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7 of PowerPoint 2016’s Best New Features

PowerPoint is one of the most important programs in Microsoft Office. It features a competitive range of graphical and presentation tools, making it useful for both personal and business applications. PowerPoint 2016, its most recent version, marks almost three years of productivity since the last update. This newest application doesn’t come with dramatic changes. In fact, most of its additional features are enhancements from the previous version.
What sets the real difference with PowerPoint 2016 (and with Office 2016 in general) is the fact that it focuses on enhancing user experience on the cloud. It encourages a collaborative workspace where documents can be shared and used online. It also aims to represent and ultimately fine-tune the synergetic culture that pervades the current work system.
Basically, what Microsoft wants is to get consumers into a new way of thinking about its products. The techno giant wants its brand to be associated with cloud availability, innovation, and timeliness. By offering new features and constant updates, Microsoft aims to pan out its new brand identity—but, of course, consumers need to be onboard for that to happen.

Is This Upgrade Worth Your Money?

Now, the question is, would upgrading to PowerPoint 2016 be in your best interest? Or can you work just as fine with the version you have, however old? The simple answer is this: you won’t miss out on anything big by choosing to not upgrade. Upgrading is not compulsory, after all. You’ll still have the basics that come with every version—all you’ll miss are the new features.
So, the real question now is whether you want the new features or not. Remember, a new version means a new software, and a new software means smarter and more updated features. Finally, you have to remember that PowerPoint is used by over 500 million users worldwide, with 120 million of them using it for business and educational purposes. Just imagine how many of that number have already chosen to upgrade their accounts. Worth a thought, isn’t it?
To help you decide whether or not PowerPoint 2016 is worth your money, here’s an infographic outlining some of its best and newest features.

Resources:

Bjork, Dawn. “What Are the Top 10 PowerPoint 2016 New Features?” The Software Pro. n.d. thesoftwarepro.com/powerpoint-2016-new-features
Sartain, JD. “Check Out PowerPoint 2016’s Best New Features: Charts, Effects, and More.” PC World. January 18, 2016. www.pcworld.com/article/3018735/software/check-out-powerpoint-2016s-best-new-features-charts-effects-and-more.html
“PowerPoint Usage and Market Share.” Infogram. n.d. infogr.am/PowerPoint-usage-and-Marketshare
“What’s New in PowerPoint 2016.” Microsoft Training. August 17, 2015. www.microsofttraining.net/b/whats-new-powerpoint-2016

Know Your Role: When to Use Sway and PowerPoint

Microsoft Sway is an app that lets you create storyboards with Web content. It’s been considered a more user-friendly substitute for PowerPoint thanks to its accessibility and importing features. Some even lauded it as Microsoft’s response to complaints thrown at the long-standing presentation aid.

Launched August 5 last year, Sway imports social media and Web content to create scrolling Web-based presentations. According to Stu Robarts of Gizmag, it’s also connected to other apps that optimize your work. Despite these functions, its has been met with some apprehension from both loyal PowerPoint users and skeptics alike.

Is it really an alternative for corporate presentations? Can it really tell stories in a visually engaging way for the boardroom? Or is it meant for a more general audience on the Web?

Strengths and Weaknesses

Like any product, this latest alternative still needs to prove its long-term efficiency. However, there are traits we can take at face value to compare with PowerPoint.

According to Sway’s senior product manager, David Alexander, it was designed with the intention of moving away from PowerPoint’s originally paper-based analog format to digital presentations. This may explain Sway’s inclination for app collaboration and its scrolling format. Its easy edit and layout options, as well as its optimal performance on mobile, make it perfect for on-the-go individuals who have no time to meticulously attend to their decks but still want visually engaging presentations.

On the other hand, PowerPoint still stands its ground as the leading visual aid, not just because it’s been around longer but also because of its wider range of features to choose from, particularly in terms of animation and transitions. While Sway may have an auto-edit option, the more hands-on approach PowerPoint offers allow corporate pitches to be shown exactly the way its presenters want it.

Since both tools bring individual strengths to the table, it’s time to take a closer look at Microsoft’s new little brother:

References

Lopez, Napier. “Microsoft’s Sway App Takes on PowerPoint with New Features and a Windows 10 App.” TheNextWeb. August 5, 2015. thenextweb.com/microsoft/2015/08/05/microsofts-sway-app-takes-on-powerpoint-with-new-features-and-a-windows-10-app
Robarts, Stu. “What Is Microsoft Sway?” GizMag. August 12, 2015. www.gizmag.com/microsoft-sway-introduction/38833
“Sway Is Not Replacing PowerPoint: The Real Story.” Think Outside The Slide. November 21, 2014. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/sway-is-not-replacing-powerpoint-the-real-story
“Sway Preview Expands and Delivers More Feature Improvements.” Microsoft Office. December 15, 2014. blogs.office.com/2014/12/15/sway-preview-expands-delivers-feature-improvements

Reinvent the Wheel: Microsoft Makes PowerPoint Less Boring

Microsoft PowerPoint has established itself as the standard Office program for anyone giving their own presentation. Its user-friendly features make it even easier to understand on-screen. But though it reigns over all other visual aids, critics have raised several arguments against it… the most infamous of which is Death by PowerPoint.

This basically means an abuse of the software tool that results in a lengthy and often boring presentation. However, Microsoft has modified PowerPoint to serve its users better. The company’s latest additions to the program may be the best yet.

