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10 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Powerpoint Expert

10 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Powerpoint Expert

PowerPoint presentations may not be the rage they were a few years ago but more than one person’s career has been determined by the strength of their presentation. Teachers use them for lectures, start ups use them to pitch ideas to investors, and business people use them to present business proposals and reports. If you want your presentation to stand head and shoulders above the competition, then check out these tricks to make you a PowerPoint expert!

1. Create a custom background

PowerPoint expert

    There are a lot of people who think that the stock PowerPoint slide size is the only size option. This is actually not the case. Here’s how you can create your own custom slide size:
    1. Open File.
    2. Select Page Setup.
    3. Type the height and width that you want. You can do it in inches or you can do it in pixels if you prefer.
    4. Click OK.
    Now your slide size will be the custom size that you want!

    2. Create your own custom template

    PowerPoint tricks

      If the stock PowerPoint templates just aren’t doing it for you then you can actually create your own. PowerPoint has a master editor that lets you create a custom slide that you can then use as a template:
      1. Select the Themes tab.
      2. On the far right side, click Edit Master, and then Slide Master.
      3. Edit the template as you see fit. You can do pretty much whatever you want.
      4. Click Close Master. This will change all current and future slides to the one you just created. This is a great way to customize your PowerPoint presentation with a little touch of personality without doing it to every slide individually.

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      3. Align all your graphics

      PowerPoint experts

        Sometimes you just want to get the images you added to line up. You can always try to line them up by eye but why go through the hassle when you can align them without issue using built-in PowerPoint features?
        1. Select all of the objects you want by clicking on one, then hold shift and select the rest of them.
        2. At the top, find and click Align. It also may be labeled Distribute.
        3. Choose whatever type of alignment you’d like.
        The images should line up appropriately in a way that you just can’t do by eye alone.

        4. Format your pictures

        PowerPoint experts

          New in PowerPoint 2013 is a much easier way to format your images. You can add some cursory effects and add a little sheen to an otherwise bland image.
          1. Right click on an image and select Format Picture.
          2. On the right side, a bar will pop up with the formatting options. It’s fun to play around in there and see all of the various things you can do. Adding a little formatting can turn a flat, drab image into something a little more interesting with minimal effort.

          5. Make your title stand out

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          PowerPoint experts

            You can also format words much like you can format images.
            1. Right click on the text you want to format and click on Format Text Effects.
            2. Once again that is all you need to do. There are a bunch of formatting options that will pop open on the right hand side for you to use. As with images, the best practice is to play around with the various options and see which ones you like.

            6. Create custom animations

            PowerPoint experts

              If the current selection of animations aren’t your style, then you can also create your own custom animation. This one is a little tricky so you’ll have to tinker around to get them exactly how you want them.
              1. Go to the animation tab.
              2. Click on the down arrow in the animations gallery box until you see Custom Path.
              3. This is where it gets tricky. Once you select Custom Path you’ll be able to draw your own animation. It may take a few tries to get the hang of how it works so don’t get frustrated!
              4. Once you’re done, test your new creation!
              Like I said, this one takes some time to get right but once you do you’ll never have to use a pre-made animations again.

              7. Transition duration

              PowerPoint expert

                This one is a simple trick and it’s been around for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s vastly undervalued and people should use it more often.
                1. Click on the Transition tab.
                2. In a box to the right side is the ability to change the time on the transitions.
                Sometimes transitions are too slow or too fast and this is a great way to add a little tweak to make things a lot more efficient. There is no need to let a great PowerPoint get wasted by transitions that are too slow or too fast.

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                8. Combine shapes

                PowerPoint expert

                  Not everyone has Adobe Photoshop and that makes things like logo design difficult. If you need something simple then you can draw shapes and combine them in PowerPoint.
                  1. Draw the shapes you want to combine. There are a load of shapes in a load of colors. You can access them in the Insert tab.
                  2. Select all of the shapes you wish to combine by using CTRL and clicking.
                  3. Under the Format tab, click the Merge Shapes button.
                  4. Click combine.
                  Using this simple trick you can create your own custom images to add a little pizzazz to your presentations.

                  9. Zoom in and out of slides

                  PowerPoint expert

                    Sometimes there is a part of a slide that needs more attention. A chart or a graph is a good example. You may just want to make sure one point is effectively shown.
                    1. In the Presenter View there is a magnifying glass at the bottom.
                    2. Once you click on that, drag to where you want to zoom in and click again.
                    3. After you’re zoomed in, you can use the hand tool to move around so you can show other things while zoomed in.
                    4. Once you’re done, click the magnifying glass again to zoom back out.
                    This is a great way to have more control over your presentations and show people something different!

                    10. Add audio across slides

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                    PowerPoint expert

                      Audio on PowerPoint is not the easiest thing in the world. There are tools for audio including the ability to add audio tracks across multiple slides. This is great if you want to add a soundtrack to your PowerPoint.
                      1. Click the Insert tab and then click Audio.
                      2. Click on Audio Online.
                      3. Browse your computer and find the audio file you want to add.
                      4. Finally, click Play in Background so PowerPoint knows to play this in the background of your presentation.
                      With that your presentation will have background sound. You can use music or something more subtle like animal noises or other white noise like surf or wind blowing in the trees — anything to add some ambiance and make your presentation more enjoyable.

                      Wrap up

                      With these tips and tricks you can take what may have been a lackluster PowerPoint presentation and turn it into something special. PowerPoint has been getting more and more features to help you make your presentations unique and the real key is finding the new features to see what you can use!

                      Featured photo credit: Phenomenology Minds Media via phenomenologymindsmedia.files.wordpress.com

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                      Trending in Technology

                      1 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 2 20 Best Productivity Apps for Mac You Should Have in 2019 3 40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated) 4 How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career 5 Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

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                      Last Updated on December 30, 2018

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

                      No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                      If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                      But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

                      Let’s dive straight into the list…

                      1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

                        If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                        Download Rescue Time

                        2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                          If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                          Download Remember the Milk

                          3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                            This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                            Download Focus Booster

                            4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                              This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                              Download Toggl

                              5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                                There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                                Download Dropbox

                                6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                                  Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                                  Download Evernote

                                  7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                                    Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                                    Download Mind42

                                    8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                                      This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                                      Download SnycBackFree

                                      9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                                        Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                        Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                                        10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                          This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                          Download 1Password

                                          11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                            When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                            Download Pocket

                                            12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                              This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                              Download [email protected]

                                              13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                                This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                                Download Launchy

                                                14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                                  This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                  Download Forest

                                                  15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                                    This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                                    Download Trello

                                                    16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                                      Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                                      Download Wunderlist

                                                      17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                                        This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                        Download Time Tree

                                                        18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                          Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                          Download Todoist

                                                          The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                          Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                          40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                          More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                          • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                          • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                          • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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