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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.
Once we finish the majority of our data entry, we can worry about formatting the table. We generally want to save this for the end, because it's a bummer to format the table just right and then find that we have to add more cells only to make us format it again. For this table we're going to want to adjust the colors, cell alignment, and overall height of the table. Let's start with the colors. When I have my cursor anywhere inside the table, the Table tool, Design, and Layout tabs appear in the Ribbon. Design lets me change colors easily by pulling down the Table Styles gallery and looking through the options.
The colors that we have to choose from come from the color set that we applied when choosing a theme. On the left, under Table Style Options, I have a variety of settings I can control that affect the look of the table. Header Row makes my very first row look a little different. If I turn it off, you'll see how that looks now. We want this on because our top row indicates what each column is for. I can also turn on Total Row. This makes the very last row of my table stand out. In this case, that's not what we want.
We're going to leave it off. Banding is the process of alternating colors. I can turn banding off, or leave it on. I can also do this for columns. We'll use the default settings for this table. And finally, I can make my first and last columns stand out, just like I could earlier with my first and last rows. Let's go ahead and turn on First Column, so that the names of my products are in bold automatically. Still from Table tools > Design, I can customize the Shading, Borders, and Effects of my table as long as I have that table still selected.
If I pull down Shading, I can change the color altogether, change the Gradient fills, change the Borders that are used, or turn them off altogether, and add Effects such as Shadow, Bevel, and Reflection. Note that PowerPoint places a distinction on what you have selected. If my entire table is selected, then these options control the entire table; however, if I only have my cursor in a single cell or select two or three cells at the same time, only those cells will be modified.
Let's go ahead and fix the alignment of the pricing. I want my numbers to appear right-aligned in the cells. I'm going to select all of these cells, all three columns, and from the Layout tab, under Table tools in the Ribbon, I'll choose Align Text Right. Let me briefly show you some of the other options in this area. Here's Left, Center, and Right, as well as Top, Center, and Bottom. Note that I can change the direction of the cell and control the margins; for example, let me select the entire table, pull down Cell Margins, and instead of Normal, we'll go Wide.
Notice how my table is now spaced out, and each cell has a little bit more breathing room. Finally, let's fine-tune the height of the table. This slide will look a little better if the table fills up most of the available space towards the bottom. You can see that there's still a little bit of space that we can use. If I press Shift+F5, I'll see that I do have quite a bit of space that I can use, if I choose to. If I select my table and grab the bottom of the table here, where I can see a special handle, I'll drag down just a little bit.
The exact amount, I'm not quite sure, so I'm going to kind of eyeball and guess it. I'll press Shift+F5 again, so I can see this fullscreen, and it looks like I got it just right. Note that each row extended the same amount, since I selected the table boundary first. There you have it, a great looking table of prices in just a few minutes. There is a few more things to learn about tables, but you've got enough now to get started. So we'll save the rest for another course.
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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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