Multiplex Animation

PowerPoint is sometimes used as a software to create image slideshow, where album consisting multiple images are displayed through the entire slideshow. With that, here are some interesting Multiplex animations that you can achieve by combining different animations, tweaking timings and images etc. 7 Multiplex animations are demonstrated. 1 – Cross Dissolve, which leverage on random bars. 2 – Diamond Strips, which made use of multiple Strips. 3 – Quartz, which made use of shape and wheel to achieve quartz effect. 4 – Multi-Checkered, which consists of dual checker board effects, 5 – Complex Blinds, which is an advance blind effect, making use of Split and Random bars effects. 6 – Clone Merge, which leverage on dual Float in effects. 7 – Matrix, which made use of multiple Expand effects as well as timing tweaking and image cropping.

Multiplex Animation – Download

Quick Tip: Quick formatting in PowerPoint 2013

Formatting in PowerPoint can become a hassle if you can’t find the feature you need. While Ribbon has improved the ease of use, there are still time where you will find yourself randomly scrolling through the tabs to get what you need. Fortunately, PowerPoint 2013 made it even easier for you to format your objects without the need to go through the ribbon. To do so, simply right click on the object you are editing. This will bring up a quick format toolbar which provides different format tools depending on what you are editing.

For instance, right clicking on

1) Shape or border of textbox – bring up a quick format toolbar that allows you to edit the Style, Fill and Outline.

2) Image – allows you to edit the Style and Crop the image.

3) Video – allows you to edit the Style, Trim and Start on click or automatically. 

4) SmartArt – allows you to edit the Style, Color and Layout.

5) Chart – allows you to edit the Fill and Outline 

PowerPoint Quick Access Toolbar customization

Ribbon has been introduced since PowerPoint 2007 (also the rest of Office programs) and it has pretty much replaced the old styled toolbar in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions. With Ribbon, commands are now easier to look for if you are not familiar with PowerPoint. However, there are some who still preferred the old small icons in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier. To achieve this, one can make use of the Quick access toolbar. This toolbar is available by default at the top left hand corner of PowerPoint 2007 and above, with 4 default commands – Save, Undo, Redo, Start from Beginning.

You can also add more commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. There are a few ways to bring up the customization. In the order of ease: 1 – Right click on the toolbar | Select customize Quick Access Toolbar. 2 – Click on the dropdown beside the Quick Access Toolbar | Select More Commands. 3 – Click on File | Options | Quick Access Toolbar. On the customization screen, you will find two columns, the first being the list of available commands and the second being the commands you want to have on the QAT. On the first column, you can also see a drop down menu which allows you to choose from a range of commands within a list (e.g. Commands in the SmartArt Tools | Design Tab), thus allowing you to have easier accessibility to frequently used commands. Once you have selected a command of your preference, click Add which is located in the center of the customization screen.

A tip is to add some of the useful commands which are not found on the ribbon. For instance, Bring Forward and Send Backward, which allows you to reorder the stacking order of your objects more easily; Reuse Slides, which allows you to add slides from other PPT files; Snap to Grid, to toggle on and off based on your preference during editing. You can also add a Separator which should be on top of the list, which allows you to categorize your QAT. In addition, if you are working on a project presentation which require frequent usage of a certain feature, you can set the QAT to be available for this presentation only. 

Vector Shine effect

Gradient can be a useful tool to create effects. Here’s a demonstration of vector shine effect done in PowerPoint using shapes, background and gradient formatting. 

Text formatting technqiue

PowerPoint offers various ways for you to format your objects. In this article, we will concentrate mainly on text. With text formatting, you get to several options such as Fills (Solid, gradient, picture or texture and pattern fill), outline, shadow, reflections, and the list goes on. If you choose not to meddle with these options, you can also leverage on WordArt which provides a list of pre-configured formatting for you to use. While formatting offers wide variety of features for you to play around with, there is still a limitation to it, which would be that you are only able to apply a form of fill, thus restricting complexity and give you the ‘this and nothing else’ option. 

A solution to this is to make use of multiple layering technique, which is simple yet opening up more complexities and choices when making a text design of your preference. It also allows you to separate your formats to allow easier customizations. For instance, pattern fill provides multiple patterns from strikes to checker board. However, you will not be able to create gradient effects on the patterns. By overlaying a duplicated text with gradient fill, then set the transparency to your preference, you will then be able to achieve such effect. A sample text effect below demonstrates how multiple layered formatting can achieve effects that single layered formatting are not able to. Download the ppt file for more samples.


Video editing in PowerPoint: Part 2

PowerPoint is full of neat tricks that you can play around with. One of these would be the great variety of video editing features. Bookmarking video is one feature where you can create interactions with the audience or complex trigger during your presentation. To do so, first insert a video. Double click the video to bring up the Video Tools bar. Under Video Tools, select Playback. Next, play through your video to a segment where you want to bookmark it. Pause the video and click Add Bookmark. Once a bookmark has been added, you can then leverage on the bookmarked segment by using Animation feature.

