When Everything is Bold – Nothing is Bold

Are you designing a presentation with a lot of text? Not sure how to make your points stand-out? Typography is one of the most important aspects of a slide, and how well its done will determine how well you can communicate your message.

One way to grab your viewer’s attention is to utilize a bold font, which is heavier and darker than the regular type. Bold fonts are used for emphasis, but too much bolding can have the exact opposite effect, because when everything is bold – nothing is bold.

Selective bolding is a design process we use often. Be choosing key words to be bold and standout the viewer can quickly see, and read, what is important.

Happy bolding!

By |2020-06-18T13:23:38-07:00August 7th, 2020|Tutorial|

PPT Photo Album + Brightslide Match Size

I hinted at this great design trick in the previous post. Let me walk through process in more detail. The goal is to quickly (within minutes of receiving a folder of images) build a slideshow of full frame images, that are cropped and centered, can run as a photo loop.

Step 1: Use a native PowerPoint add-in (that has been hidden in the app for literally years and years). Go to INSERT > PHOTO ALBUM drop down > NEW PHOTO ALBUM

Step 2: Select FILE/DISK > navigate to folder of images > select your images > CREATE

This will create a NEW document with a title page as page 1. Delete page 1.

Then go to the BrightSlide tab > BATCH > and resize all images. 

Step 3: Select all slide > apply a slide transition of your choice (FADE is a safe and professional default option) > set slides to auto advance after 8 seconds (or speed your feel is best for your meeting)


Done! A looping photo slide show built in just a few minutes!

A few more details on the BrightSlide resize image feature. First, it is wonderful! Second, it was added into Brightslide within days of detailing what I thought would be a great add-in tool for many presentation designers (thank you Jamie Garroch and BrightCarbon development team!). What this add-in is doing is scaling each image to fill the slide, adding a crop so the image remains the size of the slide, and centering the image within the crop.

As a final step, which is optional, I run NXPowerlite to resave the images to their crop at an optimized 1920×1080 for an easy to manage file size (because generally I am receiving the images from a professional photographer, and while the images look great, they are huge file sizes!). 

The BrightSlide add-in for PowerPoint can be downloaded for free at: https://www.brightcarbon.com/brightslide/

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-30T22:24:20-07:00July 8th, 2020|Tutorial|

BrightSlide Image To Fit Slide

The BrightSlide PowerPoint add-in has so many great features it is impossible to say what the “favorite” feature it. But I will list this as one of my top 3! BrightSlide’s ‘Match Size’ tool is brilliant.

Through a series of emails with the BrightSlide lead developer I detailed the process I would go through on virtually every large presentation event to create a custom photo loop for the meeting walk-in, generally being given a folder of images with minutes until doors open! The result was an addition to the Match Size options (thank you BrightSlide!).

The scenario is, an image does not scale to fill the full slide. The fastest solution is now to select the image, go to the BrightSlide tab, and click the Match Size button. There are actually 3 options in the drop-down: Match Size, Match Width, Match Height. But the top level, Match size, button is all that is needed. 

Select the image, click Match Size and the image is not distorted or stretched, but it is cropped to fill the slide. AND it is centered within the crop! Position within the crop can be adjusted by selecting the image and the crop tool to adjust what is the live/visible image.

If resizing all photos in a slide deck, such receiving a folder of images, importing them into a slide deck using PowerPoint Photo Album feature, then use BrightSlides BATCH tool to apply the resize and crop to every image in the deck instantly! 

Using the Batch tool brings up this dialogue, where you want to select yes.

The end result is nearly instantly created beautiful full bleed images that fit the slidet!

The BrightSlide add-in for PowerPoint can be downloaded for free at: https://www.brightcarbon.com/brightslide/

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-06-18T13:17:32-07:00July 6th, 2020|Software/Add-Ins, Tutorial|

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|

How to Make Excel Use a PowerPoint Custom Color Scheme

Microsoft Office; PowerPoint, Excel, Work, etc. have many shared components. PowerPoint tends to be the most visual design app of the suite and a common request we receive is how to add the colors from a PowerPoint we developed into Excel. You will need to add the custom color scheme to your computer, see the previous post. The process is fairly easy, here is an example and the action steps:

1. In Excel, our example chart uses the standard Office color scheme (boring!)

2. In excel go to PAGE LAYOUT > COLORS

3. In the CUSTOM section, select the custom color scheme we saved from PowerPoint to the computer Office options. We are selecting the COLOR SCHEME NAME custom colors.

4. Now the excel file instantly updates charts to match the PowerPoint file!

Troy @ TLC


By |2020-05-20T11:46:50-07:00May 15th, 2020|Tutorial|

How to Apply a Saved Color Scheme to an Existing PowerPoint

Any PowerPoint slide deck can have any preset color scheme applied to it – and everything in that presentation that uses the color scheme for their colors will automatically update! This includes text, shapes, charts, tables and more. It is amazing when the slide content is setup to use color scheme colors – and frustrating when it does not…

Here is our example presentation, that uses a green color scheme – and the template was developed using the color scheme.

