Reason #5 why I like Office 2007: using Slide designs/layouts in Powerpoint 2007

PowerPoint XP gave us ‘Multiple Masters’. Until then, we were limited to 2 master layouts: a Title master and a Content master. With multiple masters, we finally could create presentations with different, yet consistent background for different sections of our presentations.

The problem with multiple masters was that PowerPoint XP used a rather strange user interface for switching between the different masters. In Training sessions I gave, this topic always was one of the most confusing for trainees. You had to combine the “Slide Design” and “Slide Layout” panes in the Task Pane to get the layout you wanted, which was far from intuitive. PowerPoint 2003 did not improve in this area.

Finally, with PowerPoint 2007, Multiple Masters are really usable and pretty intuitive.
There’s no difference anymore between “Slide Design” and “Slide Layout”. When you need another layout, you simply click the “Layout” button. It will list all available layouts, for all masters in your presentation. With one click, you can change layout and/or master.
This is really an elegant solution to the complex issue of using Multiple Masters.


Get Started tab can help you make the transition

Microsoft is offering 3 free downloads that add a “Get Started” tab to Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007. This tab is something they probably should have included in the product itself when Office 2007 came to the market about a year ago, but at least you can download and install it now yourself.
The tab contains some useful links to ease the transition to the new version of the Office packages.

The icons on the Get Started tab are similar for each of the products. This is the Excel version:

  • Interactive Guide is a direct link to the interactive guide that Microsoft put on the Office webpages, which helps in finding a command in Office 2007, if you know where it is in Office 2003. I talked about it in one of my first posts on this blog. Very helpful, and now just a click away!
  • Up to Speed with Excel 2007 is a direct link to the Introduction training pages on Office Online.
  • Excel 2007 Overview and Get up to Speed with Excel 2007 are videos that demonstrate the new features and the basic stuff you need to know about the product.
  • Discuss Excel 2007 leads you to the Excel newsgroups, community blogs, MVPs (Office Experts) and webcasts.
  • Training leads to free self-paced courses.
  • Videos take you to some general Office videos/demos.
  • Excel 2007 will take you to the Office Online page for Excel, with an overview of all available help and training option.

Everything you reach is already available on the Microsoft Office website, but with this tab, the most useful pages are immediately available. Nice.

Here are the links:


PowerPoint Quickie: Replace Fonts

When I started this blog a few months ago, I promised myself I would not let it die after a few weeks, unlike many other blogs. But I have to admit, keeping it alive has been more of a struggle than I thought. It just takes a lot of time and energy to regularly publish something that is worthwhile reading. I’m not running out of ideas, I’m just having difficulties finding the time to put them into quality posts.

Anyway, at least this is another Quickie for you. Sometimes, when you receive a PowerPoint presentation or some Powerpoint slides that you want to reuse in your own presentation, the fonts of text boxes don’t match. The previous versions of PowerPoint had a nice feature to replace a specific font with another one for all slides of your presentation.

PowerPoint 2007 still has that feature, but I couldn’t find it. So I went to the Office website and looked at the Interactive Guide for PowerPoint that shows where to find a command in office 2007 if you know where it was in Office 2003.
It turned out it was surprisingly straightforward: it’s on the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the Replace-button.

Don’t click the button itself, but the drop-down arrow next to it, and you’ll be able to replace fonts quickly.