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This chapter is from the book

Designing for Handouts

Although we will cover the strategies and techniques involved in printing Handouts (and Notes) in Chapter 8, we can and should start to think about these issues in the design phase.

Many of us are printer-challenged; we can't all go to Kinko's or down the hall to a high-speed color printer that will do full-color justice to our PowerPoint masterpieces.

Anticipating the device on which our slides, whether as Handouts or combined with notes pages, will be reproduced on paper is a good design concept to bear in mind from the outset of our presentation planning.

For this reason alone, I would submit that the clean and simple look is preferable for a professional presentation.

In the event that you require a colored background or more significant graphics as part of your overall design, your best bet is to fine-tune some of your main graphics objects in the event that you need to print in either grayscale or black and white.

Two levels of refinement are possible when converting color to grayscale or pure black and white. First, under the PowerPoint View menu, you can instantly transform the current version of your presentation to any of these modes by selecting View > Color/Grayscale.

Then, in any of these modes, you can right-click a graphical object that you intend to use in the presentation and whose design you want to faithfully preserve in the printed Handouts, as shown in Figure 2-27.

Figure 2-27

Figure 2-27 If you need to print in black and white or grayscale, you can fine-tune your graphics objects to optimize them for Handouts or notes.

Then copy this object for use in the grayscale/handout version of the presentation.

Tweaking the grayscale or black and white settings will be of particular importance if you have chosen a darker (black) background for your slides and want to make sure that more subtle graphical objects are visible in your Handouts.

Going in the other direction, if you know going forward that you will need subtle diagrams in your slides, and they are destined for Handouts, you may want to avoid darker backgrounds and continue to choose cleaner slide designs.

Finally, if your logo will be appearing on all slides using the Slide Master, make sure that it is optimized for printing, and take care to ensure that other graphics and text are not covering up the logo.

This goes back to the grid system suggested by Nancy Duarte and the corresponding choices for placing a logo in the most remote corner of the set of slides with which you will be working.

Obviously, you can construct one slide set for presentation and another for printing and plan for that from the outset, but coordinating them and making sure that each is synchronized for the latest content may become a challenge.

Considering the ramifications of your design decisions in the planning and design phases can only help in terms of ensuring that both your onscreen and paper versions of the presentations do justice to your message and show you in the best possible light.

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