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It's unavoidable. When people find out we work on PowerPoint, we get questions. Sometimes they're new, but many are repeaters. We take all questions seriously, especially the repeaters, as those sponsor changes we need to make to the product. Our goal is to eliminate the necessity of the question in the first place by better design.
To be clear, many of the questions we get are answered in the PowerPoint help, or in online support. But again, the fact that people don't find these answers means we've still got work to do in making the products better.
Today, we're going to review a set of common questions that have recently been asked, and provide our best answers for each.
In case you don't find your favorite question below, we'll end the article with additional references and resources for getting your questions answered.
Q. In PowerPoint 2007, lines seem to work more like connectors from the previous versions. Is this intentional?
A. Yes, all lines are now, in fact, connector lines. This means that when you are drawing a line it will try to snap to the corner or mid-point of other shapes on the slide. You'll see these points "light up" on a shape as you approach it when drawing or moving a line. This is a great feature, providing an exacting match-up of your line and the shape that can be repeated with other lines and shapes in a crisp and professional manner.
However it is possible that you may want to get a line near a shape but not actually connect to it, and may feel that the magnetic attraction between the two is getting in your way. This can be exasperated by a second setting in PowerPoint called Snap to Grid. The Snap to Grid setting is in the Home ribbon, under the Arrange command, in the submenu Align. Look for the Grid settings. In that dialog, you can both make the grid visible and turn off the snapping behavior. Making the grid visible will make the behavior more obvious, and won't affect the appearance of your slides when printing or presenting. However, turning off the snapping will allow you a little more freedom in where you place lines and shapes on your slide.
Q. PowerPoint. 2003 had a word count feature, but now I can't find the option in PowerPoint 2007. Can you help me find or set up a way to give the number of words in the notes section or even for the whole presentation?
A. Well, yes, things did get a little shifted during the 2007 redesign of the application. Word count for the presentation is still there. In the Office menu, you'll want to select Prepare, and then Properties. The document properties bar opens at the top of your document. At the top of the properties bar is a small menu labeled Document Properties. Click that and choose Advanced Properties.
The Advanced Properties dialog contains several tabs, one of which is Statistics, which will list the number slides, paragraphs, words, notes, hidden slides, multimedia clips, and the presentation format for the current document.
Yes, it could be simpler, but now you know where to find it.
Q. I was wondering if you could tell me how to disable the semi-transparent navigation buttons at the bottom left hand side of a slide during a presentation? I'm creating my own navigation buttons on the slides themselves, and your automatic buttons can get in the way of my buttons.
A. These buttons can controlled by adjusting the "Popup Toolbar" option. This is found in the advanced options. To open the advanced options, click the the Office Menu, then PowerPoint Options (bottom of the list), and finally click Advanced. You want to uncheck Show Popup Toolbar in the Slide Show group.
Note that because this is an application option, it will be used for all presentations you show with this machine. And the setting is kept with the application, and does not travel with your presentation document. That means that if someone else shows your document on another computer, they will also have to uncheck this option to supress the navigation buttons.
In your case it sounds like you're using hyperlinks on objects in the slide to do custom navigation, and so there is an alternative that can be set on the document itself. You may want to look into; Kiosk mode.
It's actually fairly easy to set a presentation into Kiosk mode, it's in the first group of commands in the Setup Show command on the Slide Show tab. You'll want to select Browsed at a kiosk (full screen).
Kiosk mode hides the slide menu, but also sets the presentation so that it won't advance on click. The assumption here is that you're building a set of buttons into each slide, and your navigation is going to be completed through the use of those buttons.
If you're going to distribute a kiosk mode presentation, make sure you've fully tested it, or at least warned the recipient that you've used this alternative show type.
Q. How can I save my presentation as PDF?
A. Starting with Office 2007, the capability of saving to the portable formats XPS and PDF is built into PowerPoint. To access this feature, open the Office menu and choose Save As, then from the second menu choose PDF or XPS.
