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Don’t touch that mouse—navigate with shortcut keys (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When you navigate through a slide show, you can use your mouse to move from slide to slide, or you can use our keyboard shortcut keys to avoid the distracting mouse pointer onscreen. Before your next presentation, print out this handy list of keyboard shortcuts for slide navigation so you can keep your audience focused directly on your presentation content.
  • Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts
    --------------------------
    • Move to the next slide
      [Right arrow key],[Enter],[Page Down], or [Spacebar]
    • Move to the previous slide
      [Left arrow key],[Backspace](Windows),[delete](Mac), or [Page Up]
    • Jump to the last slide
      [End]
    • Jump to the first slide
      [Home]
    • Jump to the numbered slide
      Number + [Enter]
    • Quit slide show
      [Esc]

Don't retype your text -- restylize it instead by changing its case (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When you need to change your slide's text from lowercase to uppercase, you could go back and retype all of it, but fortunately, there are easier ways to select text and change its case.
  • To select text:
    • To quickly highlight a word in a text box, double-click on it. To highlight an entire paragraph, triple-click anywhere within the paragraph. To highlight a sentence, [Ctrl]-click ([Option]-click in PowerPoint 2004) anywhere within the desired sentence and the entire sentence is automatically selected.
  • To change the case:
    • With your text highlighted, choose Format | Change Case to open the Change Case dialog box. Then, select one of the following options:
      • -- Sentence case (capitalizes the first letter of the first word in a sentence)
      • -- Lowercase
      • -- UPPERCASE
      • -- Title Case (the first letter of each word is capitalized)
      • -- tOGGLE cASE (the exact opposite of Title Case)
  • Click OK and all of the highlighted text will then change according to your selection.

Focus your audience’s attention on you with a single keystroke (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • You work hard to design slides that grab and retain your audience’s attention, but if you have to redirect your audience, you might find they’re too captivated by your fantastic slides to refocus.
  • If you take the time to turn off an overhead projector or to minimize your slideshow, you might lose your audience with the disruption. Instead use a single keystroke to blank out your screen without interrupting your slideshow and disrupting the flow.
  • While in Slide Show mode, simply press [B] to switch to a plain black screen or [W] for a white screen. Press the key again to return to your slideshow right where you left off.

Protect your slide from accidental changes with an invisible force field (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • When sharing presentation files, it’s inevitable that someone’s wayward clicks will accidentally alter your slide. For instance, an errant mouse movement could put your graph’s alignment out of whack.
  • Here’s an easy way to protect your slide from unwanted fiddling:
    • 1. Open your slide in Normal view (View | Normal) and zoom out so you can see the entire slide.
    • 2. Select Insert | Picture | AutoShapes and on the AutoShapes toolbar, click the Basic Shapes button and select Rectangle.
    • 3. Click and drag a rectangle that covers your entire slide and extends past its edges.
    • 4. Double-click on the rectangle and in the Format AutoShape dialog box, click on the Colors And Lines tab.
    • 5. Set the Color to White, the Transparency to 99%, and the Line Color to No Line. Click OK.
    • 6. Right-click on the rectangle again and select Order | Bring To Front.

  • You now have an invisible AutoShape that covers your slide so users can’t click on the objects beneath it.
  • Keep in mind that this is a quick and easy way of preventing accidental alterations -- determined users can simply delete the AutoShape and access the objects below it. For more secure protection, consider password protecting the file.

Simplify your view for more onscreen room (2000/2002/2003/2004)

  • If you want to enlarge your work area while you're designing a slide in Normal View, there are a couple of quick things you can do to shrink the secondary panes, such as the Outline pane on the left or the Notes pane at the bottom.
  • Method 1: Drag the boundaries:
    • Hover your pointer over the edge of a secondary pane until the pointer changes to a double-headed arrow.
    • Drag the pane’s boundary to the edge of the application window—to the left for the Outline pane and down for the Notes pane—to increase the size of the Slide pane.
    • To open the Outline and Notes panes again, simply drag their boundaries back toward the center of the application window. (You can also use this method to shrink, but not eliminate, these secondary panes.)
  • Method 2: Use shortcut keys:
    • To get rid of the Outline and Notes panes, hold down [Ctrl][Shift] as you click on the Normal View button. The Normal View button toggles to become the Slide Viewbutton.
    • To return to the default multi-pane layout of the view, click the Slide View or Normal View button again (without pressing any keys).
  • Not only is this second technique slightly quicker, but it also allows you to quickly toggle between multi-pane and single-pane view.

