PowerPoint Presentation Translator Add-in

Microsoft has a secret garage where lots of amazing things are thought up, and few escape into the public realm. One recent Microsoft Garage app is the PRESENTATION TRANSLATOR. The add-in is really multiple parts; powered by the “Microsoft Translator Live Feature”, part PowerPoint add-in, part mobile app, and part 3-things-in-1, this add-in has a lot to offer a lot of different people.

At its core, the Presentation Translator is an add-in from Microsoft that is designed to help presenters communicate with audience members who speak a different language, or may be deaf/hard of hearing. It does slide translation as automatic narration, live subtitling, and interactive live translation using mobile devices. While not perfect, it is impressive, and fun to use.

To install you need to download direct from the Microsoft Garage webpage here (no Office Store install option yet). 

Live subtitling, one of the key features, allows the presenter to speak in 1 of 10 spoken languages while the add-in creates real-time, live subtitles translated into one of more than 60 text translation languages. The customized speech recognition feature uses the slide content to learn your language, helping ensure proper translation.

To start the live subtitles, go to the Slide Show tab and select Start Subtitles.

Presentation Translator 1

Click Accept to agree to the terms of use.

Presentation Translator 2

Walk through the overview by clicking Next until you reach the settings options. Select the speaking language and the subtitle display language. Check Customize speech recognition if you would like to use this feature, and select your microphone device.

Presentation Translator 3

You can also enter a presenter name, select subtitle locations, log in for authentication settings, and turn on or off the optional instructional slide by clicking Additional settings. When finished with all settings, click Next. Once loaded, your presentation will begin and subtitles will appear in the location you selected.

Presentation Translator 4

Here is one of our sample slides with the sentence “The Live Subtitles feature translates spoken content into subtitles” translated into English, French, German, and Spanish subtitles.

Presentation Translator 5

Presentation Translator 6

Presentation Translator 7

Presentation Translator 8

Personal Translation: Through the add-in and corresponding mobile app, the audience members can also use a custom code to access personal translations, allowing them to follow along and communicate in their own language. The add-in also translates audience questions during an unmuted Q&A. If the audience members don’t speak one of the ten spoken languages, they can use one of the 60+ text based languages. In turn, those who are deaf or hard of hearing can more easily follow along with the presentation.

To use this feature, you will need to download the Microsoft Translator app on your mobile device and follow instructions provided during the presentation.

Presentation Content Translation: the add-in also offers a tool to translate an entire presentation, while still maintaining formatting. See our original example here, in English.

Presentation Translator 9

To translate the content, go to the Slide Show tab and select Translate Slides

Presentation Translator 10

Select the current, slide language and the new language to translate to and click Translate Slides

Presentation Translator 11

Locate the folder you would like to save the translated version in, rename if desired, and click Save. Note the by default, an abbreviation of the new language is added to the end of the filename.

Presentation Translator 12

A new file will open with all content translated while still maintaining the original formatting. Here is our example after being translated to French, German and Spanish.

Presentation Translator 13

Presentation Translator 14

Presentation Translator 15

For some layouts, reformatting may be necessary to best display the translated content. For example, here is a slide that features large, stacked text of different sizes.

Presentation Translator 16

When translated into French, German or Spanish, the length of the words change and cause issues with the content fitting into the existing design. Notice that the word “wrap” may become two lines and some text ends up overlapping or off-slide.

Presentation Translator 17

Presentation Translator 18

Presentation Translator 19

By resizing and moving text, most of these layouts can still function after translation. Here is our French slide before and then after fixing the formatting.

Presentation Translator 20

Presentation Translator 21

The slide content translation was the feature of most interest to me, and for a standard bullet list style presentation it does a good job. As the examples above show, for more stylized layouts, there is still a lot of layout revision needs. And, because I do not fluently speak or read any of the languages used, I cannot say how accurate the translated text really was. The world is becoming much smaller all the time, and the PowerPoint Translator add-in is making it happen sooner than later.

