The old adage ‘less is more’ could definitely be applied to the use of PowerPoint animation. Using a lot of different animations can distract from your overall message and make your presentation looks amateurish and messy. Used well, and this can mean adding some complex animations (and triggers, more on those later), it can draw attention to your key points, look really nifty and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Before you begin
Before you start adding animations it is best to make sure the content of your presentation is finalised. Once animation is added it becomes harder to make changes. A useful tip is to add text directly to shapes where possible instead of adding textboxes on top of shapes – this makes animation easier as you are working with shapes and not groups.
With your content in place you should start by opening the Animation Pane. You will find this in the Animations tab. Within this pane you will see all of your animations in the order they will play.
If you are adding a lot of animations to a slide, go the Selection Pane (on the Home tab, go to the far right and click on the Select dropdown menu, click on Selection Pane) and rename the objects you are going to animate (these names will then also appear on the shapes in the Animation Pane) – this will make it easier to animate in sequence and a lot easier for anyone else who works on the presentation later to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Which animations look good?
As a rule, we tend to stick to simpler, cleaner PowerPoint animation such as Fade, Fly In/Out, Wipe In/Out and Appear/Disappear. We also try to avoid having to click through the animations by setting them to appear either With Previous or After Previous.
Remember, people watch what moves. They notice what is different. Make sure what you are saying matches watch you are showing with an animation. You want the flow of animation to match the flow of what you are saying.
Applying multiple animations to one object
Instead of using the animations ribbon to apply animations in the Animations tab, make a habit of using the Add Animation button instead – otherwise any animation you have previously applied to an object will be overwritten.
To easily copy animations from one object to another, use the Animation Painter in the Animations tab. This works in the same was as the Format Painter and will bring over all of the animation effects and timings.
The clue is in the name! A trigger makes something happen. For example, if you want additional text to be hidden on your slide until you click an object – you can create a trigger to do this. Some examples of how triggers can be used can be seen in this short video:
Using transitions to animate
Transitions can create the illusion of animations. The Push transition (set to come in from the right) can create the effect of a timeline, as shown in this video.
In the right hands the Morph transition can mimic sophisticated animations, you can see this in action here.
When not to use PowerPoint animation
The key here is not to use animation if it is going to distract from your message. Avoid using animation for presentations used in webinars – because the slides and visuals are streamed to all members at once including members whose internet connections may not be fast or stable meaning the animations lag or do not play at all.
Slide masters are good for you! For those of you who are learning about PowerPoint slide masters for the first time, a master acts as a style sheet for setting common or uniform elements on all slides in a presentation. You might wonder how a slide master is different to a slide layout? Put simply, slide layouts are different style variants of a slide master.
Why use slide masters?
Setting up template masters correctly will make creating house style presentations much simpler. You’ll get consistent looking slides, your formatting speed will increase, you’ll save time for other (more) important work. If you’ve ever wasted time trying to get one slide looking more like another, for example when pasting in slides from other decks – then it will really help to understand masters.
The “Reset” button is an awesome tool. When your slides are correctly supported by slide master and layouts – you’ll be able to reformat at entire slide with just one click. It’s our best friend.
How to set up a Slide Master:
To access slide masters, go to the View tab and click Slide Master. The top master is the grand master, you need to scroll to the top of the list of layouts on the left to get to it.
Do as much style setting as you can on the top master as this will feed through to all other layouts automatically.
What to set up on the top master
What are the most common elements you use on a slide? Use these to format your top master.
Use your company house style to create bullet styles (choose the bullet hierarchy), fonts, colours and layout of footers. Change the theme, background, or colour scheme.
Click Format Background at the bottom of the Background Styles list to open the Format pane and choose from background options, such as advanced fill settings, artistic effects, and colour and image settings.
To change all of the fonts in your presentation at once go to the top of the Slide Master pane, click the slide master. In the Background group on the Slide Master tab, click and select a font from the list.
