Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Public Preview

Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 is now available for public download. With the new interface, Ribbon (The toolbar at the top), SmartArt features, multiple slide masters and etc, be prepared for the complete new look! The link for download is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx?showIntro=n

Take note though, because this is a beta, do not expect it to work in the way you wanted. Take a look at the link here carefully before proceeding with your download:
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00723.htm

Shadow Fighter The Movie – 21th May 2006

Shadow Fighter The Movie is out! Check out PowerPoint Heaven for the movie. The main movie lasts for about 1 minutes and 20 seconds, bringing you more excitement! The fight will take you through both land and aerial battle within Shadow Empire. A total of 367 custom animations are used to create the fight scenes! You will also see extreme complex motion pathings. Imagine 100+ motion paths on a single slide! And not to forget, watch out for the ultimate Fallen Shadow attack, the coolest and mightiest attack!

New Category: PowerPoint Movies has been added, which can be found in the Animations Page. Shadow Fighter Series now has it own page at http://pptheaven.mvps.org/shadow.html.

Shadow Fighter The Movie – 14th May 2006

The picture below shows a Liqui-Strike. Liqui-Strike is adapted from the word, Liquid. It is a liquid based airborne attack casted by Shadow Fighter. The Liqui-Strike is executed with liquid and energy by inner strength. The loop at the upper part of Liqui-Strike appears with a faint purple-ish glow that cannnot be seen easily. The faint glow is caused by the energy. While it is a liquid based attack, only the upper part is made up of liquid. With the execution, the liquid will evaporate quickly, leaving the energy which will increase constantly in strength and act as the main weapon striking the opponent.


Shadow Fighter The Movie – 12th May 2006

Scene 1 of Shadow Fighter The Movie has been completed. Scene 1 is the first fight scene that will be taking place. 94 Custom Animations have been used. Of all the animations, motion paths made up the majority. Suprisingly, scene 1 takes up only about 11 seconds so far. This is extremely short! Let us have a peek on scene 1.

Definitely an example of extreme complex motion pathing:

Shadow Fighter The Movie

The PowerPoint Movie sequel on the original Shadow Fighter, Shadow Fighter The Movie is on work now. If you haven’t heard of Shadow Fighter, it is a 30 seconds animated show/movie done in PowerPoint mimicking the style of Arcade Fighting games, which shows how PowerPoint can do animations similar to Macromedia Flash. Shadow Fighter can be downloaded in PowerPoint Heaven in the Animations page, under Showcase section: http://pptheaven.mvps.org/animations.html#Showcase.

More information on Shadow Fighter The Movie will soon be coming your way, this blog will serve as a news publication channel for Shadow Fighter The Movie. Be sure to check back daily! Shadow Fighter The Movie will be another great PowerPoint animations work of mine.

Creating a Drop Cap in PowerPoint

Drop Cap, as defined in Wikipedia, is often several lines comprehensive letter with a decorating character at the beginning of a work, a chapter or a paragraph. It is not hard to create a drop cap in PowerPoint as you can simply add an additional textbox that contains the decorating character. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great solution when it comes to alignment and positioning. Is there anyway to keep the Drop Cap well-aligned with the rest of the text? Yes, you can. Using table. Here’s a preview on how the table looks like, and also a preview of the final sample.


Figure 1: Preview of Drop Cap in PowerPoint

To create the drop cap,
First, you will need to create a 2 column table.
Click Insert > Table.
Set to 1 row and 2 column.
Click Ok.
Put ‘T’, which is the decorating character/first letter on the first column, while the rest of the text on the second column.
Increase the font size of ‘T’ to somewhere around 120.
Then, decorate it with a different font face such as Calligraph421 BT.
Next, reduce the width of the first column so that it fits nicely with ‘T’.
Lastly, double click on the edge of the table to bring up the Format Table dialog box.
Remove the top, left, right, bottom and middle vertical borders.
Click Ok to apply your changes.
Finally, you can align the text to distributed so that it looks neater.

Mask with PowerPoint: Part V

This will be the last tutorial on Masking. In the first tutorial, we talk about simple masking using white circle. The drawback of this method is that, if you intend to mask a black text with a different background, this method does not work. In addition, you can’t use this method on a picture. Today, we will cover the tutorial on how to solve this scenario.


Figure 1: Masking a picture and text in PowerPoint.

To be able to mask a picture or text in PowerPoint and then animate them, you will need a ring with huge border. The border will act as a mask to screen off the unwanted portion, while the inner circle will show the masked portion as seen on Figure 1.

