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Access in PowerPoint

By: Naresh Nichani

Date Created: February 16th 2009
Last Updated: February 28th 2009

Naresh NichaniNaresh Nichani is a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Access based in Chennai, India. Naresh runs a software development firm that specializes in Visual Basic development and Office integration.

He enjoys programming with Microsoft technologies as they are fairly easy to use and developers can build fairly complex solutions for customers with visually appealing interfaces quickly.

Naresh does custom development --

Product Showcase

First of all, this is not a tutorial -- rather it is a walkthrough that shows proof of concept of integrating a Microsoft Access database within a PowerPoint slide. What's more -- the sample presentation that has been provided let's you use any Access database as the source for your presentation slides!

You can download the sample presentation and database files here (140 kb). You will need to have both Microsoft Access and PowerPoint installed on the same system for this to work -- also it works best if versions of both the products are identical, as in PowerPoint 2003 and Access 2003 -- or PowerPoint 2007 and Access 2007.

In this proof of concept example I have created an Access database called Inventory.mdb -- the database contains two tables Product and ProductFeatures, details as below:

  • Product table is a listing of products.
  • ProductFeatures is a listing of features for each product -- each product can have many features.
  • The Product and ProductFeatures are joined on the ID field in the Product table, and on the MasterID field in the ProductFeature table.

Follow these steps:

  1. Unzip the ZIP file you downloaded -- you'll find two files: a PowerPoint PPT file, and an Access MDB file.

  2. Start PowerPoint, and open the “PPT from MS-Access.ppt” file within the unzipped archive.

    PowerPoint 2003 users may see a warning message window while opening the file. Click the Enable Macros option, and continue opening the file. Also set your security level to Medium using the Tools | Macros | Security option.

    PowerPoint 2007 users will see a warning within a bar below the Ribbon -- click the Options button, and select the Enable this content option in the resultant dialog box.

  3. Play the presentation in slide show mode (or press F5).

  4. In slide show mode, click the prominent button that says “Generate PPT from Access”.

  5. This will summon Step 1 of the wizard that you see in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: Importing an Access database

  6. Select the sample Access database called "Inventory.mdb" within the unzipped archive, as shown in Figure 2 -- this tool will also work with any other Microsoft Access database. The sample database is just for the demo to get you started.

    Figure 2: Select a sample database

  7. Click Next, and you are prompted to select data for the Title (slide title) as shown in Figure 3. The Title is what will appear in the header of each slide.

    Figure 3: Choose content for your slide titles

  8. I now want data from the Product table in the Title header – so I select Product from the dropdown, as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4: Choose a source table for the slide titles

  9. The wizard now displays all fields in the Product table, as shown in Figure 5. I must select which of these fields from the Product table will show in the Title. Since I want to show both the Manufacturer and the Model, I add these to the list on the right.

    Figure 5: Choose fields for the slide titles

  10. Click Next, and you are prompted to select the Detail table (source for the text bullets), as shown in Figure 6. The Detail table is a bulleted list for each slide. Here I select the ProductFeatures table.

    Figure 6: Choose a source table for the bulleted lists

  11. Next I select Feature as the field to show in PowerPoint's bulleted list area (see Figure 7).

    Figure 7: Choose fields for the bulleted lists

  12. Click Next, and you must tell the Wizard how to relate Title Table and Detail Table. Here I choose to relate on ID and MasterID as these are the fields on which these two tables are related (see Figure 8).

    Figure 8: Relate fields

  13. I basically clicked on ID and MasterID, and clicked the Join button (refer to Figure 8).

  14. Now click Finish, and PowerPoint will generate a presentation from the Access database.

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