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Software/Add-Ins

What is Google Slides?

Google Slides is a web-based (aka, online) presentation design software offered by Google as part of their Google Drive service.

Presentations can be created and run as slideshows from any desktop through all major browsers, as well as mobile device support. Because it is a cloud based app, being online is a key part of use – however, Google Slides does have an offline mode when used through the Chrome browser.

Presentations can be downloaded as a PowerPoint file, PDF, or different image types (jpg, png, svg). One big feature is while being a web app, it has a Presenter View! And there is also a live audience Q&A feature.

My opinion, any presentation can look amazing with the assistance of a presentation design expert. While Google Slides does not offer the breadth of features and template/master slide options of PowerPoint, it is a viable solution. I see it used primarily as a good option if for simple content presentations without a lot of flash. I am not a fan of stock templates and themes, which may be why Google Slides does not offer an abundance (26 as of June 2020). There are animation and video options. If you have a chart heavy presentation, Google Slides is a tedious process of going outside Google Slides and working through Google Sheets for all edits, revisions and formatting.  

Sharing and co-authoring are super simple with seamless integration with Google Drive. And, Google Slides is free! 

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins Tutorial

BrightSlide Image To Fit Slide

The BrightSlide PowerPoint add-in has so many great features it is impossible to say what the “favorite” feature it. But I will list this as one of my top 3! BrightSlide’s ‘Match Size’ tool is brilliant.

Through a series of emails with the BrightSlide lead developer I detailed the process I would go through on virtually every large presentation event to create a custom photo loop for the meeting walk-in, generally being given a folder of images with minutes until doors open! The result was an addition to the Match Size options (thank you BrightSlide!).

The scenario is, an image does not scale to fill the full slide. The fastest solution is now to select the image, go to the BrightSlide tab, and click the Match Size button. There are actually 3 options in the drop-down: Match Size, Match Width, Match Height. But the top level, Match size, button is all that is needed. 

Select the image, click Match Size and the image is not distorted or stretched, but it is cropped to fill the slide. AND it is centered within the crop! Position within the crop can be adjusted by selecting the image and the crop tool to adjust what is the live/visible image.

If resizing all photos in a slide deck, such receiving a folder of images, importing them into a slide deck using PowerPoint Photo Album feature, then use BrightSlides BATCH tool to apply the resize and crop to every image in the deck instantly! 

Using the Batch tool brings up this dialogue, where you want to select yes.

The end result is nearly instantly created beautiful full bleed images that fit the slidet!

The BrightSlide add-in for PowerPoint can be downloaded for free at: https://www.brightcarbon.com/brightslide/

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc Software/Add-Ins

New INSERT Image Options!

There is something new* in your PowerPoint, but it may not have been discovered yet. The Insert Picture button has expanded to offer more options, and NEW images.

Here is before the update. Insert PICTURES was just a button with no options.

It opened this standard, go-find-the-image-on-your-computer dialog

But now (*as of today this applies to Windows Monthly Targeted and Office Insider builds, I have not tested on standard release, Mac or online versions) the PICTURES button is a split button with more options!

Let me show what each option offers. Click the THIS DEVICE option and we get the same go-find-the-image-on-your-computer dialog

I am going to jump to the third option, ONLINE PICTURES, and save the new stuff for last. Online Pictures is an image search via Bing Images. Nothing new here.

Click the STOCK IMAGES option and we are treated to a new library of high quality photo images. These are all Royalty Free for use in Microsoft app products (eg. my understanding is they can be used in a PowerPoint, Word, Publisher, Excel document and there is no legal issues. But if they are extracted and added to an Illustrator or InDesign document or provided as a stand alone image, the royalty free status may not be enforce). I found the images very nice, great quality and good to use and look unique right now (after 18 months I feel everyone will have seen these images so many times, they will feel “old”).

 

The CUTOUT PEOPLE tab are all .png images of people with transparent background. These are going to get a lot of use and it is a great first release package.

The ICONS tab is also what the INSERT > ICONS button opens. It has a new layout to the icons and expanded set of icons (yay!). PRO TIP: 1 click access vs. 2 clicks. It is 2 clicks to open this dialog if we go to PICTURES and click for the drop down menu and a second click to open the dialog to STOCK IMAGES. But it is 1 click to click the ICONS button to bring up this dialog (opened to the icons tab).

