Tag Archives: powerpoint

PowerPoint: About Pictures And A 1000 Words

roseA picture is worth a thousand words.
So when using PowerPoint you should stick to fewer words and find that picture that says it all right? In PowerPoint it is possible to combine the picture and a word together. Wow that would mean that I would tell 2000 words with just one picture 🙂 Let’s see the possibilities PowerPoint has to offer using pictures, text and these two combined. Don’t worry you don’t have to be a designer (I’m not). This blog post will show you some simple techniques making your presentation looking stunning with just some simple adjustments. The picture on the left is a simple shape from PowerPoint filled with a picture of a flower I took with my camera.

Picture in the background of my text
All to often I see people copying and pasting images and text like their lives depend on it. It is possible to combine the two options in a very easy way. Example. We want the words Happy Holidays combined with a picture from the winter season. If possible add some extra effect and we should be fine. Here are the steps one could do. Remember I know there’s Photoshop and other applications out there that can do this more sophisticated. The goal however is to use just that what we have on hand and in this case it is PowerPoint.

  • Add a new empty slide to your presentation
  • Add the text Happy Holidays to the slide with the text box. Your slide should look something like this:


  •  The next step is to add a picture to the text. To do so click on the text border. You should see 8 points around the text. If you see those you know that the text box is selected. Next click on the contextual tab in the ribbon (Drawing Tools). Do not be fooled to choose text fill but instead choose shape fill as shown below


  • Choose shape fill and from the menu choose Picture… Pick a location where your pictures reside and choose the appropriate picture. Click insert. For this example I chose a winter season picture


  • Now with the picture in place let’s adjust the font style. For this picture I set the font color to white. To do so click the text border once more making sure it is selected. Now click on the contextual tab and this time choose text fill to change the color of the text as shown below


  • Now for the next trick what i did was I copied the complete text box. This will give you a duplicate of the first text box. From the second text box remove the shapefill. You take the same steps you take when adding a shape fill but now choose ‘no shape fill’. This will leave you with the white text. Change the text to an appropriate color you like. The next step is to move the second text box ‘over’ the first text box. You can either do that by using the mouse or the keyboard Ctrl + arrow key up.

movetextThis will leave you with something like this:

textfill_IISo there you have it, text and picture combined!
Now the challenge… can you reproduce the same examples as show below?

First one: A Star is born…


Second one: Do you like a nice sunset?


CustomUI Editor Part II

Add your own icons to your own ribbon

In this post i will show you how easy it is to add your own icons to your own ribbon in Microsoft Office. For this example i will use a Word document but you can just as easy make this in Excel and PowerPoint. In earlier posts i wrote about the custom UI editor. This insanly great tool for creating your own ribbons in Microsoft Applications. So that will be the tool i am using in this post. You can download the custom ui editor tool here.

The example i am creating here is a simple Word document with a custom tab with custom icons.

First make a word document which you want to use for this example. I will call it: Custom Icons. The custom UI editor tool was last updated for 2010 but to show that you can easily use this for 2013 documents i created a 2013 Word document. So the document is created, saved in a location and we are good to go. You can click on the various images to see enlargements!

Open the CustomUI editor

The next step is to open the custom ui editor. Choose open en locate your document to which you want to add a custom ribbon. For my example i created an empty Word document with no fancy stuff attached. A plain word document. Next step is to choose a type of ribbon you want to add. For this example i’ll choose a custom tab.


Now with that in place you will see that de custom ui editor has presented you with some sample XML in de code window. This is the code you have to modify later on. We will first add our own icons attached to the document. For that i will add some sample icons i have stored on my pc.


these are the icons i have added to my ribbon:


The first time i added some icons this way i was a little startled because i did not see anything happen. You have to click the plus sign to actually see that the icons are added to the document.


Ok, we have the document, we have the icons all we need to do now is modify the existing xml which was created when we chose custom tab at the beginning. If you are like me and you don’t want to typ to much you will use copy / paste. There’s nothing wrong with that but remember that all the buttons should have unique id’s in order for the ribbon to be created. So copy paste and rewrite the id’s for every button. Als modify the imageMSO part. imageMSO is an internal reference to existing icons from Microsoft Office. Because we are using our own icons you have to reset this option to image=”iconname here” (where iconname here is the name of your custom icon!).


