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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 044

Issue 044 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint

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Before we start, here's an invitation to attend PowerPoint Live for all PowerPoint users:

Conference Host Rick Altman invites you to spend four days with him and his team [of experts] at PowerPoint Live, October 10-13 in San Diego. Learn more than you ever imagined and have more fun while doing it than you ever dreamed possible. PowerPoint Live will accommodate 250 patrons and two dozen exhibitors - for information on both opportunities, visit the PowerPoint Live site.

New Prizes

By being subscribed to this ezine, you are eligible to win!

This image is from the AbsolutVision collection - more info here.

Jim Roach of is giving away three copies of his PowerPoint streaming video solution - thank you, Jim.

Jim is also providing the entire PowerPoint streaming solution for just US$24 - that's a 75% discount off the list price of US$99. The discount coupon code is: indezine and the discount will be applied LAST during the checkout process after you enter the coupon code (indezine).

Joanna Biggs of Above & Beyond is giving away three copies of their cool Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint product. Thank you, Joanna. Here's a link to the Indezine review of the product.

Vladimir Zecevic of Ars Media is giving away three copies of their amazing Photoshop to PowerPoint add-in. Here's a link to the Indezine review of the product.

Now, for the winners! Pat Tsonis and Michael Sain won copies of Steve Rindsberg's PPTools range of PowerPoint add-ins. Congratulations to both of you! For those who did not win, you can still download a free copy of Steve's PPTools Starter Set.


Microsoft Expression Makes News

Microsoft made no noise when they quietly added a new product on their site - but everybody else made a lot of noise about it. Imagine an illustration package that uses natural media strokes within a vector program. This program may compete in the future with stalwarts like Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand and CorelDRAW. This one can create Flash animations too.

The product is Microsoft Expression - a product acquired from Creature House. And here's some links on Expression to get you started.

Existing users of Expression can download a Mac or Windows version of Expression from the Microsoft site.

Annie Ford's Studio E3 site has among the best online tutorials for Expression. Annie also conducts online Expression lessons - and I know they are amazing because I'm learning from her now.

Northlite Designs has several Expression resources on their site. has a page of Expression links.

Microsoft has an Expression newsgroup.

And here are some Indezine links:

Microsoft Expression PNGs for PowerPoint
Microsoft Visio and Expression

Special Offer

Advertisement: The long wait for stunning new 3D transition effects for PowerPoint is over! Introducing PowerPlugs: Transitions V, hot off the creative production line. Be one of the first presenters to wow your audiences with some of the most magical, futuristic and innovative 3D transition effects anyone has ever seen.

In addition to these cool new 3D effects, PowerPlugs: Transitions V also includes some powerful new features. For example, many of the 3D transition effects in volume V allow you to select your own image or photo to be automatically inserted right into the transition effect. This is a great way to show off your organization's name, product, logo, slogan or photo. More info.

PowerPoint and Video Part III

Before I get started with the third part of this series, I must tell you how much fun it is to use muvee. muvee, or rather muvee autoProducer is an amazing program that automatically creates movie collages from your video clips. Try downloading their trial version here.

You'll find Part I of this series in the 42nd issue of this ezine.
You'll find Part II of this series in the last issue of this ezine.

Convert Codecs and Formats

Converting between codecs is easy. If you do use digital video applications like Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas Pro, you already know more than just conversion of codecs and formats.

There are several shareware and freeware applications that allow you to convert between codecs and video formats - one such tool is Avery Lee's VirtualDub. VirtualDub is a free program under GNU General Public License. Another is Stoik's free Video Converter.

You'll find step-by-step tutorials to convert codecs using both VirtualDub and Stoik Video Converter on

For converting from QuickTime to AVI, look at Indezine's PowerPoint and QuickTime page.

Insert Video

Normally, you'll insert video clips into PowerPoint using the Insert menu options. When you choose a video, PowerPoint prompts you if you want the video to play automatically - unless you have some reason for the video to play on a mouse click, it is a good idea to accept this option. You can always change this behavior or edit it using the Custom Animation taskpane.

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want the video inserted in a new or existing presentation.
  2. Choose Insert | Movies & Sounds | Movie from File... and choose the required video file.
  3. PowerPoint prompts you if you want the movie to play automatically or only when clicked - choose your option. It is a good idea to choose the automatic option if you are not sure since removing that behavior is usually a one-click operation - adding that behavior on the other hand takes several steps.

You can resize your video once it is inserted in a slide. Once you select the video, you'll see eight handles around it - four on the corners and the other four between the corners (on the sides).

  • Drag it from the corner handle to resize it in the same proportion on all sides.
  • Drag it from the side handle to resize it without proportion.
  • Drag it from the corner or sides with both the Ctrl and Shift keys pressed to resize it from the center.

Link Videos (for unsupported formats)

For other formats, especially ones like RealVideo and QuickTime (newer versions); sometimes the only route open is to link the videos from a hyperlink or Action button.

  1. To link a video file, select text (or portion of any text), an Action button or even an inserted picture or AutoShape.
  2. Right-click and choose Action Settings.
  3. In the Mouse Click tab, click the downward arrow button in the Hyperlink to: area and choose the Other File option.
  4. Navigate and choose the video file that you want to play. Click OK.

Now clicking on whatever has been provided an Action Setting attribute will initiate the associated program in slideshow mode. If you have linked to a RealVideo movie, this might initiate RealPlayer or the QuickTime player in case you have linked to a MOV video. In all cases you will have to close the video clip independently of PowerPoint.

Tip: You can use the linking technique to initiate any associated program from within PowerPoint, even non-video files.

The next part of the PowerPoint and Video article will be included in the next ezine issue.


The Michael Doyle Interview

Michael Doyle Michael Doyle (pictured to the left) is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Of Impatica. He has founded several successful high technology companies including Computer Innovations which became Canada’s largest personal computer sales and service organization with revenues of over one billion dollars annually. Mr. Doyle served as a member of Canada’s National Advisory Council on the Information Highway and on the Ministers Council on Educational Technology. He started his career as a Systems Engineer with IBM Corporation and co-founded Impatica in 1998. Other founders included his daughter Catherine and son Eric both of whom are Computer Engineering graduates who continue to play key roles in the Company.

In this exclusive interview, Michael talks about Impatica, online rich media and PowerPoint.

News & Content

Read the PowerPoint Blog here. The PowerPoint Blog now includes the Atom syndication service so that you can use a Atom compatible newsreader to read all postings.


Events & Seminars

PowerPoint Live
October 10 to 13, 2004, San Diego, California, USA
Rick Altman, R Altman Digital Consulting
PPT Live



During the preparation of this issue of the PowerPoint Ezine, I received assistance, content or feedback from Adam Schwartz, Annie Ford, Austin Myers, Betsy Weber, Colin Adams, Jim Roach, Joanna Biggs, Kathy Jacobs, Michael Doyle, Mickey Stevens, Nicole Ha, Rick Altman, Steve Rindsberg, Tania Chew and Vladimir Zecevic (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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Jeopardy-Like PowerPoint Template (25 Questions)

Want to play a Jeopardy-like game using PowerPoint slides? Yes, this is absolutely doable but making PowerPoint slides with all the interactivity and layouts takes too much work. Fortunately, we have done the work for you. just download our Jeopardy-like 25 (5x5) question PowerPoint template, replace the placeholders provided for questions, answers, and categories, and you’re done! You'll still need a real human being to track scores and you could soon be playing this amazing game as part of a fun exercise, a training program, or even a quiz show.

Download and play your own Jeopardy-like game

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