Question: Is there a way to make a graphic transparent behind text?
Answer: It is wonderful to add photographs to your PowerPoint slides, but sometimes because of the variation in colors, it is difficult to find a font color that is readable if placed on top of the photo. There are a couple of things you can try. You can change the brightness of your image, but many times it reduces the sharpness of the photograph so that it doesn’t look clear any longer. So what seems to work instead is to create a transparent text box over the photograph without having to change the brightness or quality of the image:
- Add a background color to your text box by right clicking on the text box and select Format Shape.
- Click Solid Fill and click the dropdown arrow next to fill color.
- Try to select a color similar to a dominate color in the image. This isn’t necessary, but often creates a nicer effect.
- Move the transparency slider – try 40% first and see how the text appears. If it needs more “tweaking” you can readjust the transparency or the text box background color.
Here is another cool feature using a transparency tool. If you wish to remove a background color that surrounds a photograph (such as white or black around the photograph), click your image and select your Picture Tools > Color > Set Transparent color tool and click on the background. The color will be removed around the image.
Question: I have a PowerPoint file with only 25 slides that is extremely slow. It has been edited by many people. In the Slideshow view, some slides require 3 or 4 clicks, and I can’t figure out why?
Answer: This was an frustrating problem with a simple solution. However, I tried several things before resolving - checking animation and transition options, trying to use a different design and background and saving with a new name, and even creating a new file and “reusing” or inserting the slides into it, but we still had the problem.
However, I noticed the file was in 2003 format (.PPT) and was over 9 MB size for only 25 slides with few graphics. So I thought saving it in the new format (.PPTX) would reduce its size. Not only was it about half the size, but it ran much faster, without having to click several times to go to the next slide. Why didn’t I try that first?
When old files have been edited frequently especially by many users with different versions, they develop “junk” in the file. Normally saving with the new name will fix it, but in this case it required saving to the new format.
Question: I attended a session you had recently on updating your PowerPoint slides. I forgot where I can find those examples of slides which have really great text and animation effects.
Answer: Yes, why spend a lot of time creating them when you can use great examples already set up! Just go to create a New PowerPoint presentation and click the presentation templates from Microsoft Office Online. After clicking on PowerPoint Presentations and Slides, select the group “Example Slide Effects with Instructions.” There are a number of examples found here, but be sure to check out “Combined picture and text effects for PowerPoint slides.” There are several slide examples with instructions in the Notes section on how to re-create it. However, I would just save the entire presentation and then “Reuse” the slides you wish to use. To do this, open your presentation, click the Home tab and click the down arrow next to New Slide and select Reuse slide (the bottom option). A task pane appears on the right side where you can browse for the presentations with the slides you wish to reuse.
Question: How can I insert a PDF file into PowerPoint?
Answer: You select the Insert tab > Object > select Create from File and browse for the PDF file, and click OK. If the PDF is several pages, only the first page may display in the slide show view or when printing, but the content will still be there if you double click inside the PDF in the normal slide view.
Question: I have to create a presentation and don’t want to use boring bullet slides. I hate when people just read off their slides. But I also need to provide handouts for people to take with them on what I’m discussing. Thoughts?
Answer: One of the best presentations I’ve seen was a series of slides with photos on them and NO bullet slides. I challenge you to try it for your next presentation. Someone in Business and Finance tried it and said he had the best response from a presentation he had ever had. You could incorporate the UNMC Powerpoint templates and use only the photo slides (download dynamic photos from the branding website online photo collection or search for photos by inserting Microsoft clipart feature). If you have to use any text at all, keep it limited to a word or short phrase. It does require you, however, to rehearse well and really know your subject, since the “crutch text” is not there to help you.
If you need to supply handouts, you can create the write up in Word, or here’s an even better tip that will help you when rehearsing your presentation. Type your text or main topics of the presentation in the Notes section of your Powerpoint slide, and instead of printing handouts or Notes pages in PowerPoint. Send your slides to Word with Notes next to slides. You’ll usually see three columns, with the slide number, the slide graphic, and your notes. Usually 3 slides will fit on a page (although that can change depending on how much text in your Notes section). Snce it is in table format you can resize columns, rows, fonts, margins, etc. I’ve often been able to get six slides per page with the notes. Below are the steps to send your slides to Word in the various versions of PowerPoint:
- Office 2003: File > Send to > Microsoft Office Word
- Office 2007: Office button > Publish > Create handouts in Microsoft Office Word
- Office 2010: File > Save and Send > Create Handouts