Category Archives: PowerPoint

Arrange multiple pictures in PowerPoint in Picture Tools

LifeLog

Yesterday, I conducted sessions for 650+ professionals at a leading automotive manufacturing company… Very smart audience, amazing grasping power.

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Here is one of the demos I used in the session…

Problem

I have multiple pictures. I want to put them into a SmartArt diagram quickly. But if I use Insert – SmartArt – Picture SmartArt, I have to insert each picture one by one.

That is repetitive. Repetition = Inefficiency Sad smile

Is there a faster, smarter way?

Solution

Of course there is. Here are the steps.

  1. Choose Insert – Pictures
  2. Select all pictures and add them
  3. As soon as the pictures are inserted, they are already selected.
  4. DO NOT unselect them.image
  5. Notice that pictures are of different sizes and randomly arranged.
  6. While all pictures are selected, click the Picture Tools tab
  7. Open the Picture Layout dropdown
  8. Notice that all types of Picture SmartArt appear herePowerPoint Picture Tools
  9. Choose the one you want
  10. The size of the diagram will be determined by the size of the picture selection
  11. Adjust the diagram size as neededimage
  12. Open the text editor and add titles if required
  13. That’s it!

From Boring to Exciting – Use PowerPoint SmartArt

In an  earlier post, I explained how to convert a Word document to a PowerPoint presentation in one click (ok… few clicks!). Unfortunately, the resulting presentation is guaranteed to put your audience to sleep. The presentation contains only text. And lots of bullets. Everyone in the world knows that …

PowerPoint SmartArt turns boring presentation into exciting Most presentations are boring! Still we contribute to that boredom by creating more boring presentations. If you want to succeed in your presentations, you should strive to be in the 1% image There are thousands of ways to make your presentation less sleep inducing. But one method stands out. Which is quick and easy.

SmartArt.

Convert those boring bullets into interesting and easy-to-understand diagrams.

Boredom to excitement… in few clicks

  1. Right click in your bulleted text and choose Convert to SmartArt.
  2. PowerPoint shows you 20 diagrams to choose from.
  3. Move the mouse cursor over each diagram – it is temporarily drawn … move to next till you find the most suitable diagram to explain your concept.
  4. Remember that most people don’t do this. So you are already in the 5%
  5. But you don’t want to stop there. You want to be exclusive…
  6. So have the courage of clicking on More SmartArt Graphics… (nobody has that courage… so that is your competitive advantage)
  7. Now you will have a big problem

135 diagrams to choose from!

Don’t get disheartened. In a given business context, only one or two of these diagrams are most suited. The real skill is finding the right diagram for your need. Unfortunately, there is no easy way there. You have to put effort.

Homework: Learn 135 diagrams

Spend 30 minutes of your precious life to do this:

  1. Create a new blank presentation
  2. Create a new slide (usually it will be Title and Text type of slide)
  3. Open Insert tab and choose SmartArt
  4. Look at the categories on the left. These will tell you overall categories of diagrams from a business point of view.
  5. Click on each category. Then diagrams of that category are shown.
  6. Now click on each diagram.
  7. On the right side, a bigger version of that diagram is shown. Just imbibe that visually.
  8. Look below… Microsoft has taken the trouble to explain the business context in which the diagram should be used. Read that.
  9. Move to the next diagram.

Spend image minutes of your precious life and see the difference! To stimulate your thought… here are some nice diagrams.

Risk Management

Risk Management SmartArt

Pricing is determined by demand and supply

Supply and Demand SmartArt

Input and Output

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Colors, Styles, Animation and Effect options

Try all options on the SmartArt Tabs – Design and Formatting to know more about what you can do. Also apply some simple animation and choose Effect options to see interesting ways in which you can control the animation.

How to get full control?

SmartArt is very nice. But you have one limitation. You cannot change one item independent of others, you cannot group items and so on. Don’t worry. Use SmartArt first to create a base diagram quickly. Then click Design tab and Choose Convert to Shapes. Now it is no longer a SmartArt diagram. It becomes a simple diagram with grouped objects and shapes. Now you can ungroup it and control each shape exactly the way you want. Now you get best of both worlds. Quick diagram and full control.

