Nov 10 2010

Drawing in PowerPoint 101

Sometimes you need to draw in PowerPoint. (c) Thinkstock

In PowerPoint, you may have discovered that you have the ability to draw objects. Although not as powerful as Adobe’s Illustrator software, PowerPoint 2007 does give you a basic set of drawing options for adding custom objects to your PowerPoint slides. I view drawing in PowerPoint as a last resort when you can’t find an appropriate photo or clip art graphic. If I can customize an existing clip art image, I’m going to go that route before I embark down the path of drawing something in PowerPoint for a couple of reasons. Continue reading “Drawing in PowerPoint 101”

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Feb 14 2009

Redmond, We Have a Problem: Freeform Drawing in PowerPoint 2007

Once you start drawing freeform objects in PowerPoint 2007, you quickly realize it behaves very differently than it did in PowerPoint 2003. I don’t understand why Microsoft decided to mess with something that wasn’t broken. I’ve identified three separate issues related to freeform drawing that were introduced in PowerPoint 2007. For PowerPoint ninjas, these issues are like bamboo shoots under our finger nails. Well, maybe more like hangnails — but they are really annoying! Continue reading “Redmond, We Have a Problem: Freeform Drawing in PowerPoint 2007”

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Jan 06 2009

Shape Resizing Issue in PowerPoint 2007

When you transition from PowerPoint 2003 to PowerPoint 2007, you might come across an annoying issue when you try to resize a shape. For some reason, the shape or object cannot be resized by dragging one of the corner or side points. Instead of holding the new size, it snaps back to a smaller height. You can manually format the size of each shape by specifying the exact height, but that can be a tedious process after a few shapes. Continue reading “Shape Resizing Issue in PowerPoint 2007”

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Nov 24 2008

Book Review: The Back of the Napkin

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, written by Dan Roam, is a bold effort at introducing business people to using visual thinking principles to solve problems and communicate more effectively. Visual thinking is something that I feel I excel at; however, I know it has been a challenge for many of my co-workers, managers, and clients. Even if you don’t struggle with visual thinking, I recommend The Back of the Napkin (four of five stars) as it provides a valuable set of processes and frameworks that can even benefit experienced visual thinkers, who probably operate more by intuition than methodology. Continue reading “Book Review: The Back of the Napkin”

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Nov 08 2008

Editing Drawing Shapes in PowerPoint 2007

You can find the Convert to Freeform option under the Edit Shape dropdown.

You can find the Convert to Freeform option under the Edit Shape dropdown.

A nice addition to PowerPoint 2007 is the ability to edit its built-in drawing shapes. Rather than having to draw an object from scratch using the Freeform shape tool, you can now take one of the built-in shapes and convert it into a Freeform shape. Once it is in Freeform shape, the points are editable, allowing you to add, delete, or convert points within the shape. Continue reading “Editing Drawing Shapes in PowerPoint 2007”

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