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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.
Left, Center, Right, or Justified, the age-old question of alignment. PowerPoint makes switching alignment a snap with the four icons found in the Home tab of the Ribbon. Let's experiment with slide number 2. We'll select the text boundary for the title of the slide Introductions. With it selected, we can change the alignment currently on the left. Here I'll click on Center, or Right, or back to Left. But let's also look at slight number 3. Our Endorsement slide gives us an interesting opportunity to control the alignment.
This paragraph here may look better as Justified. Justified means that all of the words are spaced out to fully reach both left and right margins. It's how newspaper columns are almost always printed. Right now, this paragraph is set to Left. Let's change it to Center, Right, and now let's try Justified. Notice how text expands to the Left and Right margins. The restaurant owner's name and title might look better here aligned to the right.
I'll select both lines this time and come up and click on the Right-Align button. Did you know that alignment isn't just left to right? It's also top to bottom. In PowerPoint, we can align text to the top, middle, or bottom of the text box, too. Still in slide number three, let's right- click on our text box and choose Format Shape. As you can see, there are a lot of options here in the Format Shape dialog box. But let's focus on alignment for the time being. I'll click on Text Box on the left, and here I can change the Vertical alignment from Top to Middle, or Bottom.
Let's change it back to Middle and then hit Close. Alignment may seem pretty trivial, but it's an important step in making sure that our slides are easy to read. Also, keep in mind that the human brain prefers text to be left-aligned. It reads things easier that way, and too much text that's centered can be difficult to read. That doesn't mean you can't use Center, just use it sparingly and always be consistent.
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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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