The bookmark tool is a feature that accompanies the animation trigger. It works similarly to start on click of/start after animation/with animation, thus allowing an object to animate only when the video reaches a particular segment that you have bookmarked. This makes it a great feature for those who want to have their video interacts with their presentation content such as external subtitles or captions (which you can also overlay it on top of the video) similar to YouTube. With the Bookmarking feature, you can then create complex trigger involving video! This is also something that cannot be achieved in older versions of PowerPoint (e.g. PowerPoint 2007 and earlier). To do so, first select an object (e.g. shape, image, etc) that you want to animate. Add an animation to it, then have it triggered on bookmark of the video segment. 

Video editing in PowerPoint: Part 1

Inserting and interacting with videos in PowerPoint have improved greatly over the years, with newer versions providing many great features. In PowerPoint 2010 for instance, you have the ability to format your videos just like images. To do so,  first insert your video, then right click on it and select Format Video. From here, you can then set the video’s brightness, contrast, recolor it, crop it and etc. You can also style your video through video tools by double clicking on the video to bring up the Format tab. From there, set a shape of your preference so that your video takes a unique frame, add a border, or even give it a video effect just like an image. Likewise, objects can now overlay on top of the video, opening up new options such as adding captions, subtitles, annotations and many more.

On top of that, you can also add a Poster Frame to the video that acts like a preview thumbnail before the video begins playing or even trim video instead of using the animation effect to control it’s playback segment. These features, along with newer versions of PowerPoint that provide the ability to save your presentation as video demonstrate an interesting trick PowerPoint can do. This means that PowerPoint has transformed into an advanced tool that allow it to become a simple and easy to use video editor! To achieve this for instance, you can insert multiple videos, modify the videos with various effects, and add animations to them so that they transition from one video to another nicely after playing. Resize your videos so that they cover the entire slide and appear full screen, then save your presentation as a .mp4 or .wmv video and voila, you just modified your videos without utilizing a video editor!

Motion Path in PowerPoint 2013

Editing motion path in earlier versions of PowerPoint can be tedious at times. Reason being, your end path is mostly a wild guess as you are only provided the end arrow which does not exactly show the exact position of where the object will end at. With mutliple complex paths involved, this might become frustrating to play around with. Fortunately, there are add-ins available that help to resolve this issue.

In PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft introduces a translucent image which acts as a projection on where your object will start and stop at. The projections will also appear only when you are editing this particular motion path, thus allowing them to be hidden when you are not editing the motion path. You will also be able to see more clearly where you want your object to start or end when modifying the motion path.

Grouping your slides

Having ton of slides in your presentation can be confusing if you are required to navigate around the slides during Q & A session. In the earlier versions of PowerPoint, there are several ways for you to group your slides manually, such as having hyperlinks and custom shows, though this may not be what you are looking for. In PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft made it possible for you to group your slides easily in the editing mode, by introducing the ‘Add Section’ feature. This feature allows you to easily group slides, as well as hiding them to allow easy navigation when you are working on the presentation. To do so, simply right click from the slide panel, and click on Add Section (or click on the Home tab, select Section > Add Section), then rename or collapse these sections to your preference.

In PowerPoint 2013, the Section feature is then further enhanced to allow you to view these groupings in the slide show mode. When going into slide show, right click and select ‘See All Slides’. This will bring up an interface similar to the slides panel. An interesting point to note as well is the ability to zoom in or out while navigating through the slides, thus solving the conventional method where presenter often exit the entire slide show when they are required to navigate to a certain slide!

Brush Stroke Outline in PowerPoint

When drawing shapes, there are several ways to add outlines. PowerPoint 2007 and newer versions offer great variations that you can play around with. For instance, you can add solid or gradient line color to the shape itself. You can also add transparency to the outline depending on your preferences. More advanced features would be the Line Style which includes setting compound type, dash type, width and etc. In this article, we would explore even further, that is, creating your own Brush stroke or calligraphy styled outline in PowerPoint.

The brush stroke outline however, is not something that is available natively in PowerPoint. Therefore, we would need to create it manually. To do so, you will need to make use of Curve lines. First, draw a simple shape to start off with (e.g. Square, triangle etc). Next, click on Insert > Shapes > Curve (under Line section). Carefully trace the outline of the shape. Start off with the shape edge first. Add a point on the first sharp edge by left clicking on it. Then, at every straight or curve segment, add a point with a bump (slightly away from the shape), thus making it looks a little thicker than normal outline. The bump does not necessary has to be in the center, depending on how you want the brush stroke outline to look like. At the next sharp edge and onwards, hold down Ctrl key and add the point. This prevents forming a curve edge which would not be what we are trying to achieve. Continue tracing the shape till you meet the last (also your first) sharp edge. Hold down Ctrl key again and double click on the sharp edge to end the whole process. The brush stroke technique requires some practice to make the outline looks natural. With practice, you can then move on to complex shapes such as those with many curve and straight segments. For some examples on brush stroke outline, take a look at the PPT file attached.