Having run workshops and courses for women returners and administrative staff over the past 8 years Jackie Sherman is very much in touch with the concerns women have about working with computers. She is well aware of the fears female learners and work returners have of being out of date. If you are one of these, there is no other book that specifically covers the issues that concern you.
A presentation package such as PowerPoint allows you to produce slides that can be printed out onto paper or acetate sheets, or run as a slide show on the computer. The slides can contain text, pictures, coloured backgrounds or charts and, on the computer, can include sound effects and moving images.
For anyone who doesn’t like public speaking, using a computerised presentation package has many advantages:
- Creating colourful slides with sound effects and animations means the audience’s attention is off the speaker;
- There is no danger of dropping notes or getting slides out of order;
- Built-in design templates allow the author to create professional-looking slides very easily;
- Speakers can build up slide contents gradually and use on-screen pens for writing, so the experience can be very like using more familiar overhead projectors or flipcharts;
- Presentations can be easily adapted for different audiences and run automatically e.g. in an exhibition or conference hall;
- Thumbnails of the slides can be printed as handouts for the audience, and notes pages can be prepared for the speaker as an aide memoir.
Although you may not give talks yourself, it is quite common to be asked to help a colleague create a presentation, print out handouts or notes or make changes to the original. You therefore need to know your way around the package so that you can carry out these tasks with confidence.
When you open a PowerPoint file or start a new blank presentation, you see the file in Normal view. The window is divided into three panes and you can drag out any of the boundaries to work within a larger sector or close e.g. the Outline pane if it is not required so that you are only viewing the slide (previously known as Slide view). Choose between:
- 1.The main ‘page’ or slide where you add your text, pictures and backgrounds etc.
- 2.The text-only part of the presentation referred to as the Outline (in XP this alternates with thumbnail pictures of the slides); and
- 3.An area where you can type in speaker’s notes and print them out below a small picture of the selected slide.
The number of the slide you are viewing shows at the bottom of the screen.
There are several ways to open a different slide on screen: use your Page Up or Down keys; click the numbered slide in Outline or the thumbnail on the Slide tab; or click the scroll bar arrow or double arrow navigation buttons on the right of the slide showing on screen.
The easiest way to re-order slides in a long presentation is to view them in Slide Sorter view – available from a button in the bottom, left-hand corner of the screen or from the View menu – or on the Slide tab. Drag any slide to a new position with the mouse. When a vertical line moving with your pointer is in the correct position, let go the mouse and the slide will drop in place.
Add a new slide by clicking a thumbnail on the Slide tab and pressing Enter. You can also add a new slide if in Slide view by clicking the New Slide button on the toolbar. The new slide will be the next in number.
Text entries on a slide are always positioned within a box. Some slide layouts are provided with boxes already in place where they are known as placeholders. To add text, simply click the box and start typing. To remove a box, click the outside edge and press Delete. To add text to an empty space, click the Text box button on the Drawing toolbar and draw your own box before entering text inside it.
Once the text appears, format it using the normal toolbar buttons. You can align text within the box or drag the box to a new position on the screen.
Although the text box border will not show automatically, you may want to emphasise it. Change the thickness, colour and style of line, and fill the box with colours, patterns or gradients by choosing from options on the toolbar.
In a similar way to using outline numbering (see Chapter 3), you can create different levels of text on a slide easily in Outline view.
- 1.Having started a presentation and selected your slide layout, click to place the cursor next to slide no. 1 and type the top level heading.
- 2.Press Enter. This creates slide no. 2.
- 3.If you wanted to add text at a lower level on slide 1, press the tab key. This takes the text down a level and you can start typing the subtitle or first list item. Alternatively, click the Demote button .
- 4.Keep pressing tab or the Demote button on the toolbar to move even lower.
- 5.Press Enter to continue typing a new line at the same level.
- 6.Press tab as you hold down Shift and you will move up the levels again. Alternatively press the Promote button on the toolbar. Eventually you will reach the top level and will create a new slide.
