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Opazity

Reviewed:

Date Created: January 8th 2008
Last Updated: February 26th 2009






Introduction
About Opazity
Download & Installation
Using Opazity
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

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.

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About Opazity

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.

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Download & Installation

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.

Opazity Toolbar
Figure 1: Opazity Toolbar

In PowerPoint 2007, Opazity can be found within the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon (see Figure 2).

Opazity in the Add-Ins tab
Figure 2: Opazity in the Add-Ins tab

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Using Opazity

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:

  1. Create or open a presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. Draw a shape on the slide, as shown in Figure 3.
    A shape (also called an AutoShape in older PowerPoint versions)
    Figure 3: A shape (also called an AutoShape in older PowerPoint versions)

  3. Select the shape, and click the Opazity button on the toolbar or the Add-Ins tab (refer to Figures 1 and 2 above).

  4. This will bring up the Opazity dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.

    Opazity interface
    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).
  1. 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 slide.

  2. 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 glass effect.

    Opaque glass effect
    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...

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Pricing and Support

Opazity costs $47.00.

Support options includes an online FAQ and phone support.

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Conclusion

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.

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