Indezine

Opazity

Read the Indezine review of Opazity.

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 to 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.


  • 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
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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 given below to use Opazity:

    1. Create or open a presentation in PowerPoint.
    2. Draw a shape on the slide, as shown in Figure 3.

    3. Figure 3: A shape (also called an AutoShape in older PowerPoint versions)
    4. Select the shape, and click the Opazity button on the toolbar or the Add-Ins tab (refer to Figures 1 and 2 above).
    5. This will bring up the Opazity dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.


    6. Figure 4: Opazity interface
    7. You now need to add a blur using the options available through the sliders -- according to your requirement, you can:
    8. Adjust the degree of blur between sharp and fuzzy.
    9. Adjust the opacity of the blur between full Opaque or Transparent.
    10. Change the color of the opacity.
    11. Apply opacity to lines (or otherwise).
    12. 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.
    13. 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.


    14. Figure 5: Opaque glass effect

    Steve Hards of Opazity discusses ways you can use this add-in to create cool effects in this 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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