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- View Offline
- Adding whitespace
- Applying transitions
- Using photographs, colors, and fonts
- Incorporating diagrams and SmartArt
- Customizing layouts and templates
- Animating bullets, photos, and other objects
- Inserting music and audio
- Utilizing speaker's notes and the Presenter view
- Creating handouts
- Planning the program
- Dealing with distractions
- Setting up and tearing down
Skill Level Intermediate
Let's conclude Chapter 7 with some keyboard and mouse tricks that will save you time and frustration. I am sure you know about Copy and Paste, but we can use our mouse to create clones of a selection in much the same way. Let's say I want to create another star. I will select one, and rather than using Ctrl+C and V, I will drag it while holding the Ctrl key. When I let go, this creates a clone of the original. If I want to create a number of similar shapes, like lines and rectangles, I can lock on what's called Drawing mode.
Here is the Shape icon for a rounded rectangle. I will right-click on the Shape icon and choose Lock Drawing mode. Now as I click and drag and let go, I will create multiple rectangles. This feature will stay on until I press Esc. By the way, if you want to create an object with a perfect height and width ratio like the circle, hold down Shift before you let go the mouse button. That will confine the height and width to a perfect ratio.
Remember that you can select multiple objects and then do something at the same time with all of them. I am going to put my mouse here in the lower right corner and drag a selection box, let go of the mouse, and hit Delete. Only those objects that were completely surrounded will be affected. If you want to draw lines between existing shapes, activate the appropriate connector and hover over your first shape to connect. We will use this one here.
When I hover over the star, I can see red squares at each of the points, or here or here. I'll hover over the red square here, click and drag, and make sure to make a connection to the red square here. You must be precise, but when you let go, you will actually have created the two shapes. The advantage here is that if I move one of the shapes, the connecting line moves with it. On some occasions, you can right-click on the connector and reroute the way it works.
You can also change the Connector Type, Straight, Elbow or Curved. Don't forget when you create a line to give it a little bit of weight. I will select it, go to Drawing tools, go to Outline and choose Weight. Speaking of lines, how about keeping things straight? When I make my clone to my star and drag down, I have a little bit of leeway, but if I hold Shift as well, PowerPoint confines the mouse to a perfectly straight line, either vertically or horizontally.
The same works if you just want to move an object left or right. I will select the Rounded Rectangle and if I move left, it's going to be a little bit jumpy, but if hold Shift, it's going to move in a perfectly straight line. You may have noticed that when dragging, PowerPoint snaps your object to an invisible grid, making small little jumps as you try and move it.
Sometimes you want something precisely located and the jumping can cause problems. If you drag with the Alt key pressed, PowerPoint ignores the grid and any snap-to features. Here with the Alt button pressed, and here if I let go. Also remember that your Arrow Keys can move an object in small increments: up down, left, and right.
Holding Ctrl with your Arrow keys will move them in tiny little increments called Nudging. You can resize a selected object by holding down the Shift key and then using your Arrow Keys, Shift+Up and Down, Right and Left. You can also Rotate a selected object by holding down Alt and hitting your Left and Right Arrow keys.
To zoom in or out of nearly any object on your screen, select that object and hold Ctrl while spinning your mouse wheel up or down. That also works if you select a thumbnail from the Slide List on the left or if you have your cursor inside the speaker notes.
After zooming in or out, you can click here to resize your display. Recall that F5 launches the presentation from the first slide, but Shift+F5 launches from the current slide that you are viewing. It's the equivalent of clicking this icon. Also, clicking here displays your slides in Normal view, but Shift+Clicking here brings you to the Slide Master. Learning these shortcuts can not only save you time, but also help to make your slides look better.
Practicing them often will help you learn them until it become second nature.