Add a new dimension to your slides with amazing 3-D shapes

  • In earlier versions of PowerPoint, unless you spend precious time fussing with graphics, your slide objects can appear lifeless and flat. Finally, with PowerPoint 2007, and just a few simple clicks, you can add depth and heightened visual dimension to your presentation, without wasting time.
  • To take objects into the third dimension, we'll:
    • Create a basic shape by taking advantage of the huge variety of available options.
    • Add color and depth to it to make it stand apart from boring 2-D graphics.
    • Apply and combine Shape Effects for a dramatic flair.
    • Read More About This Tip Click Here: MS Power Point Tips

    Keep your audience focused on your slide—not the lights—with an elegant transition

    • When you need to change your room's lighting but you want to keep your audience's focus on your current slide, a static background won't cut it. Don't muddle your slide with graphic animations or blinking text to draw attention--instead, alter your background's color so it gradually changes from dark to light without blinding your viewers.
    • To gently transition your slide from dark to light, we'll:
      • Set up a basic slide with all the elements you need to elegantly transition from a dark background to a lighter one.
      • Create a basic effect with our first method for a no-frills lighting change.
      • Employ a more complex effect that gets creative with colors and timing for an even more graceful transition.
      • Read More About This Tip Click Here: MS Power Point Tips

    Instantly change the background for just a few slides in a presentation (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • You can quickly change the background color or fill for multiple slides in your presentation simultaneously without having to change it for all of them.
    • To do so:
      • 1. Switch to the Slide Sorter View and hold down [Ctrl] ([Shift] in PowerPoint 2004) as you click on each slide you wish to modify.
      • 2. Choose Format | Background to launch the Background dialog box and select the color or fill effect that you want for the selected slides.
      • 3. Click Apply when you're satisfied with your changes to update the selected slides while keeping the unselected slides unchanged.

    Keep your audience guessing with an easy-to-make interactive quiz

    • We all suffer through seemingly endless meetings or classes where we learn little and remember less as our energy slowly drains away. Luckily, there's another option--liven up your next gathering with an interactive quiz that drives home your information as your audience tests their own understanding of it.
    • To create an entertaining quiz, we'll:
      • Set up the slides with questions and answers to provide the user with multiple-choice options.
      • Enter the macro code in the Visual Basic Editor (VBE) so it rates the answers as right or wrong, and then acts accordingly.
      • Add those special touches, such as a way to restart the quiz, and a catchy sign to entice viewers to play.
      • Read More: MS Power Point Tips

    Liberate yourself from boring AutoShapes and forge a flawless freeform figure

    • When you've searched endlessly for the perfect preset shape or piece of free clip art without success, your first thought may be to pay for a batch of costly clip art collections, even though you only need one piece. However, if you're willing to invest a just a few moments learning how to use the Freeform AutoShape tool, you can create any shape you need--without spending a dime.
    • To construct a shape that suits every need, we'll:
      • Activate the Freeform tool and get familiar with the different ways to draw with it.
      • Trigger the Edit Points feature and show you how to use point types to sculpt the shape you need.
      • Craft and save a professional-looking image from scratch by taking advantage of the Freeform tool's flexibility.
      • Read More: MS Power Point Tips

    Tip: Choose your font: serif vs. san serif (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • All the thousands of fancy fonts that are available can basically be broken down into two categories: serif and sans serif.
    • A serif is a "tail"--the letters of such fonts as Times New Roman have little tails and thus fall in the serif category. Arial is an example of sans serif, which literally means "without tails."
    • Strangely enough, the tails on serif typefaces make these fonts easier to read in print. But, if you're projecting words onto a large screen, often it's the sans serif fonts that are more easily discernible.
    • Of course this is just a general rule -- always set up a font test prior to a presentation. Simply make a slide containing several fonts that you're considering and project them onto a screen in a setting that's similar to the one in which the real presentation is going to take place.
    • This test should also illuminate why you should try to avoid using more than two different fonts on a slide during a presentation. Too many fonts can start to make a slide look cluttered, just as using fancy or flowery fonts can detract from the viewer's reading ability and sense of space. If you believe your presentation would truly be enhanced by this kind of font, be sure to use it sparingly on each slide.