To edit placeholders in the grand master slide, click Master Layout. To show or hide the title, text, date, slide numbers, or footer placeholders on the slide master, select or clear the check boxes to show or hide the placeholders.
Some more tips
- Do not to delete footer, page number and date from the top master – but do format them and switch them off in other layouts if they aren’t needed.
- Avoid using subheading styles within main bullet hierarchy: additional text boxes on layouts is preferable.
- Use the “Hide Background graphics” option in the ribbon to turn off the graphics from the top master in a layout.
- Use a fixed text box for any permanent footer (e.g Private & Confidential), but use the footer placeholder for editable text (e.g. Presentation Title).
- You can either delete or leave in any layouts you think you won’t need – at a later date they might come in handy.
Mastering slide masters is easy when you know how!
Save time in PowerPoint by learning from the experts: the team here at Presented are quick and fast at formatting. Years of working as presentation specialists mean that we have gained quite a few tips and tricks.
These 5 working methods to save time in PowerPoint are essential tips that we couldn’t live without…
- Using the Reset button
It’s surprising how few people know about this button. So long as a slide is correctly using layouts and placeholders, then resetting a slide is the best way to get a consistent looking professional deck fast.
Give it a click and see if anything happens to your slide. If you are using a company template then content should move and automatically format to the house style.
Even if the only layout you use is “Title Only”, then Reset gets all your titles across all slides in the same place and same style every time.
- Using layouts and templates correctly
The above tip won’t be much use if you aren’t actually using a template. And if you aren’t: why not? Even for custom use decks we’ll set up a few layouts in the masters to help us format the rest of the deck as quickly as possible.
Using a template is also vital for design amends. For example, if you have 60 slides and your boss wants the title style to be larger and bold now? Well you can make that change in the master and it’ll just take one edit, rather than 60 (one for each slide).
Actually applying layouts to your slides will also make your deck look how it’s supposed to look. And it takes you no time at all. Changing from 1 column to 2 column? There might be a layout for that. MUCH faster than fiddling on the slide and finding that it’s not quite the same as the previous slide…
- Quick access tool bar
There are a lot of buttons on the ribbon. We get it. But Microsoft have buried the ones we want to be handy so they are in sub menus (e.g. Arrange > Align > Right Align). So it takes multiple clicks to access these tools. But we can reduce that to one click by adding buttons to the top of the window so that they are easily accessible.
Either right click the top of the screen and select ‘Quick access tool bar’ to select the buttons you want to add. Or, go to the button itself and right click it to ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’. Either way, this is an essential hack for the team here at Presented.
- Format painter
To copy the format from one object to another, simply select the original object and press Alt + F to activate the Format Painter. (Or click the Format Painter button on the ribbon – it’s below the Home tab).
You can also right click any shape that you’ve styled correctly, and choose “Set as default shape”, so that all future shapes follow that same style. The same is true for a text box and a line.
F4 is a great key for reducing mouse movement and clicks, and for saving time in PowerPoint.
Whatever formatted you just did: pressing F4 will repeat it. Have a go. It can really save so much time!
We hope these tricks help you to save time in PowerPoint! If you have any other great PowerPoint hacks why not tweet us @presenteduk
There are thousands of weird and wonderful fonts available, but when answering the question of which PowerPoint font should you use for your presentation it is vital that you take into consideration where it will be viewed. For example, if your audience is in-house only and all of your team/company have your house style fonts installed on their machines then there isn’t a problem with using them (just so long as everyone has them installed that is…). However, if your house style fonts are non-standard PowerPoint fonts and the presentation is going to be viewed externally or on any machine which does not have the font installed – that’s where you could have a nasty problem.
Why is this a problem?
If your chosen PowerPoint font is non-standard and the computer used to view the presentation doesn’t have this font installed, PowerPoint will automatically substitute in a standard font (e.g. Calibri) instead. This can make the presentation look very different (for example, text may wrap in odd places or fall off the slide altogether) and no one wants that.
What’s the solution?