Better Designs

If you’re not someone who settles for PowerPoint’s slew of generic templates, then the PowerPoint Designer feature is for you. This new element is a welcome departure from PowerPoint’s previously limited options. Now, you can choose from a wide range of slide designs that coordinate themselves with the images you upload on your deck.

This includes a suitable color palette and strategic layout that’s sure to catch the audience’s attention. Ticking off your deck’s layout from your presentation checklist gives you more time to focus on prepping for content and delivery. Effortlessly feel like a pro with this easily customized creation.

Seamless Animations

Microsoft’s second pet project, PowerPoint Morph, makes creating slide animations more efficient for both veteran and first-time presenters. With this new tool, PowerPoint takes a step forward from their presentation forte and brings it up a notch to basic animation. As with Designer, Morph lets you add a personal touch to your slide. It eliminates awkward and stiff transitions, helping you create impressive animations for your deck.

For those who want more animated slides, Morph takes care of that process for you. Whether you’re tweaking text, images, or 3D shapes, it allows you to animate all the objects in your slide. All you need to do is duplicate these objects and outline the path you want them to move in.

Gone are the days when you had to fumble for videos online. Now, you can make your own moving clips with PowerPoint Morph’s help.

Optimized Engagement

With the arrival of these two PowerPoint game-changers, what else could Microsoft possibly have up their sleeve? As it turns out, they’ve got a lot more. The company also introduced Office Insider to loyal Microsoft users, particularly those using Microsoft 365.

While this third announcement isn’t an additional feature per se, it does give loyal customers a glimpse of more upcoming add-ins regarding Microsoft Office. Those who sign up for Office Insider will get to see PowerPoint’s latest features before anyone else does, even getting to try it out for themselves. This move has possibly endeared users even more. After all, increased customer engagement with the product is a great way of reaching out to people.

Being in the loop better guarantees long-term patronage of Microsoft’s services.

Back in the Game

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that PowerPoint’s new features are game-changers for visual presentation. Despite the criticisms thrown against it, the attempts to make Microsoft PowerPoint less boring are actually working, and they’re effective, too. Their Designer and Morph add-ins bring raw text and images to life with effortless design and amazing animation.

Microsoft further caters to its customers by letting them sign up for Office Insider and get in on the latest software updates. Of course, it still doesn’t hurt to ask for a little help from presentation gurus every now and then. Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

References

Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The evolution of PowerPoint—introducing Designer and Morph.” Office Blogs, November 13, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015. blogs.office.com/2015/11/13/the-evolution-of-powerpoint-introducing-designer-and-morph/
Passary, Summit. “Microsoft Introduces New PowerPoint Design Tools: Designer And Morph.” Tech Times, November 14, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015. www.techtimes.com/articles/106755/20151114/microsoft-introduces-new-powerpoint-design-tools-designer-and-morph.htm

Featured Image: “136/366 – Death by PowerPoint” by Paul Hudson on Flickr.com

Office Timeline for PowerPoint

Previously we talked about creating tables and charts manually in PowerPoint. However, not everyone has the luxury to pore over a Gantt chart they need to present the following morning. In its efforts to be even more user-friendly and efficient, Microsoft’s released a program made to craft your timeline in just two minutes, or less.

Need to create a timeline in Microsoft PowerPoint but don’t have the time to input the necessary shapes and tools separately? Then you may want to check out Microsoft’s add-in for easily crafting professional looking timelines.

An Efficient Program

Office Timeline is designed for MS PowerPoint 2007, 2010, and 2013 and it works by enabling you to make your timeline and project slides quickly and easily. In fact, that’s its motto: Beautiful, Professional, Easy. 

In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to create a beautiful and organized timeline on the slide that you can proudly present to management, team member, or customers. This user-friendly wizard will simply ask for data such as start and end dates along with some descriptions. In an instant, it will create a timeline slide in your open presentation.

Presentation1

How to Use

It doesn’t take much effort to craft a Gantt chart with this program. You can download the plug-in for free on Office Timeline’s official site, or buy the Plus Edition. Once you’ve installed it in your program, an Office Timeline tab will appear beside the usual tabs in PowerPoint.

Select New. This will present you with various types of timelines that you can choose from. This includes pre-set templates that you can customize later on to your advantage. After choosing the type of timeline you want to present, you’ll be asked to input Milestones, which are the markers of your chart. These can be as many as you want, depending on the number of items on your timeline. You can further tweak this feature’s colordate, and name to fit your purpose.

The Gantt chart will appear on the slide after you’ve fulfilled all the requirements for your timeline. Here, you can select the separate components of the chart — including its scale and markers.

Conclusion

Organizing your data into understandable and brief diagrams is the key to a painless presentation. Most people — possibly including your own audience, whether these are customers, investors, or the big bosses — are visual learners who learn best by being shown data and progress information, rather than by being exposed to droves of text and winding verbal explanations.

While your PowerPoint isn’t meant to be a replacement for your actual presence, it will help to have a visual aid that supports your points and compresses the most important of these into neat visual charts. Office Timeline is one of these charts, developed by Microsoft to answer the information overload that plenty of presenters often fall into.

Are you going to stick to boring, text-heavy slides, or will you upgrade to this sleek, efficient tool?

 

References

Office Timeline SoftwareAccessed May 16, 2014.