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PowerPoint Presentations - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

PowerPoint - The Good

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Good choice of design template

Good choice of design template - Simple, easy on the eyes and good contrast between font and background

© Wendy Russell

With apologies to Sergio Leone, I thought it would be fun to take a look at The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of PowerPoint presentations. So, without further ado, let's start with the good. Here is a list (in no particular order) of several good features that I find really useful in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint - The Good

  1. Easy to use
    The most obvious feature of PowerPoint, no matter the version, is that it is so easy to use. It is a great tool for business and for teachers, to integrate technology into the classroom.

  2. AutoCorrect
    All of Microsoft Office products have a feature called AutoCorrect. As the title suggests, PowerPoint will automatically correct many common errors as you type. Some of the examples that are very helpful are -
    • change 1/2 to ½ (and other common fractions as well)
    • recognizes Internet addresses and enters them as hyperlinks
    • superscript -- changes 2nd to 2nd
    • fixes two initial capitals - many people will type THe at the start of a sentence, by mistake. This is automatically corrected to The
    • corrects typing errors when Caps Lock is left on by mistake

  3. List font names in their fonts
    This handy feature lets you see how the font will look, before you apply it, right in the font list. To activate this option if it is not already turned on, choose Tools > Customize from the menu.

  4. Master slides
    Editing the master slides, lets you customize your presentation to suit your specific needs. For example, if you want a specific font to be used on all slides, rather than make this change on each individual slide, set this option on the master slides, so you only need to do this once.

  5. Package your presentation to play on another computer
    This feature, known as Package for CD in PowerPoint 2003, or Pack and Go in PowerPoint 2000 will pack up all the components of your presentation, including all the fonts used and any sounds or pictures you have embedded, so that you can then play your presentation on another computer. You can choose to include the PowerPoint Viewer as well, so that your presentation can even be played on computers that do not have PowerPoint installed.

  6. Design templates / themes
    Each version of PowerPoint comes with a selection of design templates (PowerPoint 2003 and earlier) or design themes (PowerPoint 2007) that you can apply to your presentation to coordinate all the slides. You can download additional free templates from many sources to add to your selection choices.

  7. Embed true type fonts
    If you have a really nifty font that adds just the right element to your presentation, there is a chance that other computers may not have this font installed. The result can have disastrous effects on your slide show, if you play it on a different computer. The answer is to embed the true type fonts into the presentation and then those fonts will display just as you intended, on any computer.

  8. AutoContent Wizard
    Many frequent users of PowerPoint tend to downplay the value of the AutoContent Wizard. However, if you are new to making presentations, and don't know where to begin, use this feature as a starting place to generate ideas.

    This series of premade templates is designed to speed up the process of making a new presentation. Many templates are included with each install of PowerPoint. Most of the templates available in the AutoContent Wizard are slanted towards business presentations, such as a Business plan and Employee orientation, but there are still many generic types too, such as a Brainstorming session and Certificates.

    Next - PowerPoint - The Bad

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