Most of us use PowerPoint to design slide show presentations, but there’s a lot more to a PowerPoint slide than you might think. Many people find PowerPoint so easy to use that they make it their go-to application for diverse tasks such as creating office signage and designing Web videos. We’ve rounded up our favorite things that you may not realize you can do in PowerPoint.
5 Unusual PowerPoint Tricks
1. PowerPoint as a Graphics Editor
While PowerPoint will never challenge the likes of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements as a tool for graphic designs, it includes some great tools for creating everyday images. Using the shape-combine tools (new in PowerPoint 2010); you can create complex shapes by combining simple shapes.
Give it a try: create two overlapping shapes, select them and choose Drawing Tools > Format tab. Click Merge Shapes and choose the desired option. You can use the custom shapes like any other PowerPoint shape or graphic: format them, apply effects to them and even animate them.
Other image editing tools include the background removal tool that lets you get rid of unwanted image backgrounds. To use this on an image on a PowerPoint slide, select the image, and from the Picture Tools > Format tab click Remove Background. Use the Mark areas to keep and Mark areas to remove tools to define the areas you want to retain or delete, and then click Keep Changes.
You can save any images you create or edit in PowerPoint as regular image files to use elsewhere. Simply right-click the image and choose Save as Picture. This lets you remove an image background and save the image as a transparent png file for use in another application.
Figure 1: You can easily lose the background and save the image using PowerPoint’s handy background removal tool.
2. Creative Photo Albums
PowerPoint’s built-in photo album tool makes it easy to create photo albums to showcase your products and services. Combine these albums with the PowerPoint’s narration and music capabilities, and you can easily create good looking multi-media presentations.
To create a photo album: open a new presentation and choose Insert > Photo Album > New Photo Album. Choose to insert pictures from your disk, and then select the picture layout, such as one picture per slide with a title. You can choose frames for your images, if desired, and add captions below the images. When you finish making your selections, click Create.
Now you can organize the images on the slides. You can add additional images, move and resize them, add titles, captions and so on. It’s best to make these changes only after you’ve imported all the images into the album, because adding images to the album later on would undo these changes.
Want to add music to your presentation? Choose Insert > Audio and choose the track you want. Want to narrate the presentation? Click Slide Show > Record Slide Show. You can start recording from the beginning and narrate the presentation as you record it.
Figure 2: You can create a visual catalog for your business using a PowerPoint Photo album.