Photo Album Picture Layouts in PowerPoint 2010

Once you create a Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010, you can do so much more with your photos such as reordering their sequence, changing their brightness and contrast levels, etc. However what might not be that apparent is that you can also make changes with the layouts of the individual slides — such as how many pictures you want to be visible on a single slide. You can also choose to show slide titles (or not), or even show your pictures in full screen view where one individual picture fits the entire slide area. What choices you make will depend entirely upon you — in this tutorial, you will be aware of these different choices.

Let me first show you the different layouts available within the Photo Album dialog box:

  • Fit to slide shows one picture per slide, in full screen view (see Figure 1).



    Figure 1: Fit to slide is the default option

  • 1 picture shows one picture per slide, but you can also see the slide background since the picture does not cover the entire slide. Similarly 2 pictures and 4 pictures use the same logic to show you 2 and 4 pictures respectively, and show the slide background (see Figure 2).


    Figure 2: 1, 2, and 4 pictures per slide show over the slide background

  • 1 picture with title shows one picture per slide (and the slide title), and you can still see the slide background since the picture does not cover the entire slide. Similarly 2 pictures with title and 4 pictures with title use the same logic, and show 2 and 4 pictures respectively with the slide titles and the slide background (see Figure 3).


    Figure 3: 1, 2, and 4 pictures per slide show over the slide background with titles

Follow these steps to see how to change the Picture layouts of the slides within your Photo Album presentation in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Open your existing Photo Album presentation, and choose the Insert tab | Photo Album | Edit Photo Album option.
  2. The opens the Edit Photo Album dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. The area highlighted in red in Figure 4 includes the options you will learn in this tutorial — which is Picture layout.

    Figure 4: Edit Photo Album dialog box

  3. By default the Picture layout is set to Fit to slide (refer to Figure 4 above).
  4. Click the Picture layout drop-down list (see Figure 5)


    Figure 5: Picture layout drop-down list

  5. Choose any of the picture layouts, and you will see a preview of its appearance (highlighted in red in Figure 5) next to the Picture layout drop-down list.
  6. Click the Update button (highlighted in blue in Figure 5) to apply the new layout to your Photo Album.
  7. Save you Photo Album presentation.

Note: You must change the picture layout for all the pictures and slides in your Photo Album presentation — you cannot have different slides that have different layouts within the same presentation.

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Reorder, Remove, and Edit Photos within Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010

Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010 is not just limited to creating presentations that contain photos. After your photo album has been created, you can forget about its existence for a few days or months — and then open the photo album presentation again, and edit it almost like you have just created it a moment ago! You can edit the photo content in many ways, since the Edit Photo Album dialog box provides abundant possibilities — in this tutorial we’ll explore some of these edit options.

For this tutorial I have created a sample Photo Album using several wallpaper pictures from the free National Geographic’s Photo of the Day collection

Remember: Using a free photo from a web site such as National Geographic is intended for personal use only – don’t assume they are free to use anywhere. Read this article on Picture Copyrights which will help you understand this concept better.

Follow these steps to explore some of the editing options within the Edit Photo Album dialog box in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Open your existing Photo Album presentation by accessing the Insert tab | Photo Album | Edit Photo Album option.

  2. The Edit Photo Album dialog box opens with your Photo Album, as shown in Figure 1. The area highlighted in red in Figure 1 includes the options you will learn about in this tutorial — these are reorder, remove, rotate, contrast, and brightness.



    Figure 1: Edit Photo Album dialog box

  3. Figure 2 shows the marked options which are explained below.


    Figure 2: Edit options

    1. Pictures in album: This section displays the list of pictures used within the opened Photo Album presentation. Here you can select any individual photo to edit it using the options we discuss next.
    2. Preview: This section displays the preview of the photo you have selected within the Pictures in album section.
    3. Reorder: These two buttons enable you to move a selected photo up or down in the list.
    4. Remove: Delete the selected photo from the Photo Album — this does not delete the actual picture on your computer though.
    5. Rotate: These two buttons allow you to Rotate Right and Rotate Left by 900 — to rotate any picture 1800, just click any of these two buttons twice.
    6. Contrast: Use the two contrast buttons to increase and decrease the contrast levels.
    7. Brightness: These two buttons increase and decrease the brightness levels.

    Remember: There are no Reset options to undo any changes you make using the edit options explained above — so be careful before you make any of the changes — even if you make any changes, these are not applied until you press the Update button that we explain later in this tutorial.

  4. Figure 3 shows the same selected file (refer to Figure 1 above) has been moved up in the list, and its brightness levels have been increased.


