Resource/Misc Tutorial

PowerPoint’s “What’s New” Dialog

The Office 365 version of Office Apps, including PowerPoint, is on a continuous update cycle. Often, it is difficult to know what is new. Well, there is a newer dialog option within all office apps to give you a summary of “What’s New.”

To see what the new features are in PPT, simply go to the file tab, scroll down to account, and click on the What’s New Dialog below the “Office Updates” box.

Once clicked, a window will pop up either asking the user to update PPT or simply show what new features have been added.


What's New Dialog 1


What's New Dialog 2

Click the LEARN MORE link to open a web browser and get the full details and history of all feature updates.

What's New Dialog 3


-Troy @ TLC


PowerPuff Fun! A PowerPoint Template

Yes, even cartoons need a reboot to make them work with the next generation of kids. The TLC Creative design team had a ton of fun developing a series of marketing presentation template concepts (the client selected shown here). Just another day in the design studio!


For the TLC Design Team, slide design must maximize usable content area, PowerPoint preset options, and lots of creativity. Creativity such as how to use the provided art elements and creating layouts, color schemes and animation to present dynamic and engaging presentations vs. presentations that have a nice background but are otherwise boring.

Note: This project was developed for a specific client, using licensed art, so we are sorry, but it is not available for download.

-Troy @ TLC


Vector Editing Inside PowerPoint for Text Boxes

In the previous portfolio sample of a recent PowerPoint template for HCV Treatment Research, the Section Divider layout had some customized formatting.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 1

One of the TLC Creative Design Team objectives is to do as much formatting within PowerPoint to preserve future editing options (vs. doing all design in external programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and importing  a series of uneditable images). The Section Divider in this template is a great example of our process of future proofing templates.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 2

  1. Photoshop developed background image
  2. PowerPoint color block
  3. PowerPoint shapes, with custom semi-transparent gradient fill, thick outline, and drop shadow effect
  4. Duplicate of #3, resized
  5. PowerPoint text box with semi-transparent fill, text formatting preset
  6. PowerPoint text box with semi-transparent fill, text formatting preset

The Hexagon accent title boxes actually have a lot of customized PowerPoint formatting in putting them together.

  • Add 2 PowerPoint text boxes, with semi-transparent fills and text formatting options preset (including a custom left margin to move text away from left edge).

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 3 width=

  • Add PowerPoint hexagon shapes with semi-transparent gradient fill, thick outline, shadowing and other styling applied. The position and size was determined by the text boxes. Each was sized to have the outline within the text box shape.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 4

  • The dilemma is, even with the text boxes sent to back, the semi-transparent gradient fills of the hexagons show the text box edge.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 5

  • Using PowerPoint’s Vector Shape Editing capabilities, we can customize the text boxes further in order to meet the visual needs of the template. Step 1 is selecting a text box and EDIT the vector POINTS.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 6

  • The text boxes are simple rectangles with 4 points, these two are the ones we are customizing.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 7

  • Right-click the red shape outline and ADD 2 additional vector points to the vertical left of the rectangle (location is arbitrary).

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 8

  • The thick (4.5 pt) shape outline was a nice styling accent, but it also makes this vector customization much easier by providing lots of area to “hide” the text box shape under. We moved the 2 new vector anchor point to sit in the middle of the hexagon outline and making the text box shape, when sent to back under the hexagon, hidden from view.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 9

  • Temporarily removing the hexagon shapes, here are the customized text box shapes with their new left edge.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 10

  • The end results, Title and Subtitle custom text boxes for the Section Divider layout, are all developed within PowerPoint and maintains template color scheme colors and editability.

Vector Editing inside PowerPoint 11

-Troy @ TLC

Portfolio Templates/Assets

PowerPoint Template for HCV Research

Presentations that focus on in depth medical studies and analysis and are presented to a peer of like minded doctors can also be visually dynamic and professional! The TLC Creative Services Design Team develop a large number of custom templates (and does an even larger number of presentation makeovers) for medical/pharma/device industries every week. This is the PowerPoint template for HCV (Hepatitis C) research that was used recently.