OK, one more fairly "techie" question, but one we get a lot.
Q. What resolution should I use when creating or purchasing photographs for use with PowerPoint?
A. OK, this is dependent on how you're using PowerPoint, or any other Office application for that matter, so we'll give you three answers:
OK, that wraps things up for now. If you're running into problems like these, or just want to learn more about using PowerPoint and Office, we encourage you to review the following resources as well:
Ric Bretschneider Senior Program Manager Microsoft PowerPoint
How does the perspective function word in getting a common vanishing point for all items on a slide?
Unfortunately Lee, there isn't a shared vanishing point for all items. No doubt this would be a great feature, but it's never been a part of PowerPoint. "Applying" a shared perspective to objects on a slide is something you'd have to go "old school" on. Draw reference lines on the slide to align and adjust your shapes against. One nice thing about PowerPoint 2007, is that those lines can easily be named and manipulated, even hidden, within the Selection pane. Thanks,
I'm using a very standard blue-with-gradient background to my slides, and the Table Tools under PowerPoint 2007 is restricting my Theme Colors for tables to a few grey, blue, and turquoise color palettes. How can I use other colors without creating the theme from scratch?
Thank you, sandy
I can open hyperlinked Word, Excel, etc... but cannot open hyperlinked Powerpoint files (PPS or PPT). My File extensions are set correctly. What is going on?
I'm trying to create a motion path on Powerpoint that rotates an object around a centre-point that I define; is this possible? Hope you can help! Katie Litherland
I have PPT 2007 version, and my hyperlink button is grayed out. Does it not perform in this version? If it does, how can I turn that function on? Thanks
Lisa, Do you have an object selected? Try typing text in a text box or inserting a picture first. Then, select that object and the hyperlink button should be enabled. -Chris
I'm using Powerpoint 2007. I am attempting to edit a presentation by using the "strikethrough" of any words I change. The problem is the "striketrough" button is faded out and the text effects "strikethrough" box is also faded out and doesn't allow use. There is no protection on this presentation, and I can't figure out how to turn on the "strikethrough" button for use. Any idea's would be appreciated.
Richard, Check to see if the font used in the presentation is installed on your system. You can check by opening a new presentation and looking in the font list. If it's not there, you may not be able to use the strikethrough without changing the font. If it is there, then we'll do some additional troubleshooting, in which case I'll need you to send me a sample slide. You can send it to pptblfr AT microsoft DOT com. -Chris
Chris, I checked the font on the presentation and it indicates "Ariel (Body). I opened a new presentation and I had "Ariel" but not "Ariel (body)". I can strikethrough on a new presentation using Ariel but not in the original one. So, I changed the font in the original presentation to "Ariel" and it still does not allow the use of strikethrough. I'll send you a sample slide, thanks for your help in this matter.
Hey Richard, The file you sent me is in the older binary format (.ppt). The strikethrough option is new, and is only supported by the new format (.pptx). To use strikethrough, you'll have to save the file as a .pptx presentation. -Chris
Chris, Thanks, I'll try that and let you know if I any further issues.
How can i suppress security warning pop-up I get each time i click on a hyperlinked field ??
Re: In PowerPoint 2007, lines seem to work more like connectors from the previous versions. Is this intentional?
"This is a great feature": No, it is *not* a 'great' feature. It is not even a feature at all. If I had wanted a connector, I would have chosen one. Now there is no transparent way for one to easily put a line where s/he wants it, regardless of nearby objects. [I'm sure it is quite intentional, however, re: Microsoft Visio.]
I am wondering if there is a way to use document properties to automatically populate information in my powerpoint persentation. For example, I would like to add the Presentation Title to the properties then automatically add this information to the title slide and to a field in the footer of each slide. Since the Document Properties is metadata perhaps it would have to work the other way, i.e. the title slide populates the Document Properties however, I still want the footer to be automatically populated.