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GET IN LINE Version 4.x, 95
When you have a group of objects on a PowerPoint slide, you may want to align all of them so that they fall into the general categories of left, center, or right.
Let's say you have three pictures on a slide. You'd like to have them all appear to be standing on the same floor. Click one of the figures and then press and hold the Shift key while you click the other two to select them. Choose Draw, Align. Next select Bottoms. Now all the figures will be aligned across the bottom.
When you create a PowerPoint slide, you might like to take a look at PowerPoint's default color schemes. To do this, choose Format, Slide Color Scheme. When the dialog box opens, you'll see that there are seven predefined schemes. These schemes determine the colors that will be applied to charts, etc. You can choose from one of the seven and then click Apply to use it on the current slide, or Apply to All to use it throughout the slide show. If none of the standard schemes appeals to you, click Custom and design your own. The dialog box provides you with a good way to see how your changes look before you apply them. All you have to do is click each element and then choose a color. When you're finished, click Add as Standard Scheme if you want to keep your new design. In any case, you can click Apply or Apply to All to accept the scheme. EXPAND ON THAT FOR ME PowerPoint 97 has a new command that you might find useful--especially when you're trying to cram a lot of info into a slide show. The command is called Expand Slide. When you have a slide that looks a bit too crowded with text, you can see how Expand Slide works. So, open a blank slide, one that has text boxes in place, and add text. Then add some more text, and when you're finished, add some text. Now, to make the test a bit simpler, choose View, Slide Sorter. Next, choose Tools, Expand Slide. PowerPoint will now split the text across a group of new slides. You can go with the PowerPoint version. You can also move parts of the expanded slide into a new slide and customize things a little. SLIDE RECYCLING If you've been doing PowerPoint presentations for quite a while, you may find that you could use some of your old slides--or at least parts of your old slides. If you want to use the entire slide (maybe changing a date and a bit of text), all you have to do is select the old slide (Ctrl + A) and press Ctrl + C to copy it. Now move to a fresh slide in your new presentation and press Ctrl + V to paste it. If you only need parts of the slide (perhaps some special drawings that you want to avoid re-doing) you can select only the part of the slide you want. Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected object and then move to the new slide and press Ctrl + V to paste. If all the artwork is grouped together, and you want only a portion of it, select the whole thing and press Ctrl + C. Move to the new slide and press Ctrl + V to paste the object. Now, with the object selected, choose Draw, Ungroup. Now you can get rid of all the extraneous stuff. Just select it and press Delete. Remember that you can't ungroup BMP files, so there's no easy way to grab part of a BMP picture. POWERPOINT YOUR WAY Several subscribers have asked if you can start PowerPoint without the slide dialog box. The answer is you can, if you're willing to accept PowerPoint's default slide. Choose Tools, Options. Select the General tab, then deselect the check boxes labeled Show Startup Dialog and Show New Slide Dialog. Now click OK. The next time you start PowerPoint, the program window will appear with the default slide type in place. SHAPELY TEXT When working with PowerPoint, you may want to use AutoShapes to draw rectangles, arrows, or circles. To put text into a shape, simply double-click the shape and start typing. To set the font, font size, and font color, right-click the shape and choose Font. When the Font dialog box opens, select the font, size, and color and then click OK. This will change the parameters of existing text as well as any new text you enter. NO MORE CROPPING Subscriber R.P. says he has inserted some ClipArt into a PowerPoint slide and now needs to crop the picture, but the cropping won't work. The only reason for this (that we can think of) is that the picture was ungrouped and then regrouped. Once you ungroup a ClipArt object, you can no longer edit or crop it. PowerPoint warns you about this, although the warning may be a bit obscure. Try this: Choose Insert, Picture, ClipArt and select a picture to import. Click Insert. Make sure the picture is selected and choose Draw, Ungroup. A dialog box will open a warning dialog box. Of course, the warning says nothing about cropping. NAVIGATING A POWERPOINT SLIDE SHOW Here is a PowerPoint question from reader Ken M.: "I am just getting started with PowerPoint presentations. I would like to know if there is any way to move directly to a specific slide once the presentation has started. For example, during a recent presentation, my manager asked me for some data that was on a slide yet to come. It would have been helpful if I could have gone directly to that slide without stopping the slide show. Do you have any suggestions?" You can go directly to any slide during a slide show. The only catch is, you have to know which slide has the data you want. The best way to do this is to make sure you know what is associated with each title. To move to another slide during a presentation, right-click the screen and choose Go, By Title, YourTitle. PowerPoint will immediately go to the slide you requested. To return to the slide show, choose Go, By Title again and select your original slide. SET POWERPOINT ANIMATION WITH A MACRO Reader Barry C. sent us the following PowerPoint macro tip: "Now that PowerPoint has macro capability, I decided to write a macro to animate all the objects on a slide and then start the slide show so I can see how the animation looks. This macro can save time when you need all objects on a slide to have the same animation. To do this, I wrote the code shown below." Sub SelectAndRun() ActiveWindow.Selection.SlideRange.Shapes.SelectAll ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.AnimationSettings.EntryEffect = ppEffectFlashOnceMedium ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.AnimationSettings.AdvanceMode = ppAdvanceOnTime ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.AnimationSettings.AdvanceMode = ppAdvanceOnTime ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.AnimationSettings.AdvanceMode = ppAdvanceOnTime ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.AnimationSettings.AdvanceMode = ppAdvanceOnTime ActiveWindow.Selection.Unselect With ActivePresentation.SlideShowSettings .ShowType = ppShowTypeSpeaker .LoopUntilStopped = msoTrue .ShowWithNarration = msoTrue .ShowWithAnimation = msoTrue .RangeType = ppShowAll .AdvanceMode = ppSlideShowUseSlideTimings .Run End With End Sub If you would like to try this macro, run PowerPoint and insert a few objects onto a blank slide. Press Alt-F11 to open the Visual Basic editor, then click Modules on the left side of the window. Choose Insert, Module and enter the code as shown above. You need to name and save your presentation to save the macro. To run the macro, press Alt-F8 and then double-click the macro name. WORKING WITH POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS This PowerPoint suggestion is from reader Mary Jane F.: "I often give presentations to small groups of people using my trusty laptop computer. To help maintain the illusion that I use the computer only for presentations, I create a single desktop folder and put all my presentation shortcuts in that folder. I save all of the PowerPoint files as PPS (PowerPoint Show) files. "With the folder and all its files in place, I place a shortcut to the folder in StartUp and set it to maximum size to fill the entire screen. So when my computer starts, the open folder appears. All I have to do is click the file I want, and the show starts." To have your folder open full screen, right-click Start. When the Start Menu window opens, double-click Programs. Now double-click StartUp. Use the right mouse button to drag your desktop presentation folder to the StartUp folder. Now, right-click the shortcut in StartUp and choose Properties. When the dialog box opens, click the Shortcut tab and click the arrow at the right side of the Run list box. When the list expands, select Maximized. Then click OK to close the dialog box and save your settings. Finally, hold down Shift and click the StartUp folder's Close box. This will close all the open folders.


