MVP Summit 09 PPT MVPs

Fellow PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Gajaj posted this great group shot of the PowerPoint MVPs and a number of the MS Office and PowerPoint developers. It has a fun interactive rollover feature that tells you who each person is. It is on flickr here.

I am over on the far left.

-Troy @ TLC

By |March 18th, 2009|Personal|

PPT Art – Captain Jack Sparrow

How is this PowerPoint art?

When it is created in PowerPoint with hundreds of autoshapes! Just the mustache is made up of what looks to be over 200 autoshapes (I stopped counting after 75)!

This incredible work by the UK’s Colin Neal can be downloaded from the PowerPointHeaven site. Look for the entry called “Captain Jack Sparrow.” Click here.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 16th, 2009|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc|


The video is a bit of a commercial for the host, but I do like what Kelly Thompson, iStockphoto’s Vice President of Marketing has to say about images vs. bullets in presentations.

Watch the video here.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 14th, 2009|Resource/Misc|

Who is Watson and Why is He Important to Microsoft?

In this case Dr. Watson is a debugger for Microsoft, not Sherlock Holmes assistant.

If Dr. Watson is running and a Windows application crashes, such as PowerPoint, it creates a report with technical information that Microsoft developers use to determine what caused the crash. The key is sending the data, which I have been promised is anonymous, to Microsoft.

After spending a few days with the PowerPoint developers at Microsoft last week, like it or not, Watson reports play a HUGE factor in what gets fixed, or updated. So submit those Watson reports whenever possible – they make a difference.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 12th, 2009|PowerPoint, Tutorial|

Instantly Select The Box – Not The Text

With text boxes, or autoshapes with text in them, there are two types of selection:
1. Selecting the text so it can be edited.
2. Selecting the shape so it can be edited or moved.

Selecting the text is easy, just click inside the box near the text and you get the text cursor. Note, when you have text selected the shape has a dotted line border.

But to select the shape I see people struggle all the time. The three common ways are:
1. Select the text, then carefully click on the dotted line border to change the selection to the shape.
2. Carefully position mouse at edge of shape and click (same as #1, but skipping the text selection – usually).
3. Select the text, then press the ESCape key to change the selection to the shape (this is a great trick if you are unfamiliar with it).

But the 4th, and often best, way to select a shape and not the text is also the easiest.
4. Hold the shift key and click on the shape – anywhere. This only allows the shape to be selected, never the text.

Note: the border is a solid line when the shape is selected.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 10th, 2009|Tutorial|

SmartArt Balancing Act

SmartArt really makes you look – smart! But did you know the Balance graphic is smart enough to adjust itself…?


Like all SmartArt the graphic is actually controlled by a standard bulleted list.

Here is my sample Balance SmartArt graphic. It has two categories, one for each side. And it starts off with equal balance – 1 bullet point per side.

But if you add more bullets to one side, the scale automatically ‘tips’ to the heavier side! Here I have added a second bullet to Category 1 and tipped the scale.

Note: only primary bullets affect the balance. Adding sub-bullets is fine, but they have no impact on which way the balance beam leans.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 8th, 2009|Tutorial|

Camtasia 24 Tutorials in 24 Hours

If you use Camtasia Studio, or have an interest in it, the people at Techsmith did a huge internal project of recording 24 video tutorials, in 24 hours, on using Camtasia.

I use Camtasia for lots of projects and got some great tips and alternate production methods. It’s also great to put a face with all the people you hear from at Techsmith.

Check out the videos here.

– Troy @ TLC

By |March 6th, 2009|Software/Add-Ins|
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