Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: January 8th 2008
Last Updated: February 26th 2009
The new versions of PowerPoint seem to have everything apart from the kitchen sink -- but yet, it's amazing too see vendors create small add-ins that provide an impressive capability that PowerPoint lacks.
Opazity is one such add-in that creates opaque effects inside PowerPoint -- and if you are wondering what's so great about an opaque effect in PowerPoint, then read on.
Opazity is from SteveHardSoft, a company based in London, UK. You can find more information about Opazity at the Opazity site...
Steve Hards was my contact at Opazity for this review - I wish to thank him for his help.
Download the installer from the their site, run the setup routine and follow the instructions.
When installed, the add-in creates an Opazity toolbar within PowerPoint
as shown in Figure 1 -- if you don't find it there choose
View | Toolbars | Opazity Toolbar.
Figure 1: Opazity Toolbar
In PowerPoint 2007, Opazity can be found within the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Opazity in the Add-Ins tab
Opazity effects can help hold and maintain a presentation audience’s attention by obscuring and hinting at something to be revealed.
Use the steps give below to use Opazity:
- Create or open a presentation in PowerPoint.
- Draw a shape on the slide, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: A shape (also called an AutoShape in older PowerPoint versions)
- Select the shape, and click the Opazity button on the toolbar or the
Add-Ins tab (refer to Figures 1 and 2 above).
- This will bring up the Opazity dialog box, as shown in Figure
Figure 4: Opazity interface
You now need to add a blur using the options available through the sliders -- according to your requirement, you can:
- Adjust the degree of blur between sharp and fuzzy.
- Adjust the opacity of the blur between full Opaque or Transparent.
- Change the color of the opacity.
- Apply opacity to lines (or otherwise).
- You'll see a preview of applied changes -- once you are happy with
the results, press OK to apply the opacity and return to the PowerPoint
- Now you can place this shape (AutoShape) on a colored or picture
background, or even a text box. Figure 5 shows an
Opazity shape on a picture background providing a distinct, opaque
Figure 5: Opaque glass effect
Steve Hards of Opazity discusses ways you can use this add-in to create cool effects -- he also explains scenarios in which you can use Opazity -- the Opazity site has several tutorials, and Steve did a detailed conversation on Indezine some time ago...
Opazity costs $47.00.
Support options includes an online FAQ and phone support.
Opazity is a one-trick pony that lets you accomplish many more tricks in your PowerPoint slides. It allows you to pique your audience's curiosity -- and helps hold their attention.
If you find uses for Opazity, and use it well, it is a great concept -- and money well spent.