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Also, if you're wondering what I'm doing up at 8.30 in the morning, I'm having "fun" with Powerpoint. Usually I'd use OpenOffice, but for the presentation I'm giving on Thursday, I'm "not allowed" to plug my laptop in to their projector as it will take too long for each student's laptop to be connected and disconnected. So I have to transfer my presentation to their computer using a memory stick, which means I have to use fucking Powerpoint.

Since Office 2007, the Mac versions are substantially more usable than the PC versions since Apple "banned" the stupid "ribbon", but Powerpoint in particular is still in "burn it with fire" territory. You're regimentedly forced to use THEIR themes (I suppose geniuses can make their own, but it seemed like it would take far more effort than it's worth), and it's a ridiculous pain in the arse just to do something simple like have 3 frames on the screen instead of 2. I've worked out how to do it, but... ugh.

20 minutes ago, I was cursing because I deleted a row to make some more space, and it randomly resized my slide from my choice of 24 pt to *26 pt* to use up the "wasted" space! I NEEDED that space to type another sentence in! I guess if I'd ignored it, it would have resized the text back again - but really, it shouldn't do that automatically! There should be an option somewhere... but I did look, and couldn't see anything obvious.

It's weird that I love my Xbox 360 so much when I generally loathe everything else that Microsoft have ever done. Well, that's not true - Office 95 and Windows XP were both pretty good. It just all went to pot after that. In my opinion. Obviously.

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Current Mood: irritated irritated

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nmg From: nmg Date: 15th February 2012 09:06 (UTC) (Link)
You're regimentedly forced to use THEIR themes (I suppose geniuses can make their own, but it seemed like it would take far more effort than it's worth)

Uh, no, it isn't that much effort. I've built quite a few templates in my time, and have dabbled in themes as well. My considered opinion is that the difference between the two is subtle. Templates are pretty straighforward (View->Master->Slide Master, change the masters and then remove the normal slides from the document before saving as .potx), and you should also be able to save them as .thmx

Creating your own themes is worth it, since the built-ins aren't particularly great. I've also taken the presentation template that we're supposed to use (in our brand guidelines) and reimplemented it properly as an Office theme.

The only complication happens when you change a theme *after* you've created a presentation that uses it; when this happens, click on the 'Change Layout' button on the home tab and select 'Reset Layout to Default Settings'.

it randomly resized my slide from my choice of 24 pt to *26 pt* to use up the "wasted" space! [...] There should be an option somewhere... but I did look, and couldn't see anything obvious.

Select the text box and select "Format Text" from the context menu. Select 'Text Box' from the list on the left, then look at the 'Autofit' section in the centre. You probably want "Do not autofit" rather than "Resize text to fit shape".

Powerpoint on the Mac is pretty good in my opinion; it's better than the PC version. The comparison with Keynote is harder, because the two products have very different design philosophies (it's much harder to make Keynote do
something that it doesn't want to).
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th February 2012 18:57 (UTC) (Link)
Do you have any idea how to make a template which allows for 4 slides to be printed out in landscape format on A4 paper using the WHOLE paper? The standard Powerpoint 4 slides to a page template makes the slides very small and has far more whitespace than is needed for printer margins. I can do this easily in OpenOffice (it literally takes less than 30 seconds to fix), but I spent about an hour Googling how to do it in Powerpoint, and found nothing. Indeed, several sites simply said "It can't be done".

That's what I mean about being regimentedly made to use THEIR templates. (I didn't mean themes, I'd been awake all night when I wrote that).

I have no idea about Keynote - never used any of the iWork products. I got MS Office because it's the standard, and I use it for two things:

1) Citations in Word.
2) Powerpoint when I'm forced to use it.

Everything else I do in OpenOffice, which has big, obvious options for what I want to do. It's incredibly rare that I can't work out how to do something in OOo given five minutes of fiddling, but extremely common for me to have to Google to find out how to do something in MS Office.
nmg From: nmg Date: 15th February 2012 19:54 (UTC) (Link)
Printing is another matter entirely, I'm afraid; I've given up on using their print setups.

