The Magic Of F4

While doing some production design on a presentation, the client – who is very PowerPoint savvy – leaned over with wide eyes and said “how are you doing that!?”

What I was doing was making the very tedious process of applying custom paragraph spacing to various text boxes throughout a presentation. How, the power of the F4 key. F4 – first introduced to me I believe by the late (and very great and very much the queen of the color red accessories) Sonia Coleman. 

F4 is “repeat last command’. It is not new, but it is one of those small gems for production work that is not widely used.

In my case I had set a paragraph of text to have a custom SPACE BEFORE of 18 pt. The key was adding space before just the primary paragraphs, not the sub-bullet paragraphs. This means the setting cannot be applied to the entire text box, and the current Paragraph Styles functionality is not modal, so must be applied to each paragraph separately.

The tedious process of applying this even just  few paragraphs is a minute. Applying this setting to paragraphs throughout a presentation can be 5-10-30 minutes of many extra mouse clicks selecting the paragraph – opening the Paragraph Styles dialog – updating settings and repeating for every paragraph. BUT, do this to 1 paragraph, select the next paragraph and click F4. The last command is repeated, in this case, applying a custom paragraph style. Fly through the slides, selecting paragraphs and clicking F4 and be done with the formatting in a few minutes!

before and after example of where the above custom paragraph spacing was applied to specific paragraphs.

Troy @ TLC


New Podcast Episode Released Today!

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast is available today! This episode join Troy, Nolan and Sandy talk with Echo Swinford and Glenna Shaw from the Presentation Guild about the upcoming launch of the Professional Presentation Certifications.  

Episode, 84 – Presentation Professional Certifications are Here! (with Echo Swinford and Glenna Shaw) is a behind the scenes conversation with the organizing team at the Presentation Guild about how the certification program came to be, the rational of the test experience, how often the test questions may be updated and more. Listen in on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud – just search for “The Presentation Podcast” – or go direct to the episode page here: 


What to Wear, as a Presenter

I do not repost other stories very often, but this is a good article for anyone that is presenting on stage, or in front of the camera. It is written about being in a video, and all of the tips apply to a presenter on a large stage (where you are also generally on camera too!): 


SMK-Link Navigator – How To Train an Additional Receiver

TLC Creative Services really likes the SMK-Navigator presentation remote. We have used them for several years, but it is not for the presenter, it is the remote we use backstage to run the computers while the presenter has a cue light remote that signals when to advance the content.

One of the key features of the SMK-Navigator remote is the receiver, the unit connected to the computer, can be sync’d to a remote. More importantly a single remote can be connected to 2-4-12 computers!

The key to the great feature is knowing how to program, or train, the additional remotes to the receiver.

 1. Remove USB Receiver from USB port, wait 5 seconds and reconnect.

2. Press and hold the Next button (right arrow) for 10 seconds until red light rapidly flashes.

3. Click the advance button on the remote and the LED light on the receiver should turn solid green (and then back to a slow flashing green).

Done! Now that receiver will work with that remote. Repeat for as many computers as you want the remote to simultaneously control.

Troy @ TLC


No Video Playback, Try These Nvidia Settings

Out of the box we found that our new fleet of show computers did not play .MP4 videos in slide show. We checked PowerPoint was up to date (Offie 365, 64-bit). We confirmed Windows 10 Pro was up to date. We confirmed we had the most current Nvidia drivers. To make things more confusing, videos would play in slide edit view, but not in slide show. A very frustrating situation!

Fortunately for our IT manager, I have already encountered Nvidia and PowerPoint issues. After a few setting updates in the Nvidia control panel, everything works great. Let me share the settings we use on our Nvidia graphics card laptops.

Right click desktop and select “Nvidia control panel”


Go to MANAGE 3D SETTINGS and set these PowerPoint specific settings:

  • Select MICROSOFT POWERPOINT from program drop-down list
  • Change Preferred Graphics Processor to HIGH PERFORMANCE NVIDIA PROCESSOR


Go to MANAGE 3D SETTINGS and update these global settings:

  • Power Management Mode = Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Texture Filtering – Quality = High Performance
  • Threaded Optimization = On


This final Nvidia setting is not a factor in videos actually playing, but it can affect the video quality. The issue is the default color space is not actually pure white and pure black. So if you have seen a video with a white background that does not match the slide white background, this may be the reason.


  • Go to the ADVANCED tab
  • Dynamic Range = FULL (0-255)
  • Click APPLY

Hopefully you have not encountered videos not playing issues, but if you have, and you have an Nvidia graphics chip, these options solve things for you!

Troy @ TLC



How To Correctly Capitalize Each Word

Capitalize My Title is an online app that applies the professional typesetting rules to title capitalization. You paste in a sentence and get back the same sentence updated to each word capitalized based on Title Case, AP/APA/Chicago/MLA style, UPPERCASE, lowercase, and more.

The top tabs select which typography rules to follow (I recommend APA or Chicago as these are the most common/universal)

The bottom set of tabs is the selection of Capitalization option.

  • Title Case
  • Sentence Case
  • Lower
  • First Letter
  • AIT CaSe

“Title Case” is the option I recommend using, as this is where many do not know the rules and ultimately have slides with content that is not aligned to the professional typesetting standards. A good rule of thumb is to capitalize words that are more than 3 letters long, unless it is the word at the beginning of a sentence, and unless that word falls into one of the many special instance rules.

1. Manually type or paste text into app. Text is automatically updated based on the top tab option and bottom tab option. 

Note: tabs can be changed and see if any of the different rules or titling options change the results. As example: on this sample sentence I would capitalize “Out” but the official rules do not…

Tips for PowerPoint text

(From Christie on the TLC Creative design team) The first item I check on any presentation is going through all my titles to ensure consistencies. A helpful tip for medical presentation is to look for any disease, medical terms, drug names, etc. that should never be capitalized. Because the web app will not recognize these words, after I go through all slide titles using the “Capitalize My Title” website, I do a quick review to double check the specialty words are capitalized correctly as it was intended since the 

Troy @ TLC


Podcast 83

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast is available today! This episode join Troy Chollar of TLC Creative, Lori Chollar of TLC Creative. Richard Goring of BrightCarbon, and Tara Sheffield of SlideRabbit for a conversation about the experience of taking (and passing!) the Presentation Guild, Specialist Level Presentation Certification. , Nolan, and Sandy is available today!

Episode, 83 – We Took The Presentation Professional Certification – and Survived! is a must listen to for anyone considering taking the new presentation industry certifications. Listen in on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud – just search for “The Presentation Podcast” – or go direct to the episode page here:




Skype For Businss Official Retirement Date Set

Well, after the previous post, this is timely, although not eminently soon.

I just received an email from Microsoft announcing Skype for Business is officially being retired and we must move to Teams. The good news is, it is almost 2 years away (July 31, 2021)! I am hopeful that the Microsoft Teams interface will be streamlined (eg. to not take up nearly an entire monitor) before we are forced to switch over.

Troy @ TLC


Give Me Back My Sykpe for Business!

Microsoft is making the move to Microsoft Teams. But if you looking to stick with Skype for Business a bit longer, Microsoft does not make it is easy to find. These steps worked for us (as of today):

– Log into your O365 account

– Click settings GEAR


– Ignore the list of installable apps and click SKYPE FOR BUSINESS link on the left

– Pick 32 or 64 bit (match to your version Office) and install

– You have Skype for Business again! Previous settings should be preserved, but you may need to log in and adjust app preferences if not retained.

Troy @ TLC