Portfolio Resource/Misc

Happy Halloween (A PowerPoint Animation)

Just a bit of Halloween fun in her spare time (thanks Christie!) with this animation creation!


Review of YouTools Add-In

At TLC Creative, our entire design team is working in PowerPoint every day. We live for finding ways to do things faster, and we have a great collection of PowerPoint Add-ins installed. New to us this year is the YouTools suite of PowerPoint add-ins from YouPresent – and we love it!

YouTools is the only PowerPoint add-in that we currently know of that is compatible with both 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office AND both Windows and Mac OSX compatible! As of today, there are over 30 tools available, but we have been amazed as that number went from 20 to 30 in just the past 4-5 months we have been using it! 

Because there are so many great tools in this add-in suite, we voted in the design studio and selected 4 of favorite tools to highlight here.

  1. Media Extractor
  2. Fill Slide
  3. Guides
  4. Text-to-Outline

Media Extractor Tool:
1. If you want to pull all media files from a presentation with a couple of clicks, this tool is the way to do it. On the ribbon go to PRESENTATION >> EXPORT >> EXPORT MEDIA FILES

2. A file explorer window will open asking where you want to save the files. Click EXPORT HERE and wait for the add-in to finish. A pop up will appear telling you when its done and if you want to open the folder

3. The presentation I extracted media from had 306 embedded media items. This includes pngs, jpgs and emfs, as well as audio and video files. I wanted to pull the embedded videos, and by sorting by type I can easily do so. YouTools also adds the slide number to the file name which is super helpful!

Fill Slide Tool:
1. Filling the slide with a shape or picture is now easier than ever. With your shape or image selected, click the FILL SLIDE on the YouTools ribbon

2. The slide will now have the shape sized to the slide perfectly

3. You can do the same for images. Select the image and hit FILL SLIDE (note: if the proportions of the image are different than the slide, you will need to manually adjust the crop of the image to fix any distortion)

1. The guides tools are amazing, and one of the most innovative parts of YouTools.

2. When you click on SETUP GUIDES, a new menu pops up.

  1. Change the units of measurement: inches, centimeters, and points
  2. Set how many COLUMNS and ROWS needed
  3. Set GUTTER size for each
  4. Even better, you can set slide MARGINS and the rows and columns will adjust. For example, set 1.5” margin at the top for the title area,.5” at the bottom for the footer area, and .25” on the left and right, the rows and columns will be perfectly set in the safe space of the presentation!
  5. You can apply the guidelines to ALL SLIDES in the presentation, the SLIDE LAYOUT (in the master so all slides using this same layout will have the guides), or the SLIDE MASTER (all slides will have the same guides). You can also delete guides this way too
  6. When preview is checked, you will see the guides adjust based on input measurements in real time

3. Here is what the guide set looks like from the measurements above:

4. Within the GUIDE TOOL, you can also change the color of the guides by clicking OPTIONS

5. Here are the default guide colors in PPT. Colors for SLIDES, LAYOUTS, and MASTER guide lines are shown in hexadecimal code

6. You can change to any other hex code. But if you change your mind, click RESTORE DEFAULT to go back the PPT default colors.

7. Another nifty feature is the ability to SAVE and LOAD guides. This only works for SLIDE LAYOUTS, but can come in quite handy for adding guidelines you might use often to other presentations. You can save up to 10 sets of guides

8. Last but not least, you can add guides based on shapes

9. Click the shape(s) and click ADD TO OBJECTS. If you want to use a group of objects, click the checkbox next to GROUPS. Here are guides that I added using the shapes below. The guides are added to each edge of the shapes bounding box

10. Another one of my favorite features is the GUIDE ALIGNMENT ability. Say you have 5 columns with a .25” margin on the left and right. You can quickly line up any object to either the guideline or the center between two guidelines. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the shape
  2. Holding ALT on the keyboard, click PowerPoint’s ALIGN CENTER tool until the shape moves to the desired position
  3. Here’s a video to demonstrate:

Text To Outline Tool:
1. Converting text using a custom font to a shape is a practice many of us presentation designers do daily. With YouTools, its now a matter of a couple clicks and the task is accomplished.
2. Select your text box

3. Click TEXT TO OUTLINE on the YouTools ribbon

4. An option box will pop up asking a couple things

  1. Keep the original text box and move off the slide: Keeps the text box but moves it up above the slide. Mostly an okay practice, sometimes if the standard font PPT uses to replace a not-found custom font might be larger and bleed into the slide are
  2. Keep and hide: Best practice! Keeps the original editable text box with custom font and hides it in the PPT selection pane. The text box will always be available if future edits are needed, but its hidden and will never interfere with slide content should the custom font not be loaded
  3. Replace: Replaces the text box and just converts to outline. If you’re sure you won’t ever need to edit the text again, then use this. (It’s usually always safer to just keep the original textbox)

5. I chose to KEEP AND HIDE, clicked OK, and now I have my text outlined

6. And my original editable text box is safely hidden should I need in the future

7. With the font outlined, I can apply any PPT effect to make it special!


Again, so many things are well thought out and major time improvements to production work in PowerPoint. We did not include the align and stack tools, the very cool Join Shapes tools, the vastly improved theme color scheme setup tools and really only a fraction of what can be done with the Guides tools – there is a lot there for only $30! Get more info and download here.

Troy @ TLC (and thanks to Amber for compiling and writing up the examples)


Free Halloween PowerPoint Template!

Christie is on the TLC Creative Design Team, and developed this fun Halloween themed PowerPoint template!

