A lot of joy can be found in the process of putting a presentation together. But if you’re unaware of some of the basic time-saving hacks for PowerPoint, that joy can quickly turn into infuriating anger. Like you’d want to set fire to your keyboard! Being creative and laying out your visual narrative is rewarding, but finicking with fonts and consistent formatting sucks out your reason to live like a Harry Potter Dementor.
Watch the full video Tutorial on each tip here:
5 basic time-saving Hacks for PowerPoint
We waste most of our time on PowerPoint addressing formatting, getting fonts right and ensuring consistency throughout the presentation. This can be backbreaking work. Furthermore, sometimes it can be all for nothing if your unique designed font doesn’t save or bugs out when you’re presenting on another device. So I’m going to take you through 3 font hacks that will save you hours of correcting time and two workarounds to make sure your PowerPoint saves in the exact way that you built it.
PowerPoint Hack One: Format paint your way to an easier life
There’s a tiny roller looking paintbrush in the top left of your navigation function bar. This tiny button is one of Microsoft’s office suite’s greatest invention. Ask anyone working in Adobe inDesign, what they wish they had and they’ll tell you they miss the paint format painter.
The format painter button allows you to select the correct formatted font, paragraph style and spacing as you have in one area, and select another area that you wish to have in the same format. In addition, PowerPoint allows you to select the format of an entire block and copy the format of that block for the reformatting of another block that you select.
The format painter button can save you an accumulation of hours of time once you get the hang of it. Never go looking for your font, paragraph and styles again. Paint it, baby paint it!
PowerPoint Hack Two: How to reformat the text across your entire PowerPoint Presentation
It’s also possible on PowerPoint to reformat all the text across all your slides into one particular text that you choose. This is like batch reformatting but only works well if you want one single font across all your slides. Here’s how to reformat all your text across all your slides:
- Click format in my navigation pane.
- Select “Replace fonts…”
- You’ll see the current font in the first “Replace” cell and you’ll see the “with:” cell is empty.
- From the drop-down menu, select the correct font you’d like throughout your presentation.
- It will then replace all the old fonts across the presentation with the new font.
Note: This might look slightly different depending on whether you’re using PowerPoint on Pc or MAC.
PowerPoint Hack Three: Add some flavour using Add-ins
Forget about the insert function. That guy is so yesterday and rudimentary. The Add-Ins functionality helps you address the pain point of needing particular forms of media that you need to embed often in your presentations but become a mission to locate.
For example, if you require icon libraries, polls to make your presentation more engaging or cartoons and animation, Add-ins allows you to integrate with the platforms where that media lives. To illustrate, Add-ins allows you to add platforms such as Powtoons, Poll Everywhere and Noun Project (an icon library). You can also browse the office store to find extra Add-ins that might add even more sugar and spice to your presentation.
PowerPoint Hack Four: Embedding fonts so you can take your presentation anywhere
Tell me if this story sounds familiar. You spend hours working on your presentation. You’re using your special branded fonts or fonts chosen specifically because they work hard to deliver your message. You arrive at your conference or keynote address or meeting. A laptop has been set up for you and your presentation has been loaded onto it for you.
To your horror, your carefully chosen fonts no longer exist. This computer you have to present on doesn’t have your fonts loaded on it so PowerPoint cannot present them!
You see only Arial.
Your heart falls through your stomach.
Embedding your fonts will help you avoid this tragic ending and it only takes a couple of seconds. Once you embed your fonts, you’ll be able to take or send your presentation anywhere and never have to worry about losing your carefully selected fonts. Here’s how you do it:
- Select file in your navigation pane.
- Go to save preferences.
- In the “Font embedding” section, tick “Embed fonts in file”.
- Save your presentation.
Once saved, your fonts ain’t going anywhere. And you’ll be safe in the knowledge that no matter where your presentation travels, its look and feel remains consistent.
PowerPoint Hack Five: The fastest way to turn your PowerPoint slides into a video
Packaging your PowerPoint as a video has a lot of benefits. For example, it allows you to send it and share it in it’s moving transitional glory without your recipient having to do anything on Powerpoint. In addition, it allows you to create ready to go narratives or stories to share on your social media platforms without having to be an after effects expert. The best part is, it takes less than 10 seconds to do:
- Select file.
- Select “Export…”
- Under “File format”, select MP4.
- Choose the number of seconds spent on each slide without a set timing. I usually choose 3 or 4 seconds. If you have a lot of text on the screen, choose a higher number, if there isn’t a lot to read, choose fewer seconds.
- Click the Export button.
Voila! Your presentation has been turned into a video. The most consumed media on the internet and great for sharing your ideas and talks to a wider audience.
Knowing your way around these five basic time-saving hacks for Powerpoint will make working with PowerPoint a pleasant and fulfilling experience. Creativity is at its peak when your brain doesn’t have to worry about the tools it’s using. Ultimately, getting to grips with these hacks will make your work better, help your presentations to look more professional and save you a whole lot of time in the process. Learn more great tips and tools for PowerPoint in our Presentation Training Series.