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Powerpoint: Create and save a color palette

November 3, 2013 Leave a comment

You can customize the clickable color selections available in any Powerpoint file by building and saving a new color palette.

To do this, you will need the RGB values for each of your preferred colors. If they are set out in a style guide already, refer to that. If not, you will need to obtain them from an older presentation or a web site. If you have a presentation that uses the desired colors, you can obtain the RGB values using this method:

  1. Select a graphic element that uses one of these colors as a fill
  2. Click the down arrow on the paint bucket button, and click “More Colors”
  3. From the options at the top of the menu that opened, choose the icon showing two sliders
  4. Record the figures in each box next to the sliders for Red, Green and Blue.

If you must refer to a web site or a non-Office document for a desired color (or colors), call up that site or document and perform a screen capture when the color (or colors) you need is (or are) displayed. Then, paste from your clipboard into your presentation. Next, use the shape tool to draw a rectangle on the slide next to the screen cap. Select the rectangle and click on the small down-arrow next to the paint bucket tool. Select “More Colors.” You will see a magnifying glass on the resulting menu: Click it and move the cursor (now a magnifying glass with crosshairs) over the desired color and click. The sliders in the color window will have changed to reflect the color you just picked up from the screen cap. Record them and repeat this process for any additional colors you wish to use.

You now have the RGB values for a half-dozen colors or so, right? Then you are ready to save your color palette. Here’s how…

  • Under the “Themes” tab, choose “Theme Options,” then “Colors,” then click “Create Theme Colors”
  • You will see a menu displaying 12 colors
  • Customize any of these colors by clicking on the box next to the label and then clicking “Change Color”
  • In the resulting menu, you can punch in your RGB values and then click “OK” to lock them in
  • When you have altered as many of these colors as you wish, enter a unique title in the “Name” box and click “Apply to All.”

This will activate the palette in your presentation, making your custom colors available in the drop-down menu for fonts, fills, outlines, etc. It also saves the palette in the system files for use in future projects. If you save and send the presentation with your new palette activated, it will travel with the file and your recipient may save it on their hard drive as well.

 

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Powerpoint Integration: Combining Presentations with Differing Designs

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

There is no fool-proof way (that we know of) to combine presentations with different design schemes into one cohesive presentation in Powerpoint, but you can do the heavy lifting in six easy steps.

You should first get the design in place. Perhaps one of the PPT files already has the right background, colors, and fonts in place: If that is true…

  1. Open that file, save it under a new name, and put it into ‘slide sorter’ mode by clicking on ‘View’ and ‘Slide Sorter’
  2. Open the other file and put that one into slide sorter mode
  3. Click on one of the thumbnails and then hit CTL-A to select all of them and CTL-C to copy
  4. Go back to the other file (the one that has the right design) and click on the last thumbnail
  5. Press CTL-V to paste the slides. A clipboard icon will appear: click on it and choose ‘Use Destination Theme.’ This will apply the desired design rules to the slides you’re pasting in.
  6. Arrange the slides in the proper order using slide sorter mode.
  7. Save.

Repeat that process on any other files you wish to integrate and save again.

You now must go through the presentation, from start to finish, making adjustments as needed. The slides you pasted in may have unwanted line breaks or improper colors. Text you’ve bolded or italicized may have reverted to plain text. Keep the original files open so you can refer to those as you correct the new ones.

If neither of the original presentations have a design template you’re happy with, you want to start by creating a new file into which you’ll paste the contents of the originals. Press CTL-N and choose a design scheme from the gallery that opens

You could also start with a plain slide and design the template yourself from scratch by altering the master slides. However, if you’re unfamiliar with master slides, this isn’t the way to go.

Keynote for iPad: First Impressions

April 4, 2010 4 comments

Our Keynote developer spent last night and this morning getting acquainted with Keynote for iPad. We were intrigued by the iPad the minute we saw the Keynote demo and could not wait to get our hands on it. Here is what we have learned.

The Good

It’s fairly easy to copy images from the web for use in Keynote and to resize them and move them around.

There are 43 fonts available. Palatino is here, as well as Helvetica (designer Michael Critz has made a list: iPad fonts). On the other hand, this is going to be limiting: Clients love custom fonts so hopefully there will be a way to install new ones soon.

A Keynote presentation designed on another machine can be sent to the iPad via e-mail or downloaded from an online folder. Users can create or make changes to presentations on the iPad and upload them to iWork.com or send by e-mail (be ready for more font difficulties). The ‘Send via Mail’ option yields the choice between sending a Keynote file or turning it into a PDF.

The Bad

We are surprised and disappointed that users cannot customize master slides and are limited to the eight standard masters that come with each of the 12 design schemes. Sadly, even importing a presentation with custom-designed masters will not get around this limitation. Users are limited to duplicating slides and making changes to follow a custom design. Naturally, making global changes by modifying a master is impossible (you cannot modify a master slide).

We were unable to open a .zip file from e-mail on the iPad.

A Quicktime (.mov) video was dropped every time a sample presentation was transferred to iPad using e-mail or online folders, although photos embedded in the sample were retained.

When opening a presentation with unsupported media or fonts on the iPad, a ‘Presentation Import Warnings’ window opens detailing what went wrong. Unfortunately, these warnings are a little vague. iPad Keynote tells us which fonts are missing, but instead of informing us which ones they have been replaced with, we’re merely told “Your text might look different,” (in fact all missing fonts were replaced with Arial). For missing video, it’s even worse: “Unsupported media were removed.” We’re not told what was removed nor from which slide or slides.

There is no print option. Users must send a Keynote file or PDF and print from another machine.

What it Has

  • Animation options for building-in and -out
  • Magic Move for moving and resizing objects between slides
  • Move items to front or back, forward or backward
  • Image masking
  • Undo and redo button (press and hold ‘undo’ to reveal redo option)
  • Plenty of ‘Smart Builds’
  • Title case option under ‘Text’ in the ‘Info’ toolbar button.

What it Lacks

  • Ability to build or edit master slides
  • Grouping of shapes, text, or images
  • Motion paths for animating objects
  • Any method for evenly distributing objects (no distribute option is given when shapes are selected and no edge guides pop up to indicate when shapes arrive at regular intervals)
  • Color picker or custom colors
  • Alpha tool
  • Ability to re-color or blur images
  • Ability to copy and paste properties
  • Ability to print directly from iPad
  • Video support.

The iPad Overall

It may not be for you if you can’t stand fingerprints on your screen.

Editing web content is difficult: Safari does not recognize many editable fields (this one, for instance).

Apple is upselling: MobileMe appears to be required if you wish to sync contacts and calendars.

It does have the option of disabling CAPS LOCK (Oh, how we have wished for a computer that would eliminate the accidental CAPS LOCK!).

Most iPhone applications that are available for iPad are unchanged and appear in an iPhone-sized window in the center of the screen.

The iPad has great battery life: You can reasonably expect six hours of heavy use before it conks out. Word is it recharges in four, but we have yet to time this out.

It gives off no perceptible heat and has no fan, so it runs silently. It is easy to handle and does not appear to strain the eyes. Reading from the iPad is very comfortable and the iBooks application yields beautiful-looking ebooks.

[Gary Reichardt]