if the account is upgraded to a “Pro” account, animation features are added. But the animation is not what you expect. Yes, the content on each slide has entrance effects applied. No, you cannot control the animation effects in any granularity. 

When logged in to your Canva account and have a presentation open, in the top right of the editable deck, there is a drop down button with ANIMATION as an option.

There are seven animation options; Fade, Pan, Block, Rise, Breathe, Slide, Instant. The critical thing to understand is the animation style chosen applies to EVERY object on EVERY slide. There is no granular control over what objects animate (everything does) and no selecting different animation styles, or no animation, for specific slides. There is also no customization of the animation duration/speed or ability to add on-click animations to elements on a slide. 

The best way I can describe Canva’s presentation animation is it is a combination transition effect that applies an auto entrance to all elements on a slide.

The other critical item to understand about Canva’s presentation animation is an animated presentation is only available when exported as a .mp4 (or .gif). If an edit is made to the presentation, it needs to be exported again to add the animation.

In exporting our sample presentation to view the various animation styling we found a bug that altered the content of our bar chart (if this was PowerPoint I would submit a bug report to the Dev Team). The axis in the presentation itself looks correct but when exported as an mp4 the X axis label text becomes stacked (leaving the data to be interpreted as wrong).

Here is the demo presentation used for testing animation:

FADE Animation

BLOCK Animation

RISE Animation

Troy @ TLC



By |2019-10-28T10:09:50-07:00June 28th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

Canva Presentations by the TLC Creative Design Team

Today I am posting Canva presentations developed by several of the TLC Creative design team, along with their likes and dislikes of working with Canva. The key takeaway is Canva is a capable presentation creation platform and presentation design is not so much about the application used, but how visual design is applied to the content. The below presentations are all unique in visual styling despite everyone working from the same content outline. Reading through the likes & dislikes, the focus is on design limitations Canva currently has (compared to PowerPoint, which has 20 years of refining the application), which require more design time to manually format content to create the desired effect.

Presentations developed by the TLC Creative design team, all entirely in Canva Presentation:





The Good and Bad the TLC Creative design team noted while working on this project:

The Good:

1. Nice selection of ready-made templates

2. Good library of assets, making it easy to drag and drop for your presentation with a lot of free options

3. Web-based, can access designs from any web browser

4. User friendly for first-time use with an intuitive interface

5. Translates to a website seamlessly

6. Can share your slides as a template

7. Great, preset text styling options

8. Exports nearly perfectly to PowerPoint (no animations, poor backend Master Slide & Layouts, but slide level is very good)

9. Animation tool animates all elements on slide with one click (easy to use, nice visual effect, good for non-designers. Beyond the simple 1-click setup animation customization is a negative – not an option)

10. Free version is good enough to use, enough features to not have to go to premium


The Bad:

1. If there is no internet you can’t access and no offline app version

2. No table formatting options

3. Cannot animate individual elements

4. Cannot copy and paste elements from slide to slide in same position

5. The line width can’t be manually set 

6. No color picker/eye dropper tool

7. Template does not control font of added text boxes. Every new text box uses the Canva default font

8. Cannot change multiple text box font sizes or font color in one action, have to do each text box separately

9. Cannot have more than 1 font size per text box

10. Limited object grouping

11. No quick ribbon for tools

12. Cannot customize chart styling or separate actions for axis’s (chart styling and options are very limited!)

13. Cannot add text inside shape, must stack separate text box on top of a shape (ugh!)

14. Adding a new page, or changing a layout (which has problems too), does not open to that template, leaving the user to hunt through the template options to find the template (tip: remember the categorie and name of the template selected!)

15. Cannot customize animation per slide, or animation on a slide

16. Master layout place holders are skewed

17. Minimal set of formatting tools

18. Presentation features seem geared more to image/visual heavy presentations rather than data/copy oriented ones

19. Even with premium not all assets are included

20. No image/asset search filter to show just the images included with the plan (do not want to search through 1,000’s of pay images)


Troy @ TLC

By |2019-06-27T08:46:06-07:00June 26th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

Canva Presentation by Troy

As part of a design studio wide project, everyone delved into Canva to develop their own version of a presentation, everyone working from the same 10 slide presentation outline. Canva had good features for presentation design which were intuitive to use, fast processing (Canva is a web-based app, and I was working on a 300mbps fiber optic connection, so a fast response time was expected), and capable software package.

Here is my presentation, developed entirely with Canva. Download the PDF version Here

Comparing the presentation design workflow between Canva and PowerPoint (desktop version), I would prefer PowerPoint. Canva has a simple feature set and for a business presentation like this one, it was a source of frustration and lots of extended formatting. A few examples are: 

  • Canva does not have table formatting. So slides 3 and 9 required a lot of additional formatting time vs. developing same slide in PowerPoint. Slide 3 required additional time to think through a layout for the content that was not a quick table – in this instance the result is visually better than a standard PowerPoint table. Slide 9 was just painful to manually add the 4 column backgrounds, the 4 top dividers and 7 separate text boxes.
  • Canva has single text formatting style per text placeholder. This requires a lot of additional formatting time vs. ability to vary text styling. As example, slide 4 needed 4 text placeholders vs. 2 I would have used in PowerPoint.
  • Canva has limited bar chart styling and formatting options. Slide 5’s bar chart worked well for this presentation, but I had to make some concessions on the overall design to stay within the Canva options. There are only 4 bar chart styling options and complex data will quickly go beyond the Canva capabilities.