The last step we have to do is to check if our ribbon will actual show up in our document. For the sample i have set two icons to large and three of them to normal. This will give you the next output:


Yep there it is, my very own tab in my ribbon with my very own icons! Wow how cool is that. All done with the custom ui editor!

Is there anything else i should know before i start taking these steps or will it always work. The only thing you have to remember is adding icons this way the only restriction you have is the size of the icons. In the sample i created here i added icons which have a size of 48X48 pixels. You will just have to test what the maximum size is for adding it to your tab. My advise? stick to 48 x 48 and smaller. That size fits perfectly!

Happy customizing 🙂

Office Remote – Presenting using your Windows Phone!

OffRemote_III I do a lot of presenting and it is always a challenge to pick the right tools for the job. A lot depends on the environment settings in which you have to do your show. Will i be able to walk around just a little, is presenterview easy to use at the moment, can i use the mouse for clicking to the next slide etc. Since a couple of weeks i’ve added Office Remote to my toolbox when presenting. So what is it and how can it add value to your presentation?Office Remote is an add in for PowerPoint. When installed it will add an additional tab to your ribbon called Office Remote.
Download Office remote here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41149
You need a windows 8 phone device, office 2013 (i tried office 2010 and that also worked… ssst don’t tell anyone) and the desktop addin!
The next step you have to do is download the App from the windows store. Just type office remote in your search box on your phone.
Install the App and you are good to go. Now for some additional steps:
  • Your phone must be set to bluetooth enabled. Your tablet or pc must also be set to bluetooth enabled. In your PC settings (tablet settings) let devices sync via bluetooth (pair). The name of the connecting pc will be stored in your phoneapp;
  • Ok, devices are in sync, it is time to use the office remote during the presentation;
  • Start PowerPoint and click on the Office Remote tab, click on the Office remote button;
  • Make sure you start the app on your phone. Goes without saying that bluetooth should be enabled…
  • Now when you start your presentation you will see the filename appear on your windows phone. Select the file and just by clicking on your phone you will advance to the next slide. But what really makes it interesting is the fact that it shows the notes from the notes pane directly on your phone. Your story is right there in the palm of your hands 🙂 Who needs presenterview now…
OffRemote_I OffRemote_II OffRemote_IV

What are you waiting for, give it a try…

Take a look at the video by clicking the link below and your on your way:

Office Remote

Happy Presenting 🙂

PowerPoint: Let’s Make A Test

Office templates
Every office application comes packed with lots of templates. If you open up Word, Excel or PowerPoint you can choose from a great variety of templates. While working with Office so many years i have to admit i did not use the templates very often. Most of the time they just don’t fit the requirements i am seeking for. But from time to time there are some templates that make life much easier and can actually add some value to what you are trying to accomplish. Let me explain.

Creating the Quiz
Just a few days ago i wanted to challenge my son to earn some money to spend on his upcoming vacation. I did not just wanted to give him the money but rather test his knowledge of the place his was about to visit (New York). So i was thinking about some sort of quiz. Now how to go about this great idea? I opened up my laptop and stared at my office icons. Ok which app is going to help me out on this one i was thinking. Both my kids love PowerPoint so i gave it a shot. Started up PowerPoint clicked “New”. Now for a change i clicked “Sample Templates” and guess what? Straight away my eye fell on this icon smiling at me called “Quiz”. Could this be something i was looking for…

Fill in the blanks
So there it was, a powerpoint template ready to go. Now let’s see what i have to do here… If you actually take the time to read the second slide it will explain exactly what you will have to do. So i did and tried it out. Let me show you:

So in fact the only thing you have to do is to choose a type of question and fill in the blanks right? Let’s try one slide and see how this works out:

On the Home tab i clicked “New Slide” and was presented with all these predefined slides to choose from. I chose the first one “Simple Question & Answer”. This gave me the following slide:

Ok i have to click the “Click to add question” textbox and write my question there. So far so good i understand that. For the answer i have to click the “Click to add answer” textbox to write the answer. I get that also. Wow that’s simple and yet effective. So i wrote down a question and an answer like this:

and went ahead to view the slideshow. What you actually see is the question on the screen but the answer doesn’t show until you click the keyboard or mousebutton. This triggered my curiosity and i wanted to see the animation pane. What?? Nothing to see there! You know what do not question everything and just enjoy the fact that someone took te time to figure this out. So i did and went ahead to explore all the other possible question slides. Here are the options to choose from:

