The PowerPoint Ezine - 02
By: Geetesh Bajaj
Last Updated: March 2nd 2009
This is the second issue of the PowerPoint Ezine - a look at what's new, expected and established in the world of PowerPoint.
There's plenty of information this time - but first we'll take a look at RnR PPTools version 2, a great PowerPoint add-in - then we'll find out ways to get PowerPoint working with BlackBelt System's just released WinImages 6.
For the uninitiated - RnR stands for Rindsberg n Reilly or Reilly n Rindsberg - whichever you prefer! Brian Reilly and Steve Rindsberg have developed a great new PowerPoint add-in called PPTools.
The installation takes care of initializing the add-in into PowerPoint - and the first time you load PowerPoint thereafter, you are presented with one, two.....no wait, let me count - actually seven new toolbars.
Each of these toolbars performs a set of functions - some of these are important additions to PowerPoint - others are more convenient ways to access routines hidden within the PowerPoint interface. But that's only scratching the tip of the surface - for PPTools includes many indispensable gems like the Fix Links tool - which can prevent your links to external files going haywire.
PPTools also offers a more predictable solution to convert your PowerPoint files into HTML in the form PP2HTML - complete with options which let you control your final output to your liking. These options extend from the basic to the extremely detailed. In fact unlike PowerPoint's native 'Convert to HTML' feature, you're not restricted to a set template - the freedom to incorporate your presentation in a custom HTML template is welcome.
On the design front - PPTools' Position tools are significant additions - it's great to have the control to determine the position of your object - in fact the Position tools remember your last object placement coordinates and can let you use similar coordinates on another object.
There's a lot more to PPTools - and if you don't want so many toolbars to clutter your screen real estate, you can always click the 'Settings' button on the PPTools MasterBar and decide which ones you would like to view all the time.
A starter kit of PPTools, is available free from the PPTools site at:
This starter kit is free and includes all tools mentioned above - however it does not enable full functionality of PP2HTML or the User Customizable Toolbar.
There's no "full version" of PPTools as such. Instead, users can purchase individual tools that either replace existing demos with unlimited versions (as with the PPT2HTML tool) or purchase additional tools, such as the Image Exporter, that don't have demos included with the PPTools starter kit.
PowerPoint Templates And Backgrounds
There's a spate of PowerPoint templates online - many of them are free and even commercial repositories offer free samples. There are always purists who would rather stay away from this pre packaged assortments of templates - after all, how long would it be before all these templates are repeated at every convention or conference.
There's a slim chance of that happening, given the quantities in which templates are being served these days. Although there are no templates available for download from the Indezine site - I've put up a few at these URLs:
Incidentally, TAJ Simmons - a creative authority on PowerPoint has just put up a new tutorial all about graphics, bitmaps and scanning for PowerPoint at:
BlackBelt WinImages 6
Many of you would like to design your own backgrounds for PowerPoint presentations. While Photoshop, Painter andPhotoPaint have been the obvious choices of those creating them outside PowerPoint - there are a lot more programs which are more suitable for something like backgrounds.
These include Corel Bryce or plug-ins like EyeCandy or Kai's Power Tools. Unfortunately, all these tools have been used so often - resulting in backgrounds which make you think you have seen it somewhere before.
Enter WinImages 6. BlackBelt Systems has recently released this new version of WinImages 6 - an amazing piece of software.
The interface is not very intuitive - nor are all functions obvious - but that is WinImages' only drawback - in fact it is more suited in creating backgrounds for PowerPoint templates than other mainstream image editors. Although using something as powerful as WinImages to just create backgrounds is akin to buying a ton of potatoes to cook just one serving!
The results are nothing short than breathtaking. I've just received a review copy from the folks at BlackBelt, so look forward to more details soon. A tutorial on using WinImages to create simple backgrounds is in the offing as well.
Do visit the BlackBelt Systems site for more information.
Until Next Time...
Keep me informed about your new developments - it's all the input from all creative people like you which helps me keep the content at Indezine fresh and thought provoking. If you have any information to share about anything to do with PowerPoint and would like to include it in the next issue of this ezine,