chapter 17: advanced powerpoint 627
uilding individual slides in PowerPoint can be lots of fun, if that’s your idea of
a good time. But the real muscle of the program lies in its ability to pull those
images together into a running slideshow. Although good taste sometimes
suffers as a result, you can dress up your slide presentations with ﬂashy cinematics,
music, sound effects, and voice narration. You can then rehearse your PowerPoint
shows to work out the split-second timing. You can even turn your masterpieces
into printouts or a Web site for the beneﬁt of those who missed the presentation,
or save your slideshows as QuickTime movies, then edit them again later (back in
This chapter shows you how to harness these potent PowerPoint features.
Making a Slideshow
Chapter 16 discusses building slides and ﬁnding your way around PowerPoint. Now
it’s time to dig in and look at the big picture—how to bring those images together
into a complete slideshow with all the trimmings.
PowerPoint gives you broad artistic license in the way you switch from one slide to the
next. By varying the transitions—the between-slide special effects—you can create a
sense of movement or put some zip into otherwise lackluster material such as tables,
ﬂowcharts, and scenes from your Cancun honeymoon. PowerPoint transitions range
from simple cuts (with one slide quickly replacing another) to fancier effects such as
dissolves (where one slide melts into the next) and checkerboard wipes (where slides
628 ofﬁce 2004 for macintosh: the missing manual
transmogrify with a moving checkerboard effect). Even with all this variety, though,
it’s a good idea to rely on simple transitions and use the pyrotechnics sparingly.
How transitions work
Transitions, as the term implies, appear in the spaces between slides in a show. To add
a transition in PowerPoint, you ﬁrst need to specify the location by selecting the slide
that begins the switcheroo. If, for example, you want to insert a transition between the
fourth and ﬁfth slides in a show, select slide four in one of the following ways:
• In Normal view, click in the outline heading.
• In Slide view, summon the slide.
• In Slide Sorter view, click the slide thumbnail.
After selecting a slide, you can add a transition in any of several ways (see Figure
• On the Formatting Palette, open the Change Slides panel and click the Slide Transi-
tion tab (the middle icon). Pick the transition you want to use.
• Choose Slide Show→Slide Transition; or in Slide Sorter view, Control-click a slide
and choose Slide Transition from the contextual menu.
The Slide Transition dialog box appears, offering a pop-up menu with a list of
transitions. Scroll down the list and make your choice, then click Apply.
• In Slide Sorter view, use the Slide Sorter toolbar that appears automatically; it
offers a Transitions pop-up menu. (If you don’t see the toolbar, choose Tools→
Customize→Customize Toolbars/Menus and make sure that Slide Sorter is turned
Kinds of transitions
Although you’ll probably end up using simple cuts and other tried-and-true favorites
over the course of your slideshow career, PowerPoint dangles before you a mouth-
wateringly long list of special effects.
PowerPoint gives you a total of 65 transitions, grouped into 23 basic types (described
here by their visual effects):
Making a Slideshow
Avoiding the Cheese Factor
PowerPoint makes it easy to load up your presentations
with funky transitions, sounds, and other cheesy gimmicks.
But with power comes responsibility. While you may be
tempted to show off all the program’s entertaining features
in a single presentation, bear in mind that old design adage:
Less is more. It’s usually best to keep your transitions and
sounds simple and your designs basic. This way, you won’t
distract the audience from the important part of the presenta-
tion—your message—with a bunch of dazzling effects.
UP TO SPEED