Troy @ TLC


By |2018-03-17T22:51:34-07:00March 30th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

Pro Word Cloud Generator Add-In

Word Clouds are images composed of words pertaining to a particular subject, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency and importance. They are a popular way to visualize a message and something we have integrated into many presentations.

Pro Word Cloud

Pro Word Cloud is a Microsoft add-in that is free and can create world clouds with your custom text directly in PowerPoint. To install go to INSERT > STORE > search WORD CLOUD > and ADD the Pro Word Cloud add-in.

Pro Word Cloud

Installing the add-in gives direct access to a side pane to quickly and easily convert on-slide text to stylized word clouds directly from within PowerPoint itself. The action pane provides a nice selection of styling features, including; custom font, many preset color scheme options, word case and size.

Pro Word Cloud


Creating a word cloud with Pro Word Cloud is not completely intuitive. First you need to add all of the words to a text box in PowerPoint. Then select all and copy, because the add-in uses the text copied to the clipboard, there is no text entry area in the app. In the Pro Word Cloud action pane, click CREATE WORD CLOUD. Now, right-click the small word cloud image and copy, then paste onto the slide. 

Here is my example, with text I copied on the left and the Word Cloud the add-in created on the right.


A few observations:

  • Add-in does not use the PowerPoint template color scheme for the Word Cloud
  • Available color options are limited to preset color schemes, with no custom color setup
  • Use the size option to create a large enough word cloud image, I generally use 900x500px as the smallest size
  • The Word Cloud is an inserted flat image, so no animation by word or editing options
  • I recommend adding the word list to the presenter notes or to an off-slide text box to have available for any update needs

Troy @ TLC

By |2018-03-20T13:49:27-07:00March 28th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

PickIt Image Add-In

Pickit is another image resource site, but it is uniquely focused on providing images for PowerPoint presentations. The home page boldly says “Legally Cleared images for people at work. Make your work stand out with unlimited access to royalty free photos and clipart in PowerPoint.”
To go with the PowerPoint (and Word) focus, Pickit has a Microsoft Store add-in that provides quick and convenient access to a large library of royalty-free and legally cleared™ images directly inside PowerPoint (and Word), meaning you can use them all without worrying about infringing on copyright laws. 

To install the add-in go to INSERT > STORE > search for PICKIT > ADD.


Access the image library any time by clicking the PICKIT IMAGES button on PowerPoint HOME tab.


Open the Images action pane, search for any image, click INSERT, and the image is added to the current slide.


There is a free version that accesses the image library only from PowerPoint (no website access) and no HD resolution. The subscription is $1.99/month and makes all ad-free with unlimited app and web access, and access to HD resolution images.

Troy @ TLC

By |2018-03-20T13:47:33-07:00March 26th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

PowerPointLabs Add-in for PowerPoint

We continue our March Blog Posts on PowerPoint Add-ins with PowerPointLabs. When we tested PowerPointLabs it was FREE, and full of features, many we have not seen in any other offering. I do recommend spending time going through the tutorial walk-through that is available after the add-in is installed.

PowerPointLabs is an entire ribbon, with a lot of good design, layout and styling features. 


For this post I am just going through one of several styling options that stood out. The Picture Slides Lab tool automates making text stylized over an image (inserted image or background image). This feature is in line with the PowerPoint Designer feature, in terms of take text only content and make it visual for me. It provides a number of preset styling options: 


1) Frosted Glass TextBox Color (Option to add custom colors)

2) TextBox Transparency (Option to display multiple transparency options)

3) Special Effects (Options for how image is displayed)

4) Brightness (Options for image brightness by percentage)

5) Font Color (Options for custom font color)

6) Text Glow Color (Option to add custom glow color)

7) Text Position (Option to position your text in various positions on your slide)

8) Font (Option to choose a custom font. It doesn’t appear to load all fonts from your system.)

9) Font Size (Option to choose various preset font sizes)

10) Picture (This option allows you to add effects to your images)

Beyond the preset options, and a feature that always makes things better from my perspective, is the ability to use each preset as a starting point then customizing it.


Here is an example of the Picture Slides Lab in use:



Add a Blank Slide (to an existing presentation or new presentation) 



Go to the PowerPointLabs tab and select Picture Slide Lab, then select Images to import.