You might be able to get somewhere by File->Page Setup to A4, and then tiling yourself on the slides, but that's less than ideal. Probably best to print one slide per page and then use something like pdfnup to put them together.
eponymousarchon From: eponymousarchon Date: 15th February 2012 09:26 (UTC) (Link)
And the irony here is that PowerPoint was _originally_ a Mac product, until bought-out by Microsoft.

(See: http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/31/business/company-news-microsoft-buys-software-unit.html for a slice of history from 1987)
meirion From: meirion Date: 15th February 2012 11:41 (UTC) (Link)
Having to dump presentations onto a memory stick and then use a Windows box to display them is where PDF comes into its own for me. I hate Powerpoint and any kind of software that thinks it's better at knowing what you want than you do :-( Sympathies.
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th February 2012 16:51 (UTC) (Link)
The problem with PDFs is that you can't do partial reveals, else that's what I'd have done :(
jinian From: jinian Date: 15th February 2012 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
You can if you make separate pages with each stage of it.
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th February 2012 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
They might say that counts as more than 6 slides though :(

Am obeying both the letter AND the spirit of the rules this time.

To be honest, I've figured out enough of how Powerpoint works (or doesn't) that it's not the end of the world. It's just bloody annoying!
rhialto From: rhialto Date: 15th February 2012 19:03 (UTC) (Link)
I'm tempted to say that you do partial reveals of your slides by covering them up with a piece of paper on the overhead projector...

but I'm afraid that would show my age.

(I've had lectures from a professor who wrote slides on the overhead projector during his lecture! In fact, I'm working for him now.)
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th February 2012 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
There isn't even an overhead projector IN THIS ROOM! Only a fancy computerised projector on the ceiling.

I'd find it hard to cover up parts of the picture when the projector is on the ceiling.
meirion From: meirion Date: 15th February 2012 19:13 (UTC) (Link)
You can, but it requires advanced trickery. And if you don't already know LaTeX, would be difficult in the timescale. But if you send it to me after it's all done and dusted, I can probably turn it into LaTeX for you and even produce a template looking like it's your university's branding, so it wouldn't have to be this stressful in the future.

Edited at 2012-02-15 19:13 (UTC)
treacle_well From: treacle_well Date: 15th February 2012 13:38 (UTC) (Link)
Allow me to borrow this spot to share my own piece of PowerPoint annoyance (though it seems to have been fixed in Office 2010). I had a slide that used a lot of 2-digit years preceded by an apostrophe. Only MS would smartly turn it into an opening single quote mark. Rather than have to continually insert the apostrophe manually from the symbol menu, I thought cut and paste would work nicely.

Not. Whenever I pasted, instead of pasting in the size of the original, it would paste it like a thousand times bigger, so I had to constantly reset the font size. Grrrr.

I had to edit that same slide the other day--I now have Office 2010 and though I still don't love the ribbon, I've gotten used it it, and at least it now lets me paste stuff in PPT at the originally copied size.
barakta From: barakta Date: 15th February 2012 18:35 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, this IS ppt for the mac, yuck.

"reasonable adjustment" may still be something where everyone else can't have it but you can, is legal to favour disabled people if to do otherwise would discriminate and I'd say forcing you out of your usual preferred mode of working counts. Just sayin.... ;) Might not be useful for this time, but a future time...
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th February 2012 18:45 (UTC) (Link)
I am actually more concerned about them obeying what's already on my ISSA! It states that I am supposed to be the first speaker at any event like this because of my anxiety. Am I? Of course not.

But I'm going third, at 2pm, which is a reasonable enough sort of time. Spoons have not existed for me to fight this.
barakta From: barakta Date: 15th February 2012 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
Gah. It might be worth just forwarding an FYI to Mark with "Hi just to let you know my ISSA isn't being followed I can't face fighting this one, but so you know it's happening" etc

This is cos sometimes just knowing 4 students haven't had an ISSA request followed means we can say "WE KNOW X isn't happening, so we're going to emphasise X" a bit more etc.

Mark can just file it with your usual emails but it means it's hit his brain.
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