Homework 2

Take any of your existing presentations. Save it as a copy. Look at existing verbose slides and see if you can improve them using appropriate usage of SmartArt

Pending issue

Creating Picture SmartArt is not easy. You insert the SmartArt first and then you have to choose one picture at a time, repeatedly. And as you know, repetition means inefficiency. In the next post we will see how to create SmartArt containing many pictures (of dissimilar sizes) in two simple steps. Another miracle coming up…

Create a presentation in One Click with Send to PowerPoint

Send to PowerPoint is an amazing feature of Word.  It has been available for many years but nobody noticed it. So Microsoft removed it from the menus in Office 2007. You need to add this menu back into your Word ribbon first.

If you are using Office 2003 or older, just go to File – Send to – Send to PowerPoint.

How to enable Send to PowerPoint feature in Word

  1. Start Word
  2. Right click on the ribbon
  3. Choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar
  4. You will see two lists. From the left side, open the dropdown which is showing
    Popular Commands. Choose All Commands
  5. Click in the list below. This shows all Word commands (buttons). This is a very long list.
  6. Type character s
  7. This will take you to the list of commands starting with character s
  8. Now press Page Down multiple times till you locate the command Send to PowerPoint
  9. Click the Add button then click Ok

Now you will have the Send to PowerPoint button in your Quick Access Toolbar.

Word to PowerPoint in ONE click

Create or open any Word document which is using styles.

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Click on the Send to PowerPoint button.
The button looks a little different depending upon your version of Office.

Send to PowerPoint

PowerPoint will automatically create a presentation for you. Every item with Heading 1 style becomes a new slide. All other heading levels below it become bullets.

Pictures are not transferred to PowerPoint even if they have Heading style applied.

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Few more steps…

  1. As soon as this presentation is created, go to Slide Sorter view.
  2. Press CTRL A to select all slides.
  3. From Home tab, click the Reset button.
  4. Now you can apply any other design template and use the presentation OR
  5. Copy the slides into another presentation

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This step is required to remove the unwanted formatting which was transferred from Word to PowerPoint. If you do not perform this formatting reset operation, applying other design templates will not work properly.

Weekend Activity: Propose with PowerPoint

Speak from your heart. Create this amazing graphic in few minutes and impress your beloved!

The output

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The text is transparent. So you can put some background animation and it will show through the text.

How to do it?

Watch this 2.5 minute video to find out how easy it is.

It uses a new feature (PowerPoint 2013) where you can use two objects (shapes or text) and subtract one from another.

View this in YouTube with 480 p resolution in full screen mode to see menu selections and actions with greater clarity.

Heart inscribed with text

How to enhance it further?

Add some animated background behind it and the impact is amplified thousand times!

Here is a sample for you to download and learn from.

See what you can achieve in just 109 kb of presentation! Download

propose with Powerpoint

Copy Paste – Part 9 – Insert Object and PowerPoint Psychology

In the last post, we saw how to use PowerPoint Actions to open a linked or embedded file during the presentation.

Although this method works with inserted objects as well, there is a practical problem there. In fact there is a psychological problem.

The problem

Insert Object is used in two situations.

To package a collateral file with the presentation

This is usually done when you are going to send or upload the presentation for others to view it offline. You insert the related files as objects on relevant slides. In this case, others are supposed to see the icon so that they can double click on it to open the file (in edit mode) or add an Action for opening it during presentation mode. There is no problem in this scenario.

To be prepared to answer queries

Inserted Object is shown as an icon. You use it when you DON’T want to show any data from your Excel file upfront. You just want to describe the situation. And in case someone asks for details, you want to be prepared. That is why you have done Insert Object and add the Open Action.

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In this case, you know that you have access to the detailed data. But the problem is that, the audience can also see the file icon. If they see it, they will naturally ask you what it is. This is not desirable. Why not? Because opening the file may lead the presentation on an unwanted tangent.

Therefore, you want to have the ability to open the file on demand (if you are in trouble) but you don’t want others to view the icon to arouse their unwanted curiosity.

These are paradoxical requirements. How do you manage this?

NO problem. Little bit of ingenuity will help you here.

When you add the object, don’t show it on the slide. Just take it beyond any of the corners of the slide.

Insert Object

What is the benefit?

