Using Xpert to find images and insert them into a PowerPoint

I use images a lot in my work – most of my PowerPoint presentations, are very image based, and the place that I use most to locate these images is a site called Xpert. This site has been created by the University of Nottingham, to compliment the Xerte tool that they have developed for creating content, but I use it mainly for finding images for my PowerPoint and Word based resources. The thing that I really like is the way that under each image that I locate on Xpert, it adds a black bar containing the licence information and the reference, showing that I have the right to use this image and it references it correctly, and the black bar will always follow the image around.

I have posted about this service before at https://davefoord.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/finding-images-without-breaking-copyright/ but I thought it was time to update the video showing how to do this.

How to quickly upload lots of images to PowerPoint and then compress them

A few months back I ran a training session for some primary school teachers, on how to use PowerPoint within primary education, and they were very impressed with most of the ideas and techniques that I worked through with them, but the one that captured the imagination of even the slightly IT wary teacher was showing how we can quickly bring lots of photos from a camera into a PowerPoint presentation.

This is a very simple technique, but one that many people haven’t discovered yet.

A video showing how to do this, and how to compress the images in one go can be found here

Using the Master Slide within PowerPoint

One of the most useful things to learn within PowerPoint is about using the Master Slide. This is a way of formatting the entire presentation in one place rather than applying formatting on each individual slide. This will save you time, improve the quality of the presentation (as formatting will be consistent throughout) and will make the presentation much more accessible, as it then becomes very easy to change the colour scheme for a presentation if a learner requires it.

It is very easy to do, and these 2 short screencasts will show how to set up a basic master slide, and then how to format the header and footer options to include things like slide numbers.

To create a basic master slide

To then add a footer such as slide numbers

Using hyperlinks within PowerPoint

In an earlier blog post, I linked a series of screencasts showing how to use drawing tools within PowerPoint to create a well formatted diagram such as a flowchart, I then showed how to use animations with this diagram.

This next sequence of screencasts will go through the principles of hyperlinking and how the diagram created earlier can be converted into a highly effective, highly versatile learning object.

The first video shows what is possible

The second video shows how to add a simple hyperlink to a presentation

The third video shows how to link to other files, including how to link to a specific part within the file (e.g. to a certain page in a Word document, a certain slide in another PowerPoint presentation or a certain sheet in Excel)

The forth video shows how to link to a different slide within the same presentation. In this case I am linking from the diagram produced in an earlier series, but the principles work with text, or photos.

The fifth video shows a similar technique to the previous video, but the diagram remains visible at all times, which when created correctly looks very professional.

The sixth video shows how to add hotspots over a photo, so when you click on parts of the photo, it takes you to a slide based on what you clicked on.

By applying the skills learnt in the above sequence in different ways, it is possible to create very effective, engaging learning objects.

The videos above although produced by myself belong to the JISC RSC SE

Instructions on how to use animations in PowerPoint 2007

I have created 5 screencasts showing some simple ways on how to use animations within PowerPoint to create learning objects. These sequence follows on from an earlier sequence of clips, showing how to craw in PowerPoint – https://davefoord.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/simple-drawing-techniques-in-powerpoint/

The second clip shows possibly the simplest form of animation which is to get items to ‘appear’. I personally prefer the ‘Appear’ option to having things ‘flying in’ from the side, as I think it looks cleaner and crisper, and if you have lots of flying animations, people can become sea-sick.

The third clip uses the ’emphasis’ animation option, which I think is very under-used (a lot of people don’t know about it). It takes a bit of experimenting to get things to look good and not ‘tacky’ but I have created some very effective Presentations using the emphasis options.

The forth clip use something called ‘Triggers’ which again is very under-used. Most PowerPoint presentations are linear – where the tutor pre-determines the order that the presentation will progress and then during delivery that order is followed with only the ability to move forwards and backwards. Triggers allow you to create animation that are then ‘triggered’ by clicking on something, and thus you can move away from the linear nature of a presentation.

Triggers are used in many of the PowerPoint resources available on my website at http://www.a6training.co.uk/resources_powerpoint.php

The final clip in the sequence, combines the idea of emphasis (clip 3) with the idea of triggers (clip 4) to create a diagram where clicking on parts of the diagram draws emphasis to that part of the diagram.

The videos above although produced by myself belong to the JISC RSC SE

Simple drawing techniques in PowerPoint

I have been called many things in my time (some pleasant, some less so) including perfectionist, obsessive behaviour, pedantic. Now I don’t think that I am a perfectionist (if you saw the state of my house, office, car – you would see why), but in one area of work I am certainly pedantic, and I think I have developed an obsessive disorder. This area is the way that people create images in Word or PowerPoint:-

I often see high level presentations, keynote speeches, websites and even expensive glossy printed literature advocating the use of technology – where they have created sloppy drawn images – now this frustrates me, and when I am sat in the audience and someone is ‘training’ me – I look at their badly drawn image on the screen, and think ‘You cannot even run a spellchecker, you can’t draw 2 boxes the same size, and why is there a gap in that bent arrow? – How can I trust your expertise on……’

Although others may not react in the same way to me, I am sure that all will agree that a well constructed diagram or image will have a far better impact on learners than a sloppy image – and the sad truth is that it is very easy to do (unfortunately though the skills are often not taught).

So in order to right the wrongs I have produced this sequence of 5 screencasts, showing how it is possible to quickly create a professional looking flowchart in PowerPoint (or Word or Excel).

The first video was the introduction seen above

The second video looks at how to create the shapes, making sure they are all the same size, all formatted the same.

The third video looks at what has to be the best kept secret within Microsoft Office – and that is the align and distribute tools, if you haven’t used them before please have a look – they will save you lots of time and make a huge difference to your output.

The forth video, shows the second best kept secret within Office – the connectors tool, which will again save lots of time and improve the quality of output.

And the final video, shows the group, and ungroup tools within Office.

I hope that these videos will make a difference to the quality of presentations that are used, and will help me to overcome my obsessive behaviours and PowerPoint rage!

The videos above although produced by myself belong to the JISC RSC SE.