Making your point visually is almost always more effective than slapping up a bunch of bullet points or a column full of numbers. That’s why PowerPoint lets you create awesome charts, diagrams, and tables. Many new PowerPointers avoid these tools out of intimidation. That’s a shame, because a good bar chart, Venn diagram, or data table can communicate more information than a dozen slides full of bullet points—with far fewer droopy eyelids.
Microsoft has seriously upgraded PowerPoint 2007’s charting, diagramming, and table-creation tools. There’s a new graphics engine, dozens of new diagram types, and galleries of professionally designed pick-and-click styles. You can even preview the styles live on your charts, diagrams, and tables before applying them. In short, you’ve got no excuse for leaving eye-popping, effective visuals out of your presentation.
PowerPoint’s new tools are really Microsoft Office’s new tools. In other words, the way you create charts, diagrams, and tables in Word and Excel is pretty darn similar to the way you create them in PowerPoint, and the result is identical-looking visuals.
On the down side, Microsoft’s “let everyone customize everything” philosophy can be a little overwhelming: in addition to the newly designed ribbons, buttons, and options, PowerPoint 2007 retains nearly all of the settings dialog boxes that PowerPoint 2003 offered.
This chapter gets you making great-looking charts, diagrams, and tables ...