Nobody can now see that you have a file inserted. But you know that it is there. Anytime you want to open the file, you just have to go to that corner blindly… make sure the cursor has changed to the hand icon and click…. voila …. the file opens!

That is best of both worlds!

The psychology part

Although Office is a technology, its usage is driven by psychology. When you are presenting, you want to be in control. You should think like the audience would and then take corrective action.

If people see something, they can ask you questions about it. If they cannot see it, you are better off.

In fact, the art of presenting effectively is all about understand how audience will react and then tweak your presentation to get the desired response and influence the audience.

I always say “PowerPoint is all about manipulating the minds of the audience rather than animations and transition!”

Of course, I am not suggesting that you use it in an unethical or illegal way. But all said and done for every presentation there is an objective. Selling, Teaching, Convincing and so on. It is your job to align the audience with your objective. That is psychology!

Next article – How about 24 clipboards?

We always had ONE clipboard. You copy something, it does into the clipboard. The original clipboard is overwritten every time you copy. But that is not the case.

You can get 24 clipboards to play with… sadly, this great feature has been there for 24 years I think Sad smile

We will explore it in the next article.

Copy Paste – Part 8 – How to open a collateral file with Insert Action

The Location

Writing this blog sitting under this beautiful Auckland Sky Tower… Lovely weather.

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The need

  • Let us say you are presenting  sales performance by month
  • In a particular month, the sales is very low
  • Someone asks you to show details of the transactions

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  • You have to now open the original Excel file which contains the raw data.image
  • How do you do it?
  • You have to stop the presentation, open Explorer and figure out where the file is
  • Many things are against you right now:
  • You are under stress… You may not find the file or find an outdated version
    Worse still, you may open some unwanted folder

Common mistake: Stuffing raw data into PowerPoint

We want to avoid such trouble during a presentation. Therefore, we try to solve the problem by trying to copy pasting the raw data into PowerPoint. Unfortunately, large amount of data cannot fit into the limited space available on the slide.

This is not really a limitation of PowerPoint. It is just that you are using the wrong approach. Here is the correct way…

The solution: Be Prepared

When you suspect that someone may question you on your summary data, you need to be prepared. How do you do that? You already know.

First step is to get the context of the original file into the slide.
Use Paste Link, Embed or Insert Object

In either case, WHILE EDITING the presentation, you can write click on the pasted object and open the Excel file. What we really want is to have the same ability DURING THE PRESENTATION.

To understand how it is done, we need a small detour.

PowerPoint Presentation = Trigger + Action

I will cover this in detail in another article. But here is the shorter version.

A presentation contains slides. Each slide has various shapes and objects on it. When you run the presentation – PowerPoint shows the first slide and waits. When you click it goes to next slide … again waits … then you click – next slide … and so on till you end the presentation.

Is this a problem in word as well?

The CLICK is called the TRIGGER and MOVING TO NEXT SLIDE is the ACTION. In our case when we click on the slide containing the summary data, it simply goes to the next slide. If you right click, the menu now shows presentation related controls. The open worksheet command is missing.

The Solution: Insert Action

This is the time we change the default behavior of PowerPoint and ask it perform a DIFFERENT ACTION when we click on the Summary object. How to do that?

  1. Click on the Excel object (it could be Paste Link or Embedded or Inserted Object icon)
  2. Open Insert tab on the ribbon and choose ACTION
  3. As you can see the default action is DO NOTHING (which means do nothing special – do the default action – which is going to the next slide)
  4. Choose Object action and select OPEN
  5. Click Ok

Powerpoint Insert Action

Now run the presentation and see what happens. On this slide, if you click anywhere outside the Excel data, it will just go the new slide as expected.

However when you move the mouse cursor over the Excel data, the cursor shape changes to indicate that it is a hyperlink. Click on it to open the Excel file.

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Show the details and then press ALT TAB to come back to the presentation. It is still running undisturbed.

Next article: PowerPoint and Psychology

Although this method works with inserted objects, there is a practical problem there. In fact there is a psychological problem.

What is the problem?

Inserted Object is shown as an icon. Therefore, your audience knows that you have a collateral file. So even if they have no reason to trouble you, they may just ask you to show the file. You don’t want that to happen. Why ask for unnecessary trouble?

We will handle that interesting situation in the next article.