PowerPoint Tutorial

Section Zoom Photo Collage

One last Zoom demo to wrap up the month of August. Many thanks to Wanda, on the TLC design team, for taking my idea and turning it into a great presentation. Section Zoom 02

The concept is to create a Section Zoom, then stylize the each thumbnail into a photo collage layout.

Section Zoom 04

Here is the slide deck with sections for each photo gallery. It would be very easy to add photos to sections over time, or by multiple people.

Section Zoom 01

The presentation becomes an interactive digital photo album, and the same concept can easily be applied to touch enabled digital signage! Of course, when you see the layered thumbnail layout in action, it is (painfully) obvious there are some modifications needed to Zoom to make this great option actually usable…

-Troy @ TLC


PowerPoint Tutorial

Inception Effect with Zoom

Impractical – yes. A cool thing you can do in PowerPoint – yes!

Using the Zoom tool, you can create a slide that zooms into itself endlessly – an Inception effect. Here is my single slide presentation. First, I use the Zoom > Insert > Slide Zoom, and then I use the Drag-and-Drop way to make a slide a linked Zoom image (the music is what I hear when I think of an endless Inception loop).

-Troy @ TLC

Portfolio Tutorial

Zoom Thumbnail Formatting Tips & Tricks

Microsoft released Zoom with a lot of great formatting options and features for linked thumbnails. Here is a list of several tips & tricks we learned working with the Zoom thumbnails.

When creating a Slide Zoom (link to a specific slide, not a section), you can drag and drop a slide from the left navigation pane onto any slide!

Zoom thumbnail 01

Thumbnails have dynamic live content. For example:

  1. Create a Summary Zoom
  2. Update one of the link slides (in this case, add a giant pink circle)
  3. Navigation slide thumbnail is instantly updated with the new slide content (amazing!)

Zoom thumbnail 02


Any Zoom thumbnail can use a different image. Much like a video Poster Frame image, a Zoom thumbnail can be set to any external image.

  1. Select a thumbnail
  2. Either right-click thumbnail and select CHANGE IMAGE > CHANGE IMAGE or go to FORMAT > ZOOM OPTIONS > CHANGE IMAGE > CHANGE IMAGE
  3. In the pop up dialog, select any external image and OK to change thumbnail image

Zoom thumbnail 03


If the custom image is not wanted, it is easy to return the thumbnail to using the slide image. Just right click Zoom thumbnail and select CHANGE IMAGE > RESET IMAGE or go to FORMAT > ZOOM OPTIONS > CHANGE IMAGE > RESET IMAGE.

Zoom thumbnail 04

Also, any image styling options, such as drop shadows, outline, bevel, rotate, 3D perspective, etc., can be applied to a thumbnail. Note: 3D perspective is an example of a formatting option that can be applied, but does not always provide a nice transition effect.

Zoom thumbnail 05

Remove Background of thumbnails. This is a great design feature! Using the FORMAT > ZOOM OPTIONS section > ZOOM BACKGROUND and only the content on the slide will remain a part of the thumbnail. All slide master content (background image, logos, etc.) are removed from the thumbnail.

As example, here I have added a .png image of flower pots on the slide (and the flower background is set as the background image).



Next I added a SUMMARY ZOOM, which adds a new navigation slide with thumbnail navigation images of each slide selected.


Selecting the right thumbnail and going to FORMAT > ZOOM OPTIONS section > ZOOM BACKGROUND to do an image ‘remove background’ effect.


All content that is on the master layout and/or set background image are removed from the thumbnail and what is left on the navigation slide is a .png with transparent background that has only the content actually on the slide (this is great!!).


 There are a lot of styling options and “hidden” features. Enjoy finding creative ways to develop non-linear presentations using Zoom!

-Troy @ TLC





Create A Summary Zoom

The Summary Zoom feature automates a few things:

  • Adds PowerPoint Sections automatically
  • Adds a Summary, or Navigation, slide automatically
  • Automatically adds slide thumbnail images of slides that are navigation links

Here is how the PowerPoint’s help dialog explains Summary Zoom:

Summary Zoom 01

To create a Summary Zoom, go to INSERT > ZOOM > SUMMARY ZOOM

Summary Zoom 02

From the pop up Summary Zoom dialog, click each slide that you would like to start a new section and be added to the Summary Zoom slide.

Summary Zoom 03

A new “Summary” slide is added to the presentation. The Summary slide has a grouped set of images that are thumbnails of selected slides and have all programming added to make them presentation navigation elements. In addition, each slide that was selected in the Summary Zoom dialog is the start of a new section.

Summary Zoom 04

The thumbnail group has some good, and maybe not-so-good, points.

  • Each thumbnail image is exactly what is on the slide it links to.
  • If you update the slide content, the thumbnail automatically updates (dynamic live content)!
  • The thumbnail image shows exactly what is seen on the slide, animated content cannot be taken into account. So if the slide starts blank and then content animates on, the thumbnail will show the animated content. Basically, whatever would print is what will be visible on the thumbnail.
  • The images cannot be ungrouped.
  • The bounding box for the group is much larger than the thumbnail images.
  • Images can be moved, resized, and to a limited degree, stylized, (eg. drop shadow, bevel, reflection, and rotate all work). But Z-order (front to back) cannot be changed. Rearranging and resizing can be tedious within this locked group element.
  • When selected, in edit view, each thumbnail displays a link icon showing it has an active link and where it links to! The arrow (that appears to be indicating backwards or return) means the thumbnail has a link to go somewhere. The numbers show Section number and how many slides are in that section.