The STICKERS option is new. I know some people are going to love these, and others (like me) cannot see a need for them… These are not animated .gifs, just static fun, full color “cartoons”.

Behind the scenes, Microsoft has done a lot of work on the search. This includes metatags for all images in the library, AI assisted recognition of entries, and a more streamlined process.

Something new for everyone to check out, experiment with and possibly use in your next presentation!

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

BrightSlide – A PowerPoint Add-in You Want!

If you use PowerPoint on Windows and do not have this add-in on your PowerPoint toolbar, you are missing out on one of the best productivity options to be released in 2019! The BrightSlide add-in has become a must have on all of our computers.

BrightSlide is a PowerPoint add-in with a suite of amazing (truly amazing!) productivity tools. It is graciously made available, for FREE, by presentation design company, BrightCarbon

Note: If you use the YouTools add-ins, or have read our review of them here or heard us mention them on ThePresentationPodcast, you are familiar with BrightSlide – but may not know it. YouTools basically expanded and became the BrightSlide add-in.

Get all the details and download it here.

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

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
  • UPPER
  • 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

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

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

Categories
PowerPoint Software/Add-Ins

Windows Emoji Keyboard

Microsoft Windows added a very cool emoji keyboard, or at least a dialog to point and select emoji’s. To open, click the Windows Key and the period key.

Click any emoji and it will be added to virtually any app text box selected (😎🤷‍♂️👍, see I just added three emoji’s to this blog post – but being over the age of 35 I have no idea what I just said…). 

There are 3 tabs; Emoji (full color), Kaomoji (traditional ASCII emoji’s), and Symbols (well, symbol characters)

Troy @ TLC

Categories
PowerPoint Software/Add-Ins

The PowerPoint Icon Library Adds a Search Feature (YAY!)

The included icon library in PowerPoint (and all Office apps; Word, Excel, Outlook) recently received an update. There are more icons, the meta tagging appears to have more refinement, and there is SEARCH BAR, so no longer a need to endlessly scroll looking for an icon.

Old insert icons dialog:

Updated insert icons dialog:

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

Stylized WordCloud Generator by wordart.com

WordArt.com is an online app that creates unique stylized word art.

Think of a word cloud, a common presentation request, but created in the shape of an image. The site offers a variety of customization tools ranging from custom fonts and specific colors to a wide range of art images to create the word cloud in.

This is not an entirely no cost site, but PNG and JPEG files are free to download. PDFs and scalable SVGs are available as part of the $4 to  $299.99 plans.

For our presentation needs, the sites free options are perfect. You do need to create an account to access. 

1. After logging in click the “create” button.
2. The next window is the workspace. On the left is the customizing area to add text and styling. The first tab “words”, is where to Add, remove, reorder and import words.


3. At any point to review the art, simply click the “Visualize” tab to generate the finished work.

4. The shapes tab is where you can pick any shape provided as well as upload your own
(.png and .jpg, not vector formats).

5. A variety of fonts are readily available to use, as well as the option to add a custom font under the “Add font” button.

6. Under the layout tab, are different text orientations

7. The Style tab is where you can customize the colors of the text and the background colors. NOTE it is especially important to remember to click the “Make Transparent” button before saving the art as a PNG, otherwise when exporting as a PNG it will retain the white background.

8. After all customization, click the “Visualize” button to generate the word cloud. You can click the button several times to get a different result.

9. Under the download tab are several options. 2 free standard PNG and JPEG options. The HQ options have payment options.

Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

Lorem Ipsum Generator (by Websiteplanet)

The Websiteplanet Lorem Ipsum generator is easy to use and quickly creates standard Lorum Ipsum text.

Lorem Ipsum text is a long standing print layout tool and is a good tool to use for any PowerPoint designer. As example: when creating a template, we generally supply sample slides with lorem ipsum text filling text placeholders so slides can be viewed with a quick simulation of real-world content.

The options can create any number of words, sentences, paragraphs or lines. Set the parameters and click GENERATE. The website instantly creates the text, which can be copy/pasted directly into slide text placeholders.  

Troy @ TLC