You can add Clip Art, saved pictures, sound or movie clips, diagrams, charts or tables using the buttons on the Drawing or Standard toolbars or via the Insert menu. You can also select a slide layout with a shortcut to these objects. Display the range of different layouts by selecting the option on the Format menu.
Once the object is in place, move it, delete it, use the resizing handles or double-click to be offered a range of formatting options.
These are new for Office XP and offer a variety of diagrams including an Organisation Chart that is also available in Office 2000 and is used to create a family tree or hierarchy on the slide.
When the basic chart appears, click any box and then select a shape from the Insert Shape menu to add a new box in the appropriate position.
Click each box to add your text and format the lines and fill for the boxes using the toolbar buttons on the Drawing toolbar. As an alternative, you could also select a complete design from the Style Gallery.
Click this option to open a 3-D column chart and a sample spreadsheet. Replace the data and choose a different chart type or add titles etc. from the Chart menu. As you will be offered toolbar buttons and menus similar to those in Excel, you can work with the chart in the same way as described in Chapter 4.
Click outside the chart area to return to the slide and double-click the chart to continue editing.
Rather than creating a presentation based on white slides, you can colour your backgrounds, add drawn objects or you may prefer to select a professional design from those available.
Colours and fills
To add colours, patterns, textures, pictures or gradients, right-click a slide or open the Format menu and select Background. In the dialog box, click the arrow in the small window and select the palette (More Colors) or Fill Effects.
If you choose More Colors, click any colour on the palette to apply this to the background.
Fill Effects offers a number of tabs – create your own patterns or gradients by mixing colours in different ways or choose natural-looking marble, wood or material back-ground effects from the texture selection.
When you return to the background dialog box, you will see your chosen background together with colours automatically selected for titles and main text that are combined into a Color Scheme. This can be accepted or you can choose alternatives by selecting a different scheme from the Format – Slide Design task pane.
When changing slide backgrounds, apply them to individual slides or to the complete presentation.
To apply a complete design that includes borders or drawings, go to Format – Slide Design and click Design Templates. Scroll through those offered and click one to apply it to your slides. If you want to change a design that has already been applied, simply select a new one from the list.
You may have a particular border or shape in mind that you want to add to one or more slides but which is not offered in the templates. Instead, you can click one of the shape buttons on the Drawing toolbar and draw and colour your own objects.
- 1.Click an AutoShape button
- 2.Drag your mouse across the slide to add the shape
- 3.Resize or move it in the same way as any other object
- 4.Colour the lines or fill with patterns/colours using the toolbar buttons on the Drawing toolbar. You will also find 3-D and shading options to try.
Two useful tricks with shapes: open the Draw menu and select Order – Send to Back if you want them behind text or other objects; and select several shapes with the Select Objects arrow (or click each when holding down the Ctrl key), then go to Draw – Group to group them into a single entity that can be copied, moved or resized as one object.
Either use the lower pane in Normal view or select Notes Page from the View menu. You can now type accompanying notes. The words plus a small picture of the slide will be printed if you select this option in the Print dialog box.
You may be asked to make changes to a slide but find you cannot access the text or object! This is because it has been added to the ‘background’ of the slide, which is like a template – anything on it cannot be changed in normal view.
To work on this part of the presentation, you need to go to the Master – Slide Master view, available from the View menu. Any changes to the Slide Master will affect all the slides, so it is the place to add logos, page numbers, dates etc. that you want on every slide without needing to make these additions to slides individually. You can also set new sizes and formatting for titles, sub-titles and bullets if you do not like the defaults but have not already changed them on the slides themselves.
Power Point presentations offer one slide layout that differs from the rest. This is the Title slide and you may be asked to work on a presentation that has this type of slide as the first slide. If you change the Slide Master it may not be affected so you must either use the Title Slide Master or change the single slide manually.
There are several different ways you can print out a copy of your presentation: all or selected slides, a notes page for selected slides, thumbnails arranged e.g. 3 or 6 to a page to give to the audience as a handout, or the presentation outline. Open the Print dialog box from the File menu and select the slides to be printed together with the actual print option.
