4 Advanced PowerPoint Tricks You Can't Live Without

PowerPoint is an amazing software that permits you to present information however you want. But there are a few PowerPoint tricks, no matter how large or small, that can take your presenting up to 11. Here are 4 advanced PowerPoint tricks that you can’t live without.

Disable Auto Resize:

PowerPoint does a lot of things automatically behind the scenes that try and make your job easier. For example, PowerPoint will automatically, and almost always to a fault, resize your body and title text depending on how much of it is on a slide. This creates disparity between slides and gives the feeling that your presentation has been chopped up and put back together again by bloodthirsty vikings fighting over an iron throne. To disable Auto Resize go to File>Options>Proofing>AutoCorrect Options>Uncheck both AutoFit Title and Body text.

Create A Template While Creating Your PowerPoint:

If I had to choose the single most important word to describe a presentation, it would be “unity.” When a presentation follows a set of rules, whether graphical or theoretical, it takes the audience on a journey where content is easier to recall and future content can be insinuated by a simple background image or color. And once you have unity you can then use slide formats and colors to create cognitive dissonance letting you teach impactful lessons. The easiest way to create a unified presentation is by creating a template in the Slide Master View of PowerPoint. Once you insert a background, headers and footers, and even text placeholders, you can insert this layout over and over again into your actual presentation saving you time and creating a unified presentation in the process.

Pointer Options:

If any of you were like me during high school presentations, you paid more attention to the teacher’s mouse circling words and images in an effort to bring attention to certain objects on the screen. Or, the instructor tried hiding the cursor at the bottom left or right of the screen which wouldn’t really work and then just brought up the taskbar which stayed there until the end of the presentation. This trick will make it so none of these terrible things happen again. If you right click during a presentation, a menu will pop up with a variety of options as well as an option labeled Pointer Options. Here you can change your cursor into a laser pointer (which is far better than a white mouse circling frantically to capture attention), pen, and even highlighter. You also have the option to always show your mouse and other navigational options as you advance slides or you can permanently hide them. The most used (just because nobody changes it) is the Automatic setting which will hide the mouse and other navigational icons if you use the arrow keys to advance slides. But as soon as you move your mouse it will show again allowing you to use the laser pointer and other presentation tools.

Compress Assets:

Compressing images and other assets can be a huge benefit to you and your cohorts especially when you are working with large PowerPoint files and need to collaborate online. In one of the compression tests I carried out on one of my presentations (5 slides and 6 images), it took the size of the file from 12,000 kb to around 2 kb. And generally you will be working with bigger projects, which means the dent you will make in the file size will be much more significant. PowerPoint makes it very easy to compress every image within the presentation. Simply select an image, and click Format (it should be located to the far right of the main ribbon). In the Adjust section, you will see a Compress Pictures button. Once you click that, a pop-up menu will appear allowing you to select how you wish to compress the image (or every image within the presentation). One of the most helpful features of the Compress Pictures tool is the ability to permanently delete cropped areas of a picture (or pictures). We don’t notice how much we edit and skew an image within PowerPoint to meet our needs. We are literally throwing away garbage that needs to be thrown away with this tool!

Don’t let the simplicity of PowerPoint’s interface fool you. PowerPoint packs a punch and there is a lot more where that came from. Stay tuned for more advanced PowerPoint tips and tricks. And if you think I missed any, comment below!

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