Happily, you don’t need to be a font geek to fix this, there are a few simple ways to stop it from happening!
- You could only use the PowerPoint on machines that have the correct font installed. But, this may not be possible if you are sending the presentation out to clients or if it is being used at a conference or other meeting where it will be loaded onto a non-company machine which does not have your font installed.
- There is the option to embed a non-standard font into the PowerPoint itself. This option is limited though because it this only works for .TTF* fonts (not .OTF* fonts) and it doesn’t work at all when presentations are viewed on a Mac.
- If you are 100% sure that your presentation is finalised you can save it as a PDF before distribution. But, again, there is a downside to this. Although fonts are embedded automatically in PDFs, suddenly your presentation will be a lot harder to edit and any nifty animations you have added will be lost.
- You could replace the font with images of the text. Yes, this will look the same, but again you have now made your presentation a lot harder to edit in the future.
- The most effective solution is to replace the font with a standard (safe) PowerPoint font (e.g. Arial, Century Gothic, Calibri) instead. You can choose the font which is the closest match in terms of your house style font for a similar look and feel. The downside to this is if your house style font is particularly quirky you may not be able to find a suitable equivalent. In this case you can refer to the above options.
What is a standard PowerPoint font?
We have already mentioned Arial, Century Gothic and Calibri – there are more to choose from. Other fonts that are safe to use cross-platform are Times New Roman, Times, Verdana, Courier and Courier New – to name just a few. You can find more listed here: http://presentit.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/fonts.html. Something else you should bear in mind is that the safe fonts list also depends on which version of Windows is being used – make sure your font is safe in all versions if your presentation is going to be widely distributed.
*What are .TTF and .OTF fonts?
TrueType Fonts (.TTF) came first and were designed to work with on both PCs and Macs. OpenType Fonts (.OTF) were developed later to work in Adobe and Microsoft packages. The main difference between .OTF and .TTF is in the advanced typesetting features which .OTF offers. There are some extra frills such as ligatures and ‘alternate characters’ (also known as glyphs) available, that give designers more options to work with.
There are a number of webpages that will talk you through all of this in more detail:
With font selection it is better to go with a safe option.
PPT keyboard shortcuts
PPT keyboard shortcuts come in handy: It’s the kind of scenario people have bad dreams about… you are halfway through your presentation and the mouse stops working leaving you stranded on one slide. So, you start to panic, everyone’s waiting and you want to keep their attention… Luckily for you, there are some PPT keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint Slide Show mode which you can use to keep things moving seamlessly.
Go! To kick things off, you may need to access Slide Show mode – clicking F5 (or Fn F5 on some keyboards) will start the Slide Show from slide 1.
Next! There are a few ways to move on to the next slide, you can press Enter, the n key (for next), the down arrow or the spacebar – and the presentation will move to the next slide.
Take me there. If you want to navigate to a particular slide in the deck and you know the slide number, type the number and press return to take you directly to that slide.
Where was I? If you want to go to a particular slide but don’t know the slide number, clicking Ctrl-S within a Slide Show will bring up a list of slides in the presentation. You can then use the down arrow on the keyboard to get to your desired slide, simply press return when it is highlighted in the list and you’ll be taken straight there.
Give me a sec. Now you have things moving again, you may want to pause the presentation briefly to give you time to wax lyrical. So that your audience is listening to you and isn’t distracted by what’s on screen, you can temporarily blank out your slide. Simply type ‘b’. This will black out the screen until you press another key. Similarly, ‘w’ will make the screen go white.
You’re just showing off now. You want to draw the audience’s attention to something specific on your slide but, as we know, your mouse has abandoned you. Try Ctrl-P – this will turn your cursor into a pen on the screen. You can then use your finger on the mouse pad to move the pen to where you want it on the screen, and then if you click and hold on the mouse pad you can draw on the slide with your finger. To get out of pen mode, Ctrl-P again and you can carry on through your presentation.
Don’t have nightmares, you don’t need a mouse when you have the nous.