The 2002 version of PowerPoint has a staggering range of effects that can be applied to your slides if you plan to run the presentation on the computer.
To see how the presentation looks before adding any effects, click the Slide Show button. Menus and toolbars will disappear and you can step through the slides by clicking the mouse or using the Page Up or Down keys. To return to Normal view before reaching the end, press the Esc key at the top, left of the keyboard.
A common task is to take a laptop and projector with you to a different site and set up a show there. You therefore need to familiarise yourself with your particular projector i.e. how it is connected and controlled.
Although you can set the time slides are on screen individually, one option on the Slide Show menu is to rehearse the timings of the whole show at a single run-through. Click the Rehearse Timings option to start at the first slide and display a counter in the top, left hand corner of the screen.
After the first slide has been on screen for an acceptable interval, click the Next button and work your way through the show. At the end, the timings you have set for each slide can be saved.
If you want a continuous presentation running in the room, select Set Up Show. Click the Loop option and also make sure slides will appear automatically.
There are two major choices to make when running your show on a computer: how you want one or more slides to replace the previous one – transitions – and how objects will arrive on a slide – animations/build. In each case, you can add sound effects and also set a specific waiting time before the slide or object appears automatically.
Choose a view such as Slide Sorter and right-click for the menu option Slide Transitions. In the Transitions pane, click an effect and it will preview on the selected slide. (To apply the same effect to several slides at once, select them by holding Ctrl as you click each one.) You have the option to speed up the transition, accompany it with sound effects, set a time for the next slide to appear and apply the same effect to all the slides or just the selected one. If you want to see how the transition appears in a slide show, click the button but remember that the show will start with the selected slide.
If your slide includes text, the words can appear letter by letter or list items can arrive one after the other; if it has drawings or pictures, these can fly, crawl, spiral or drop onto the slide; and you can decide the order in which all the objects will appear on any slide.
To apply animations, display a slide and then open the Slide Show menu. For a pre-set effect that applies to the whole slide, select Animation Schemes and select one of the options e.g. fade in, dissolve or compress.
For more control, select Custom Animation. Each object will be numbered and you can apply a different effect to each line, word or object. These can include different ways the objects will arrive or exit the slide and the actual path they will take.
The animations you choose will be displayed in the animation pane, and if you want to change anything, drag them to a new position in the list or right-click or click the drop down arrow and select another option. You can also take off an effect by clicking Remove – very useful if an effect has been applied and the speaker now doesn’t want it included!
Changing slide display
Presentations are often created that will be shown to different audiences e.g. members of staff within the organisation as well as the general public. It is likely that some of the slides are not appropriate for all audiences, and there are two different methods for removing slides temporarily from a slide show:
Any slide can be hidden so that it does not appear in a show or on printed handouts. In Slide Sorter view or on the Slide tab, click the slide you want to remove and then open the Slide Show menu and click the Hide Slide option. In Slide Sorter view, you will see a line through the number of the slide.
If printing handouts, make sure you take off the tick in the checkbox.
As an alternative to hiding slides, you can add a link to one slide which, when clicked, will jump to another place in the show, thus missing out slides you don’t want displayed. You can either select text or objects to act as clickable links or add an action button.
- 1.To use text or an object on the screen, select it on the slide and then click the. Insert Hyperlink button or go to Insert – Hyperlink.
- 2.When the dialog box opens, click Place in this Document. All the slides will be listed and you can click the slide you want to jump to when the word is clicked on screen.
- 3.Test the link in a slide show – your mouse should show a hand when it hovers over the clickable text and the correct slide should be displayed.
- 4.If you want an actual button to click, draw one after selecting from the AutoShapes – Action Buttons display.
- 5.This automatically opens the dialog box where you can select which slide to move to when the button is clicked.
Finally, you can treat the slide show rather like a flip chart or blackboard: in Slide Show view, right-click the screen, select Pointer Options and choose the Pen or even choose a different pen colour. You can now ‘draw’ on the slide to emphasise a particular point. Press Esc when you want to stop the pen working. The same menu can also be used to navigate to different slides or end the show altogether.