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Microsoft PowerPoint Tips & Tricks

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Supports Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002/XP, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 unless noted


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Microsoft PowerPoint: Designing Presentations

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Display the Ruler

Choose View > Ruler; repeat again to hide. The rulers are marked off in inches and appear to the left and at the top of your slide working area. When you move the pointer or a drawing tool, look for the moving lines on the rulers that show you precisely where you are on the slide.

How Easy Are Your Slides to Read?
Too many presentations are so packed with information they can be illegible. Even complex and confusing slides may be readable if viewed only 18 inches away from a computer monitor.

Try this simple test. Switch to View > Slide Sorter and then choose a 66% view from View > Zoom or the Zoom toolbar button. If you cannot read the slide without a magnifying glass, consider using a larger font, fewer words and/or higher contrast.

Microsoft PowerPoint: Formatting

Microsoft PowerPoint: Working with Shapes

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Creating the Perfect Circle, Square, Star, and More
If you have even tried to draw a circle or square on a slide, you might have noticed that the tool is actually called ellipse or rectangle which does not automatically give you a perfectly
proportional shape.

The next time that you want an evenly proportioned shape, select the toolbar or AutoShape option that you want, press and hold down [Shift] and then draw the object. Release the mouse before letting go of the [Shift] key and you will have a perfect circle (or square). Hold [Shift] again if you need to resize the shape.

This trick can also be used for drawing other shapes including stars, octagons, triangles, and more.

Quickly Copy a Shape
Do you want more copies of your perfect shape? Here's an easy way to make a copy:

1) Click once on the shape to select, 2) Press and hold down [Ctrl] and drag the object to create a copy in a new location.

Easy Alignment:
If you want the original and the copy to be evenly aligned either horizontally or vertically, follow the steps above but also add the [Shift] key which will "constrain" or limit your movement to be only across or up and down.

Limit Your Lines
Most shapes will look more professional onscreen without an outside line or border. To remove the line: 1) Select the object, 2) Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Paintbrush tool in the Drawing toolbar (at the bottom of the screen) or double-click on the object to change the Line to No Line.

Selecting Multiple Objects
To select or highlight more than one object, press and hold down the [Shift] key and click on each object. Click again if you want to de-select an object. All highlighted objects can then be moved, copied, formatted and modified together. Click away from the selected items to un-select them all.

Selecting "Hidden" Objects
With more complex slides, a shape, text box, or other object that you want to work with may be hidden or tucked behind other objects making it difficult to click and select the correct
one. To select slide objects in sequence, press [Tab] repeatedly. Each object, including titles and subtitles, will be individually highlighted each time you press [Tab]. Stop on the one you want to work with. Go backwards by pressing [Shift] + [Tab].

Next, format, delete, copy, move, or re-size the selected object.

Microsoft PowerPoint: Delivering Presentations

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Delivering a PowerPoint Slide Show

Quick Start of Slide Show
Start from first slide: Press [F5] to start a slide show of the current presentation starting from the first slide (regardless of location).

Start from current slide: Press [Shift] + [F5] to start a slide show from the current slide (PowerPoint 2003 and newer) or click once on the projector toolbar in the bottom left corner to start a slide show from the current selected slide.

Press [Esc] to exit at any time.

Navigating Slides
Advance to the next slide (any of these): [Right], [Down], N (for Next), [Spacebar], [Page Down] (or click the left mouse)

Return to the previous slide (any of these): [Left], [Up], P (for Previous), [Backspace], [Page Up]

Go to specific slide number: type slide number and press [Enter]

Black Screen
Display a black screen or go back to slide show: B or [Period]

Changing Pointer
Hide the mouse pointer: [Ctrl] + H

Activate the mouse pointer/arrow: [Ctrl] + A

Quick Help
While running a slide show, press the [F1] function key for a list of slide show shortcuts. A great way to learn shortcuts but definitely not recommended while delivering a presentation.

Right-click anywhere on the slide show screen for a shortcut menu with many slide show actions.

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PowerPoint Tip
Press [Ctrl] + H to hide the mouse pointer when delivering a slide show.

Press [Ctrl] + A to bring back the mouse pointer arrow.
 

Did You Know?
Slide handouts can include 1-9 slides per page.
 
 
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