Oct 23 2010

Shaft Gradient Fill Effect in PowerPoint 2007

I’ve had a few questions about how to re-create the shaft gradient fill effect that was a default option in PowerPoint 2003. If you still remember PowerPoint 2003 (it’s two versions old now), there was a gradient option that created a rounded/pipe/shaft-like effect.

I know your life has been empty without it since switching to PowerPoint 2007. I want to fix that nagging empty feeling. Continue reading “Shaft Gradient Fill Effect in PowerPoint 2007”

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Aug 16 2010

Using Shadow Effects in PowerPoint 2007

Shadow effects can help images to leap from your slides. (c) Thinkstock

Shadow effects can help images to leap from your slides. (c) Thinkstock

One of my favorite new features of PowerPoint 2007 is the ability to add shadows to images, objects, and text. Previously in PowerPoint 2003, you were only able to add shadows to text — that’s it. You would need Photoshop and the necessary graphic editing skills to create professional-looking shadows for anything else. Now Microsoft gives you some Photoshop-like shadow effects in PowerPoint 2007.

Continue reading “Using Shadow Effects in PowerPoint 2007”

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Apr 05 2010

Editing Grouped Objects in PowerPoint 2007

Sometimes you want to move a group of objects together and other times you want to move just one element. (c) Thinkstock

Sometimes you want to adjust a group of objects together and other times you want to adjust just one element within a group. (c) Thinkstock

Recently, a new PowerPoint 2007 user from Australia contacted me about being frustrated with one of PowerPoint’s new features. You may have run across this inconspicuous feature when you attempted to move a grouped object and rather than moving the entire grouped object, you end up accidentally moving just a sub-element of that object. You may have wondered what is going on because in PowerPoint 2003 you would have to ungroup an object before you could reposition any of its sub-elements. Continue reading “Editing Grouped Objects in PowerPoint 2007”

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Mar 08 2010

New Line Style Options in PowerPoint 2007

Miter joints are new in PPT 2007. (c) Thinkstock

Miter joints are new in PPT 2007. (c) Thinkstock

If you regularly use shapes and lines in your PowerPoint presentations, you should be familiar with the standard line style options such as width, dash type, and compound style. All of these options were in PowerPoint 2003 and have carried over to the latest version of PowerPoint. In PowerPoint 2007, they have added a couple of new options that you should be aware of  — join type and cap type. Continue reading “New Line Style Options in PowerPoint 2007”

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Jan 31 2010

PowerPoint SmartArt is Dumb

Theres no Bob Ross feature in PowerPoint to guide you through the process of visual communication.

SmartArt is not PowerPoint + Bob Ross.

PowerPoint is often criticized for encouraging presenters to rely too heavily on bullet points and not helping people to communicate more visually. Microsoft added a feature known as SmartArt to help convert text into various stylized graphics. When you’re designing your PowerPoint presentation, you can quickly rotate through various shapes, colors, layouts, and styles in order to find the right graphic for your presentation.

For novice or casual PowerPoint users, SmartArt can be a handy tool for quickly making your presentation more visual and professional looking. If you decide to use SmartArt in your PowerPoint slides, you need to be careful because SmartArt is dumb. Continue reading “PowerPoint SmartArt is Dumb”

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