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 15 2010

How to Create a Sexy Curved Arrow in PowerPoint – Part II

More work

Add a tapered "swoosh" arrow to your slides.

Back in December 2008, I published an article on how to create “sexy” curved arrows in PowerPoint 2007. I never thought that particular post would become one of my most popular articles. It highlights a problem within PowerPoint 2007 where you can no longer edit and curve the default arrows. The article shows you a workaround approach that enables you to create a nice flowing — dare I say “sexy” — curved arrow in PowerPoint 2007.

In this Part II article, I’d like to add to your curved arrow technique to your PowerPoint design toolbox — the curved swoosh arrow. It’s a little more work to create than the “standard” sexy curved arrow, but I think the effect might be worth the extra effort in some situations. Continue reading “How to Create a Sexy Curved Arrow in PowerPoint – Part II”

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Feb 19 2009

PowerPoint 2007: What is Missing-in-Upgrade (MIU)?

Chuck Norris would seriously maim the Microsoft product manager responsible for these upgrade oversights.

Chuck Norris would take down the Microsoft developers responsible for some key feature oversights in PPT 2007.

PowerPoint 2007 has many great features such as its enhanced picture effects, enhanced Presenter View, Selection Pane, Save as PDF file option, new shortcut keys (Paste Special = Ctrl + Alt + V), etc. There are some new features that I’m still not yet convinced that I like such as the Ribbon or SmartArt.

In addition to these notable enhancements, there were some features in PowerPoint 2003 that disappeared or changed in PowerPoint 2007 — but not for the better. Although I would recommend people upgrade to PowerPoint 2007 from PowerPoint 2003, I still have both versions on my work computer. I’ve identified six “missing in upgrade” (MIU) features that would push Chuck Norris and many PowerPoint ninjas over the edge. Continue reading “PowerPoint 2007: What is Missing-in-Upgrade (MIU)?”

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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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Dec 17 2008

How to Create a Sexy Curved Arrow in PowerPoint

When you’re trying to highlight a key part of a chart or table, you may want to use an arrow. It’s fairly easy to create an arrow in PowerPoint 2007, but it is not as obvious how to create an eye-appealing curved arrow. I find that curved arrows are frequently better than straight arrows because they can bend around other important data points in a chart or table rather blocking them. And let’s face it — straight arrows are very boring. Continue reading “How to Create a Sexy Curved Arrow in PowerPoint”

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