  • Simple Question and answer
    You add a question and an answer in this slide and you are good to go
  • Detailed Question and Answer
    You can add some additional info to the answer you provide
  • True or False Question (answer: true)
    Choose this question for a True or False question where the answer is True
  • True or False Question (answer: false)
    Choose this question for a True or False question where the answer is False
  • Multiple Choice
    This is an interesting question. You can supply multiple answers to the question where only one answer is the correct one. You start by adding the correct answer in option A. After that you rearrange the textbox with the correct answer with an incorrect answer. For example ‘switch’ the textbox from answer A with the textbox from answer D. Just drag and align the texboxes and you are done.
  • Item Match Up
    This is also a interesting one. In this slide you can add items to the left and place items to the right. As long as the items match (you will be guided by the slide template) you are good to go. This slide might take some getting use to because of its sequential behaviour. So if the person who is taking the quiz has the first one wrong all the other options are designated in advance so you can’t manipulate the anymore. So the challenge should be to tackle the first one correctly and then move on to the next one. Explain that the test taker should first read properly and then match the item.

Having Fun
After an hour or so i was mixing and matching several question for my quiz. This is fun i thought and my daughter agreed. She likes PowerPoint very much and decided to create her own quiz for her mother about gardening. We had a lot of fun taking the quiz and my son earned some money the hard way (instead of just getting it). He had fun learning about NY and I hope this will contribute to his general knowledge about places around the world 😉

What else can I use this for?
After playing the quiz i could not stop thinking about this template. There has to be some other use for this template as well. Here are some thoughts on how you can use this template besides just the general fun quiz:

  • Teachers
    You can use this template to make preparation test for the individual students who are afraid of taking real test
  • Test takers
    Prepare yourself for that certification coming up by creating your own test. You will be amazed what difficult questions you will make for yourself
  • Presenters
    After your presentation you can create a five question quiz to hand out a small prize (commercialized version of course maybe account managers)
  • Students
    For finalizing your presentation for school assignments – test your fellow students

For now happy Quizzing 🙂

PowerPoint Presentation What Would You Do?

Alternative Ways of Doing Things
I’ve seen a lot of PowerPoint presentations. I like attending them for their content but also to see what the presenter created to backup his story during the presentation. What strikes me most is that so many people use akward techniques during their presentations. In this post i will try to explain what i mean and  how i think you can do this otherwise. As always the technique i present is not the technique but just an alternative way of accomplishing the same.

So read on, try if you recognize the issues stated and let me know how you would act or what your technique is.

1. Starting your presentation clean
When i create a PowerPoint presentation i test it to the limits. When i’m done i save the presentation as a .pps (2003 and earlier) or .ppsx (2007 and later). I place a shortcut on my desktop and make sure my desktop isn’t cluttered with icons that might distract my audience. To often i see presentations started right from the slide sorter where the presenter is making some last adjustments. We can see how many slides are awaiting us and that might just tick us of.

Continue reading

Get Organized: Use Sections In Your PowerPoint Presentation!

The preparation

Tell me, how many times have you seen one of these? If you use PowerPoint on a regular basis you might see them all the time. In fact you might be looking at your own presentations and think what’s wrong with that? Nothing at all, but how easy is it to search for those slides which represent a specific portion of that presentation? Exactly that’s where the use of sections in PowerPoint come in handy. Click on the image to enlarge (big picture!)

In this blogpost i will show you how easy it is to use sections in your PowerPoint presentations. This does not only makes it easy for you to work with several portions of your presentation, it is also perfect for collaboration and printing.
Warning: once you have used this you might not want to go back to your old way of prepping but that’s exactly what i’m hoping for 🙂
So open up a PowerPoint presentation and follow the steps in this post.
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Create Content That Gets Noticed

Documents, Presentations, and Workbooks by Stephanie Krieger
This is one of those books that really should be on your shelf. Of course we all create documents and think they look nice. Very often though we produce the final piece by using techniques we mastered ourselfs. But how about some structure in those techniques? Stephanie Krieger is one of those writers and users who knows exactly what we are talking about.  A dedicated Microsoft MVP so you know you get value for money. You can get a glimps of the intro of the book here and as you know by now there is always a sample chapter you can read on the MSPress blog. So if you are in doubt to buy this book or not… click here and let this chapter convince you.

Happy Reading