    Tip: Keep your text in line when working with AutoShapes (2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • If your AutoShape isn't formatted correctly, your text may flow over the edges and distract from the overall design of your slide.
    • To keep the text within an AutoShape, right-click ([Ctrl]-click in PowerPoint 2004) on the AutoShape and choose Format AutoShape from the hidden menu. Next, click on the Text Box tab and select the Word Wrap Text In AutoShape and Resize AutoShape To Fit Text.
    • Now your text will use the AutoShape boundaries as margins until the shape is filled. It will also force the AutoShape's size to increase if necessary to accommodate all of the text. You can still use the AutoShape's editing handles to further refine the size and shape of the AutoShape.

    Tip: Reset your toolbars when too much customization leaves you in a lurch (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • If you're like most PowerPoint power users, you've made changes to your toolbars -- adding buttons you need or removing those you don't. But when too much customization makes you long for your default toolbar configuration, you can return to its former glory.
      • 1. Choose View | Toolbars | Customize (select Tools | Customize | Customize Toolbars/Menus on the Mac), and click on the Toolbars tab.
      • 2. If your desired toolbar isn't visible, select its check box to display it.
      • 3. With the toolbar selected in the Toolbars list box, click the Reset button.
    • Your selected toolbar should look just like it did the day you installed Office.

    Tip: Instantly create a numbered list without moving your hands from the keyboard (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • You can easily create a numbered list in PowerPoint by selecting your list text and clicking the Numbering button on the formatting toolbar. But there's an even quicker way. Simply type the number 1, press [Tab], and then type your first numbered line's text. Then, press [Enter] and PowerPoint automatically enters the number 2 and moves your insertion point to align with the first entry. As long as you continue with your list, PowerPoint continues to insert consecutive numbers. To end the list, just press [Enter] twice.

    Tip: Don't re-create the wheel: Utilize a PowerPoint slide in a Word document (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • When using multiple Microsoft Office programs, you can easily share information between them. For instance, there's no reason to re-create the information on a Microsoft PowerPoint slide if you want to use it in an existing Word document to illustrate your point. Instead, just embed a copy of the entire slide in your Word document.
    • First, open the presentation in PowerPoint. In the Slides pane (or in Slide Sorter view), select the slide you want to copy, and then click the Copy button. Now, switch to your Word document. Position the insertion point where you want the slide to appear, and then click the Paste button to add the slide. You can edit the slide within the Word document by double-clicking on it and then making your changes. The original presentation is unaffected.
    • To change the embedded slide's size and layout, select it and then choose Format | Object. Make the desired changes, and click OK.

    Tip: Navigate quickly or zoom in on a slide with a scroll wheel mouse (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • A mouse with a scroll wheel gives you some additional shortcuts if you use PowerPoint on a Windows operating system. If you use the wheel to scroll up or down while you're in Slide View, you move through all of your slides sequentially. Additionally, if you want to zoom in on an area of a slide (and zoom back out again), simply hold down [Alt] as you work the scrolling wheel.

    Tip: Add power to your words with essential eye contact (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • When giving a presentation, never underestimate the importance of good eye contact. If an audience member asks you a question, turn to face them squarely to show that you're listening.
    • Keep this stance as you begin your reply, without staring directly into their eyes for more than five seconds. (If you need to, glance away momentarily and then regain eye contact--sustained staring can be intimidating.)
    • Above all, never look at a speaking member of the audience out of the corner of your eye. This can be construed as condescending and doesn't give the speaker the respect he or she deserves.

    Tip: Tweak your grayscale settings to suit your view (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • If you're familiar with the grayscale option in PowerPoint, you already know that you can view your slides in shades of gray, rather than full color. (This option allows you to see how your slide show might look when printed on a non-color printer.) And doing so is as simple as clicking on the Color/Grayscale button on the main toolbar and selecting Grayscale.
    • But, you have more viewing options than you may think. When in Grayscale View, right-click on the slide and investigate your options under the Grayscale Setting selection. Here you'll find choices to lighten or darken the grayscale tone, invert it, or change it to different forms of black and white.
    • Additionally, you can use different grayscale options for different objects on the same slide. Simply right-click on an object and change the settings individually.

