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Archive for the 'PowerPoint' Category

Real-time Collaborative Editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

 

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

When multiple individuals provide their separate contributions to a single document, this is termed as collaborative editing. Having the ability to allow more than one person to update the same document is often as essential as it is advantageous. Until recently, collaborative editing of Word, Excel or PowerPoint files had a major restriction in that only one person could work on a single file at a time; otherwise, it was necessary to keep multiple versions of the file and reconcile them all into a single file. This restriction can be a bottleneck since only one person may edit the file at a time, additional effort is needed for version control and coordination between contributors, and reconciling between multiple files requires additional effort and increases the risk for missed updates.

Collaborative editing technology, however, has matured significantly over the past few years through the use of cloud storage services. By leveraging cloud technologies, collaborators now have access to a number of tools that help streamline collaborative editing. Of specific interest to Office users, synchronous or real-time collaborative editing is now possible, which allows several people to work on a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file at the same time. Let’s take a brief look at this real-time collaborative editing provided by Google and Microsoft. Before we start, please note that Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage services are not supported by IU and are not suitable for storing or sharing institutional data. However, this information may be of use for personal projects.

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Presentations: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.I need to create a presentation for one of my classes.  I used PowerPoint in high school, but I haven’t used the newest version. I’ve also heard that there are other good applications available for creating presentations. What courses or workshops would you recommend?

Nearly ubiquitous in universities and on corporate computers, PowerPoint is one of the most widely used presentation creation tools in the world. It has been around since 1987, and it has come a long way. Today you can add video, audio, animations, transitions, WordArt, Charts, Tables, and more. You can also co-author presentations through Windows Live and share your slide shows via the web in real time. If you’re looking for a robust, tried and true application with lots of flexibility and functionality, PowerPoint is the best bet.

If you are a Mac user, you need to know that PowerPoint is not cross-platform. While there is a Mac version, it is not exactly the same as the PC version. PowerPoint for Mac contains most of the same functionality as the PC version, but the user interface is slightly different. When selecting your training options, keep this in mind. Mac users may also want to consider using Keynote, which is a popular and easy to use alternative to PowerPoint from Apple’s iWork suite.

If you want to create a presentation that looks entirely different than the ones your classmates put together, you might want to use Prezi. This new cross-platform, cloud-based application uses a canvas instead of slides, and makes use of zooming and panning to provide interest. While prezi does not include nearly as many features as PowerPoint, it can be used to create a unique presentation. Prezi is also a good choice if you do not own (or have access to) a copy of PowerPoint. The free version of prezi provides all the features you need to create an impressive slide show.

There are currently 4 different paths that you can take to learn to create a presentation.

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Looking for Group – edit the size of objects in PowerPoint

I’m trying to compare two pictures of the same area taken at two different times – but not being a great photographer, I was not standing in exactly the same spot both times, so I’m having to crop and zoom like crazy to get the before and after shots to match.

Let’s look at an example using two shots (one taken by Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0; the other from http://www.metrodcpohtography.com) of the Jefferson Memorial in my home town, Washington, D.C. In this case I have both pictures in a PowerPoint slide, side by side:

Screenshot of two pictures of different sizes, side-by-side, of the Jefferson Memorial.Once I get them sized relatively, though, I might realize that I want them both to be bigger on the canvas. Fine, except if I’ve finally sized them both perfectly compared to each other, and I try to make one larger, I’ll have to make all of those minute adjustments all over again… or I would, if I didn’t make use of the group tool!

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How to organize your files

files_header

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.

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Presentation Do’s and Don’ts

Clipart of man with a bright idea.Click 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:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2739501. 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:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/make-it-with-creative-cloud/creating-your-personal-brand-episode-creating-a-slide-presentation/

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

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WS328f5ee33f08f77d1e63e3d120f2667a4c-7ffe.html

 

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.

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