PowerPoint Resource/Misc

Duarte Releases SlideDocs ‘Book’

If you have used PowerPoint to create a print document that was never intended to be projected as a slide show, fear not, you are not alone. TLC Creative Services has been creating lots of projects over the past few years that we internally refer to as “PowerPoint Documents.” Nancy Duarte has release a new “book” all about using PowerPoint for non-slide show documents called “SlideDocs.”

The downloaded book is a giant example of how PowerPoint is used for document design, because it is a PowerPoint file.

The core message of SlideDocs, which I agree with, is there are a range of documents. On the left are formal print design documents. On the right are slide show presentations. In the middle are print documents that are designed in PowerPoint.

I recommend everyone, especially clients, read SlideDocs if nothing else for the overview of graphic design and layout principles in the middle section. Get more info and download the free SlideDocs book and templates here.

– Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Tutorial

Using Multiple Masters To Organize

Multiple masters are usually used in relation to different templates in a single file. At TLC, we use multiple master slides for design organization as much as different templates.

This is from a recent project that was all one template, but with 4 distinct color options. The client requested a simple structure, specifically not 4 duplicate sets of master slides. So we organized the Master Slides into 3 categories:
Top row = section divider slides in each color
Middle row = all of the content slide layouts in each color
Bottom row = title slides in each color

Just another way of providing solutions for clients using the features of PowerPoint’s master slides.

– Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Tutorial

Creating Quote Mark Graphics in PowerPoint 2013

PowerPoint 2010 introduced the very great “Merge Shape” tools (see this post for details). With this toolset, editable vector shapes can be can be created directly in PowerPoint – something I refer to as “Illustrator 2.0.” With PowerPoint 2013, it includes the ability to convert text to vector, which is what we will use to create the stylized quote mark graphics for a complete PowerPoint workflow.

quote mark graphics 1

1. Add text in PowerPoint.

quote mark graphics 2

2. Add PPT shape, and send to back behind text.

quote mark graphics 3

3. Select text and shape. On FORMAT ribbon >> MERGE SHAPES >> INTERSECT

quote mark graphics 4

4. The text is no longer editable, as it is now shapes. Right click and select EDIT POINTS just like any shape in PPT.

quote mark graphics 5
quote mark graphics 6
quote mark graphics 7

5. Stylize with no fill, light grey outline, drop shadow effect described in this post.

– Troy @ TLC

Personal Tutorial

Creating Quote Mark Graphics in Adobe Illustrator for PowerPoint

The previous post showed our visually stylized quote marks on slides with color backgrounds. For us, the process for creating the quote mark graphics is with Adobe Illustrator.

1. First, find a great font for the quote marks. Designer Amber selected Spirax Regular, which you can download here.

2. Select the text and create outlines, which converts from editable text to vector images.

3. The spacing for the quotes was a bit to far apart. Now that they are graphic elements they are easy to select and move a bit closer together.

4. Now we want to export the graphics from Adobe Illustrator in a PowerPoint friendly vector format. Go to FILE >> EXPORT


Now with the quote graphics on our computer, we are ready to add them to any slide. See the previous post (here) for details on how to format the graphics in Powerpoint.

– Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Templates/Assets Tutorial

Dynamic Quotes with Background Fill!

Here is one of our favorite visual tricks at TLC Creative Services for making slides with a key quote stand out. Background fill!

I am doing this as a 3-post series: this one shows the end result (see above) and PowerPoint formatting, the next post will detail our development process in Adobe Illustrator, and the third will show a PowerPoint only development process for the graphics. Thanks to Amber, a TLC staff designer, for creating the sample images for this series.

Using the quote mark .emf graphics, they are not very impressive without some styling applied and a special option for their fill color. Insert the .emf graphic (download here).
1. Right click on a quote mark and select FORMAT SHAPE.


3. The Quote marks will disappear on the slide because they are set to be the same background color as the slide.

4. Add a shadow effect, bevel, outline, glow or other styling effects to your quote marks. For ours, we have added a subtle drop shadow.

5. Still not super dynamic, but the quote marks are looking more styled.

6. But when placed on a colorful image background – dynamic! Move the quote mark graphics to any part of the slide and their fill updates.

Note: The slide background needs to be set with the Background Fill, not an image on the slide for this effect to work.

– Troy @ TLC


New York Show #3

Well, I did not get a photo of Jennifer’s New York show, which was going to be post #2. I was the 3rd and final New York show this month, with the smallest meeting of the 3. I also enjoyed a cold, but snow free city!

Note: Traveled light and made use of a Microsoft Surface Pro as the backup computer.
Also, thanks Nolan for the great restaurant pick and time to catch up on my only free evening in the city!

– Troy @ TLC


Force Office 2013 CTR to Update

If you have the CTR (Click-to-Run) Office 2013 install, it is supposed to automatically update when you are online. Last week, 3 days after the SP1 release Office had still not updated. I forced Office to check for updates and SP1 was installed.

Go to FILE >> ACCOUNT >> right pane.

Click the UPDATE OPTIONS drop down menu.

Select DISABLE UPDATES and yes to the warning dialog that will pop up.

Then click the UPDATE OPTIONS drop down menu again and select ENABLE UPDATES.

This forces Office to go online and check for new updates.

After clicking Enable within 2 seconds I had an update notice and SP1 was installed!

– Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Resource/Misc Tutorial

Office 2013 SP1 Released

Last Wednesday, Microsoft released the first Service Pack (SP) for Office 2013. The list of updates to PowerPoint is fairly short and deals only with stability issues – no new features or refinement of current features. If you want the details, here is the Microsoft KB article on Office 2013 SP1.

The world of MS Office is now split into two types of installs: MSO (installed from an actual installer app) and CTR (click-to-run which is a cloud based install). How you get SP1 depends on what type of install you have.

Unfortunately, there are not labels on the About Screens that tell if an install is MSO or CTR. Here is one way of identifying the install type:
Go to FILE >> ACCOUNT >> look at the info in right pane.

If there is only 1 box “About PowerPoint” – it is an MSO install.

If there are 2 boxes “About PowerPoint” and “Office Updates” – it is a CTR install.

If you have MSO (traditional installer), the update should be available through Windows Update. Or, you can go direct to Microsoft and download the SP1 installer.
32-bit Office =
64-bit Office =

If you have CTR, SP1 will automatically install when you are online.

– Troy @ TLC