About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

April 30, 2013

Office 2013-PowerPoint

As with other components in Office 2013, PowerPoint offers the “Landing Page” and the capacity to save your slideshows to the cloud…you are your Microsoft SkyDrive. The landing page is a fancy term for the opening page of PowerPoint.  It does have many options.  The first you will notice is the, “Take a Tour” button.  Take it and find several of the new features found in this version.

The landing page also gives you the opportunity to access local templates. You can also retrieve online templates you have saved to SkyDrive.  You can quickly access recent presentations as well.

PowerPoint Landing Page

Another neat new feature is that you can share presentations you have saved to the cloud with others.  This gives them the ability to edit the presentation at the same time you are.  This could get a little confusing, but it could also make slide prep a lot quicker.  Users can also add comments to the slide which you can use later to improve your show.

The next thing you will notice is that now you prepare your slideshow in a “Widescreen” size.  I think this is a great idea since most projectors, TV and other presentation devices have this ability.  It makes the slides fit the screens perfectly.

Insert PicturesThis next feature is one of the best of the new …in my opinion.  Click the “Insert” tab and choose “Online Pictures.”  You can now search and pull in pictures from Clip Art, Bing, pictures you have saved to SkyDrive, Facebook and Flickr.  Search for a picture, click on the one you want from maybe hundreds of choices, click Insert and bang, you have it in your slide.  Then as in the past you can resize it, move it around the slide and align it with other text objects with the new alignment guides. You also have all the other great features you used in the past versions.  This makes it much easier than in the past where you had to go to the internet to grab something.

Here is another feature which has been available in PowerPoint in several of the previous versions; however, not many people know about it. If you load a picture into PowerPoint from anywhere and want to remove the background give this a try.

Click on the “offending” picture or photo then look at the ribbon and hit the “Format” tab.  Look to the left, find the “Remove Background” button and click it.  Now you can use the sizing handles around it and resize the rectangle to cover the entire picture.  Finally click “Keep” or “OK,” whichever you have in your version.  The background vanishes and the 2013 version performs even better.  Keep in mind this will work in any graphic; however, if the background is one color or one shade it does a much better job.

Here is another neat trick I discovered while writing the previous paragraph.  When you resize the PowerPoint window to see another document, PP resizes everything to fit the screen including the slide you are working on.

PowerPoint has many other new features and has improved on many of the older ones.  If you are a heavy PowerPoint user you may want to seriously consider upgrading to Office 2013.

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