On the praise side, the web-based Presenter View capability is really fantastic coding. The variety and depth of “templates” is very impressive (although they do not meet my definition of what a full template is). The variety of font options, color scheme options, and sharing options all are impressive. 

I am certain the future will have requests for developing presentations in Canva and from this internal project, our design team is ready to take on those requests and develop professional slide decks.

Troy @ TLC

By |2019-06-23T02:33:36-07:00June 24th, 2019|Portfolio, Software/Add-Ins|

Canva 101

Canva Overview:

  • Launched 2013 (Beta) and full release 2015
  • Based in Sydney, Australia
  • Free and paid/”Pro” subscription options (Pro account ~$15/month)
  • Pre-formatted templates for social media images (eg. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). Pre-formatted templates for eBook and kindle book covers, business cards, brochures, flyers, and presentations. All templates take advantage of built in design tools for layout and design including font, colors and a built in extensive stock photo/asset library.
    • Notable recent additions to the stock photography offerings is the acquisition of both Pixabay and Pexels.

(example of image and graphic asset searches)

For all design types, Canva has a good set of image tools for basic photo editing; tint, saturation, brightness, contrast, crop, resize, flip, etc. 

A key advantage of Canva being a web based app is it can be used on Windows and Mac, in any of the major web browsers, and a robust mobile app for work on Android and iOS devices.

I am going to focus on Canva’s Presentation capabilities over the next series of blog posts, so check back!

Troy @ TLC

By |2019-06-19T23:48:22-07:00June 20th, 2019|Software/Add-Ins|

New PowerPoint Page Number Print Feature!

A new feature snuck into PowerPoint unannounced (PowerPoint for Windows, Mac version coming soon, mobile/web versions – uncertain), and it is either fantastic or a frustration, depending on what you need! 


Traditionally making a print of slides for reference was a bit confusing as to what slide number was being referenced. We had the print page number, but this 6-up layout meant manually counting slides to know which slide number the thumbnail represented.

But now there is an option to add slide numbers outside the thumbnails!!

This feature has been turned on by default with a  recent Office update (note: I am currently running the Insider Fast, or Monthly Targeted, build and have not verified if this feature has rolled out to all update cycles – if you do not see it, it is coming soon). Go to FILE > OPTIONS > ADVANCED > PRINT > PRINT SLIDE NUMBERS ON HANDOUTS

Let’s look at this feature a bit closer and a scenario where it may not be as helpful as you had hoped. Here is my sample slide deck, 15 slides and 2 slides (#2 and #3) hidden.

Printing this slide deck as a 2-up handout WITH hidden slides included looks like this. We have the print page number and the thumbnail slide numbers look perfect:

But if we do not print the hidden slides, things may be a bit confusing. The print page number is still perfect, but the thumbnail slide numbers match the actual slide number not the slide show number. The hidden slides still count as numbers to the print out jumps from slide 1 to slide 4:

Good? Bad? Confusing? Helpful? Not Helpful?

I find the all of the above to be possible answers. The way I am explaining the thumbnail page numbers is they are the slide number, not the slide show number. So if you need to manually jump to a specific slide in a presentation – while presenting, that is the number to use. If you are looking to confirm how many slides are in a presentation, this may not be the accurate number (if there are hidden slides in the deck).

Troy @ TLC

By |2018-11-26T12:44:19-07:00November 26th, 2018|PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins|

Review of YouTools Add-In

At TLC Creative, our entire design team is working in PowerPoint every day. We live for finding ways to do things faster, and we have a great collection of PowerPoint Add-ins installed. New to us this year is the YouTools suite of PowerPoint add-ins from YouPresent – and we love it!

YouTools is the only PowerPoint add-in that we currently know of that is compatible with both 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office AND both Windows and Mac OSX compatible! As of today, there are over 30 tools available, but we have been amazed as that number went from 20 to 30 in just the past 4-5 months we have been using it! 

Because there are so many great tools in this add-in suite, we voted in the design studio and selected 4 of favorite tools to highlight here.

  1. Media Extractor
  2. Fill Slide
  3. Guides
  4. Text-to-Outline

Media Extractor Tool:
1. If you want to pull all media files from a presentation with a couple of clicks, this tool is the way to do it. On the ribbon go to PRESENTATION >> EXPORT >> EXPORT MEDIA FILES

2. A file explorer window will open asking where you want to save the files. Click EXPORT HERE and wait for the add-in to finish. A pop up will appear telling you when its done and if you want to open the folder

3. The presentation I extracted media from had 306 embedded media items. This includes pngs, jpgs and emfs, as well as audio and video files. I wanted to pull the embedded videos, and by sorting by type I can easily do so. YouTools also adds the slide number to the file name which is super helpful!