    Tip: Force your slides to fit your numbering scheme (2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • When you're responsible for just a portion of a group presentation, you may not want your first slide to be Slide 1. For example, if the first presenter has a 10-slide presentation and you're the second presenter, you can start your slide show with slide 11.
    • To change your slide numbering so it starts with another number, choose File | Page Setup from the menu bar. Then, in the resulting Page Setup dialog box, adjust the value in the Number Slides From spin box to the number you want your first slide to be and click OK.
    • You can see your changes by looking at the slide numbers in the Slide, Normal, or Slide Sorter views.

    Tip: Missing a Title Master? Insert one in a snap (2000/2002/2003/2004)

    • Some presentations lack a Title Master when you choose View | Master from the menu bar, so the option is unavailable (either grayed out or not displayed at all). When this happens, you can simply insert a new Title Master.
    • To do so, choose View | Master | Slide Master to open the Slide Master view. Now choose Insert | New Title Master to insert a new Title Master. From now on, you can access the Title Master in the Slide Master view.

    Tip: Use the Basic File Search pane to find a presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint 2002/2003)

    • You can use the Basic File Search pane to find a presentation that includes specific text. To do so:
      • 1. In PowerPoint, select File | Search. The Basic File Search pane appears (if the Advanced File Search pane appears, simply click on the Basic File Search link near the bottom of the pane).
      • 2. In the Search Text text box, enter a specific word or words that are in the presentation you wish to locate.
      • 3. Click the Go or the Search button.

    Tip: Center a picture on a slide with ease (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

    • If you've inserted a picture on a slide, you might be looking for a way to center it without a lot of fuss. You can ensure it's centered with 3 simple steps.
      • 1. Select the picture and then select Draw | Align Or Distribute | Relative To Slide from the Drawing toolbar.
      • 2. Select Draw | Align Or Distribute | Align Center from the Drawing toolbar.
      • 3. Select Draw | Align Or Distribute | Align Middle from the Drawing toolbar.

    Tip: Disable new features that are incompatible with Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 (Microsoft PowerPoint 2002/2003)

    • If you need to create a presentation in PowerPoint 2002 or 2003 and you know it will be run on a PC with 2000, you can disable new features that are incompatible with 2000. To do so:
      • 1. Select Tools | Options from the main menu bar and click on the Edit tab.
      • 2. Select all the check boxes in the Disable New Features section.
      • 3. Click OK to save your settings and exit the dialog box.

    Tip: Get AutoShape flexibility with a clip art appearance (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003

    • If you rely on AutoShapes for much of your creation process, you can get AutoShapes that look like clip art objects. To do so:
      • 1. Select AutoShapes | More AutoShapes from the Drawing Toolbar. The More AutoShapes pane appears (in 2000, the More AutoShapes dialog box opens).
      • 2. Double-click on an AutoShape to insert it (in 2000, open a category first, then click the desired AutoShape and choose Insert Clip from the pop-up menu).

    Tip: Use Image Resizer to resize graphics for PowerPoint in a Flash (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • If you're using Windows XP, you can download and install the Microsoft PowerToy, Image Resizer, and use it to resize graphics for use in PowerPoint. Locate the install at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx and install it. Then,
      • 1. Browse to your image by selecting Start | Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer, and then navigating to the location of your images.
      • 2. Right-click on the image you wish to resize and choose Resize Pictures.
      • 3. In the resulting Resize Pictures dialog box, select the option button for one of the default sizes in the Select A Size section, or click the Advanced button, choose the Custom option button, and enter the desired pixel sizes in the text boxes.
      • 4. Click OK. A copy of the image is created in the same location, but as the new size and with “(WinCE)” added to the name (e.g., 2004.07.18u (WinCE).jpg).

    Tip: Use the Shadow Settings toolbar to create a text shadow (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

    • You can use the same Shadow Settings toolbar to create shadows for objects as the one you use for your text. To do so:
      • 1. Click on the edge of the text box to highlight it.
      • 2. Launch the Shadow Settings toolbar by clicking the Shadow button (Shadow Style button in 2002) on the Drawing toolbar and choosing Shadow Settings from the resulting menu. (In v. X click the More Buttons dropdown arrow and select Shadow | Shadow Settings from the resulting menu.)
      • 3. Click the Shadow On/Off button on the Shadow Settings toolbar to place a shadow behind your text.
      • 4. Use the Color and Nudge buttons for greater formatting.

