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From the author of New Power to PowerPoint

New Power to PowerPoint

I’ve saved the best for last because PowerPoint 2010 has really added some enhancements that will be of great interest to presenters.

As an IT pro, just learning a few simple tricks in PowerPoint and, more importantly, how they can enhance communication, make you a star in your department, and perhaps lead to advancement.

For example, using images as metaphors for important points is very helpful, and using the Picture Effects on the Ribbon can make your slides look as though you were a Photoshop expert, with drop shadow, reflections, and soft edges.

In terms of working quicker and smarter, I really like the Reading View, which lets you preview animations and transitions along with other elements of your slides without projecting the show Full Screen (see Figure 6).

Figure 6 Reading View lets you see your presentation from within the editor.

Speaking of Animation, the new Animation tab on the Ribbon exposes the various effects very nicely, and lets you add Effect Options more easily.

As an IT pro, if you take the time to learn these techniques, you can add value to those who create dull static presentations in your organization.

A new Animation Painter feature is kind of cool for those who really fill up the Custom Animation task pane with lots of timing effects and want to copy them from one selected element to another.

Figure 7 Animation Painter lets you apply an effect from one object to another.

For example, experienced animation users in PowerPoint will put together a complex sequence of integrated Entrance and Exit animations, often using the With Previous setting. By “painting” these effects from one selected object to another, the task of creating such complex sequences will be made much easier.

But the best new aspects of PowerPoint 2010 probably pertain to multimedia, and specifically video.

You can now directly import web video to a slide by pasting the embed code for a file from a site like YouTube into PowerPoint (see Figure 8).

Figure 8 You can now use embedded code from the web to play a video directly in PowerPoint.

As long as you have a reliable online connection, you can play the video as part of your slide show.

Another long awaited feature by presenters is the ability to simply edit or trim a video within a slide. There have been various cumbersome ways to do this using Media Player but now it works directly in PowerPoint with a Trim Video feature (see Figure 9).

Figure 9 Media clips can be “trimmed” with new begin and end frames in PowerPoint.

The Record Narration feature (see Figure 10) has been folded into a Record Slide Show feature that also records your Animations, Transitions, and even a Laser Point (hold down the Ctrl key as you record the show, and the laser points are available).

Figure 10 Recording a slide show lets you save effects, animations, transitions and a laser pointer.

Recording the slide show gives you a show file that you can distribute to other PowerPoint users (Save As a show file), or you can now directly output the recorded slide show as a WMV movie file using Create Video in Backstage View (see Figure 11).

Figure 11 You can create a video of your presentation in Backstage View.

After outputting the presentation to video, the WMV file with your narration and highlights from your laser pointer, along with any animations and transitions, can be uploaded to a video hosting site like YouTube, or played in Media Player (see Figure 12).

Figure 12 The video output from Backstage View can play in Media Player or be uploaded online.

In terms of organizing a presentation, another new feature is the ability to set off portions of your slide show as Sections, which help in creating an agenda for you and your audience to follow for longer slide shows.

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