Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Loop and fade

You may know how to dreate a series of superimposed pictures that cross fade into each other?

It's not too hard give each picture a fade entrance followed by a delay and then a fade exit (you will need at least PowerPoint XP to do this). Now with careful adjustment of delays the series of pictures will fade up, cross fade into the next until all the pictures are seen.

The last "until all the pictures are seen" is the problem. Often you would like the animations to loop and show the pictures again until you stop them.

PowerPoint cannot really do this. You can create a one slide custom show and have the whole slide repeat but this doesn't give me the control I want!

So I wrote a very complex custom custom animation to get exactly what I wanted.

You can look at a demo here

DOWNLOAD a demo here!

or buy the Add In to create your own easily with no programming experience here

Loop & fade Add In

Once the animations are created you no longer need the Add In instaled. Your presentation will play on PCs without the Add In or even in the free viewer.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Drop Down Menus in PowerPoint

PowerPoint Drop Down Menu

Everyone is familiar with dropdown menus, they're an integral part of Windows, Office and many other programs.

Can you use them to navigate in a PowerPoint Presentation though?

With vba code (if you can program) then you can use a control combo box. Even if you know how to program this you will meet problems if the user has the free viewer or has security set to high.

The problem will be this ...

It won't work - AT ALL!

The method described here will work in the viewers (2003 /7) or in PowerPoint from version XP.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Audience Voting in PowerPoint

There are quite a few (expensive) systems out there to provide your audience with keypads to vote on topics.

For most people this sort of expense is out of the question and you will be relying on hand counts.

How do you professionally show the results though?

You can of course close down your show edit a graph and re open. That looks tacky though!

PowerPoint Alchemy have a simple solution and there's even a totally working free demo!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Show You Tube Video in PowerPoint

There are programs available to download You Tube content but this method is for playing it within PowerPoint with a live internet connection.

First open a new PowerPoint. You now need to see the Control Toolbox. In 2007 you will need to enable the Developer TAB to do this. Office button > PowerPoint Options and then in Popular "Enable Developer Tab" In earlier versions use View > Toolbars > Control Toolbox.

You should now check that in PPT 2007 macro security is set to "disable with notification" and in earlier versions to "medium". You must save the file as a *.pptm or *.ppsm macro enabled file if you are using 2007.

Either way click on the more controls tool which looks like a hammer and spanner.
Now scroll down and find "Shockwave Flash Object"

On your slide drag to make the control fill the area you would like the You Tube Video to play in.

You will need to know the URL of the Video. You can find this on You Tube (you may need to click "more info"). Copy the URL.

Now RIGHT click and got to "Properties", choose "Custom" and paste in the URL from You Tube. Embed Video should be unticked.

The bad news is it doesn't work!. You will need to change the URL format so that PowerPoint can read it. Study the URL and delete the part that says watch? (nothing else) and then change the = sign to a /

You're ready to go. Make sure that you have a live web connection and play the PowerPoint!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Embed mp3 files in PowerPoint

How to Embed mp3 Sounds

Most places will tell you that only wav files can be embedded in powerpoint. All other sound formats are linked. Since mp3 files can be 10 x smaller it would be very useful if you could embed them. Linked files can cause problems .

You can and here's how:

The technique is to add a header to the .mp3 file that will convince PowerPoint that it is actually a wav file. Although this will change the file name to "something.wav" the file remains an mp3 file, the same size as the original and will play in PowerPoint as an mp3 file. NOTE this only seems to work with PCs not with Macs.

You will need to download a free program called CDex to add the header. You can get it here CDex. The download page is a little confusing but the file you need is the windows exe version (cdex_170b2_enu.exe)

With CDex use "Convert > "Add a RIFF wav header to mp2/mp3" to produce a file that will be virtually identical to the mp3 file but will have the .wav suffix and can be embedded using either of the techniques in Embedding Sound Files. The headered file should be found in the same folder as the original mps file.

If you are starting with a wav file and want to coonvert it to mp3 to reduce it's size then CDex will do this too. Choose convert > WAV files to Compressed Audio. Before you do this check Options>Settings > Filename tab and make sure you know where the converted file will be saved!

Many people speak of RIFF wav files as a special type of wav file. This is not the case RIFF stands for "Resource Interchange Fle Format" and applies to all wav files . You have not converted the mp3 to a RIFF wav merely convinced PowerPoint that the mp3 IS a normal wav file. RIFF wav has however slipped into technically incorrect common usage to mean an mp3 file with a wav header.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

PowerPoint Jigsaws

If you would like to use Jigsaw reveals in PowerPoint the usual way is to search for the 4 piece puzzle pieces included in XP and 2003 to 2003. Ungroup this shape and set each shape to background fill using format shapes.

There are a few problems with this:

1. The shapes cannot easily be resized because the picture changes.
2. The lack of straight edges and corners mean it won't be realistic.

PowerPoint Alchemy have had proper pieces for sale for a while but now there's a new add in which automatically trims you picture to jigsaw shapes. It can can make either 4, 9 or 16 piece jigsaws.

Because the pieces are "proper" pictures you can resize, adjust contrast and brightness (tint in 2007!) and apply any animation that you like.
Link : PowerPoint Jigsaws

Run Two Instances of PowerPoint

Two Instances of PowerPoint

If you want to edit two PowerPoint presentations side by side you can open them both and choose Windows> Arrange All. If you have a multiple monitor set up it's possible to stretch Powerpoint across the two monitors and then arrange all to have one presentation in each monitor.

The problem is you only get one toolbar and need to flick back and forth between monitors.


Confuse PowerPoint.
Set up a second user account. It MUST have a password. Start Powerpoint as normal THEN start a second instance as the second user!
How? In the Start menu SHIFT right click the PowerPoint icon and choose "Run As" and enter the details for the other user. You need to have Admin priviledges to do this!
You will also find that the second instance saves by default to the second users "My Documents" but this can be changed in Tools > Options > Save tab.