    Tip: Insert multiple images with four simple steps (Microsoft PowerPoint 2002/2003)

    • If you'd like to insert several images into a presentation, you can insert them and create the necessary slides all in one dialog box. To do so:
      • 1. Select Insert | Picture | New Photo Album to display the Photo Album dialog box.
      • 2. In the Insert Picture From section, click the File/Disk button to open the Insert New Pictures dialog box.
      • 3. Navigate to the location of your pictures, highlight the pictures you wish to insert, and then click Insert to return to the Photo Album dialog box.
      • 4. Choose the desired layout using the Picture Layout dropdown list and click Create.

    Tip: Choose the right resolution when creating graphics for slide shows (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/v. X/2003)

    • If you're creating graphics or taking digital photos for use in presentations, you'll want to decide the appropriate size, or resolution, of the graphic before you get started. The size (in pixels) should be based on the desktop resolution of the computer you'll use to display your presentation. Here are some guidelines based on a desktop resolution of 1024 x 768:
      • Full Screen Clip Art – 1024 x 768 960 x 720
      • Quarter Screen Clip Art – 256 x 192 240 x 180
      • Half Screen Horizontal – 1024 x 384 960 x 360
      • Half Screen Vertical – 512 x 768 480 x 720

    Tip: Create a Microsoft Word handout that includes your slide (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • 1. With your presentation open, select File | Send To | Microsoft Office Word. The Send To Microsoft Office Word dialog box appears. (In 2000, select File | Send To | Microsoft Word to open the Write-Up dialog box).
    • 2. In the Page Layout area of the dialog box, select the desired option (but don't choose Outline Only).
    • 3. Ensure that the Paste option button is selected in the Add Slides area of the dialog box and click OK.

    Tip: Protect your Slide Masters from being overwritten (Microsoft PowerPoint 2002/2003)

    • If you've worked to create the Slide Master that's just right for your presentations, you may want to protect it from being accidentally overwritten. To do so:
      • 1. Select View | Slide Master to change to Slide Master view.
      • 2. Highlight the thumbnails of those slides you wish to preserve.
      • 3. click the Preserve Master button on the Slide Master View toolbar. An icon of a thumbtack will appear next to the protected slides.

    PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • If you take advantage of PowerPoint's macro recorder for coding repetitive steps and you're interested in learning a little VBA (Visual Basics for Applications), you can view the code behind your recorder macro. Be sure to open a presentation that uses the macro, then select Tools | Macro. Select the macro you wish to view and then click Edit. The Visual Basic Editor will open and display your code.

    Tip: Liven up a bar chart using graphics instead of bars (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • You can use your own graphics or photos on a bar chart to customize
      its look. Once your chart is formatted and positioned properly:
      • 1. Select Insert | Picture | From File.
      • 2. Browse to and highlight the file you want to use in the resulting
        Insert Picture dialog box and click Insert.
      • 3. Use the handles to position and size the graphic or photo over the standard bar.

    Tip: Hide the speaker icon when viewing slides with sound (PowerPoint 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

    • You can easily add sound effects, narrative clips, songs, and even entire soundtracks (if you condense them into a single file) to any presentation to enhance your slides and expand the presentation. However, by default, a speaker icon appears on your slide whenever you insert an audio file. While this may be convenient if you want to click on the icon to start playing the sound, a timed or otherwise triggered start for a sound regulates the speaker icon to nothing more than an eyesore.
    • Fortunately, it’s just as easy to hide an icon as it is to insert a sound file. First, choose Insert | Movies And Sounds | Sound From File. Navigate to and select your audio file in the resulting Insert Sound dialog box and click OK. If a message box appears asking how you want the sound to start, click either Automatically or When Clicked (Yes or No in PowerPoint 2000/2002/v.X). If you choose the latter option, you need to leave the icon visible on your slide. If you set your sound to play automatically, however, you can hide the icon by selecting it on your slide, and then simply dragging it off any side of the slide. Now, you can still see it and select it while in Normal view, but it won’t appear when you launch your presentation in Slide Show view.

