Category Archives: PowerPoint

Hide Slide Parts in PowerPoint

Hide PowerPoint Slide Objects

Sometimes you have a part or parts (objects) on a slide that you want to use again but that box (placeholder) information doesn’t apply to a current situation. You could create a duplicate slide and delete or edit the information but PowerPoint has an easier solution.

Available in PowerPoint 2007 and above.

Hiding PowerPoint Slide objects

Use the Selection Pane to Hide Slide Parts

This feature is especially helpful if this is a slide presentation that is used frequently. No messing around with deleting or duplicating. Here’s how to hide objects on the slide until you need to use them again:

  • On the Home tab, Editing group, click the drop down arrow on Select
  • Choose Selection Pane…

A task pane displays on the right side of your slides (can be dragged to left side if you prefer)

The elements (placeholders) will be listed for the current slide (shown here in example), and identify Title, Shapes, Pictures, Slide numbers, text boxes (anything that is an object). You can also rename the objects in the Selection Pane to make it clear what they represent.

Example of Show/Hide PowerPoint object with Selection Pane

Use the Icons to Display and Hide

I don’t want the “Free through Saturday!” to display on the slide currently but will use it later so don’t want to delete the placeholder:

  • Click on the placeholder border in the slide to select that text box which will automatically highlight its item name in the Selection Pane. (You can also click its item name in the Selection Pane and the box will be selected).
  • Click the eye icon to the right of the item name.      Use the eye icon to show/hide PowerPoint slide objects
    • That placeholder is now hidden and the eye becomes a line.
  • Click the line to display the object on the slide again.

You can hide/display any parts of a slide without editing. PowerPoint will accommodate with the Selection Pane details as long as it can identify as an object.

Note: The slide image example above represents an actual eBook of mine available on Amazon as shown. However, it is not free, so if this was an actual slide presentation, I would remove that placeholder. If you would like to be notified of any free promotion, just fill out the signup form on this page and get a free cheat sheet of Office tips while you wait!

If you are doing narrations, creating video or using PowerPoint for teaching or demonstration, take a gander at my blog for using Office Mix to take your PowerPoint to a new level.       http://gaylelarson.com/share-powerpoints-office-mix/

Have you played with the Selection Pane? How are you using this feature to organize slide presentations?  Thanks for reading and comment below.

Convert Bullets to SmartArt in PowerPoint

Even dogs can't take "Death by PowerPoint"
When your presentation has gone to the dogs…

In spite of the warnings, (can you spell “Death by PowerPoint?”), who can resist the multiple bulleted list on at least a couple of slides? Your audience has read the points before you can talk about them so their eyes glaze over or they are tweeting while you speak. Wow them instead by using SmartArt to display great graphics that make your point without a bullet in sight!

Here’s the usual (yawn) bulleted list slide:

You know it is exciting information that they need to have but  they won’t get it if you can’t keep their attention. Less text and more graphics is the way to go.

Transform That List to a Graphic

You can convert each point to an object and leave the original text or, better yet, reduce the amount of text and explain the rest. Here’s the steps:

  • Select the bulleted list on the slide
  • Click Home tab; Paragraph group; Convert to SmartArt icon
  • Roll mouse over graphics to see live preview and choose a shape
  • Apply color changes, special effects, etc., from the Design and Format ribbon tabs

Now, in a few mouse clicks, your bulleted list can become a graphic…

Edit the text to one or two words in large font on each object, and there you go!

More Convert to SmartArt Options

Here’s another example of quickly changing normal bullet points to a Smart Art graphic style and then changing the special effects and color scheme:

After selecting the bulleted list, explore the SmartArt Graphic choices under Convert to SmartArt in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. It is Live Preview so you get to see the effect as you mouse over the options:

Format SmartArt Graphics with Color and Style

Quickly apply some special effects in the SmartArt Styles group on the SmartArt Tools Design tab for something like this:

Now, change the color scheme with the Change Colors drop down arrow:

Your slides will never be boring again!

You can also change the properties of parts of the main object by clicking them separately. Use Design and Format in SmartArt Tools on the Ribbon to apply different colors and special effects for objects and text.

TIP:  Use keyboard shortcuts to gain even more control by breaking up each box/graphic with CTRL SHFT G. You can then treat each object separately. Each one can have its own personality! When formatting is complete, if desired, group them as one object with CTRL G. (This allows applying same formatting all at once and/or moving the parts as one object).

No more excuses for bland presentations. Are you using this great feature? Tell me what you changed to make your PowerPoints shine!

Share your PowerPoint with Office Presentation Service

Launch an Online Meeting from PowerPoint

There are now many ways you can share your presentation over the Web. Participants can join you on any device from any location using the Office Presentation Service (free Microsoft service) or Skype for Business (formerly called Lync). If using Lync meeting they have access to the slide deck with IM and audio. You can also send a link to the slides.

Use Office Presentation Service

The only thing you need to share your masterpiece is a free Microsoft account, such as Hotmail, Outlook.com, MSN, Live, Xbox or OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). If you don’t have one yet, go to www.onedrive.com and create a free account. That way, you will also have several gigabytes of free cloud storage for your use!

In PowerPoint, close any open presentations that you don’t want to share, then:

  • Click File/Share/Present Online
  • Click the check box for Enable remote viewers to download the presentation

  • Click Present Online icon.

To send your meeting invitation to attendees, choose one of these methods:

  • Copy link and paste it somewhere others can access it
  • Send in email

Note: You can’t email your presentation directly from PowerPoint on a Windows RT PC. Instead, open your email program, create an email, and attach the presentation.