INSERTING PICTURES IN POWERPOINT USING A MACRO Reader Larry B. submitted this PowerPoint tip:

"I often need to insert a ClipArt picture, then copy it and paste the copies at specific locations in my slides. Although I could create a template to do this, I decided to write a macro. This macro copies any selected picture and then places the original and the three copies at each corner of the slide."
To use the macro Larry created, first have a slide open and insert the ClipArt that you want to place in each corner. Size the picture and press Alt-F8 to open the Macros dialog box. Select the name and click Run.
Now press Alt-F8. Name the macro "Corners" and click Create. Enter the code as shown below. Choose File, Save As and name your new presentation. Click Save to continue. This saves the macro along with the slide show.
Thanks for the macro, Larry. Sub Corners() ActiveWindow.Selection.Copy ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignRights, True ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignTops, True ActiveWindow.View.Paste ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignLefts, True ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignTops, True ActiveWindow.View.Paste ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignRights, True ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignBottoms, True ActiveWindow.View.Paste ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignLefts, True ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Align msoAlignBottoms, True ActiveWindow.Selection.Unselect End Sub

SETTING UP A BLANK LAST SCREEN IN A POWERPOINT SLIDE SHOW Here is a PowerPoint question from reader Harry M.: "I have seen a tip somewhere on setting the last screen to black in a PowerPoint slide show. However, I don't want the screen to go black. I would like to choose some other color to leave onscreen while the audience exits. Is this possible?" First of all, there is indeed a way to set the screen to black at the end of a slide show. To do this, open your slide show and choose Tools, Options. When the Options dialog box opens, click the View tab. Now select the check box labeled "End with black slide" and click OK to close the dialog box and save your selection. If you want to end your slide show with some other color onscreen, simply create a blank slide at the end of your slide show and set its background color to whatever you want. Let's say you create your blank slide and place it at the end of your slide show. Now choose Format, Background. When the Background dialog box opens, click the arrow at the right side of the list box and select More Colors. Select your color from the Colors dialog box and click OK to close the box. Next, back in Background, click Apply to apply your selection to the current slide only. When you reach your last slide, you can just leave it onscreen until your audience has departed.


Reader Jerry C submitted this PowerPoint tip: "There are times when we like to have all the text in a slide show appear in the same way. I like to use the typewriter effect for most of my presentations.
"An easy way to use the same action setting for text in all your slides is to set them all at once in Slide Sorter view. To do this, choose View, Slide Sorter. When Slide Sorter opens, right-click any slide and choose Preset Text Animation. Now select the type of animation you want to use and run the slide show to view the effect."
Note that you can only animate subtitles, bullets, and so forth. You can't animate text in a text box.



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