PowerPoint Help Sheet (for Windows) Mike Blum

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1 PowerPoint Help Sheet (for Windows) Mike Blum The Basics: Creating a PowerPoint document is easy. At the Windows Desktop, start by opening Microsoft PowerPoint: START > PROGRAMS > MICROSOFT POWERPOINT. Let's spend a moment on the screen layout. In normal view (PowerPoint's default view when opened) it should look similar to the image you see below: The thin column at the far left of the screen shows thumbnail images of all your slides in the order they will appear in your slideshow. The large workspace in the center is the current slide. The default slide, shown here, is rarely useful for academic purposes, so I generally start with a blank layout, which we'll see later. The column on the far right of the screen is called the "Task Pane" and will help us with various options like slide layout and animation. The speaker's notes area at the bottom is a great way to remind you of key ideas for each slide. If you accidentally close the thumbnail view area on the left, you can get it back by selecting VIEW > NORMAL. If you accidentally close the Task Pane on the right, reopen it by selecting VIEW > TASK PANE. While we're here, also notice that in the View Menu, we can also use the slide sorter view to see all the slides in a large window, we can run the slideshow by selecting Slide Show or by hitting the F5 key, and we can switch to Notes Page view, which can be useful as a visual aid for the presenter to print up as his/ her own notes to take into the presentation. To start out with a fresh, blank slide, go to the TASK PANE (on the right) and choose the blank slide under the Content Layout area. The default Text Layout slide should now be replaced by an empty slide. Using Text: A caveat about using text in Powerpoint: the less text you use, the better. Text and bulleted lists are used a lot in corporate-style PowerPoints, but this really tends to dumb down the discourse. I suppose it makes sense in corporate PowerPoints because the idea is often to push a particular agenda, direct your audience toward a particular point of view, or to reduce your idea to a few easy to digest talking points. Since this perspective is antithetical to much of our academic mission, I like to keep the text in my PowerPoints down to a bare minimum. Of course, all text is not created equal. A slide with a poem or passage on it is great to stimulate discussion, while a slide with a sample paragraph to correct or edit is great for group work or

2 directed writing tasks. On the other hand, a bulleted list explicating a poem tends to stifle discourse. That said, let's put some text in our presentation. First, we need a textbox, which we get by selecting INSERT > TEXT BOX At this point, when you hover the cursor over your slide, you should see a thin, downward pointing arrow instead of the regular cursor, like this: When you get to the spot on the slide you'd like to put your text, a click on the left mouse button will insert your textbox. Start typing and your text should appear inside the box. If you accidentally click outside of the textbox before you type anything, the textbox will vanish and you'll have to insert a new one. You can change the fonts, colors, size, etc. of the text just as you would in a Microsoft Word document. Understanding the textbox: Of course, sometimes you will want to move, expand, or even tilt the textbox, so let's take a closer look at it: The white circles around the perimeter control the size and shape of the textbox. If you hover your cursor over one of these, you should see it change to the double arrow shape shown here. If you left-click when the double arrow appears, you can now drag the textbox to change its shape. The green circle at the top of the textbox controls the angle of the text. If you want your text at a 90 degree angle, hover over the green circle and a curvy arrow will appear over the green circle. Left-click and drag to angle the text to your liking. Finally, if you hover your cursor over the inside edge of the textbox (right below the top center white circle is best), your cursor will change once more, to a sort of cross with little arrow points at the ends (enlarged here to show detail). If you leftclick and drag now, the whole textbox will move, as is, to wherever you drag it. You'll see the box turn into a dotted outline of itself as you drag it. Don't worry, it's still there. That's it. Once you've mastered the textbox, you'll also know most of the techniques and concepts you'll need for dealing with images, which we'll discuss next. Using Images: While I think the best use of academic PowerPoint presentations is mainly as an image viewer and organizer, you still need to keep a few things in mind when adding images. First, remember that computer screens are horizontal, and images you want to show may be vertical, so there will sometimes be extra whitespace on the sides to deal with. Second, remember that filesizes for digital images are sometimes huge, and sometimes tiny. If your image filesizes are too big (most common when you're using images from a digital camera), your PowerPoint file will also be unnecessarily large, and may even be too big to open properly. If your image's filesize is too small (most common when mistakenly taking thumbnail images from the web), it will

