The PPTools Starter Set add-in should be installed on every PowerPoint user’s computer. This venerable add-in (which has remained in use by me since PowerPoint 2003!) has lots of time saving options.
The real power of the PPTools Starter Set is not that it adds new capabilities to PowerPoint, but that it uncovers, or adds, alternate options to built in PowerPoint tools. Here are a few of my favorite options:
Memorize an Objects Position and Place Objects Exactly: This combination of tools is invaluable. Similar tools are available in other add-ins, but this a great solution. For example, you have a logo that needs to be in the same position on a number of slides – Position where you want it on the first slide, select the logo and click the MEMORIZE tool. Now, go to any other slide, select anything and click the PLACE tool (aka: the hammer – to nail it in place) and it is positioned exactly the same as the first one!
Enlarge and Shrink Text: Yes, PowerPoint has the exact same little A and big A icons and they do the same thing – make text larger or smaller. But, the difference is the native PowerPoint buttons jump the text size based on the preset Office text sizing (18-20-24-28-32-etc.). The PPTools resize text adjusts the text size by 1 pt at a time (19-19-20-21-22-23-etc.), which is exactly what is needed for fine tuning a layout!
Layer Manager: This tool is mostly outdated, but I like to use it as an example of how independent developers are often more in tune with real designer tool needs than the Microsoft Dev team. This amazing tool opens a small dialog and it is basically PowerPoint’s Selection Pane, allowing objects to be arranged in Z order and hidden – but it has been available since PowerPoint 2003!
That is a summary of just 3 of the 15+ tools included with the add-in. There is a FREE version and a paid version with additional tools. Find it on the web here.
-Troy @ TLC