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Doodleslide: The Indezine Review

Learn about Doodleslide, a PowerPoint add-in that provides doodles, slide templates, and slide layouts to enhance your slides.


Reviewed:

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010

Date Created: February 20th 2012
Last Updated: February 20th 2012






Introduction
Using Doodleslide
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

It's always good to be different -- and canned slides with Calibri or Arial text over those same template or Theme backgrounds can look so monotonous! Doodleslide is a PowerPoint add-in that enables you to add a human touch by inserting hand-drawn images and organic looking slide templates. The Doodleslide add-in consists a library of around 350 high-resolution doodle images with transparent backgrounds. These are divided into 25 categories. In addition, it also comprises over 50 slide templates that match the look of the doodles. Both these elements: the doodles and the slide templates can be accessed by two buttons that are integrated into the Insert tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint. You also get an open-source font named ‘Folk’ by Marcelo Magalhães.

Doodleslide is from Doodleslide.com, a company based in Cambridge, UK. You can learn more about Doodleslide from their site. My contact at Doodleslide.com for this review was Gavin Wedell -- thank you, Gavin.

Here are a few examples of some doodle images:

Sample doodle images
Figure 1: Sample doodle images

The Doodleslide add-in is compatible to with all versions of PowerPoint from 2003 onwards. A version for Office (PowerPoint) 64 bit is also available.

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Using Doodleslide

Download the installer from the link given above, and run the setup routine. Even if you do not download and install Doodleslide, you can follow this walkthrough to understand Doodleslide better:

  1. Launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint opens a new presentation with a single slide -- If required, you can change the slide layout to Blank or Title Only by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank or Title Only. This provides a nice blank slide to work on.

  2. Now, access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and locate the Doodleslide group as shown highlighted in red in Figure 2.

    Doodleslide group within the Insert tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Doodleslide group within the Insert tab of the Ribbon

    Within the Doodleslide group you'll find two buttons: Doodle and Template (refer to Figure 2 above).

  3. Click the Doodle button -- this is a toggle button which opens/hides the Doodles task pane (highlighted in red in Figure 3).

    Doodles task pane
    Figure 3: Doodles task pane

  4. The Doodles task pane is divided into two sections. The top section contains a list of categories and the bottom section displays the content of the category you have selected.

  5. Browse the categories and select the doodle of your choice. To apply the selected doodle - just double-click it. This places the selected doodle on your slide, as shown in Figure 4.

    Doodle placed on the slide
    Figure 4: Doodle placed on the slide

    Remember, the doodles contain transparent backgrounds -- but they are still bitmaps, and not vector drawings. Once you select any of these doodles placed on your slide, the Picture Tools Format tab will appear on the Ribbon – click this tab to bring up the options that allow you to play with the various Picture Effects in PowerPoint.

  6. You can even insert hand-drawn slide templates. To do that, just click the Template button within the Doodleslide group of Insert tab (refer to Figure 2 above). This opens the Templates task pane, as shown in Figure 5. Note that Template button is also a toggle that shows and hides this task pane.

    Templates task pane
    Figure 5: Templates task pane

  7. The Templates task pane provides a list of categories, browse the category and see the content at the bottom section of the task pane. Selected any template and double-click to apply. Once the template is applied, just add your text, as shown in Figure 6.

    Hand-drawn slide layout with text added
    Figure 6: Hand-drawn slide layout with text added

    The problem with these templates is that they all contain just one layout and that is for the Title slide. Even though they contain just one layout, they add a whole new Slide Master to your presentation -- so if you use three of these layouts in your presentation, you will end up with three extra Slide Masters! It would have been better if they added a new layout to the existing Slide Master rather than populating so many Slide Masters!

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Pricing and Support

Doodleslide costs $24.95. Multiple licenses are available.

Support is trough email.

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Conclusion

Doodleslide is a great way to add some organic looking content to your slides, and while we love the actual doodles we do wish that the templates were a little better implemented. But we are not complaining -- the doodles themselves are worth the cost!

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