Advertising
Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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

          Advertising

          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.

                Advertising

                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

                    Advertising

                    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

                      More by this author

                      Joseph Hindy

                      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

                      10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons 15 Most Effective Cool Down Exercises For Every Workout 10 Things Guys Love That You Didn’t Expect 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                      Trending in Technology

                      1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 4 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 5 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

                      Advertising

                         

                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

                          Advertising

                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

                            Advertising

                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

                                Advertising

                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

                                Read Next