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The PowerPoint Ezine - 49

By: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created: November 30th 2004
Last Updated: March 2nd 2009

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Free Templates Again!

I just released 8 new template designs on Indezine - with this update, there are 42 free templates available! Start collecting them now...

Using Maps in PowerPoint

Maps make excellent visuals and can add so much relevance to presentations that speak about anything to do with geography. You may want to:

  1. Show the location of company offices, franchisees or service centers.

  2. Show worldwide corporate presence.

  3. Explain company growth prospects in neighboring and far geographies.

  4. Show air or sea routes between places or show trade routes.......

........In the rest of this article, we'll explore possibilities and implications of using maps in PowerPoint. It's important that you understand that we are discussing professional, cartographic maps here and not the other map type: route and location maps. Read more here...

All maps for the article were provided by Matton, a worldwide provider of high quality clip media. I also interviewed Chris Ferrone, Managing Partner of Matton Images LLC last week.

In this interview, Chris discusses "royalty free" and usage of images in PowerPoint. Read the interview here...

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Fills & Lines - Part II

Part I of this series can be found within issue 48 of the PowerPoint Ezine...

Default Fills

Whenever you create a new shape, PowerPoint uses a default fill color – this color is actually specified in PowerPoint’s Color Schemes settings. Color Schemes are editable palettes inside PowerPoint that decide which color is used as the default for a fill, text, chart or hyperlink - we'll take a detailed look at Color Schemes in a future ezine issue (you might want to look at issue 29 for more info).

The advantage or disadvantage (whichever way you look at it) of using a default color from a Color Scheme is that when you change the Color Scheme, all your default fill colors change as well. If you don’t want your fill colors to change, use an absolute color value rather than a Color Scheme swatch within the Fill Color toolbar.

Also, experiment with other types of fills like gradients and pictures that can enhance the look of your slide. The following example shows how dramatic this change can be.

The slide on the right is identical to the slide on the left apart from its fills. The left slide uses the default fills that PowerPoint provides whereas the only changes on the right slide are the fill effects used for the background and individual AutoShapes.

The Fill Color Toolbar

To access the Fill Color toolbar, click the down arrow next to the Fill Color icon in the Drawing toolbar to open a flyout menu. Drag this menu off the Drawing toolbar to spawn a floating toolbar within PowerPoint (see screenshot).

The Fill Color toolbar provides six fill options:

  1. No Fill
  2. Automatic (Default Fill)
  3. Color Scheme colors
  4. Recently used colors
  5. Opens the Windows color picker
  6. Opens the Fill Effects dialog box for gradients, patterns, textures and pictures.

Solid Fills

Here’s how to change or apply a solid fill:

  1. Select the AutoShape.

  2. On the Fill Color toolbar, choose from:

    1. Eight Color Scheme swatches;
    2. Eight recently used color swatches; or
    3. An absolute color value by clicking on More Fill Colors…

  3. Clicking the More Fill Colors… option will open the standard Windows color picker dialog box where you can choose or mix any RGB color – that means you have almost 16 million color choices.


These are the two tabs of the PowerPoint color picker. In the Standard tab, you can choose from several color choices or you can opt to mix your own color using RGB values (see below).

What is RGB?

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue - each color has a numeric value that ranges from 0 to 255.

  • When all three RGB values are 0, you get black.

  • When all three RGB values are 255, you get white.

  • Between black and white, you can use different combinations of numbers between 0 and 255 to create 16 million shades of color.

Here are some samples:

R: 0; G: 0; B: 255
R:64; G:108; B:140
R:253; G:75; B:104

R:236; G:150; B:43

R:148; G:148; B:148
R:176; G:108; B:211
R:255; G:0; B:0

We'll continue this series in the next issue of this ezine.

End Note

New PowerPoint memorabilia stuff has been added to my site - you can view pictures of the PowerPoint 1 box, some old PowerPoint and Office advertisements and a retro look at PowerPoint 2.

Making your point more powerful: "As a presenter, I like using PowerPoint. Although I don’t like having the slides in a fixed sequence, and I worry that dimming the lights will give my audience unneeded assistance in falling asleep, I do like the way PowerPoint enables me to emphasize and illustrate my points with highlighted text, graphs, and photos. There’s something about those big, fat, color letters that makes the words more interesting". Dr. Stephen Wilbers explains more...

More PowerPoint related info on the PowerPoint Blog and PowerPoint Notes. And free PowerPoint templates for all of you....

Until next time - have a nice day. And keep the feedback coming...


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  ©2000-2013, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

    since November 02, 2000