Dress Your Slides for Success

If you want to make a positive impact with your presentation slides, you’ll need some great looking images. Since Microsoft retired their built-in online image library, a lot of people might be stranded without any good image resources. Fortunately, there are tons of great websites offering free images. Unfortunately, they’re scattered in a zillion different places all across the web.

Since we like to work smarter instead of harder around here, I’d like to share three free PowerPoint plug-ins that will give you access to first-rate image libraries right inside PowerPoint. No more wasting time jumping between browser tabs looking for just the right photo.

Visit my recent post over on my personal website to get the scoop on these free awesome image libraries and how you can use them without ever leaving PowerPoint.

  1. PickIt:  https://pickit.com/
  2. Pexels:  https://store.office.com/en-us/app.aspx?assetid=WA104379997
  3. Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/lp/powerpoint-presentation-images-plugin

 

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Recovering Unsaved Office Documents

Have you ever forgotten to save a document you were working on? Maybe you accidentally clicked the No button when prompted to save your spreadsheet on closing it? Lost power in the middle of working on an important presentation? Of course, we’ve all had something like this happen at some point….and most likely lost a lot of blood, sweat and tears recreating the work we had already done. (Man I HATE that!)

Well, the next time that happens you should know this handy trick for recovering unsaved Office documents. (Note that it’s not perfect but it has saved me hours of rework a few times.)

How It Works

Once you’ve realized you might have lost some unsaved work. Reopen Word, Excel, or Powerpoint and go to  File » Open then look for the Recent tab.

UnsavedFiles

Scroll down to the bottom or the files list and click the Recover Unsaved Presentations button.

If you’ve got any unsaved documents you’ll see them and get a 2nd chance at saving them before they’re gone forever!

If the document has never been saved, it might have some weird name so don’t ignore it without opening it to see if it is what you’re looking for.

 

This little trick is based on the AutoRecover function so  don’t be surprised if  your recovered document doesn’t have everything you’ve already done.  Nothing you can do about that –other than remembering to save it in the first place! 😎

 

Converting Your Bullet Points to Graphics in the Blink of an Eye

You’ve probably heard that bullet points are bad. (If you don’t believe me, here’s some scientific proof.) But most people are not graphic designers and many get stuck when it comes to thinking of better alternatives to the standard lists of text. Plus, who has time to do all that extra work right?! Wrong!

Converting your existing PowerPoint lists into attractive visuals  less than 3 seconds and makes your slides look WAY better. Here’s how it works.

Convert slide text to a SmartArt graphic

  1. Select the text placedholder on the slide that you want to convert.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Convert to SmartArt Graphic
  3. In the gallery, click the layout for the SmartArt graphic that you want. Hovering over them gives you a real-time preview.

The gallery contains layouts for SmartArt graphics that work best with bulleted lists. To view the entire set of layouts, click More SmartArt Graphics.

Also, be sure to experiment with the colors and styles available from the Smart Art gallery to get an even better looking design.

So go and upgrade those boring text lists to nice looking professional visuals. When it’s this quick and easy there’s no excuse for not having great looking slides.

Intergrating Microsoft Office with Google Chrome

If your preferred web browser is Google Chrome, you probably already know that it integrates pretty seamlessly with other Google tools like Google Docs. But what if you are more of a Microsoft Office user than Google Docs?

Here is a Chrome extension from Microsoft that brings some nice integration with your Office documents.

As you can see, you’ll get one-click access to your Office files, whether they’re on your hard drive or in the cloud.

You can be up and running in now time. Here’s how:

  1.  Grab the Office Online extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Next type chrome://extensions into the address bar and scroll down until you see the listing for Office Online.
    NOTE: You can tie this to your Office 365 account, or if you don’t already have a Office Online/OneDrive account you can create one for free.
  3. If you want to upload documents to OneDrive from your hard drive using drag-and-drop, click the box that says “Allow access to file URLs.”

chromesettingsofficeonline

With this set up, dragging & dropping files into your Chrome browser will automatically upload them to Office Online for easy sharing & collaboration.

Also, when you run across Office document formats on a web page, such as Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, they will automatically open in Office Online instead of requiring you to download them, open the right Office app and then viewing them. PDF files will continue to open in Chrome’s native viewer.

Get a Jump on Your Presentation by Importing Your Outline

Crafting a great presentation means mapping it out before you start building any slides. There are lots of ways to organize your thoughts and one of the more common methods is by creating an outline.

An outline is a great way to logically structure your message. Trying to build slides on the fly without this first step is usually not a good idea.

PPT-outline

Once you’ve got your outline in order, you can get a jump on creating your deck by simply importing the outline you already have. It’s easy to your text outline.

  1. Start a new presentation
  2. On the Insert tab, choose New Slide » Slides from Outline…

    Insert-Slides-Outline

  3. Locate and select your outline file. This can be a .txt, .rtf, or Word .doc or .docx file.
  4. Your outline will come into PowerPoint and look something like this:

ImportedOutline.png

And with a good structure in place, now you’re ready to build a presentation deck that will dazzle your audience!

Add the Power of Video to Your Presentations

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a video worth? Sometimes you just need a video to bring things to life and get your point across. Fortunately adding videos to your PowerPoint presentations is a piece of cake.

Adding a Video File

If you already have a copy of the video file you want to use just head over to the Insert tab to find the Video drop-down arrow and click Video on My PC. Find the video file you want to use and click Insert to add it to your slide.

Embedding Online Video

Often, it might be easier to tap into a video already available online and embed a video from Youtube or other sites like Vimeo.  An embedded video still “lives” on the website it comes from so it can be a good way to keep the file size of your presentation down — just remember you’ll need an Internet connection to play it.

For online video, the steps are the same except you’ll choose Online Video…

Getting the Embed Code From YouTube Options

To get the embed code from YouTube, click the Share option below the video, then click the Embed tab. Don’t forget to set your preferences like video size, etc (3) and the copy the embed code (4).

EmbedYouTube

Here is what it looks like in action:

If you’re interested in learning more about working with videos in PowerPoint, check out this info from GFC Learn Free.

Do You Know What’s Hiding in Your Documents?

Most people who share electronic versions of their Microsoft Office documents don’t realize that there is often much more in those files than they think. There is a whole host of metadata that can be embedded in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files beyond just the words, numbers and images you normally see.  What kinds of things?

Office files can have hidden data and personal information such as:

  • Comments, revision marks from tracked changes, versions, and ink annotations
    This information can enable other people to see the names of people who worked on your document, comments from reviewers, and changes that were made to your document.
  • Document properties and personal information
    Document properties often include details about your document like author, subject, and title. Document properties also include information that is automatically maintained by Office programs, such as the name of the person who most recently saved a document and the date when a document was created. If you used specific features, your document might also contain additional kinds of personally identifiable information (PII), such as e-mail headers, send-for-review information, routing slips, and template names.
  • Hidden text Word documents can contain text that is formatted as hidden text.

So know that you know what might be in your documents, you’re probably wondering how you can get rid of it all. That’s where the Document Inspector comes in.

Document Inspector

If you plan to share an electronic copy of a Microsoft Office document with clients or colleagues, it is a good idea to review the document for hidden data or personal information that might be stored in the document itself which can reveal details about your organization or about the document itself that you might not want to share publicly.

Office-Metadata

How to clean hidden information from your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files

  1. Open the document that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information.
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original document.

    IMPORTANT   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original document, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  3. In the copy of your original document, click the File tab, and then click Info.
  4. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document.
  5. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected.
  6. Click Inspect.
  7. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  8. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.

For more details check out this support article from Microsoft.