3 pixelate and look bad when you try to enlarge it. Therefore, knowing a couple of tips up front to avoid both mistakes will make things easier. Avoiding large images: Once you've added your images, you can easily optimize the whole PowerPoint. First, select any image in your document. This should automatically bring up the Picture Toolbar. If the toolbar doesn't come up automatically, you can get to it by selecting VIEW > TOOLBARS > PICTURE. You should see the following toolbar somewhere in your workspace: Click on the "Compress Pictures" icon here and set the parameters in the "Compress Pictures" window as follows: Apply to: All pictures in document Change resolution: Web/Screen Options: Check both "Compress pictures" and "Delete cropped areas of pictures" And that's it. While there are other things you can do to fine tune your PowerPoint, in most cases, this should be sufficient to keep your document size manageable. Avoiding small images: Most people grab images from a Google Image search, and while this method is easy and quick, be careful to pay attention to the image size listed on the Google search page before grabbing the image. Google always lists the image's dimensions underneath the image as a height by width value in pixels, followed by file size in kilobytes. Any image under 400 pixels wide or smaller than 50kb is going to look really bad if you try to stretch it to fit the entire size of a slide (I prefer to use images that are at least 800 pixels wide), so if you just look before you leap, you'll get much better results. With those two caveats in mind, let's add an image: First, we're going to select INSERT > PICTURE > FROM FILE A window will open to allow you to browse to your image (which you should have saved to your computer or network drive in advance), so go ahead and find the image and insert it into the slide.

4 When your image appears on the slide, you should notice a box around the image similar to your textbox The white circles at the corners work exactly the same as the ones in the textbox. That is, if you grab a corner circle and pull or push the image, it will grow or shrink maintaining its proper proportions. The green circle also works like it does in the textbox. If you grab the top green circle, you'll spin the image around. However, it's important to note that the white circles at the central sides and the top and bottom centers work differently. If you hover over one of these circles, and then left-click and drag, your image will stretch or shrink to conform to the newly defined space (circles enlarged for emphasis). Moving your image around within your slide is similar to moving your textbox around. Hover your mouse just below the top center white circle until you see the crosshairs, and then left-click and drag the image. NB: PowerPoint will let you drag, stretch, or enlarge your image until it extends past the edges of the slide. While you will still be able to see the whole image in the Normal View window, only the part that fits on the slide will appear in the PowerPoint presentation. Adding Notes to your slides: The "Notes" area at the bottom of the screen is a great place to organize your thoughts about what you want to accomplish in each slide. While neither you nor the audience will be able to see your notes when you play the slideshow, you can print them out beforehand and use them at the podium. Adding Slides: Now that you've added text and/or an image to the first slide, you can create your next slide by selecting INSERT > NEW SLIDE. The new slide will appear, with that annoying "Click to Add Title" textbox. Just click on the blank slide in the Slide Layout window on the right-hand side and the slide will change to a blank slide. Alternately, when you want to add a new slide, you can just right-click on the blank slide in the Slide Layout area and select "Insert New Slide." The new slide will automatically be blank. Organizing Slides: One other thing you might need to do when preparing your PowerPoint is to move some of your slides around. This can be done when in Normal View by just left-clicking and dragging the slide from one spot to another in the thumbnails window on the left of the screen, but using the "Slide Sorter" view is much more convenient, especially when you're dealing with more than just a few slides. Select VIEW > SLIDE SORTER to see the "Slide Sorter" view, then simply left-click and drag the slides into the positions you want them.

5 Playing Your Slideshow: Finally, display the slideshow in full screen mode by either clicking the F5 key, or selecting SLIDE SHOW > VIEW SHOW. In "Slide Show" view, you can use the left mouse button to advance to the next slide and the right mouse button to go back to the previous slide. You can also use the left- and right- arrows on your keyboard for this. Hitting the ESC (escape) key on the keyboard will stop the slideshow and return you to your normal view Final Thoughts: There is a lot more you can do with PowerPoint, and there are a lot of techniques you can use to make your presentation really effective. If you're feeling adventurous, try adding animations or hyperlinks. Animations: It sounds like a Disney thing, but done right, an animation can really improve your PowerPoint. All this term means in PowerPoint-speak is that elements in your slide will happen in an order that you determine. For example, you can have a slide that starts out with just an image of a famous painting, as a prompt for students, and then after they've guessed at what the image is, the next mouse-click reveals the name of the painting. Hyperlinks: These are good for seamlessly linking to websites without having to exit your PowerPoint slideshow, incorporating Excel or Word files into your presentation, or easily calling up film or audio clips without fumbling around for them. Black Slides: One technique I've found most useful is the judicious use of black slides at natural stopping points within a PowerPoint. Let's say I plan to show a few slides, then lecture or hold discussion for a few minutes. Adding a black slide into the presentation will help to focus your audience's attention back on you or their classmates and away from the mesmerizing image on the screen. Trust me, even a blank white slide will be enough of a visual stimulus to draw some students' attention away from what you're saying, so imagine the result when you try to get their attention if you've left your last image slide on the screen to hypnotize them. To insert a black (or any color) background into your slide, create a blank slide, then select FORMAT > BACKGROUND > and then you'll see a window appear with a pulldown menu at the lower left. Click on the downward pointing arrow to reveal a color chart. Click on the little black square and then hit the APPLY button.

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