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PowerPoint is a widely-used tool in education. Since it was invented by Robert Gaskins in 1984 it has revolutionized the way presentations are made. It allows a user to prepare multimedia presentations that can be displayed on computer monitors or by projection equipment so that information can be shared with individuals as well as large groups. One of the benefits of using PowerPoint is the ability to combine words with graphics in easy-to-view displays of information. You can even install interactive links to allow your audience to delve further into a topic. A well-designed PowerPoint presentation will help your audience understand and retain concepts better than traditional text-only presentations at a whiteboard or using photocopy handouts.

Adding text

You can add text to a PowerPoint presentation in a variety of ways. Remember, however, that it is important to keep in mind that too much text on any one slide of your presentation may make your audience "tune out". So, remember to KISS - keep it short, silly.

The simplest way to add text is simply by moving your cursor over an area of a slide containing a text box and left-clicking. Then you can simply type as you would in a word processor. Changing font size and color are good ways of creating emphasis in your text.

You can also add text using a function called "Word Art." This feature allows you to emphasize your text using 3-D imaging, shading, shadowing, etc. Word art is a creative way to add text to your presentation to really make key words stand out.

Adding graphics

While text contains the basic information you are trying to convey in your presentation, remember that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Inclusion of graphics, like photos, "clip art" or videos, can make your presentation more memorable by reinforcing the concepts contained in the text. You are also able to create high-impact and dynamic workflow, relationship, or hierarchy diagrams from within Office PowerPoint 2007 that will enhance your presentations.

Transitions and Animations

Another way to add to PowerPoint presentations is the use of transitions and animations. These provide different ways to progress from slide to slide through fading, dissolving, peeling away, etc. They also allow different ways to bring in text and graphics during your slide show.

Using design templates

Once you have text and graphics in your PowerPoint presentation, you may still want to polish it a bit to make it more cohesive. Design templates can be used to put a consistent background color or design on each slide and also set a standard font style and color that compliments the background motif.

In PowerPoint 2007 you can re-use custom layouts that you have designed. You can now save your layouts,so that your presentations have a consistant look and feel to them.

See Also

For lots of ideas, template and clip art downloads, plus help with other features of PowerPoint, be sure to visit the Microsoft Office PowerPoint website:



Weverka, Peter. 2007. Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies. 816 pp. I