We want to update this presentation to the “blue” division. We can easily update the presentation to the “blue” color scheme (see previous blog post for how to add color schemes to PowerPoints CUSTOM list). To update the presentation to the needed color scheme, go to DESIGN > COLORS > select the desired color scheme.

As you rollover the different schemes, the color schemes preview. Ultimately we have selected the “blue” color scheme for this presentation.

[videopack id=”14012″]https://thepowerpointblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PPT_Colors_PT_2_screencapture.mp4[/videopack]

Troy @ TLC


By |2021-05-17T13:02:57-07:00May 13th, 2020|Tutorial|

How to Save and Name a Custom Color Theme in PowerPoint

Any presentation can have any custom color scheme applied to it. This tutorial is how to save a custom color scheme from one presentation, or template, to your computer and then apply it to any other presentation.

1. Custom color schemes, for example from a custom PowerPoint template, is displayed in DESIGN > COLORS > CUSTOM. Note, custom color schemes that have been saved to your computer show up in this list.


3. To save the color scheme from any file/template, click CUSTOMIZE COLORS at the bottom of the list.

4. The CREATE NEW THEME COLORS dialog opens and displays all of the assigned colors. The only action you need is to give the color scheme a name (see previous post for tip on seeing the assigned name). 

5. Replace “Custom 1” with a descriptive name. For this tutorials we will use “Custom Color Scheme Name” and click SAVE

6. Now you will have access to the “Color Scheme Name” custom colors on your computer and can apply them to any presentation or template. 


Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-24T10:44:16-07:00May 11th, 2020|Tutorial|

What is the PowerPoint color scheme name of this file?

Every custom color scheme has a name. But when the CREATE NEW THEME COLORS dialog is opened, the color scheme name is a generic “custom 1” name. It is not intuitive on finding the color scheme name, so here is a tutorial on how to see the color scheme name currently being used by a file.

— Note: I am reposting what I put online back on April 29, 2016

Every template has a Custom Color Scheme. And every color scheme has a custom name. For example: Here is a custom PowerPoint template I am working on, and I named the template color scheme “The Future Is Now” which is the theme name of the event where it will be used.

Template Color Scheme -1

And when I look at the color schemes available on my computer, this theme is listed – because it was created on this computer:

Template Color Scheme -5

But on any other computer, with the template open, if I look at the color schemes, The Future Is Now is not listed:

Template Color Scheme -2

To find the Custom Color Scheme name, do this:

  • Go to VIEW > SLIDE MASTER > BACKGROUND > mouse over (do not click) COLORSTemplate Color Scheme -3
  • The pop up dialog shows the current template color scheme name
    Template Color Scheme -4

Now you can edit the existing color scheme and know what name to give it.

-Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-24T18:08:16-07:00May 8th, 2020|Tutorial|

Image Transparency in PowerPoint

From a recent conversation about how a slide design was created, I realize that it is difficult to keep up with the number of new features being added to PowerPoint. If you have a familiar workflow, you might not be looking for a new workflow. This blog post is about a new, but not really that new, feature in PowerPoint – setting the transparency level of an image.

Here is a slide design scenario (inspired by the conversation noted above) and how to use PowerPoint’s image transparency. Starting with this example slide and inserting an image onto it.

Here is the image, positioned and cropped to fit the open right side of the slide.

The goal is to make the right side have a stylized background element (this photo) with content on top. Open the “Format Picture” pane on the right side.

Go to the PICTURE section and expand the PICTURE TRANSPARENCY options.

Use the presets to quickly change the opacity/transparency of the image.

Or use the Transparency slider, or select the number field and enter an exact percentage. The image on this slide was set to 90%.

All within PowerPoint we have placed an image. Sized, positioned and cropped an image. And adjusted the image transparency – no Photoshop needed. This faint image over the white background can now be the stylized background for the slide content.

Going one styling further, a golden gradient image was placed under the image, making this slide layout quick to update to any color accent (and the content text was updated to white to provide adequate contrast for legibility).

Troy @ TLC

By |2020-04-16T23:13:24-07:00April 17th, 2020|Tutorial|

An Animated GIF Created in PowerPoint

To create this animated .gif we created a small slide size PowerPoint deck. The page size is 1.25″ x 1.5″

From an image from Adobe Stock (TLC Creative has a Teams account to Adobe Stock for project art), we cropped and added the image sequence to 19 slides. No PowerPoint animation and even slide transitions – just multiple slides and a fast auto advance timing.

Troy @ TLC


By |2020-02-27T13:56:20-07:00March 2nd, 2020|Tutorial|
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