    Figure 3: Photo is reordered, and brightness levels are increased

  5. When done with any changes you make, click the Update button (highlighted in red in Figure 3 above) to apply the changes to your Photo Album. If you do not want to make any changes, do click the Cancel button to return to the Photo Album presentation without making any changes.
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Drawing a Perfect Square in PowerPoint 2010

In a previous tutorial, I showed you how to draw a perfect circle. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a perfect square in PowerPoint 2010 using those same principles. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2010. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation — PowerPoint 2010 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
  2. Within the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes button to view the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 1. Select the Rectangle shape since that’s what we will use to draw a square.


    Figure 1: Rectangle shape selected

  3. Use any of these two options to place a perfect square on your slide:
    • Click anywhere on the slide to add the Rectangle shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch), as shown in Figure 2.For resizing, hold down the Shift key while dragging any of the four corner handles to retain the square proportion (preventing the square from becoming a rectangle).
      Figure 2:
      Square shape placed on the slide
    • Alternatively, click on the slide. Don’t let go off the mouse yet — instead hold the Shift key while dragging to constrain the height and width proportions, as shown in Figure 3. Optionally, you can hold the Ctrl key (in addition to the Shift key) to draw a square from the center.

      Figure 3: Drawing a square while holding the Shift key
  4. Save your presentation.
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Drawing a Perfect Circle in PowerPoint 2010

Drawing shapes in PowerPoint is drop-dead easy with the vast repertoire of readymade shapes available in PowerPoint 2010. You can easily insert these shapes with a click or two, but some tricks can help you take these shapes further — in this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can draw a perfect circle.

Follow these steps to explore how:

  1. Launch PowerPoint 2010. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation — PowerPoint 2010 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.

  2. Within the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes button to view the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 1. Select the Oval shape since that’s what we will use to draw a circle.

    Figure 1: Oval shape selected

  3. Use any of these two options to place a perfect circle shape on your slide:

    • Click anywhere on the slide to add the Oval shape in a predefined size (typically 1 inch x 1 inch), as shown in Figure 2. For resizing, hold down the Shift key while dragging any of the four corner handles to retain the circle proportion (preventing the circle from becoming an oval).

      Figure 2: Circle shape placed on the slide

    • Alternatively, click on the slide. Don’t let go off the mouse yet — instead hold the Shift key while dragging to constrain the height and width proportions, as shown in Figure 3. Optionally, you can hold the Ctrl key (in addition to the Shift key) to draw a circle from the center.

      Figure 3: Drawing a circle while holding the Shift key

  4. Save your presentation.

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Editing your Photo Album PowerPoint Presentation

In my previous post, you learned how easy it is to create a Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010 — this way you can import hundreds of photos to a new presentation with just a few clicks.

Once the photo album has been created, you don’t reach a dead-end stop! In fact there is so much you can still do to make non-destructive edits to your photo album presentation. In this post, you will learn about accessing these options within the Photo Album dialog box — let me show you how you can get to this dialog interface.

  1. Open any Photo Album presentation you have created earlier, and then access the Insert tab of the Ribbon. Locate the Images group where you will find the Photo Album button. Click the downward arrow on the bottom half of this button to bring up a small menu that you can see in Figure 1. Choose the Edit Photo Album option in this menu

    Figure 1:The Edit Photo Album menu option

    Note: Is the Edit Photo Album option in the menu grayed out? This can happen if you are editing a presentation that was not created as a Photo Album, or if you have made significant changes to your Photo Album presentation after creating it — for most practical purposes, do make any edits to your Photo Album only through the Edit Photo Album menu option shown in Figure 1.

  2. This opens the Edit Photo Album dialog box that you see in Figure 2. Note that the Edit Photo Album dialog box is essentially exactly the same as the Photo Album dialog box that you saw in my previous post: Creating a Photo Album in PowerPoint. The only difference here is that now you are making changes to your existing Photo Album presentation rather than creating a new one from scratch — that explains why the Create button is now called the Update button!

    Figure 2:The Edit Photo Album dialog box

  3. In my next post in this series, I’ll take you through a walkthrough of all the wonderful options you see in the Photo Album dialog — you’ll love the fact that you can convert hundreds of color photographs to black and white with one click, and revert them back to their color states with another click! Watch this space, and have a great day.

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Creating a Photo Album in PowerPoint

If you like to use many pictures in your PowerPoint presentations, then you’ll be glad to know that PowerPoint can import pictures in several formats – from the ubiquitous JPG to the ancient BMP. Whichever file format you use, importing tens or even hundreds of pictures into consecutive PowerPoint slides can be a chore – fortunately, the awesome Photo Album feature makes this task a simple affair — follow these steps to create a Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. It really does not matter if you use an existing presentation or even create a new one for a Photo Album since this feature always creates a new presentation anyway – so access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, then locate the Images group where you will find the Photo Album button. Click the downward arrow on the bottom half of this button to bring up a small menu. Choose the New Photo Album option, as shown in Figure 1.

