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In PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author David Rivers demonstrates how to create effective slideshows and dynamic presentations using the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011. The course provides in-depth instructions for changing the look of presentations: using built-in and custom themes, formatting text, inserting tables and charts, adding pictures and SmartArt drawings, and adding animation. It also shows how to proof presentations and ready them for viewing, and gives details on the different ways to share presentations. Exercise files are included with the course.
Once you've created the slides in your presentation - maybe you've got all of the content on those slides - the slides are in the right order for now, you might be thinking about adding some visual interest to your presentation. You want to be able to capture the interest of your audience, keep them focused on your presentation, and not bored with what they're seeing up on the big screen. Well that could include putting imagery in the background, adding color schemes, different fonts, and so on. You could do that yourself. It would be very time-consuming, and you run the risk of possibly using the wrong color combinations and maybe fonts that don't go with one another.
So a very handy option here in PowerPoint 2011 is to use the built-in themes. They are there for you; you simply select them and make minor adjustments. We're going to do that now using our New Hire presentation, and we're going to use the Ribbon because there is a tab labeled Themes. When you click Themes, you're going to see options, all related to working with themes in a presentation. Now, currently the presentation we're working with is very plain. There is no background, very standard fonts, no imagery, and the first thing we are going to work with is the slide size.
You have to think about your presentation. Is it going to be on a widescreen, for example? Well in that case, you probably want to change the slide size. So let's go to Page Setup and click the button. And you do have a few options here. You've got our standard (4:3) layout that we're working with now, then there is widescreen, which is 16:9, and there is another widescreen option as well, 16:10, which is very common with computer monitors. And if you want to be very technical about it, you can go to Page Setup option. This will open up the window where you can adjust many different features.
Let's go to widescreen though, 16:9. Let's say we're going to be using a native 16:9 projector, and we want to use the entire screen, and not just use a portion of it, so we'll set up our slides to coincide with that ratio. So now you can see all of our thumbnails here, and currently selected slide displayed in widescreen, but there is still no pizzazz. It's time to add that by selecting a theme. And you're going to see a row with samples on those little thumbnails. Now if you want to click one, like Angles for example, you'll see it applied to your slides.
You can see what that would look like. Go to another one and you'll see what it'd look like with that particular theme, and these themes are using the default color combinations, fonts, and backgrounds. Now there are more, so you could click this little arrow at the bottom-center to display a huge list of themes to choose from. This is great. All you have to do is find one that relates to your presentation, maybe your company colors, for example. So we're going to go down to one like Revolution here. This is kind of cool looking. It's very blue, but you can see it's got a nice feel to it.
It's going to keep the interest of our audience. And of course there are other things we can do with themes, like change up the colors: maybe our company colors are not blues, but rather greens. You'll notice as we move across the Ribbon to the right here we've got a Colors button, and because of the arrow, we know it's going to show us some options. So we might want to go to one that suits our company colors. In this case, the Two Trees Olive Oil company deals with a lot of green, s o you can scroll down through the list until we find something appropriate.
And of course we can try these out as well. Simply scroll down to one that looks like it might work, maybe Solstice, for example, and you realize that's not really good at all. Go back to the Colors button and select a different color. Austin looks pretty good for the Olive Oil company. And as we scroll down our thumbnails in the Navigation pane, you can see the same background. The same color scheme has been applied to all of our slides for us. And that's the beauty of using themes.
You might not be too keen on the fonts. Well, you can choose different font schemes as well. Click the Fonts button: you'll see a whole list of font schemes that can be selected from. Find one that you like and select it, and it will affect all of the slides in your presentation. And of course you can experiment with these by simply reopening that dropdown and selecting something different. I kind of like that one right there. Same thing goes for the background. When you click the background you can see we've got these different backgrounds to choose from, different gradients. And you can see the colors that we might want to use are here like Style 6, for example, when we select it.
This is the background. This is behind the actual imagery that we see here, and it might be a little bit too off, that green. So let's go back to Background and maybe choose the top, which is without a gradient. I like that one, and you just see it around the edge of our slides, in the background behind our images. The images are also part of the theme. So once you've got this and you've made some adjustments, you can even save the theme if you wanted to; that's something we're going to talk about next.
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