    Tip: Moderating a presentation with multiple speakers

    • There are times when you have to share the spotlight with one or more fellow presenters. If it falls to you to act as moderator, here are a few points to keep in mind:
      • 1. Plan a general outline for the presentation and alert each presenter of your need to do so. This will push people to prepare their content early and do a more thorough job.
      • 2. Ask each presenter for some biographical information. If you need to warm up the audience or introduce each person before they present, a little background can be very helpful.
      • 3. Correspond with the other presenters well ahead of time and always provide ample ways to contact you. In addition, make sure you ask for multiple contact routes to stay in touch with presenters.
      • 4. Ask that each presenter consider a list of at least three questions that audience members are likely to have. Putting oneself in the place of the audience can help foster more stimulating discussion and structure a more useful presentation.
      • 5. Make each presenter well aware of the amount of time they can use for their show, and establish a signal for where time is almost up, and when they need to finish.
      • 6. Give some coaching as to the format of the question and answer part of the show: whether questions may be addressed before the next speaker, how many may be answered, and whether other speakers may chime in.
    Tip: Hyperlink to the web from your PowerPoint presentation (PowerPoint 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)
    • You can support the information in your show with the power of the web with an inserted hyperlink. PowerPoint web links function just like links on web pages -- provided your computer is hooked up to the internet. Use inserted links to link to your corporate intranet or product site to bring supplemental data to your next show. To insert a link:
      • 1. Select the text or object you want to use as the link.
      • 2. Click Insert | Hyperlink.
      • 3. In the Insert Hyperlink text box, enter the address of the web page in the Address line and click OK.
    • When you mouse over the linked text or object, you'll see the link address appear in a yellow tag indicating that it's a live link.

    Tip: Make AutoShapes stand out in 3-D (PowerPoint 97/2000/2002/v. X/2003)

    • It's easy to add some pizzazz to AutoShapes using the 3-D style button. Open the Drawing toolbar (View | Toolbars | Drawing) and then select a shape using the AutoShapes button. Click and drag your mouse to create the shape on your slide. With the shape still selected, click the 3-D Style button and choose one of the 3-D formats that display. To further customize your AutoShape, choose the 3-D Settings option. This launches the 3-D Settings toolbar, which lets you add surface texture, direction, lighting, and tilt to the effect.

    Tip: Inking your slide (PowerPoint 97/2000/2002/2003)

    • Audiences enjoy the ability to interact with presenters, and are often much more inclined to give you their attention if they know they can have their say. A good way to show audiences that your presentation isn't static (and, therefore, that you aren't immune to their questions and feedback) is to use the Pointer Options. In PowerPoint 2003 this feature is found on the pop-up menu button that appears in the bottom-left corner of your slides in Slide Show view. It allows you to pick from a number of pen types and actually draw on your slide. You can use the different pens and colors to emphasize your points and get the audience involved. For instance, you might poll your audience asking which bullet point they feel is most important, and use the highlighter Pointer option to make the bullet point they choose stand out. You might also do some brainstorming during your presentation and write down audience suggestions right on your slide (perhaps leading up to the next slide that might confirm your audience's ideas).
    • To use the pointer options, click on the pen icon in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the presentation and choose your pen type. In PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003 you can right-click and choose Pointer Options from the menu (in 97 choose the Pen option in the shortcut menu to activate). You'll notice your mouse changes to reflect the pointer you choose. If you used pointers during your presentation, PowerPoint 2003 will ask if you want to save your changes at the end of the show, so don't worry about losing important notes made on the fly.

    Tip: Use your scrollwheel mouse to zoom in and out of your slides when creating your PowerPoint presentation (97/2000/2002/2003)

    • We all know how useful it can be to get up close and personal with objects on our slides. Zooming in helps us make precise placements and allows us to select small objects impossible to click on with a low magnification percentage. While you can use the Zoom dropdown list on the Standard toolbar to change your magnification percentage, if you have a scrollwheel mouse, there's an even better way! Press and hold down [Ctrl] as you roll the mouse wheel and your design slide will zoom in and out accordingly.

