JAE Powerpoint Tips

Powerpoint 97 corrects my pet peeves from previous versions of Powerpoint.

If you do presentations with "screen shots" of software, don't waste your time with earlier versions.

I do quite a lot of simulated software presentations using Powerpoint to present sequences of screen shots. (I picked this technique up from John Tredennick of Holland and Hart.)

It has always been a struggle to get the screen shots to look perfect in the demonstration. The process involved capturing the screen shot, inserting the picture in the Powerpoint slide, then manually dragging the corners out to the edge of the slide. There was no "Snap to grid" or "full screen" function, and notwithstanding the claims of technical notes on the Microsoft TechNet CD, I could never get it to work perfectly. Parts of the slide were always hard to read.

The 97 version fixes this problem. The solution is on the Format|Picture dialogs:

To take up the full screen with the picture, the distance from corner settings should be set to zero, like this:

And the screen size should be set for the right resolution, like this:

A second issue is that you had to do the presentation using the same hardware as you used to capture the screen. You couldn't capture a screen in 800x600 and display in 640x480.

Also, it is possible to change the resolution of the slide and get a pretty good picture on different hardware.

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