PowerPoint Template for HCV Research

We identified a color scheme, an accent graphic (hexagons), the overall message (difficult, with positive and negatives), patient population demographics and other factors that influence the visual message the template should convey. After a round of concepts, the selected visual was developed into a full featured PowerPoint template with every preset customized to assist the multiple presenters in creating presentations easily and to coordinate with all other presentations.

-Troy @ TLC


The Presentation Podcast Episode #14 Released Today!

A new episode from The Presentation Podcast with Troy, Nolan, and Sandy is available today! Check out their latest discussion on “What’s on the Bookshelf?” and add to your favorite Podcasts on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, SoundCloud and more at The Presentation Podcast.




Panoramic Photos for Presentations

FotoSolution is a digital photo specialty group based in Hanoi, Vietnam. They sent TLC info and a link to one of their site pages with 20 FREE beautiful panoramic photos. These images would be great to use in a number of presentations. 


The panoramic images on FotoSolution are not just wide angle lens images, but lots of overlapping photos stitched together into a single, perfectly in perspective image.


I downloaded a few of the panorama images and, unfortunately, the overall size was not super large – I was hoping to use Morph to create some great movement animation effects using one. But as an image on a slide, the size was good.

Check out the panorama images here.

-Troy @ TLC



Ellen Finkelstein Presents the 2016 Outstanding Presentations Workshop


Learn from some great presentation experts with this year’s Outstanding Presentations Workshop series. This is the 7th year for the workshops and this year, the series of webinars start this Thursday (9/15). This year, the entire series costs $17 (that’s total, for all 4 workshops!). Registered attendees have access to the recordings to view later (which is great for me because I cannot attend 2 of the workshops during their live presentations as I am on showsite).

Click here to get more details and registration information.

-Troy @ TLC


PowerPoint Tutorial

PowerPoint Layer Order Explained

How do you describe what is on top or bottom for slide content?


Let’s look at a simple explanation of 2D design. With presentation design, this is very easy to visualize by looking at a chart. A standard bar chart has two axes: left-right (X) and up-down (Y).


To expand on things, here is a simple explanation of 3D design. In 3D design, there are 3 axes; left-right (X), up-down (Y) and front-back (Z).


Similarly, PowerPoint slides can have 3 axes for content. Slide content is 2D, which is left-right and up-down. But, it can also be layered on top of each other, which is the Z-axis. So, content that is layered on top of each other is referred to as the “Z Order.” Here is an exploded view of a slide. The Z-order has the text on top, so no other slide content is going to block it – but the text may overlap other content.

Z-Order 02

Z-order is adjusted with PowerPoint’s ARRANGE > ORDER OBJECTS tools. These are the “bring to front” and “send to back” buttons. The SELECTION PANE shows all slide objects in their Z-order with items at the top of the list on top and items lower on the list having the other items on top of them.

Note: PowerPoint cannot have objects on the same layer, so as soon as there is 1 object on a slide, something is always layered on top.

Z-Order 4

-Troy @ TLC


The Presentation Podcast Episode #13 Released Today!

A new episode from The Presentation Podcast with Troy, Nolan, and Sandy is available today! Check out their latest discussion on “Where Do You Get Your Images for Presentations?” and add to your favorite Podcasts on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, SoundCloud and more at The Presentation Podcast.



Presentation Guild – Microsoft Webinar Demonstrating Zoom


On August 16, 2016, the Presentation Guild put on this open-to-public webcast with a Microsoft PowerPoint Program Manager demonstrating the app’s newest tool, Zoom. The replay video is now available and the Presentation Guild has posted it on YouTube. Enjoy!

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If you are in the presentation field, I definitely encourage you to look into the Presentation Guild’s association and benefits.

-Troy @ TLC