Looking to put more power into your PowerPoint presentations? Here are a few pointers.
Tip: For a hilarious spoof of what the Gettysburg Address would look like if President Lincoln had used PowerPoint, head to http://www.norvig.com/Gettysburg.
5.4.1 Saving Fonts with Your Presentation
When you distribute a PowerPoint presentation electronically , you can run into a serious problem: The fonts you used in your slides might not be available on the computers used by your readers. The result? PowerPoint substitutes different fonts for those that you carefully selected, and your presentation can appear out of whack.
To overcome this potential glitch, simply save the fonts with your presentation, making them accessible to anyone who opens the file.
Note: This technique only works with TrueType fonts, which are a family of fonts that ship with Windows. So if you went a little wild and dipped into your own esoteric font collection, you won't be able to save them with your presentation.
To save the fonts you used in a PowerPoint presentation, choose File Save As, and then click the Tools button in the upper-right corner of the dialog box. Then choose Save Options Embed TrueType fonts, as shown in Figure 5-13. Click OK, and then Save.
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Figure 5-13. When you save your fonts along with your presentation, choose the "Embed all characters" option if you need others to work on the presentation, too. Choose the "Embed characters in use only" option if no one else will be making changes (this option shrinks the file size of the presentation).
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Viewing Presentations Without PowerPoint
Even if you don't have PowerPoint on your PC, you can still view PowerPoint presentations. And if you do have PowerPoint, but your colleagues don't, you can easily share your presentations with them.
All you need is Microsoft's PowerPoint viewer, which you can download for free from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads (on this page, search for "PowerPoint viewer"). After you install the viewer, you can open PowerPoint presentations and show them off. (You won't be able to create or edit presentations, though.) To run the PowerPoint viewer, browse to wherever you installed it and double-click its icon, then open the presentation you want to see or display. And if you need to send a PowerPoint presentation to someone who doesn't have the program, she can download the viewer to see your work.
5.4.2 Copying Your PowerPoint Settings to Another Computer
People like to customize PowerPoint. For example, you can include certain toolbars and exclude others, or have a certain template open when the program starts. In fact, you may end up investing the better part of a few work days changing and tweaking various settings so PowerPoint looks and works exactly the way you like.
If that's the case, it'd be a drag to have to recreate those settings when you buy a new computer, or if you use PowerPoint on more than one machine. Thankfully, there's a simple way to transfer your PowerPoint customizations to any computer you use.
Your customizations are found in the file ppt.pcb, located in My Computer C: Documents and Settings Your Name Application Data Microsoft Powerpoint. Simply copy that file to the equivalent folder on another computer, and all of your PowerPoint customizations show up on the new PC.
5.4.3 Putting Your Presentations on a Diet
It's entertaining ‚ and sometimes even useful ‚ to include pictures and videos in your PowerPoint presentations. But when you do, your files can become super- sized , eating up tons of disk space on your computer.
Fortunately, there's a simple technique for trimming the size of a presentation without eliminating pictures and videos: Include a blank slide as the first slide viewed .
This may seem odd, because you'd expect that an extra slide would increase your file's size, not decrease it. But PowerPoint displays the first slide of a presentation as the preview image when you select a file in the Open dialog box. So if that slide is blank, rather than full of formatting and graphics, the preview image that PowerPoint stores as part of the presentation will be smaller ‚ making the entire file smaller, too. And if the first slide is hefty, you could easily trim off a few megabytes of space ‚ a significant savings.