There are two ways to create this ring. Either in a graphic editing program such as Adobe Photoshop, or using PowerPoint alone. This tutorial will cover the PowerPoint part.

First, click AutoShapes on the drawing toolbar.
Click Basic Shapes > Oval.
Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while drawing the oval onto the slide.
This will allow you to create a perfect circle. The size is not important at this stage.
Now, double click on the circle to bring up the Format AutoShape dialog box.
Under the Fill section, click on the Color dropdown field and select “No Fill”.
Under Line section, modify the Weight so that it is 1584pt, which is the largest border weight you can have.
Click Ok to apply changes.

Now, you probably won’t see anything on the slide. Click View > Zoom. Set the zoom to 33% so that you will be able to see the ring which is off the slide.
If the ring is selected, you will see the white handles (the 4 white dots). This allows you to resize the ring.
What we are going to do now is to make the inner circle smaller. You must enlarge the ring in order to achieve that. Hold down the Shift key while you do that.
Make the inner circle smaller until the masked area (the portion where the picture/background can be seen) surround the slide. Do not attempt to make the inner circle too small, or else you will see additional “hidden” stuff blocking the inner circle.
Now, preview it in the slide show and make sure the inner circle is perfect. If something seems to be blocking the inner circle, shrink the ring until the “hidden” stuff disappear when viewing it in the slide show.
Next, click Edit > Cut.
Click Edit > Paste Special.
Select Picture (GIF).

After pasting it as a GIF, you will be able to reduce the size of the inner circle. On top of that, you can add animations such as motion paths and Grow/Shrink effect to improve the impact. The file below shows you two examples. The first slide includes the final masking with animations applied onto the ring. The second slide will show you the ring which has been enlarged nicely for you. To download the file, click the link below:
http://pptheaven.mvps.org/blog/MaskingEffectPartV.zip

We have come to the end of “Mask with PowerPoint”. Hope you like it!

Microsoft Office Excel: Alphabetic Numberings on cells

Let’s give Masking a break today. And yes, we will be talking about Microsoft Office Excel today. Just this afternoon, my supervisor requested for a solution on adding alphabetic numbering on a row instead of numbers (e.g. A-Z on row 1). Let’s say if you want to number 1 – 10 on row 1, you can simply drag to cells to expand series. But this is not possible with alphabets.


Figure 1: Numbering cells with alphabets horizontally.


Figure 2: Numbering cells with alphabets vertically.

So here’s a quick way you can try it out. We will need to make use of the first 3 rows for this.

First, type 65 in A1, 66 in B1.
Highlight the two cells, then drag to extend series (e.g. 65, 66, 67, 68…).
Now on A2, use the char function.
The char function returns the character specified by a number. So char(65) will represent A, while char(90) will give you Z.
Type this function: “=char(A1)”.
Drag A2 to extend series.
We are not finished yet! You can’t delete the the numberings (e.g. 65, 66, 67, 68…) just like that. If you do, it will result in an error in value.
So here’s what you should do next. Highlight the alphabets, then right click and select copy.
Click on A3 now, and click Edit > Paste Special > Values.
By doing so, we will remove the formulas while retaining the values.
Ok your way out.
Finally, delete the 1st and 2nd rows.

Alternately, if you are lazy to do that, here’s a macro that you can try. To use the macro, click Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor.
Right click on the VBAProject, then select Insert > Module.
Paste the code below and exit.
After which, move the entire row, which has been automatically selected for you, to anywhere on the excel worksheet.

Sub alphabeticCellNumberings()

    Range(“A1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “A”

    Range(“B1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “B”

    Range(“C1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “C”

    Range(“D1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “D”

    Range(“E1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “E”

    Range(“F1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “F”

    Range(“G1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “G”

    Range(“H1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “H”

    Range(“I1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “I”

    Range(“J1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “J”

    Range(“K1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “K”

    Range(“L1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “L”

    Range(“M1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “M”

    Range(“N1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “N”

    Range(“O1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “O”

    Range(“P1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “P”

    Range(“Q1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “Q”

    Range(“R1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “R”

    Range(“S1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “S”

    Range(“T1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “T”

    Range(“U1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “U”

    Range(“V1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “V”

    Range(“W1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “W”

    Range(“X1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “X”

    Range(“Y1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “Y”

    Range(“Z1″).Select

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = “Z”

    Range(“A1″, “Z1″).Select

End Sub

If you have a better and easier solution, feel free to share with us here!