We added 5 visual images to the presentation.



Select one of the imported images and select one of the preset styling options, then Apply.



There is a dialog with thumbnail to confirm the selected image and styling (okay, this step feels a bit redundant and not needed). Highlight the image (1) to add to the presentation and click (2) Select.


Everything is added to the presentation. And it is not a flat image, the text, image styling and graphic accents are all native PowerPoint content, so it can be modified in PowerPoint after inserted.



In addition to the content being editable in PowerPoint, another nice option to easily update the image and styling by going back to the PowerPointLabs tab, selecting Picture Slides Lab again and updating the image or styling options by clicking (1) Change Style.


Once you’ve selected your new style, click (1) Apply.


(1) Select slide to be inserted in your project – (2) Click Select.


Here’s the new style applied to the slide.


The PowerPointLabs add-in is good for both the non-designer (professional preset designs for all) and designer (instant formatting for faster production). Have fun formatting some visual slide layouts on your next presentation!


– Troy @ TLC


By |2018-03-20T13:42:52-07:00March 21st, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

YAY Images PowerPoint Add-In

Previously, we looked at Adobe’s Image Search PowerPoint Add-In. Today, we’re looking at a similar tool, YAY Images. This add-in searches for images directly in PowerPoint and it has some advanced search filters to find the perfect image.

YAY Images 1

Go to th INSERT Tab> click the STORE button > search for “YAY.” Select “add” and after installed PowerPoint will open the YAY action pane.

YAY Images 2

Within the action pane, search for images using a variety of options: (1) search for similar images, (2) insert previews into your presentation, or (3) directly license and insert image.

YAY Images 3

Our favorite thing about this tool is the advanced search options (it would be great to see some of the “big” stock photo sites integrate some of these options), such as the search by aspect, number of people in the photo, and the “TextSpace” is a great option! 

YAY Images 4

But as with most image licensing tools and websites, licensing any of the images requires a subscription plan. Signing up for the account is free but plans range from around $10 – $100 depending on the number of images you are downloading each month.


By |2018-03-20T13:42:29-07:00March 15th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

Adobe Stock PowerPoint Add-In

AdobeStock is a large royalty free image resource offering. TLC Creative opted to make it our current project resource (we change out services every few years). Adobe has released a PowerPoint add-in for Adobe Stock. If you’re a Adobe Stock subscriber, you can easily access the image search directly in PowerPoint.



Install the Adobe Stock PowerPoint Add-in: Insert Tab > My Add-ins (or Store) > See All > Add

Adobe Stock PowerPoint 1

Adobe Stock PowerPoint 2

Click the Adobe Stock add-in button on the Insert tab to open the Adobe Stock action pane.

Adobe Stock PowerPoint 3

The process of searching, finding, selecting and inserting images onto a slide is very intuitive and easy. A few observations:

  • You need to log in to your Adobe account the first time the Adobe Stock action pane is opened.
  • When you select an image, there is an option to license or insert a watermarked comp image (Preview in PowerPoint).
    Adobe Stock PowerPoint 4
  • Images only exist in the PowerPoint file, vs. downloading an image file through the Adobe Stock site and then adding that file to a presentation.
  • Vector graphics are inserted as raster .png images (but can be downloaded as vector files if downloaded direct from the Adobe Stock site, which ironically cannot be downloaded as a raster image from the website where it is only available as a vector graphic that must be converted to be PowerPoint compatible).



By |2018-03-10T19:43:41-07:00March 13th, 2018|Software/Add-Ins|

Noun Project Add-In

The Noun Project is an amazing site for vector icon graphics.

It is also a Microsoft add-in for PowerPoint. This is a web based add-in (vs. local machine install). In PowerPoint, go to the INSERT tab, and click the STORE button.


On the Store tab, search for NOUN PROJECT and install.


On the INSERT tab, the NOUN PROJECT button is available. Click to open the app pan and have instant access to over 1 million icons direct without leaving PowerPoint.

