Improving image with simple tools

Question: I need to include a screen print image in a PowerPoint presentation but it very hard to read. It has different colored text on black background. I tried reversing the colors but it is still unreadable. Is there a way to improve the image so it is readable?

Answer: I was able to improve the image by using PowerPoint’s transparency tool. I first tried PowerPoint 2010′s “remove background,” but that didn’t work for this image, although I have had much success with this tool for other images. If using PowerPoint 2010, select the image and click on Color > Set Transparent Color and click on the black background. If any of the text is black, that may become transparent too, so you may want to use the color tools before (or after) to “recolor” the text so that it is all one color. The image turned out to be a noticeable improvement. Try some of the other color or correction tools to possibly enhance the image even more.

Uploading PowerPoint handouts into Blackboard

Question: Can you tell me how to upload a PowerPoint handout, 2 slides per page, onto Blackboard.

Answer: In order to save a PowerPoint handout with two or more slides per page you must save it to a file as a handout. If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro (or a Mac)

  1. From File > Print, select Settings and change the slide options to handouts and select the number desired.
  2. Change the printer to Adobe PDF. This will create a file you can upload to Blackboard.

If you don’t have Adobe PDF or a Mac, you can create handouts in Word,  Go to File > Save and Send > Create Handouts (File > Export in PowerPoint 2013), and select a style and click OK. Word will open in a table format with your slides and any other formatting you selected. You now have a Word document which you can upload to Blackboard.

I would highly recommend creating handouts in Word, especially if you have used the Notes feature, as you can include those with your slides. From Word you can convert documents to PDF format from File > Save and Send > Create PDF or XPS file. Converting to PDF will reduce the file size considerably.

Before uploading to Blackboard, you should “zip” your file. From Windows Explorer, right click on the file you wish to zip and select Send To > Compressed Zip Folder.

To upload in Blackboard, follow the instructions described here or create content in a course including zipped files. For other Blackboard help resources, click here.

Customizing an MS Office Organizational Chart

Question: I am working on an organizational (hierarchy) chart from SmartArt in Word. I would like to merge two of the boxes into one but keep the two lines above it. However, I am not able to do that in the SmartArt features. Any ideas?

Answer: If you copy and paste the org chart into PowerPoint, you’ll have a few more features in SmartArt. One of those is the ability to convert the SmartArt into shapes. Once you do that, however, you will not be able to add more levels to your org chart through the SmartArt features. So before doing this, I would make a duplicate of that slide in case you need to refer back to the SmartArt and add more levels (or at least finalize the remainder of the org chart first).

On the duplicated slide click on the SmartArt and from the Design tab on the ribbon click to the far right Convert > Convert to Shapes. After converting to shapes you can delete one of the shapes that you wanted to merge and just stretch out the other one and add any additional text you need. Converting to shapes will allow you a little more flexibility in dealing with the individual elements of the chart.