Top ten time-saving tips – PowerPoint

7th Aug 2012 | 08:00

Top ten time-saving tips – PowerPoint

The top ten PowerPoint tips for small business

Here's our top ten tips to help you get your presentations created faster, and to take you from a simple PowerPoint user to a PowerPoint super-user.

1: Test your slides with random text

Adding random text to your slides can help you test fonts and spacing, but it can be a pain creating the random text. However Microsoft introduced an undocumented feature in PowerPoint 2010 that lets you achieve this with just a few keystrokes.

First place your cursor in the text box you want filling with random text, now enter "=rand()" in the text box and press the enter key, and automatically three paragraphs of five lines each, of random text will magically appear.

If you want random latin text then substitute "=lorem()" for "=rand()".

2: Speed up production with a Slide Master

The slide master enables you to make global changes to all your slides with just one change to the slide master.

To get access first open a blank presentation, and then, on the View tab, in the Master Views group, click Slide Master.

By editing the slide master you can

  • change font colours and styles for every slide
  • add a clipart or picture to every slide
  • add a footer or date to every slide

3: Create a default presentation template

If you would like to create presentations using a standard background -- perhaps with your businesses colours, fonts and logo on each slide then you need to specify a default presentation theme.

To create a new default presentation theme that will start up immediately when you start PowerPoint, first go to the Design tab and navigate to the Themes section. Now right-click a theme and choose the Set as Default Theme option.

From now on whenever you create a new presentation, PowerPoint will open it with your businesses standard theme.

4: Copy a design theme to another presentation

Rather than recreate the wheel, why not use a design theme you created earlier, and simply copy the design theme from one presentation to a new presentation.

First, open both your source and destination documents. Go to the View menu and click the Arrange All button so you can see both at the same time: Now, select the source deck and click on the thumbnail of the slide you want to copy the theme from. Once selected, click the Format Painter icon, which is located next to paste on the Home tab.

Now click on the destination deck and then click the thumbnail of the slide you want to receive the theme.

You may need to click twice: Once to select the target deck and a second time to apply the format to the thumbnail.

5: Create a photo-based presentation with just a few clicks

There are many ways to add photos to PowerPoint presentations. However, if your whole presentation is about photos, you can use the photo album feature in PowerPoint, which makes the whole process fast and easy.

To create a photo album first click on the Insert tab, in the Images group, click the arrow under Photo Album, and then click New Photo Album. You will now be presented with the Photo Album box. You can then add as many pictures as you want, and optionally add captions for the pictures, and change the layout and theme for the album.

Once you've added all of your pictures click on Create and your photo album will open. To edit the photo album click on the Insert tab, click the arrow under Photo Album, and then click Edit Photo Album.

6: Reformat all of your document text with one click

If you want to tweak multiple text blocks in your presentation, you can either; select each block and laboriously individually change the font colour, size, and style, or you can do it in one click using the Format Painter to apply changes to all of your text.

The Format Painter icon is located next to paste on the Home tab. First click on the text you want to select, then double click on the icon to select the format painter, the cursor should change to a paintbrush, then click on the text you want to alter.

7: Copy your animation settings

Instead of having to apply multiple animation properties to individual objects, a property at a time, why not use the Animation Painter and do it all with just a few clicks of the mouse.

The Animation Painter introduced in PowerPoint 2010 will copy all the animation features of one object to; another object, another slide, multiple slides or to another presentation.

To copy an animation, do the following: Select the object with the animations that you want to copy. On the Animations tab, in the Advanced Animation group, click Animation Painter and your cursor will change to a paintbrush, now click the object to which you want to copy the animations to.

8: Save your PowerPoint to the web

Sending large PowerPoint presentations via email can be tricky especially when many businesses have file size limits on their inboxes. To get around this Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 has the ability to save your presentation directly to the Web.

To save your PowerPoint presentation to the web, first open the presentation that you want to publish to the Web. Then click the File tab, and then click Save & Send and under Save & Send, click Save to Web. Click Save As and in the File name box, type a file name, or do nothing to accept the suggested file name.

If you want people to have access to a presentation that you published to the Web, you must specify a Web server or other available computer when you choose a location for the file. Some Web sites, such as Windows Live, may require you to sign in to connect to the server on which your presentation is to be saved.

9: Become a developer

The Developer tab gives you access to a whole set of super-user tools that allow you to change and tweak PowerPoint. With the developer tab you can;

  • Write macros.
  • Run macros that you previously recorded.
  • Use XML commands.
  • Use ActiveX controls.
  • Create applications to use with Microsoft Office programs.

To show the Developer Tab, click the File tab, click Options, click Customize Ribbon and under Customize the Ribbon and under Main Tabs, select the Developer check box.

10: Add frequently used tasks to the PowerPoint Quick Access toolbar

For those tasks in PowerPoint that you do over and over, why not access them quickly by adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar?

You can add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar directly from any of the buttons on any part of the Office ribbon. On the Ribbon, click the appropriate tab or group to display the command that you want to add to the Quick Access Toolbar. Right-click the command, and then click Add to Quick Access Toolbar on the shortcut menu.

Have you got any hot PowerPoint tips? If you have then add them to the comments below.

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