    Tip: Hide the pop-up menu button when giving presentations (PowerPoint 97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • We recently mentioned the pointer tool found in the pop-up menu. Along with this helpful pen, the pop-up menu provides you with a navigation aid for your show. But audiences may find it distracting, especially if you're presenting detailed images that may have crucial detail covered by the pop-up menu. If this menu is getting in your way, it's easy to hide. To accomplish this in PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003, choose Tools | Options to launch the Options dialog box. Click on the View tab, deselect the Show Popup Menu Button check box in the Slide Show panel and click OK.
    • PowerPoint v. X users can choose Edit | Preferences to launch the Preferences dialog box. Then, click on the View tab, select No Slide Show Controls from the spin box in the Slide Show panel and click OK. Now the next time you watch your presentation in Slide Show view the bottom-left corner of your slide will be clean of and unimpeded by the pop-up menu button.

    Tip: Import your company logo to create custom bullet point icons in PowerPoint (2002/2003)

    • Using your own graphics to make bullet items can add a professional finish to your presentation and help build a recognition of your logo among audience members. First, select the text you want to make into bullet points. Next, choose Format | Bullets And Numbering from the main menu. In the Bullets And Numbering dialog box, click the Picture button, and then click the Import button in the Picture Bullet dialog box. Navigate to your saved logo file and click Add. You'll notice the logo has been added to the bullets available in the Picture Bullet window. Select your logo graphic and click OK to apply it. You'll want to ensure that the logo you use is simple enough to still be recognizable when scaled down considerably.

    Tip: Easily apply slide transitions to multiple slides (PowerPoint 2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • You can use the Slide Miniatures pane to select any number of slides and apply transition effects to them. If you're grouping certain related slides together, it's helpful if they share the same type of transition. This gives your audience another cue as to information groupings. Sometimes, however, it might not be apparent which slides go together until you've finished creating your show. For this reason, it's best to make adding transitions one of your final steps. To add a transition to multiple slides, arrange your slides in the order you wish to present. Use the [Ctrl] key to select multiple slides that don't follow one another, or hold down the [Shift] key to select a range of slides. Choose Slide Show | Slide Transition to open the Slide Transition task pane (Slide Transition window in PowerPoint 2000). The transition effects you choose will be applied to the selected slides.

    Tip: Make a scrapbook of slides on your desktop (PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003)

    • If you have a few slides you refer to regularly from a given presentation, you can easily create a scrapbook of them on your desktop in three easy steps. First, simply select the slides you'd like to bring together from your presentation using the [Ctrl] key to choose them in your slide sorter pane. Next, drag them to your desktop. You'll notice a new file called Scrap is created which contains only the files you selected. You can rename the Scrap file if you wish, and now you can get to just the slides you need without having to open an entire presentation.

    Tip: Set a default font for your PowerPoint presentation (97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • If you know you'll be using a certain text style, such as a company font, throughout a presentation, you may think about setting it as the default for the active presentation. This will save you from having to apply a new text style every time you enter words on your slide. To change the default for this presentation alone, choose Format | Font and in the Font dialog box, change the Font, Font Style, and Size to whatever suits your presentation needs. Click OK and save your presentation. Every time you create a new text box (in this presentation alone), these settings will apply as default.

    Tip: Select objects hidden by other objects (PowerPoint 97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • Very often we layer objects on top of each other for some effect, such as when setting up a custom animation of more than one item. However, it can be a challenge if you have to edit one of the hidden objects when you've already set overlapping objects in place. You may have tried to move these overlapping objects in the past, and struggled to pile things back in place the way they were before. When an object is obscured by other items on the slide, you can still select it by using the [Tab] key. Just press [Tab] repeatedly and PowerPoint will cycle through every object, including text boxes and hidden objects, on the slide.

    Tip: Print certain slides as handouts (PowerPoint 97/2000/ v. X/2002/2003)

    • If your presentation has a few killer slides that you'd like to use for handouts, you can arrange to print only those slides for your audience, instead of the entire presentation. Choose File | Print and in the Print dialog box, select the Slides option button in the Print Range panel. To print non-consecutive slides, enter the slide number followed by a comma (no spaces necessary, such as 6,3,7,10). In this way, you can select the order you want to arrange your handouts and present the best of your presentation for audiences to keep. If you want to print a range of consecutive slides, enter the slide numbers with a hyphen between them (such as 3-7 or 4-9).

    Tip: Two uses for [F4] in PowerPoint 97/2000/v. X/2002/2003

    • [F4] is a handy shortcut that you can use in a few ways. Pressing [F4] allows you to repeat the last action you performed. For example, if you just increased the font size of a block of text, you can select another text block, press [F4], and have your changes repeated there. It also works to duplicate objects that were just created and apply font sizes. You can repeat almost any action that requires only one button click by pressing [F4].
    • If you press [Ctrl][F4], something very different happens: you close out of your presentation.