Everyone can access the free version, which are .PNG images, where each slide attribute the icon’s designer and icons are only added to a slide, they cannot be downloaded as separate art files. For TLC Creative we opted for the $40 annual subscription which does not need attribution, external art files can be downloaded and we can choose between SVG and PNG files every time we use. PowerPoint recently added its internal vector icon library (insert > icons), but if a presentation needs to expand beyond these, The Noun Project is something that can be found in many designers toolbox, and now it can be added directly in PowerPoint.

Troy @ TLC


By |2018-03-20T13:42:12-07:00March 8th, 2018|Resource/Misc|

NXPowerlite Black Friday 50% Off Deal


TLC Creative Services has been a long-time user of NXPowerlite to quickly optimize presentation files to manageable sizes – without losing image quality (see this post on the TLC’s custom NXPowerlite settings). Microsoft’s internal image compression has improved a lot over the past few generations of PowerPoint, but I still find 3rd party tools do a better job. No sponsorship here, just letting everyone know that the NXPowerlite Black Friday sale is a good deal to take advantage of if you do not have an add-in to optimize presentation files.

NXPowerlite Black Friday

The Windows Desktop version is regulary $50. Purchase Friday, November 25th at 50% off. $25 is a great value and a smart addition to any designer’s toolbox. Go here for the Neupower sale page.


-Troy @ TLC

By |2016-11-29T15:12:23-07:00November 23rd, 2016|Software/Add-Ins|

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in

PowerPoint file size too big? Sometimes that’s okay if it has embedded videos, or just has a lot of slides. But if your 11 slide presentation has no videos and is 30+ MB, it is time for some file optimization. PowerPoint has built in tools to optimize images and multimedia – and they continue to improve. But for image optimization, I prefer to use one of the 3rd party add-in options, the NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in.

For TLC Creative Services, we have NXPowerlite installed on all computers and use as needed. As stated on their site, what this add-in does is, “Shrink Your Files.” I’ve put together a quick explanation of how we use this at TLC.


In this example, we’ve added a HiRes image to a PowerPoint Presentation. Our simple 10 slide presentation is a 29.1 MB file.

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-1

The images within the presentation are 15MB, because they are far larger than HD projection, most are “print” quality resolution. By using the NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in, we can optimize these images in order to reduce file size.

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-2

Step 1: Save your presentation.


NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-3

Step 3: Select YES at this pop up dialog (unless you do not want to save over this file because you did not do Step 1 yet, then cancel, save the presentation and come back to this step when you can select YES).


Step 4: Custom the NXPowerLite SETTINGS.

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-5

Step 5: This should be a one-time process as NXPowerlite will remember your custom settings.

  • JPEG quality =9 on all three options
  • Resize Images For Display At = 1920×1080 on all three options
  • delete Cropped Areas in Pictures = NOT checked
  • Flatten Embedded Objects = NOT checked
  • Click OK to save these settings and close the Settings dialog box

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-6

File Naming

Before we Optimize the file click on the File Naming tab. Here you can customized the text prior to Optimizing the file.

1) File Naming Tab

2) You can add custom text that will be added to your Original file name

3) The custom name will be added AFTER your file name

4) The custom name will be added BEFORE your file name

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-12


Here’s an example of the Outputted files

1) Backup of the original File name with the Custom Text BEFORE

2) Backup of the original File name with the Custom Text AFTER

3) Optimized file gets outputted with Original File Name



Back in the NXPowerLite dialogue, confirm the presentation is selected and click OPTIMIZE.

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-7

When NXPowerlite is finished, it displays the original and the optimized file size. In your project folder will be both the original (name now appended) and the new optimized version.

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-8

Looking at the new optimized file, all of the images have been adjusted to HD (1920×1080 display resolution) and are approximately 6 MB (with no visible quality loss for the slide show)!

NXPowerLite PowerPoint Add-in-9

From the entire TLC team, thank you to the NXPowerLite PowerPoint add-in for making our jobs a bit easier and quicker!


– Troy @ TLC


By |2016-08-10T08:00:49-07:00June 29th, 2016|PowerPoint, Resource/Misc, Software/Add-Ins|
Go to Top