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PowerPoint makeover: Working with design and layouts

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in The Office Tech Pro

In my previous two posts, we explored the best way to transform an old, ugly PowerPoint presentation with a Word outline, and how to overcome one of the hurdles of using the method: One Bullet/One Slide This week we will take our plainly laid-out content and create an effective PowerPoint presentation in PowerPoint 2007. Next week we will do this same operation in PowerPoint 2003. The steps are just different enough to make it confusing to document both at the same time.

In PowerPoint, you have a variety of slide layouts which can be used according to the content have. For example, simple points of information can best be presentation in a topic/bullet point style layout. PowerPoint calls this Title and Text or Title and Content. To change the layout of a slide, right click the slide in the Navigation Pane. Then, navigate to Layout. As you hover over Layout, you will see depictions and labels of the various default layouts.

If your data lends itself to a comparison, consider Two Content or Comparison layouts. Your first slide, if it is the title of your presentation can be changed to Title Slide layout. Here, we have applied the appropriate layouts for my slides.

You may notice some inconsistencies with fonts and colors. Adjusting each element individually is not the most effective method to use. First, select all slides from the navigation pane. You can do this by selecting the first one, holding down the Shift key and selecting the last one. Then, right click on any slide and select Reset Slide. This will set all elements back to Slide Master settings. Do not worry if the current settings do not look exactly the way you want them to. We are going to change that in the next step.

Now that all our slides are laid out and reset to the Slide Master, we can start "trying on" designs or themes as they are called in Office 2007. In PowerPoint 2007, you can hover over each of the themes in the Theme group on the Design tab to see how your presentation might look in each.

Once you choose the theme, you can make changes to the fonts and color sets by adjusting the Slide Master. That will be our 3rd and final installment in our PowerPoint Makeover series.

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