While PowerPoint was designed with a focus for simplicity, there are still a lot of cheeky tips and features that can make working and navigating the program effortless. So let’s run through a few quick, simple suggestions to get the most out of PowerPoint.
Embed your fonts: If you’re going to present your PowerPoint or share it with other, embedding fonts is crucial. You don’t want your audience or client complaining about missing fonts or poorly placed texts as a result.
It’s a couple easy steps, just click ‘File’ then ‘Options’. Go to the ‘Save’ menu and check ‘Embed fonts in the file’. Alternatively – if you’re sharing the file – you can always save and send it as a PDF.
Converting documents to presentation: Since I’m always talking about the wonderful editability of PPT files, being able to quickly and easily convert other formats into PowerPoint will save you some time and sanity.
This is especially true for Word documents, since Microsoft can easily convert files within its program suite. When you convert from Word, each paragraph formatted in Heading 1 will become the title of a new slide, each Heading 2 will become the first level of text, and so on.
Create a presentation from an existing document by clicking ‘Home’, then ‘Slides’, followed by ‘Slides from outline’. You can also convert directly in Word – just open the document you wish to convert and in the ‘File’ menu and under ‘Send To’ click ‘PowerPoint’. If this option isn’t available in your version of Word, you can add it manually to the Quick Access Toolbar under ‘File’ then ‘Options’.
Select separate bodies of text and other objects: If you hold down ‘Ctrl’ while highlighting text, you can select two separate sections at the same time.
This will help you edit text quickly, underline or bold certain terms or phrases, or change the colour of non-sequential words. This also applies to selecting other objects like images or geometric shapes.
You can select all of the objects you want on a slide by clicking on one of them, holding ‘Shift’, and then selecting the rest. In the menu click Arrange > Align or Distribute > chose the type of alignment you want. You can also choose Align Left, Align Right or Center. For horizontal alignments, you can also choose Align Top, Middle, or Bottom.
If your objects aren’t evenly spaced from each other, choose Draw > Align or Distribute > Distribute Vertically or Horizontally. To make sure you have a good overview of your content and how it’s organized, select the Grid/ Gridlines/ Guides option in the View menu.
Adding audio: This is relatively simple but add a new level of depth and richness to your PowerPoint presentation.
Click the ‘Insert’ tab, followed by ‘Audio’, then ‘Audio on my PC’. Choose the audio file you wish to use, click ‘Insert’, and then ‘Play in background’. This way, the audio will play in the background of your presentation. Otherwise, you can choose an option that plays the audio only when you click on a specific slide.
Fade animation: If you don’t have the time or skill to craft intro and outro animations, ‘Fade’ is a quick cheat code for clean and simple transitions. You can also use ‘Fade’ for the elements within the slides, but don’t overdo it – one ‘Fade’ per idea or section is more than adequate.
Movement as a language: Animation can really help you highlight certain elements of your presentation. To create a unique motion path, select ‘Add animations’, followed by ‘Motion paths’ and then ‘Custom paths’. From here, you simply draw freeform the path you want the element to take and hit ‘Esc’ when done. You can also use existing motion paths and edit with the green (start) and red (finish) buttons along the path.
With these new found PowerPointers, why not start designing something beautiful. We’ve even put together some free PowerPoint templates and Pre-made Animations that you can customise, integrate your own ideas, and engage your intended audiences.