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This chapter is from the book

Looking Ahead: PowerPoint 2007

By the time this book is published, a new version of PowerPoint will be available, and some of you may be either using it already or contemplating its adoption. Based on the beta version available at the time this was written, there were several design elements in the new version that are worth noting in terms of producing clean and dynamic presentations.

New Layouts: Setting a Default

The Layout area for new slides has been dramatically streamlined, and perhaps the best news is that creating a new slide will no longer necessitate beginning with a Title and Bullets layout with bullet placeholders.

You can select any layout as a new default, and it will be applied to your new slides, or you can create your own layout to add to the layout gallery and use in subsequent slides.

In Figure 2-32, you can see that a simple Title only layout has been selected in the Layout gallery and is now the default layout for all subsequent slides added to the presentation.

Figure 2-32

Figure 2-32 Any layout, even one you create and save, can become the default for new slides in PowerPoint 2007.

Themes and Colors Enhance Design Templates

Although PowerPoint 2007 will support the older design templates that came with previous versions, and the Color Scheme scenario just described still holds, the central design element for formatting groups of slides is now called a Theme.

Themes are composed of design choices, many of them much nicer and cleaner than the older design templates, colors, and effects. Like the older Design Templates, the new PowerPoint Theme puts an entirely new look onto selected slides, but instead of overpowering them with lots of different graphics and backgrounds, themes appear to be more subtle and clean, as shown in Figure 2-33.

Figure 2-33

Figure 2-33 PowerPoint design decisions in Office2007 will be centered on Themes, which are collections of fonts, colors, effects, and backgrounds that provide a cleaner, more polished look.

New Screen Reading Fonts: Calibri and Cambria

As part of the move to cleaner, more professional-looking slides that can be instantly implemented, PowerPoint 2007 has new screen-friendly fonts, including Calibri and Cambria. In most cases, these are part of the existing themes in PowerPoint 2007, but as you create your own designs and themes, using these fonts should improve the clarity and readability of your slides. You will find the new fonts in the Font panel of the new user interface, as shown in Figure 2-34, and you can apply them and save them with a theme that you create on your own.

Figure 2-34

Figure 2-34 PowerPoint 2007's new screen-friendly fonts like Calibri and Cambria are designed to enhance the readability of slides when projected or viewed on a computer screen.

Turn Bullets to Graphics Instantly

Although we're going to cover the creation of dynamic visuals in the next chapter, it's worth mentioning here that PowerPoint 2007 enables this technique within its new interface by allowing the user to quickly turn a set of written bullets into a corresponding SmartArt graphic or diagram.

Opening the new diagram gallery with bullets selected can instantly turn the bullet text into any of a host of new diagrams, including Venn diagram, as shown in Figure 2-35.

Figure 2-35

Figure 2-35 PowerPoint 2007 encourages the use of visual analogies by allowing the user to transform ordinary bullets into corresponding diagrams from a new gallery.

Use Enhanced Design Effects

Although making a diagram or set of graphics stand out in a professional way with high-end 3D effects or shadows used to involve third-party tools, the new Effects galleries in PowerPoint allow the user to apply glow and bevel effects to the diagrams or graphics they create, as shown in Figure 2-36.

Figure 2-36

Figure 2-36 PowerPoint 2007 has a gallery of new effects including glows, shadows, and bevels that can be fine-tuned, saved, and instantly previewed and applied to new diagrams and graphical objects.

Many of the design techniques that we will cover in the next chapter will be streamlined and enabled in a much easier way in PowerPoint 2007.

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