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The Standard in Presentations
Here’s a fun and easy challenge: try to name an important business meeting or group project with a presentation involved that did not use Microsoft PowerPoint. Some might have said Prezi or Keynote, but these contrarian software pale in the shadow of PowerPoints dominance over presentation software of all kinds. From religious worship services, educational lectures, to high level business meetings, any time words are needed on a larger screen, Microsoft PowerPoint has and will be there. While there has been competition that offers different presentation styles, Microsoft has positioned PowerPoint as the standard in presentation software.
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One of the flagship applications in Microsoft Office, PowerPoint has been included in every edition of the massively popular application family since day one. From 1990 all the way to today, PowerPoint has given users a creative and seamless outlet to create presentations since virtual slideshows have been in existence. With over two decades of experience, users can confidently build presentations for a wide range of uses: from slideshows of your vacation photos to a complex acquisition outline for larger organizations, the possibilities are endless.
Like many of its Microsoft Office siblings, the extensive use and commonality of PowerPoint gave it a unique file extension, .ppt, used my many slideshow programs but started by Microsoft. This influence, however, goes beyond computing. Even in art, PowerPoint has its usage. Multimedia artists such as David Byrne of Talking Heads fame has lauded its functionality, frequently promoting applications beyond business and showcasing its capabilities in his performances.
Since its inception as software to produce original transparencies to be used in analog presentations (you know, the kind with the carousel), Microsoft PowerPoint has evolved with the times and kept its intuitive and straightforward user interaction design to keep open access to all. Users can create an engaging presentation of any kind, with easy to use functions that add media such as image, audio, or video files and a plethora of text options for a unique experience.
What Can Microsoft Office PowerPoint Do?
At its very essence, Microsoft PowerPoint is a slideshow presentation application that works seamlessly with other Microsoft Office products. This alone is an incentive for many to purchase this product. However, its capability ends far from just creating a simple slideshow. With animation features, customizable design options, and almost all the formatting and text options that come in Microsoft Word, users can create a specific and targeted presentation through PowerPoint for any occasion.
Microsoft PowerPoint works on a simple slide and deck based system. Each slide is built individually to spec by the user. Multiple slide types are structured out in templates if someone doesn’t know where to start, or you can simply start from scratch with a blank slide. For example, if you are presenting construction plans and want to feature an image of a future site, you could create a blank slide with just the image and corresponding text on the previous or following slide. Let’s say you need a slide with a data graph and text included; you could select one of the many templates, and being a part of the Microsoft Office suite, import a graph from Excel right into your slide alongside the descriptive text. Decks are compiled of multiple slides. Most users have one deck per presentation, but it is useful to have an older deck open alongside a new one when updating a previous version of a presentation with new information. Decks are also printable, an invaluable tool when presenting to a larger audience or a small yet attentive one that may want to take notes. Printed decks include the entire slideshow so an audience can easily follow along, or go back to add notes to a previous slide.
Like other Microsoft Office products, templates are a great reason to purchase any of their applications, and PowerPoint is no exception. PowerPoint has templates and themes. Templates are more structurally based, categorized by content and layout rather than design. These options range from title cards, image and description, to bulleted lists for talking points. Themes are separated by design, from clean and straightforward formats to more adventurous options with images superimposed in the background. Of course, themes can be customized to your liking. This customization is essential for enterprise organizations with in-house presentations; administrators can customize layout and design options to incorporate company logos and color schemes for a uniform look for every slide.
To keep presentations fresh and interesting, Microsoft PowerPoint also comes with many animation options, with slide to slide or line by line settings. Slide transitions can fade in or out, expand to fit the screen or scoot out as if it were taking off. Text animations have similar options and are useful in bulleted lists, such as data results or essential talking points, so the present can go point by point and line by line as opposed to having all of the information available at once. This eclectic mix of serious and fun options gives users the ability to customize slides and text to their heart’s desire and improve presentation performance to keep audiences engaged and involved.
Why Buy PowerPoint?
While users may want to try other alternative options, many find Microsoft PowerPoint as the most reliable program on the market. Others like the web-based Prezi program can have inconsistencies in image quality when transitioning from slide to slide. Also, think about your needs. If you're running a small business or part of a larger organization, PowerPoint is the most dependable option due to its compatibility with other Microsoft Office programs, easy to use interface, and design options.
The chief argument against PowerPoint is many feel the format is outdated. How many times have we seen a presentation with talking points on a slide with no animations or transitions? However, with design options, new design updates, and multiple themes, there are many ways to add pizzazz to that boring quarterly budget presentation. For students, it's widely recognized file format and new abilities to do real-time co-authoring makes group presentations a breeze.
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What updates and new features are in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016?
As with other Microsoft Office family products such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint has also received a chart update. This makes perfect sense, as they two programs need to work seamlessly to integrate data from one to the other. Popular new charts such as the Sunburst and Histogram formats are highlights to this update, giving users more options to show off those impressive numbers from their data sets.
The Tell Me feature again makes an appearance in another Microsoft Office product for 2016. Simply find the “Tell Me What to Do” prompt on the navigation bar, type what you are looking for and presto. Tell Me will pull up the closest match to whatever you typed. So if you need to add a chart from Excel, you can type “import data,” and it will bring you straight to that specific function. Let’s say you can’t find a particular transition, but you remember the name of it. Just type it in, and Tell Me will bring it up instantly. Time-saving and efficient, this is an exciting feature that will most likely be staying with Microsoft PowerPoint and other Office products for a while.
Smart Lookup is also a shared new feature with other Microsoft Office products, a strong reason to consider buying. Smart Lookup allows users to research content by using Bing through the application, saving time going from window to window or tab to tab trying to find a definition, source, or related example. This feature is most beneficial for the student, working on a presentation for a group assignment or presenting a solo project. With the ability to research in the application, users can save valuable time and energy and get a finished product without ever minimizing Microsoft PowerPoint.
Another new fan favorite, Microsoft as added Real-Time Co-Authoring to PowerPoint. Users with permissions can all access the same document at the same time and suggest edits, make corrections, or brainstorm ideas and chat all within the application. With no latency, users can see what the others are doing and collaboratively work on presentations. This also bleeds into the Share function, where you can let other users instantly have access to your documents, cutting time from crafting emails and attaching documents.
A new and exciting addition is Design Ideas, a new tool that suggests themes and templates based on images you upload. This first-time feature is quick and fruitful, giving you eye-catching options that will make your presentation stand out from the crowd.
Morph is a new transition option that takes two similar slides and adds some neat 3D modeling effects that are easy on the eyes yet still engaging with an audience. Perfect for that mandatory training class where the attendees may not be in the most reciprocal mood.
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Microsoft PowerPoint is a time-tested presentation powerhouse that will likely keep that title for years to come. Be sure to make the most out of your presentations by using PowerPoint to its full potential. Don’t be afraid to use new design features and animations to make your presentation break the mold of traditional (and boring) slideshows. Whatever your presentation needs are, PowerPoint will give you the confidence to make a compelling and useful multimedia presentation. Why wait to buy PowerPoint? Get it from SaveOnIt and get the lowest price online.