Summary Zoom 05

Sumamry Zoo,06 

  • In addition, the link icon visually shows when a thumbnail does not have an active link by removing the thumbnail image and displaying a broken link icon.

Summary Zoom 07

The Summary Zoom is a great new feature. It also introduces some fantastic new tools to PowerPoint (like icon links and dynamic live content updating) that I hope to see expanded into other areas of PowerPoint. Many thanks to Wanda, a TLC staff designer, for developing and testing the demo slide deck used for Summary Zoom. Here is a demo video showing how quickly Summary Zoom and non-linear presenting options can be added to a presentation.

-Troy @ TLC


PowerPoint Zoom – Overview of Options

PowerPoint’s newest feature is Zoom. It is a combination of Custom Shows, in-presentation hyperlinks, the Morph transition, and some new features like dynamic live updating content. It is available to Office 365 subscription PowerPoint 2016. Seeing Zoom in use is definitely the easiest way to explain Zoom, but today I want to go over the technical stuff. Check back all week as I have video demos showing how this new tool can be used.


To get to Zoom, go to INSERT tab > LINKS section > ZOOM drop down.


There are 3 options:

CREATE SUMMARY: Automatically adds sections to a presentation if they are not present and adds a new navigation slide with links to each section, and links default to go-to-location.

SECTION ZOOM: Only previously created sections are available and links are added to the slide currently being edited, and links default to Show-and-Return.

SLIDE ZOOM: Adds links to any selected slides, and links default to go-to-location.


Once a Zoom is added to a presentation, the ZOOM FORMAT tab is available.


    • Once a Zoom thumbnail is selected, the additional options become available under the Zoom Tab
    • Zoom Options: Settings include Change Image of thumbnail, Option to return to the Zoom slide (show-and-return), and the length/duration of the zoom transition
    • Stylize with borders or additional Zoom Styles and Effects become available from the drop down menu (basically any photo styling option is available to a Zoom thumbnail)
    • Option to remove the slide Zoom Background and fill with a different color or image from the Fill menu (this is a very cool new feature, look for a blog post on it coming up!)

Legacy PowerPoint

  • Yes, Zoom does work on non-Office 365 PowerPoint (eg. PowerPoint 2016 back to 2007)
  • Instead of the dynamic zoom effect, the destination slide transition is used

– Troy @ TLC



Blogs Infographic

Every now and then, I find something that is worth sharing. This infographic is not only well designed (lots of good ideas for iconography and layouts for presentations), but has lots of great information about coordinating and adding posts to a blog.


Check out this infographic at “70 Tips to Boost Your Blog” and be inspired.


Boost your blog

– Troy @ TLC


Hide the PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon is super helpful in being in the same place on all installs of PowerPoint. Sometimes, it uses valuable screen real estate. Luckily, it is easy to hide the Ribbon, just click the small upper arrow on the right.

PowerPoint Ribbon 1

When the Ribbon is turned off, PowerPoint frees up all that space just by displaying the menu bar (and on my install, the QAT that is below the menu bar).

PowerPoint Ribbon 2

Any time a menu item is clicked, the Ribbon temporarily displays.

To make the Ribbon stay visible, click any menu item, then click the small thumbtack icon on the right.

PowerPoint Ribbon 3

-Troy @ TLC


Zoom Demo Webinar Today

Today at 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST, The Presentation Guild is hosting a Free Webinar with a Microsoft Program Manager demonstrating a new PowerPoint Zoom tool – with Troy Chollar from TLC Creative Services as the moderator/host for this live demo. Hope you can join everyone!

Zoom Demo Webinar

Register and get details here.

Or, view the webinar recording here.

-Troy @ TLC


The Presentation Podcast Episode #12 Released Today!

A new episode from The Presentation Podcast with Troy, Nolan, and Sandy is available today! Listen to their discussion on “Agency Work” or add to your favorite podcasts at The Presentation Podcast.




PowerPoint Content vs. Picture Placeholders

Inserting an image using the preset Picture Placeholders seems like a super shortcut, until things get frustrating with why images do not insert the same way every time a Picture Placeholder is used. The reason, almost always, is knowing there are two types of Placeholders – and each handles images differently.

Here is an explanation and example using a Content Placeholder vs. Picture Placeholder – and as a side note, neither option works the way I feel it really should…


Inserting an image in the Content placeholder, identified by this icon, offers the option of inserting various elements: Tables, Charts, Smart Art, Video, and Images.

Insert Content icons

Inserting an image in the Content placeholder adjusts the layout to the size of the actual image. If you insert a small image, the placeholder shrinks to the small size image. If you insert a large image, the image will at maximum be the size of the slide and the placeholder will grow to that size. The downside is the preset position and size on the master layout is ignored and the slide content needs to be manually repositioned and sized.

Content placeholders



Inserting an image in the Picture placeholder adjusts image to fill the size of the layout. The downside here is the image is often cut off and needs to be repositioned and resized using the Crop tool.

Picture placeholders


While both Placeholder options are pro’s and con’s, at least now you have an idea of what PowerPoint is doing and what to expect.


-Troy @ TLC