PowerPoint and Presenting News
by Geetesh Bajaj, September 23, 2014

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Should Charts be Animated?

Should Charts be Animated?Charts are something that are often shared between Excel and PowerPoint - and while Excel gurus may look down at PowerPoint as far as charting is concerned, there indeed is one charting feature that is not doable as well in Excel - and that is animating charts. OK, an Excel guru somewhere may have said that it's great that you cannot animate charts in Excel - after all many PowerPoint users do create a mess with animation anyway!

Learn about the pros and cons of animating charts

Slice and Animate Pictures in PowerPoint

Slice and Animate Pictures in PowerPointYou can crop pictures in PowerPoint, and of course you can animate them. But as you may observe frequently in life, synergy yields results that exceed the mere sum of two or more initiatives. And that's true in a way for the technique we will explore on this page - we call this Slice and Animate. The two techniques being used for this synergy are cropping pictures and adding animation.

Learn how to slice and animate pictures in PowerPoint

Stay away from 3D Charts

Stay away from 3D ChartsIn the days of PowerPoint 2003 and older versions, you just had to insert a chart to end up with a 3D chart! Yes, that's true - and to say that this chart looks horrible is an understatement. Comparatively, the default column chart you add in newer versions of PowerPoint is so much more cleaner. Of course, changing the defaults does not mean that you will not encounter any 3D charts since even in newer versions.

Learn why 3D charts may not be the best way to show your data

Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows: SmartArt

Change Layout of Organization Chart
Once you have inserted an organization chart (org chart) within PowerPoint 2013, you might need to change the layout of the org chart. The "layout" means how the subordinate levels in the hierarchy branch out from top to bottom -- probably you want all subordinates flushed to the left, hanging to the right, or distributed evenly across a horizontal plane -- you will learn more about how this works in this tutorial.

Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows Learn PowerPoint 2010 for Windows: Charts

Set Minimum and Maximum Values on Value Axis
Sometimes, your chart data values are not so much different from each other -- this results in a chart which doesn't help your audience to see any difference between series representing those values. Fortunately, you can easily choose your own Maximum and Minimum values.
Axis Titles
In a chart, the text used to label the chart axis is called Axis Title. All chart types other than Pie and Doughnut have axes -- and although Radar charts have an axis, there is no provision to add axis titles for them. In all other chart types such as Column, Line, etc., axis titles don't show up by default. You have to make them visible first, and then edit them as required -- that's exactly what you are going to learn in this tutorial.
Tick Marks on Chart Axes
Charts are a visual representation of data, and when seen on a PowerPoint slide from afar, you make out the value of a series by exploring where exactly it's placed vis-à-vis the axis. Of course, if your chart has data labels, then this is less of an issue -- however, typical charts have no data labels. For such a chart, you'll find that Tick Marks placed on the axis will help us get a better idea.
Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis
While learning about chart axes, you will come across two terms, Major and Minor units. These are the intervals at which the axis spaces itself -- as the name itself suggests, you can choose to space the axis at two levels: Major and Minor. By default, PowerPoint sets the Major and Minor units on its own -- many times, this may be exactly what you need. At other times, you may want to set your own intervals for the Major and Minor units for several reasons.

Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows: Video

Video Effects
In PowerPoint 2013 if you want to enhance the look of your inserted video, you are certainly not limited to the options we have already explored including Corrections, Recolor, Video Styles, and Video Borders. In addition to these options, you can also apply Video Effects such as shadows, glows, bevels, 3-D rotation, etc. to your video clip. Follow these steps to learn more.
Video Shape
When you insert a video clip within a PowerPoint slide, you'll find it placed as a traditional rectangular shape. And while that's exactly what most users expect, it does seem safe and conventional. However, PowerPoint 2013 does allow you to have your video playing in different shapes such as a circle or oval, or a wave, a triangle, or any of the shapes that PowerPoint includes. Just the fact that a video can be placed within a shape is no reason to forego the conventional rectangle -- do remember that most other shapes may crop out important parts of your video clips.
Crop Video
Once you insert a video in your slide, you can crop it in almost the same way you crop a picture. Before you crop though, you must ascertain whether PowerPoint's Crop option will help create a better result for your inserted video. The Crop option allows you to remove non-required areas of a video -- for example, if the subject of your video is a person speaking who is surrounded by a large, distracting background of other people or moving objects, you may want to crop the video so that the cropped video now focuses more on the speaker, and gets rid of all the extra distractions.
Resize, Rotate, and Flip Videos
Similar to how you position or reposition pictures and shapes, you can make changes to any inserted video in PowerPoint 2013. In addition, there are some very basic video editing options that can be significant. These include how you resize, rotate, and flip your inserted video clips. Resizing can help you change dimensions of your video clips, while slight changes in rotation values can draw attention. Flip, the last of these options though is something you will almost never use -- unless you want to do something drastically different!
Reset Options for Videos
Once you explore video editing options such as recoloring, corrections, preset video styles, video borders, video effects, resizing / flipping, etc. in PowerPoint 2013, your original video clip may appear to be entirely different from what you started with. The fact that you can make your videos look so different in PowerPoint 2013 with customizations galore can sometimes prove be a disadvantage, especially if you want to get rid of all customizations and get back to original state of your video clip. Fortunately, the Reset Design option is just what you need at this point of time! In this tutorial, you will learn how you can restore a video clip to its default appearance, and get rid of any customizations you may have made.

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