     

    Figure 1: New Photo Album

  2. This opens the Photo Album dialog box that you see in Figure 2.

     

    Figure 2: Photo Album dialog box

  3. Now click the ‘File/Disk….’ Button (refer to Figure 2 above), which opens the Insert New Pictures dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.

     

    Figure 3: Insert New Pictures dialog box

    Navigate to where your photos are and select the desired pictures:

    • To select all pictures in your folder, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.
    • To select adjacent pictures, click on the first picture, then press and hold the Shift key and select the last picture.
    • To select multiple non-adjacent pictures, press and hold the Control key while clicking on the desired pictures.

    When selection is made, click the Insert button.

  4. This will add the selected pictures in the Photo Album dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.

     

    Figure 4: Pictures added in the Photo Album dialog box

  5. The Photo Album dialog box provides several options such as re-ordering the pictures, picture adjustments, picture layouts, and Themes. Edit as required, and then click the Create button to insert pictures.

     

  6. A separate presentation will be created for the Photo Album, as you can see in Figure 5.

     

    Figure 5: Photo Album in PowerPoint 2010

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Top Ten Online Resources for PowerPoint Users

Essentially, PowerPoint is a simple program and many Word and Excel users make the transition to PowerPoint in less than a day (or even an hour). Yet, there’s so much more behind the surface of this presentation program that’s not very obvious to a new or even a long-time user. Getting to know more about those hidden options can make all the difference in the world between a ho-hum presentation and a great one.

You can read books, and there are plenty of great PowerPoint books available but many books are version specific and can get outdated soon. Even if you do explore books, and I do recommend some of them, you can complement them with the Internet, which provides thousands of resources for PowerPoint users, and that in itself brings forth a new challenge: of finding just ten of those thousands of sites. Thankfully, this list of top ten PowerPoint resources should be helpful:

  1. Indezine: I’ll unashamedly recommend my site, Indezine right on the top – if you want to learn more about PowerPoint, go to the aptly named Learn PowerPoint section. The site also has LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and you can follow my tweets as well.

    http://www.indezine.com

    http://twitter.com/geetesh

  2. PowerPoint FAQ: This site is run by Steve Rindsberg, who like me is a PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Steve has collected all sorts of information about PowerPoint and created this FAQ. Do use the search options on this site to find what you are looking for – there’s tons of quality content here.

    http://www.pptfaq.com

  3. Microsoft Answers for PowerPoint: Microsoft now has a web interface for its newsgroups, and the PowerPoint newsgroups are a great place to search for questions that other folks have answered – or you can go ahead and ask your own question. More often than not, someone will respond completely free of cost.

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/default.aspx#tab=5

  4. Office.com: Beyond Microsoft Answers, Microsoft has so much more content on Office.com – look at the PowerPoint section (click first on the Products link) – or search for free templates and images.

    http://www.office.com

  5. Duarte Blog: Read Nancy Duarte’s blog where she shares experiences and thoughts about what is happening in the world of presentations. Nancy heads Duarte Design, a world class presentation studio and has authored two best-selling books, Slide:ology and Resonate.

    http://blog.duarte.com/

  6. About.com: About.com has an extensive PowerPoint and presentations specific site managed by their guide, Wendy Russell. There are plenty of tutorials and tons of advice to get you started. There’s also a weekly newsletter that you can sign up for.

    http://presentationsoft.about.com/

  7. Echo’s Voice: This site is headed by PowerPoint MVP, Echo Swinford. Come here for tons of sane advice on using new features in the latest PowerPoint versions.

    http://www.echosvoice.com

  8. Ellen Finkelstein: Ellen is another PowerPoint MVP, and she also issues a frequent newsletter you can sign up for. She also provides several e-books on her site that you can buy.

    http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/powerpoint.html

  9. The PowerPoint Team Blog: This blog is authored by the PowerPoint team at Microsoft and frequently includes insider tips and cool tutorials on using PowerPoint.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powerpoint/

  10. Visualology: This is a new blog started by PowerPoint MVP, Glenna Shaw and judging by the first few posts, it promises to be a site that you should bookmark. I loved her post on Gestalt Principles.

    http://visualology.net/

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Using Your Own Pictures In Slides

In the last series of posts, we have explored Picture Copyrights and how you can get free-to-use pictures from Flickr. Now I’ll explore another option available to all of us, and yes, this is free too! In addition, this involves moving away from your computer and creating the visual content yourself by using a digital camera.

I have trained so many people in skills required to create presentations, and it always surprises me that very few of these participants use pictures they click themselves. Many of them would love to find some pictures online, or use an image bank provided by their company. Yet, the surprising fact is that almost everyone has a digital camera — and that statement allows me to explore some trivia.

