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Archive for the 'PowerPoint' Category

How to organize your files


I’m sure this isn’t going to be the most advanced tip you have ever came across, but this new way of organization changed the way I manage my files. Today I’m going to show you how you can Photoshop, paint, PowerPoint, or whatever your favorite software is for creating simple block graphics in order to make your very own custom background.

Read the rest of “How to organize your files” »

Presentation Do’s and Don’ts

Picture1Click here for a recording of IT Training’s “Creating an Effective Presentation” by Kim Murday and Denise Brown for the January IUWIT (IU Women in Information Technology) meeting.

In this talk, we covered things like:

  • Use of fonts, colors & backgrounds
  • When to use “bells & whistles”
  • How and when to use graphics, and where to find them
  • Other tips for presenters

For a PDF version of our PowerPoint slides, click HERE.

Do you remember a particular presentation that went really well . . . or really badly?

Share your stories in the comment section!

The End of an Era

It is a sad month for Microsoft Office users. Click here to find out why.

Changing the size of your PowerPoint slides

There are times when the screen size for the destination of your presentation needs to be adjusted. How DO you change the slide size?

From the ribbon in PowerPoint 2013, simply select the Design tab. On the very right side of the ribbon, you will see a Slide Size button. Clicking on the two options that show when this button is selected will give you two standard settings. A third option is Custom Slide Size. Selecting this option allows you to make your slides any size you need.

PPT graphic

In PowerPoint 2010, this option is in a different place, but not difficult to find. Again, on the Design tab, look to the very left. There you will see a Page Setup button in the Page Setup group. Activating this option opens a menu with the same options as mentioned above.

PPT graphic

Can’t Uninstall Office 2013

IT Training will be teaching Microsoft Office 2013 workshops this fall, and we are anxious to begin telling the IU community about the new features that are available in this version of the popular suite. If you are planning on taking some of our free workshops or webinars, you might want to download and install the software from IUware. Remember, Indiana University faculty, staff, and students may download most of the software available from IUware for free.

If you decide to download and install Office 2013, I would encourage you to download the 32-bit package, even if you are planning on running it on a 64-bit system. Earlier in the summer I installed the 64-bit suite on a laptop running Windows 7, and I was very unhappy with the results. Every time I tried to use Outlook, Word, or PowerPoint, the application would freeze and/or crash. After discussing this issue with the Support team here at IU, and reading multiple forums and Microsoft Help articles, I uninstalled the 64-bit version and installed the 32-bit version instead. After that, I didn’t have any problems.

I have left out an important part of the story. When I first tried to uninstall Office 2013, I was unable to do so. While in the Control Panel, I selected Microsoft Office 2013, clicked on the Uninstall link at the top of the window, and waited. Nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing happened. I probably even tried a third and fourth time before I realized that this was simply not going to work.

After a little digging, I found the solution on this Microsoft Support page: I downloaded the Fix it tool that they provided, and then I was able to uninstall Office 2013 from the Control Panel just as I normally would.

Hopefully this article will save you some time if you decide that you want to uninstall the package.

Use InDesign for Your Presentations

If you are ready to break out of the PowerPoint mold and infuse rich design features with multimedia into your slide shows, create an interactive InDesign document for your next presentation. Adobe InDesign offers Presentation mode with buttons, transitions, and all interactive bells and whistles.

You can watch how to to do it here:

And you can check out all the features with written step-by-step how-to’s here:


Impress your professor with a multimedia presentation

You’re in class on the first day and the professor is going over the syllabus. There are readings, papers, quizzes; all of the usual stuff. She says that if you participate in class and turn in your assignments you’ll get a B.  Then she mentions the big end-of-semester project  that counts for 70 percent of your grade. If you do well on this, you’ll get an A. You hear this and say to youself, “I’d better get started on this right away!” Of course you do. You’re a go-getter.

You decide to make a list of things that would make your presentation stand out.

Read the rest of “Impress your professor with a multimedia presentation” »

it2go Episode 45 – New On The Blog

On this week’s episode we’re talking about what’s new on the IT Training Tips blog.

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it2go – The IT Training Podcast

PowerPoint’s Selection Pane: What it’s for and how to use it

I recently came across an IT Training Tips Blog post by Donna K. Jones entitled “Renaming Clip Art Images When Creating Triggers in PowerPoint 2007 (Or… Using the Selection Pane)“.

“What?” I said to myself, “You can do that?”

Well it turns out you can. In my several years of using PowerPoint I have never noticed this Selection Pane, but there it was right under Bring Forward and Send Backward in the Arrange group in the Format tab.

Back in the day when I was using PowerPoint to create animations, and then converting them into video with Camtasia Studio for my IT Help Podcast, I could really have used this great feature.

Now that I do know about the Selection Pane I figured I’d make a little tutorial video to let you guys in on the secret.

I created a slide for a pretend presentation. This presentation is about animals and their habitats, and in the talk I want to mention an animal, show a picture of it, and show a picture of the place where it lives. I found some clip art images of the animals and the locations in which they might be found and arranged them on a slide.

I’ll use the Selection Pane to help me keep track of my images. I can also use it to organize text boxes and shapes.  I can give them useful, recognizable names, instead of their default names (i.e., picture 22, oval 1, etc.).  I can change an object’s place in the stacking order.  If you have lots of objects on a slide, it’s sometimes tricky to do this just by right-clicking and choosing Send to Back or Bring to Front.

Using the Selection Pane should speed up your design process. Watch my video and learn how to locate, and then use this neat tool.

Click to watch video.










Creating an interactive quiz using PowerPoint

You can create interactive quizzes and games with PowerPoint.  Now of course there is software out there dedicated to creating this type of application, but before you purchase one of those solutions, why not try PowerPoint?

Hyperlinks work in PowerPoint. You can create links to Internet pages, files on your computer, and even slides within your presentation. The latter is what we’ll be doing to make our quiz.

Before you start designing your quiz, you’ll need to have an idea of who your users are and what you want them to get out of their experience with your application. Will they learn something? Will they have fun? Maybe both.

If you’re an instructor, you might consider making this type of quiz creation an assignment for your students.

Once you have some goals in mind, you’ll need some questions and answers. I created a short true or false quiz about geography so I could write this post. These are my quest ions.

True or False

  1. Helena is the capital of Montana.
  2. The Nile is a river in South America.
  3. This flag is the flag of Botswana. (Image of flag appears on slide.)
  4. Alaska became a state in 1922.
  5. The clock “Big Ben” is located in Toronto.

So there’s a slide for each question, and a  “Correct” and “Incorrect” result slide for each question. That’s 15 slides. There is also a title slide to start the quiz.

There’s a bit of logic you have to work out to make your quiz run successfully. Try making a flow chart of how things should go. Here’s a sample:

This one was simple, but yours can be as complex as you like.

Here’s a run-down of my process. Read the rest of “Creating an interactive quiz using PowerPoint” »

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