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Powerpoint tips:
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Powerpoint Tips With apologies to any of you who are genuine PowerPoint wizards, I want to share some tips that will make creating slides presentations easier. I meet a lot of speakers at conferences and I am always surprised at how little many of them know about PowerPoint - especially those who rely very heavily on their presentations on a frequent basis. I have been lucky enough over the years that kind souls have shared tips with me that saved me hours of unnecessary formatting. These tips, (combined with Microsoft Paint which is an absolute little treasure) can help make your presentations look a whole lot better.

Embedded videos and sound files:

If you are transferring your presentation from one computer to another and your presentation contains embedded files like movies or sounds, make sure you import all the embedded files as well. They are not actually “in” the slides themselves - only the source destination is contained in the slide. The new computer will be looking for the source files but won’t be able to find them if you have not transferred them over.

Importing slides from one presentation to another – and not losing your formatting:

When you cut and paste slides from one presentation to another your slides will take on the format of the new presentation. Thus as soon as you paste your slides they may lose their background colour and the text may change dramatically in size and colour. Don’t panic. As soon as you have pasted the slides, look for a little “clipboard” icon that appears at the end of the series. Click on it and select the “keep source formatting” option. Your slides will return to their original formatting. This is very useful if you are importing slides from several different presentations and you want to preserve all the different backgrounds and text formats.

Importing or pasting graphics:

Sometimes you might import a clip art or other picture file that has a coloured box or background that you don’t want to keep. Select the picture and then find the little tool that looks like a pencil pointing into a right angle. This is your “set transparent colour” tool and it makes the background disappear. Sometimes this gives you a nice clean picture, but at other times, depending on how it was created in the first place, you might lose parts of your drawing as well. Play this one by ear – if you lose some of your picture you can replace it by putting boxes or shapes of colour behind the picture to make up for what was erased by the transparency tool. Sometimes you will need to copy the original picture into Paint, erase the background, fill the erased areas with a new colour (eg black) and then select and copy it back into PowerPoint. When you use the “set transparent colour” tool again it will erase your new black background and just leave the picture.

Creating groups of pictures or text:

If you have created a group of pictures/text on your slide and you want to manipulate it easily, select the group and paste it into Paint. Then use the select tool in Paint to grab the new picture, copy and paste it back into PowerPoint. All the individual components are now joined as a single picture. (This is a bit quicker than using the “save as picture” option, which involves naming the file, saving it to a new location, then finding and inserting the saved picture back into the slide.)

Some common shortcuts:

ALT N OR CTL M – inserts a new slide
CTL N – opens a new presentation
ALT TAB – returns to previous document (if you have more than two documents open you’ll get a window showing all currently open files so you can scroll through and select which one you want to work on)
CTL A – select all
CTL C – copy
CTL V – paste

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If you found this useful please let us know and we will include more tips in the next newsletter. (If you have a favourite PointPoint tip you’d like to share with us please do so.) Also, feel free to email us about specific problems you may be having with your presentations and we’ll see what we can do to help. Send an email to

  Audience Response Pty Ltd
18 Rainforest Close, Wahroonga, NSW, 2076
Phone: +61 (0) 410 495 022
Audience Response