When you are ready to start your presentation, click Start Presentation.

To end your online presentation, press ESC to get out of Slide Show View, and then click End Online Presentation on the Present Online tab,

Click End Online Presentation button to confirm that you want to end the presentation and disconnect.

Use Skype for Business to Join or Share Presentations

You can schedule an online meeting ahead of time or start a meeting immediately within PowerPoint using Skype for Business. You need to have a microphone connected to your PC, so you can speak to your meeting attendees.

Note: This feature isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC.

Click the drop down arrow on Present Online on the Slide Show tab. If you don’t have Skype for Business installed, it will not appear in the Present Online dropdown list. (You will only see Office Presentation Service).

A list of active Skype for Business conversations and scheduled Skype for Business meetings (within 30 minutes) will appear or you can start a new meeting immediately.

In the list, pick a scheduled meeting or click Start a new Skype Meeting, and then click OK.

Begin a new meeting, by choosing Invite More People. Choose contacts from the contacts list or type each name in the box, and then click Select under Invite by Name or Phone Number.

Begin your presentation.

NOTE: Use the icons to manage audio devices and sound, video, and the content you want to share. Icon colors alert to status. If blue, means actively using, dark grey is available, and light grey means that function is not available.

More to come in other ways to share a PowerPoint presentation. Office 2016 had added new features. Stay tuned!

Share Your PowerPoints with Office Mix

It’s Alive…It’s Interactive…It’s PowerPoint Mix!

There’s a new PowerPoint in town! There are so many great enhancements to PowerPoint 2013 and above. One of these is Office Mix, a free solution for PowerPoint that makes it easy to create and share online, interactive presentations, or “mixes”. Mixes play like web videos, but with support for animations, live links, and more.

Office Mix was primarily created for the learning environment but it isn’t just for the classroom. Here’s some other ways you can put it into action:

  • Create interactive training tools, build courses or use for marketing or demonstrations.
  • Combine screen recordings with slides and narration or just narrate over your existing slides.
  • Distribute the results to anyone as you save to the cloud. If they have a browser, they can access it. You’re not limited to delivering Mixes to Windows PCs: the video content can be viewed on Mac OS, iOS and Android devices, with appropriate versions for each platform.

To get Office Mix, download and install the free add-in. When you open PowerPoint 2013, you’ll see the new Mix tab at the end of the Ribbon. (Download link at end of this post).


Make it Sizzle

  • No stopping you now! Add zip to your mix:
  • Record audio or video speaker notes for each slide in your presentation.
  • Insert quizzes, curated videos, and more.
  • Easily record what’s on your screen, while you annotate with audio.

Preview your mix when you’re done, then upload it to OfficeMix.com to share. The portal also offers analytics so you can see audience statistics and quiz results if you are using for marketing or teaching.

Share it

Once your Mix is uploaded to the Office Mix service, you can then share it from your personal gallery to students and/or colleagues. (Uploading can take some time, especially if you’re saving your Mix as a video for offline viewing). You can make the Mix shareable and distribute its URL. Mixes can be restricted to users in your company or made public. Public Mixes are open to the entire internet. Shareable Mixes can be accessed by anyone with the Mix URL, although they do need to log in to view the Mix.

Make a Movie

Completed mixes can be played back online or downloaded as movies. In the MP4 format, you won’t get access to the interactive features, such as links to other videos, files or websites, but can be played on any device that supports that format.

You must have 2013 or above for Office Mix. Check it out. You will look like a hero!

You can download Mix from Microsoft here: https://mix.office.com/en-us/Home

The New Start Screens

2013 Office applications sport a new color-coded start screen:

  • blue for Word,
  • green for Excel
  • orange for PowerPoint
  • green for Publisher
  • burgundy for Access

They all look and behave the same way as this example for Word. Launching the program displays a list of recent documents. A blank document is the default option or instead you can select a template, search online for templates by clicking the Category links or typing key words in the Search Box.

Click Open Other Documents to search for a document on your computer or in a OneDrive folder. The top right of the screen shows details of the OneDrive account that you are currently logged in to use and you can Switch User or access Account Settings with the drop down arrow next to the login name. This is accessible in the same area in all your Office programs, and inside of each of your files.

word-excel-powerpoint-shortcuts-tips-start-screen-1

Start screens help new users find their way around more easily, and experienced users may like having all of their options in one place at startup but not everyone is doing the Snoopy dance here. Turning off the Start Screen will display a blank document when you open the program (just like the old days)!

How to turn off the Start Screen

Word is open:

  1. Click File tab, then Options at the bottom of the category list on the left
  2. The General tab will display
  3. Scroll down to the Start up options section
  4. Remove the check mark from Show the Start screen when this application starts
  5. Click OK and you are good to go.

Test by closing Word and re-opening. The blank document awaits!

Restore Direct Response to Open and Save As

Several 2013 programs display the Backstage when you open or save a file. If you want to bypass it for direct access to the Open and Save As dialog boxes, you’ll be glad to know you can get that control back also. (This applies to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher).

  1. Back to File tab, Options
  2. Click the Save category at left
  3. Click in the checkbox so that the Backstage does not display
  4. Click OK

Test your Open or Save As commands and you have instant dialog box.

Make this process even faster

Press F12 function key for instant Save As (all Office programs except Publisher)

Use CTRL O for Open (all Windows programs)

If this was helpful to you, please leave a comment!