This is the first in at least a 4 part mini-series. Custom picture bullets were introduced with PowerPoint XP and they make a great addition to any presentation! I use custom picture bullets in many ways, always with the idea of how can they coordinate with the overall presentation. My custom bullets have ranged from simple color coordinated stylized shapes, to miniatures of the company logo, to small object icons that relate to the subject.

The first step is developing the artwork for the custom bullet. Note: I am using PhotoShop CS for this tutorial, but the process can be applied to virtually any image editing application.

(1) Create a new document. Note the file size is very small and we ALWAYS use RGB for PowerPoint images.
New PhotoShop File

(2) Create your bullet artwork, sized to stay within the 50x50px area. I am creating a simple 3D sphere with a drop shadow.
Artwork for custom bullet

(3) Go to IMAGE >> CANVAS SIZE. Here we are going to increase the canvas size so the final image will have our bullet artwork horizontally on the far left and centered vertically.
Adjust Canvas Size
1. This is our original file size
2. Use this setting to force the new canvas area to keep the artwork on the far left, but allow it to be vertically centered.
3. Increase the width to 90px, this will provide a space between our bullet and the PowerPoint text.
4. Increase the height to 70px, this will vertically center our bullet on the PowerPoint text.

(4) The final step is to save the image as a .png with transparency (see “The Power of Ping” tutorial here for details).

– Troy @ TLC