If you have any experience using Office 365 applications – like PowerPoint – then you know about the numerous advantages it provides comparative to other options. If this is the case, then you might also be aware of the hidden secrets within these tools that allow you to do more and to do it better — but in less time.
However, if aren’t familiar with these secrets, then we suggest you keep reading. Today, we’re going to look at some of the lesser-known aspects of PowerPoint and provide you with some expert tips that will boost your overall productivity.
Unleash the power of PowerPoint Designer
Microsoft’s addition of PowerPoint Designer was added to help those who lack design skills (or time) to build professional-grade presentations. It’s a feature that helps users achieve a more pleasing aesthetic by suggesting transitions, designs, and add-ons.
To enable this feature:
- Open the File menu
- Click “Options”
- Select the “General” tab from the “PowerPoint Options” dialog box
- Ensure “Automatically show me design ideas” is checked
Once enabled, you’ll receive prompts from PowerPoint about what elements you can add to your slides to make them more attractive. You can choose from multiple suggestions and build beautiful presentations for far less effort.
Use grids and rulers to maintain alignment
To keep your presentations looking professional, you can enable the grid feature. It’s a simple feature that goes a long way because it exists to keep all elements aligned correctly. In other words, it won’t look as if you placed your text and images in random spots.
Here’s how to enable this feature:
- Right click outside of the slide (but not in the sidebars)
- Select the option for grids and rulers from the drop-down menu
When you right click an individual grid line, you’ll also have the option to “snap” items to your grid, which will automatically align page elements to the nearest line.
Share your presentations for increased collaboration
If you have to work with your team on a project, try sharing your work through OneDrive. This will give you the option to work with your colleagues on the same presentation in real-time.
Here’s how to do it:
- Select the “Share” options from the top-right corner
- Invite the colleagues with whom you wish to collaborate
- Click share
- Start collaborating
With that, your co-workers can add comments and apply edits directly to your presentation. You can open up a chat dialogue within the tool to discuss adjustments and tweaks with your team. As a result, you can avoid back-and-forth emails and improve on-the-job collaboration.
Make presentations more immersive with screen-recorded video
If you’re demonstrating a process that involves computer software, inserting a step-by-step video can serve as a valuable visual aid. You can record both screen video and audio directly from within PowerPoint.
Here’s your step-by-step:
- Open a slide
- Select the “Insert” option, then select “Screen Recording”
- Select the area of the screen you wish to record
- Click Record
- Save your file and the recording will embed itself in the slide
Recording in PowerPoint will eliminate the need for external capture software and place your video directly into the slide of your choosing.
Skip the setup
Here’s a scenario for you: A presenter fumbles with their laptop screen until they find their misplaced PowerPoint file.
After clicking on it, you and the rest of the audience wait while the presenter tries to move from the editing view to the presentation itself. It’s not ideal, but we’ve all been there before.
But the real question is: How many times must you endure this awkward pre-presentation prelude?
Well, thanks to PowerPoint … there’s now a simple way to avoid it. Name your file with a .PPS or .PPSX file extension, and when you double-click the file, it’ll launch straight into the slideshow — no extra steps required.
Master the art of presentation
Use some of these tricks, and you’ll be churning out expert-looking presentations like there’s no tomorrow. But since you’re already here, be sure to read some of our other useful guides (like this one for OneNote).