DOWNLOAD HERE – 1 MB, PowerPoint 2016, and FREE!

Troy @ TLC 


New Book – A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint

Mike Parkinson, a Microsoft MVP for PowerPoint, has a new book available; A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint! 

The subtitle “Best Practices For Master Presenters” is almost misleading in that it seems to limit the scope of this great resource. This is 180 pages of professional tip, after professional tip – and it is as much about presentation design as it is about presenting. The book is officially divided into 3 sections; Discovery (identify the presentation goal), Design (create the presentation), and Delivery (present). BUT, the Design section could easily be 2 or 3 sections. It has fantastic tips on developing the presentation content storyline (very different from designing the actual slides) and then a huge number of design tips (developing the actual slides in PowerPoint).

Not bragging, but on a recent visit to Washington, DC, Lori and I spent an afternoon with Mike and Jen Parkinson, and received an autographed copy of “A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint”!

Check it out here at Amazon.

Troy @ TLC


Presentation Ideas Conference 2018

Presentation Ideas Conference 2018 is happening soon!

PresentationPoint makes some amazing software to use PowerPoint to control digital signage (and more). They are sponsoring an upcoming online presentation conference that has a lot of great topics, information, and is FREE to register to attend!

TLC Creative’s Troy Chollar will be presenting at this year’s Conference 2018 November 28th at 11:00 AM (PST). Troy is bringing examples of recent “ultrawide” PowerPoint projects for “Really, Really BIG PowerPoint (Screen Size, not File Size)” talk and covering not only insights into the design process, but the technical how-to’s of developing an ultrawide PowerPoint file. 


When: November 28-29, 2018

Cost: Completely free! Just register online to receive updates and reminders leading up to the event.


  1. Chantal Bossé  – Your Key to Audience Engagement: PowerPoint’s Zoom Feature
  2. Troy Chollar – Really, Really BIG PowerPoint (Screen Size, Not File Size)!  
  3. Ellen Finkelstein – 9 Techniques to Make Your Presentations Modern — So You Don’t Look So Old!
  4. Garland Coulson – 10 Creative Ways to Use Data In Presentations
  5. Geteesh Bajaj  – 7 Secrets of Using Images in PowerPoint
  6. Kurt Dupont – The Simplest Way to Make Real-Time Data Presentations
  7. Sharyn Fitzpatrick – Best Practices on How to Transition to Online Presenting 
  8. Garland Coulson – The Lazy Man’s Method to Fast Easy Content Creation

Free Online Talk Time Calculator

Real World:
– Today I received a presentation from a client and their script (for teleprompt, so I know they are saying every word in the script). The presentation has 43 slides, with 1 video. The script has 2,854 words. There is 1 video that is 90 seconds long. The agenda shows their talk time on stage is 20 minutes. Does all this work? Can we assume the presenter can accomplish this talk within their time allotment?
– Generally we plan 45 seconds of their time for the walk up music and crowd applause.
– The video is 90 seconds.
– Using a talk time calculator, 2,854 words at a standard rate = 22 minutes.
– 45 second walk up + 22 minutes talk time + 1.5 minute video = 24.25 minutes for the presentation… high probability of not being completed within the 20 minute slot.

So, how did I calculate 2,854 words = 22 minutes?


This is a very nice, free, online tool we use at TLC Creative Services for many projects. Hope it is helpful!

Troy @ TLC


2019 Presentation Summit (Location and Dates)

The Presentation Summit 2019 – Dates are reserved on my calendar!

Lori and I had a fantastic time at the 2018 presentation Summit hosted in San Diego, CA. Just putting out advance notice, the 2019 Presentation Summit website officially announces the location and dates for next year. Lori and I will be attending, hopefully presenting again and would enjoy seeing you there!


Who: 200+ attendees, 20 presenters, 14 Microsoft “PowerPoint” MVPs, a number of Microsoft PowerPoint developers and PMs, and representatives from many presentation industry companies

When: October 6-9, 2019

Where: San Antonio, TX 


Troy @ TLC


The Presentation Podcast Episode #64 Released Today!

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast with a group of international presentation designers gathered together to talk about PowerPoint, what they see in presentation use and design, and lots of  random topics. Join the conversation with Troy, Nolan, Glen Millar (from Brisbane, Australia), Chantal Bosse (from Quebec, Canada), Tom Howell – Mark and Sam (from Synapsis Creative in Sydney, Australia).

Episode, #64 – PowerPoint International Perspectives



Slide Background Color

Changing a presentation’s background color is made simpler with this quick shortcut. When changing slide background color, you’ll want to make sure you change it on the master layout, that way your changes will be applied to all slides, new and old. Normally, you could achieve this by going to View>Slide Master and that would open the targeted master layout.

Slide Background Color 1

However, if you change the background on this slide, it will not apply to the template. Instead, you need update the background color on the Master slide at the top.

Slide Background Color 2

A quick and easy shortcut to achieve this is to simply hold SHIFT + DOUBLE-CLICK on the NORMAL VIEW icon in the lower right bar.

Slide Background Color 3

This is will automatically open the master to the top slide where you can quickly update all slide backgrounds.


The Presentation Podcast Episode #63 Released Today!

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast with Troy, Nolan, and Sandy is available today! Check out the latest episode, #63- Live From the 2018 Presentation Summit 

This episode is a live conversation recorded at the 2018 Presentation Summit in San Diego California. We gathered around a table and just the let conversation flow – so enjoy a fantastic everything presentation conversation among 10 presentation industry experts!