Fill Slide Tool:
1. Filling the slide with a shape or picture is now easier than ever. With your shape or image selected, click the FILL SLIDE on the YouTools ribbon

2. The slide will now have the shape sized to the slide perfectly

3. You can do the same for images. Select the image and hit FILL SLIDE (note: if the proportions of the image are different than the slide, you will need to manually adjust the crop of the image to fix any distortion)

1. The guides tools are amazing, and one of the most innovative parts of YouTools.

2. When you click on SETUP GUIDES, a new menu pops up.

  1. Change the units of measurement: inches, centimeters, and points
  2. Set how many COLUMNS and ROWS needed
  3. Set GUTTER size for each
  4. Even better, you can set slide MARGINS and the rows and columns will adjust. For example, set 1.5” margin at the top for the title area,.5” at the bottom for the footer area, and .25” on the left and right, the rows and columns will be perfectly set in the safe space of the presentation!
  5. You can apply the guidelines to ALL SLIDES in the presentation, the SLIDE LAYOUT (in the master so all slides using this same layout will have the guides), or the SLIDE MASTER (all slides will have the same guides). You can also delete guides this way too
  6. When preview is checked, you will see the guides adjust based on input measurements in real time

3. Here is what the guide set looks like from the measurements above:

4. Within the GUIDE TOOL, you can also change the color of the guides by clicking OPTIONS

5. Here are the default guide colors in PPT. Colors for SLIDES, LAYOUTS, and MASTER guide lines are shown in hexadecimal code

6. You can change to any other hex code. But if you change your mind, click RESTORE DEFAULT to go back the PPT default colors.

7. Another nifty feature is the ability to SAVE and LOAD guides. This only works for SLIDE LAYOUTS, but can come in quite handy for adding guidelines you might use often to other presentations. You can save up to 10 sets of guides

8. Last but not least, you can add guides based on shapes

9. Click the shape(s) and click ADD TO OBJECTS. If you want to use a group of objects, click the checkbox next to GROUPS. Here are guides that I added using the shapes below. The guides are added to each edge of the shapes bounding box

10. Another one of my favorite features is the GUIDE ALIGNMENT ability. Say you have 5 columns with a .25” margin on the left and right. You can quickly line up any object to either the guideline or the center between two guidelines. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the shape
  2. Holding ALT on the keyboard, click PowerPoint’s ALIGN CENTER tool until the shape moves to the desired position
  3. Here’s a video to demonstrate:

Text To Outline Tool:
1. Converting text using a custom font to a shape is a practice many of us presentation designers do daily. With YouTools, its now a matter of a couple clicks and the task is accomplished.
2. Select your text box

3. Click TEXT TO OUTLINE on the YouTools ribbon

4. An option box will pop up asking a couple things

  1. Keep the original text box and move off the slide: Keeps the text box but moves it up above the slide. Mostly an okay practice, sometimes if the standard font PPT uses to replace a not-found custom font might be larger and bleed into the slide are
  2. Keep and hide: Best practice! Keeps the original editable text box with custom font and hides it in the PPT selection pane. The text box will always be available if future edits are needed, but its hidden and will never interfere with slide content should the custom font not be loaded
  3. Replace: Replaces the text box and just converts to outline. If you’re sure you won’t ever need to edit the text again, then use this. (It’s usually always safer to just keep the original textbox)

5. I chose to KEEP AND HIDE, clicked OK, and now I have my text outlined

6. And my original editable text box is safely hidden should I need in the future

7. With the font outlined, I can apply any PPT effect to make it special!


Again, so many things are well thought out and major time improvements to production work in PowerPoint. We did not include the align and stack tools, the very cool Join Shapes tools, the vastly improved theme color scheme setup tools and really only a fraction of what can be done with the Guides tools – there is a lot there for only $30! Get more info and download here.

Troy @ TLC (and thanks to Amber for compiling and writing up the examples)

By |2019-10-28T15:42:06-07:00October 29th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

Free Online Talk Time Calculator

Real World:
– Today I received a presentation from a client and their script (for teleprompt, so I know they are saying every word in the script). The presentation has 43 slides, with 1 video. The script has 2,854 words. There is 1 video that is 90 seconds long. The agenda shows their talk time on stage is 20 minutes. Does all this work? Can we assume the presenter can accomplish this talk within their time allotment?
– Generally we plan 45 seconds of their time for the walk up music and crowd applause.
– The video is 90 seconds.
– Using a talk time calculator, 2,854 words at a standard rate = 22 minutes.
– 45 second walk up + 22 minutes talk time + 1.5 minute video = 24.25 minutes for the presentation… high probability of not being completed within the 20 minute slot.

So, how did I calculate 2,854 words = 22 minutes? www.Speechinminutes.com


This is a very nice, free, online tool we use at TLC Creative Services for many projects. Hope it is helpful!

Troy @ TLC

By |2019-01-31T14:33:21-07:00October 19th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|
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