Quick, think about this: who is the largest manufacturer of digital cameras in the world today? If you answered Kodak, Nikon, or Canon — then you may have missed out the fact that almost all mobile phones these days include a digital camera, and that makes Nokia the largest supplier of digital cameras worldwide. Now, I am not suggesting that all of you have a Nokia phone — but I am sure that a large percentage of you readers has a digital camera equipped mobile phone, and a standalone digital camera as well. So go ahead and click your own pictures. You may be able to use some of these pictures in your next presentation without having to bother asking for permissions or being scared that you are violating copyrights.

But wait, there still are slim chances that you may be violating copyrights even if you clicked your own pictures — Rikk Flohr or Fleeting Glimpse Images was interviewed on my site Indezine more than a year ago — and he talks why you should be aware of the concept of public and private property.

With this post, we are done with the subject of Picture Copyrights for a while, and shall get back to some other topic next time. Thanks for stopping here, and have a great day.

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Get Free-to-use Pictures from Flickr

It’s great to be back after the holidays — for those of you who want to know if I went for a vacation, the answer is yes — check out some pictures from my trip to Jaipur on my Flickr account. It seems quite apt that I lead you to Flickr because that site is the focus of this blog post.

In the last post on this blog, we discussed Picture Copyrights, and I promised to look into sources for copyright-free pictures in subsequent posts. This time, we are exploring how you can get free-to-use pictures from Flickr.

While there are multitudes of pictures on Flickr, do remember that many of them are not free for you to use as you like. Many of these pictures are copyrighted and the only permissions you have are to view them on the Flickr site. However, if you want to use some pictures from Flickr in a commercial project, or if you want to edit or modify them for subsequent use — then you’ll find the Creative Commons licensing that Flickr uses as a godsend. Follow these steps to search copyright free content on Flickr:

  1. Open the Flickr site in your web browser. On the home page itself, you’ll find a Search box (highlighted in red in Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Search box on the Flickr home page

  2. Within the Search box, type in the keywords you want to search for, and click the prominent Search button (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2: Type keywords to search

  3. This will open the resultant page with all the pictures related to the keyword(s) used, as shown in Figure 3. The pictures you see on this page are not copyright free. To get to copyright free pictures, you need to go through some more steps.


    Figure 3:
    Search result based on keywords

  4. Click the Advanced Search option (highlighted in red), as shown in Figure 4.


    Figure 4:
    Advanced Search option

  5. In the resultant page, scroll down to the section called Creative Commons, and select all the three check-boxes that you can see in Figure 5. Click the Search button again.

    Figure 5: All the three check-boxes selected within creative commons section

  6. This shows you all copyright free pictures on Flickr based on the keyword(s) you have searched for. The gray strip below the Search box indicates that all the pictures shown on this page are copyright free under the Creative Commons license.

    Figure 6: Copyright free pictures on Flickr

Note: Want to know more about the Creative Commons license? Go to the Creative Commons site to understand this concept better.

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Picture Copyrights

At one extreme is a presentation that is bereft of any visual content, and the other extreme is a set of slides that have all visuals and almost no text. In this blog post, I am not advocating which is a better approach but contemporary presentations almost always include many visuals on slides, an approach that is highly encouraged these days. The adage, a picture is worth a thousand words has been heard more than a thousand times, and yet the truth in that statement still holds good, except in one scenario, and that is all about where the visuals actually came from — we discuss this next.

Many people are quite happy searching for keywords on Google’s image search, and copying / pasting the visual content they find into their slides! Now that approach may work for a school classroom project, and even in that scenario, it is debatable if using this option is ethical or not. Most of the time though, the worst offenders are presentation creators from the corporate sphere, who follow the exact same procedure: copying / pasting the visual content in their slides from Google’s image search results – and that’s certainly something that’s needs to be frowned upon!

I know of one anecdote: the secretary for the company’s CEO inadvertently copy/pasted pictures from a competitor’s web site into the slides of the presentation that the CEO was delivering at an industry forum. And the same competitors were part of his audience that day! Imagine that the secretary could do something like that, and the CEO never once checked his slides until he had to present them – the sad part is that these occurrences happen more frequently than we can imagine, and not many people even get worried about this violation of copyrights!

There’s absolutely no excuse in not worrying about copyrights these days, especially with the amount of free and low priced visual content that is available copyright free these days. Even if the content was not free or low priced, the loss of reputation and face resulting from such copyright violation is not something any company or professional can disregard these days.

In subsequent posts, we will explore more the concepts that let you understand about copyrights violation, permissions, Creative Commons, etc.

And until then, wish you all a happy festive season – do enjoy your holidays.

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