    Tip: Need a web page fast? Add an address bar to your PowerPoint toolbar (97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • When giving a presentation there may come a time when you want to quickly call up a website, but don't want to have to open up your browser first. For instance, your home page might be your family's website; when you're in the middle of a presentation, it's best to keep your audience focused, and any page other than the one you intend on showing may distract them. You can add an address bar to your PowerPoint menu for instant access to sites you may have neglected to hyperlink to in the presentation.
    • To add the Address bar to PowerPoint, right-click any toolbar that's visible and choose Customize from the shortcut menu (Control-click on the Mac). In the Customize dialog box, select the Commands tab and choose Web from the Categories list. Choose Address from the Commands panel and drag it to any toolbar. You can resize it as you like by dragging one side right or left. Click Close to exit the Customize dialog box. With the address bar in place, simply type in a URL and click [Enter] to access the web.

    Tip: Don't forget about the gray area in PowerPoint (97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • People in mid-design may have difficulties when editing text or fitting graphics on a slide due to other elements. Slides can get pretty busy, especially in the editing phase, and it can be difficult to manage your design elements and text boxes in the midst of so many other slide components. An easy way to give yourself some breathing room is to zoom your slide back to 50% and position it so that it's no longer centered in the main content area of PowerPoint. You should notice a large patch of gray behind your slide. This gray background field is also a canvas of sorts and provides the perfect place to lay out your design elements and text boxes before deciding on the proper placement. Text boxes, autoshapes, and custom animations can be placed out here and tested before cluttering up your slide. Of course, most elements floating in the gray won't have an effect on or display in your presentation. One exception to this is the speaker icon that indicates you've connected a sound with the slide. Sounds set to occur automatically will play even if the speaker icon is in the gray area, so watch out for unwanted noises left behind from your editing phase.

    Tip: Linking images to reduce file size in PowerPoint (97/2000/v. X/2002/2003)

    • If you have a bulky presentation, you can keep its file size down by linking larger graphics instead of embedding them. To link an image, choose Insert | Picture | From File to open the Insert Picture dialog box. Select your image file, and then instead of clicking the Insert button, click on the down arrow next to it and select Link To File. (In PowerPoint 97 and PowerPoint v. X, first select the Link To File option and then click the Insert button).
    • Always make sure that your image file is accessible from the computer you're using during the presentation; if not, the linked graphic won't appear on your slide.  

    Tip: Making sure your audience can read your slides in PowerPoint

    • Worried about whether your images and text will be easy enough to read when you give your presentation? A quick way to test if the fonts and sizes you've used are actually legible is to switch to Slide Show view and then stand back 8-10 feet from your computer. Any elements that are hard to read or make out in acceptable detail should be adjusted before it's too late. It's always a good idea to have another person's opinion when testing in this way, since two sets of eyes are better than one!  

    Tip: Demoting slides in PowerPoint's Outline view (97/2000/v .X/2002/2003)

    • When working with a presentation outline, you can change the position of slides and individual points by promoting (moving up in importance) or demoting (moving down). When you demote a slide, it's title moves to the bottom of the previous slide, and all points within it are placed below it as related second or third position bullet items. You can use the green arrows on the Outlining toolbar to promote or demote selected items. You can also demote a selected slide and its contents by pressing the [Tab] key. Before you do, however, always make sure that you've moved any associated graphics to the previous slide before demoting, as all images are deleted when a slide is demoted.  

    Tip: Add comments to a slide as a collaborator (97/2000/2002/v.X/2003)

    • Adding notes to a slide show that's being passed around by a team of collaborators is easy. Simply choose Insert | Comment, type the message you want to share, and then click outside the automatically created comment box. Repeat this process to add as many comments on as many slides as you want. You can also easily hide the comments if a slide gets filled up with everyone's comments and is no longer easy to see (although this isn't as much of a problem in PowerPoint 2002/2003 since comments are collapsible in these versions). To do so, simply choose View | Markup (View | Comments in PowerPoint 97/2000/v.X) to remove the check mark from this option in the menu. Since this menu item works as a toggle switch, select Comments a second time in the View menu to reveal the comments once again.

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