Tuesday, July 15, 2003
One of the challenges of being really good with Office is remembering how to do things in a specific program when it's been a while since you used it. Case in point: I was working with PowerPoint over the weekend and I had a tough time remembering how to do something simple. I love PowerPoint and I pretty much know it inside and out. I think it's the most fun Office ap and probably also the most underused application. I have fantasies of redesigning my business someday around PowerPoint, producing custom presentations, online broadcasts, interactive training sessions, and really testing the limits of the software (which I rarely have time to do these days unless I'm doing research for a book).
The simple task I was trying to do involved the Photo Album feature in PowerPoint. (Do you know about this? Choose Insert > Picture > New Photo Album to display the Photo Album dialog box; select the photos you want to use, and click Create.) I wanted to add an MP3 clip to accompany the presentation. But how to do it? Finally, after many deadends, I remembered the simple technique. Here it is, just in case you're in the mood to do the same thing:
- 1. Create your photo album.
2. On the first slide (in Slide view), add the sound clip by choosing Insert > Movies and Sounds > Sound from File. Select your file and click OK.
3. Choose whether you want the sound to play automatically when the slide appears or when clicked.
4. Right-click the sound object on the slide and choose Custom Animation.
5. Click the down-arrow to the right of the sound object in the Custom Animation task pane; then choose Effect Options.
6. In the Stop Playing area of the Effect tab, change the default setting (On Click) to After, and increase the number of slides to include all the slides in your presentation (if you want the song to play for the duration).
7. Click OK to save the settings and return to the presentation; then press F5 to test it out. Cool stuff!
As far as developing the ability to remember everything I've ever learned in Office so I can call it instantly to mind whenever I need it--I'm still working on that. But I'm thinking of a small Flash media device that you wear around your neck and plug into an ear or something. I'll let you know when it's ready for prototype testing. :) k
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