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In PowerPoint 2010 Essential Training, author David Diskin demonstrates how to engage an audience with images, video, sound, charts, and diagrams in professional presentations. The course also covers a variety of methods to share presentations with others, and provides comprehensive tutorials on how to design presentations that successfully deliver a quality message. Exercise files accompany the course.
You can probably guess that a slide background is what appears behind everything else. Each individual slide can have a slide background, but we can also set a background to a layout and a Slide Master. We're going to make our Slide Master a little more interesting with a different background. Remember that this will affect most, if not all, of the layouts in this Slide Master. If you're not already in the Slide Master View, from the Ribbon, click on View and then choose Slide Master.
Make sure you click on the very first Slide Master, at the very top of the scrollbar. From the Slide Master tab in the Ribbon, let's pull down the Background Styles menu. This gallery shows us a dozen of choices, all based on different colors from our current color set. Not bad, but I want something a little bit more interesting. So I'm going to click on Format Background. There're quite a few options in this dialog box, but in this course, we'll keep it simple. I'm going to select Picture or texture fill and then Insert from File.
Now I just need to find the photo that I want to use. I'm going to choose Background number 2. It's not a busy photo, and I think it'd make a great background for our Slide Master. Immediately, you'll see how this looks. At first glance, I admit it's a bit of a disaster. I can't read any of my content. But don't worry. Back on my Format Background dialog box, I'm going to click on Picture Color. Under Recolor, and you may remember this from the previous video, I see a gallery of options that change the coloring of the image that I currently have, in this case the background.
I can apply any of these, but the one that's going to look the best is this one here, called Washout. Once that's applied, I click on Close, and there's our new background. Notice how this change affected most, but not all, of the layouts inside the Slide Master. Notice how it did not affect the second or third Slide Master. You don't have to apply a background or do anything fancy.
The built-in themes that we saw earlier do a wonderful job of making our slides look great. But if you want to add another touch of uniqueness or branding, this is a great way to do it. You can also try this with a watermarked version of your company logo. Just make sure that, without a doubt, you can still easily read your text, and remember that projectors don't have the fidelity that our computer monitors do. If it's mediocre on your screen, it's going to be awful from the projector. Now that we've made our change, let's hit Close Master View and see how this has affected our slides.
Here we are back in Slide number 5, and you can see the background has appeared behind it and every other slide in our presentation - well, almost every slide. Remember that not every single layout is using that background. And you remember removing a background from a photo earlier? Let's go back and take a look and see how that turned up. There it is. Now that we've learned how to change the slide background, let's learn a little bit more about using Slide Masters.
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Create a Video – This feature converts your presentation into a .WMV file (video) which you can then upload to your own website, YouTube, Facebook, or just about anywhere else. If you upload it to a site like YouTube which permits embedding, you can then copy-and-paste the embed code directly into your own website. It will play when users click the Play button, much like you’ve probably seen on blogs and other websites. This feature includes your voice narration, slide advance timings, and video that you may have included.
Save to Web – This feature uploads your presentation to SkyDrive, a free file-hosting service by Microsoft that you can use for collaboration. You’ll need a Windows Live account first, but once you log in you can create folders and upload files directly from within PowerPoint 2010. Once uploaded, you can provide a public link to the presentation file which can then be added to your website. The presentation will open in visitors’ browsers with forward and back buttons, and they do not need a Windows Live account to view it.
Create PDF/XPS Document – By saving your presentation as a PDF, you can upload the PDF to your website and link to it. Most users will be able to load and watch the PDF presentation, and can advance slides manually. Note that this feature does not permit video, sound, animation, or transitions.
PowerPoint Viewer - A fourth option is to save your presentation as a Show (you’ll find this under the “Save As” menu) which creates a PPSX file. PowerPoint Shows are just like regular presentation files, except PowerPoint opens up in presentation mode to the first slide, and when finished it closes completely. The PPSX file can be uploaded to your website, and linked to. Users with PowerPoint 2007 or later will be able to open the presentation and watch it. For users without PowerPoint 2007 or later, you can provide a second link to the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer which they can then install on any Windows machine and watch your presentation.
The first three options discussed above can be started by choosing “Save and Send” from Backstage View (the File menu). Then choose the appropriate option based on your preference.
Note that if your organization has a SharePoint server, and your audience is limited to those with access to SharePoint, you may choose to “Save to SharePoint” instead for an easy, feature-rich solution.
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