Thursday, February 18, 2010

SmartGuides for PowerPoint 2010

When InDesign upgraded to CS4, one thing I noticed is that when you have two items that get close to each other, these guides magically appear to assist you in aligning the objects. What a cool idea! I loved it. Now, PowerPoint 2010 has added this feature, calling it SmartGuides. Yes, very smart indeed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Did you know you can create professional slides and animation effects using just PowerPoint? Better yet, you don't have to do it all from scratch. You know by now that I'm a fan of re-purposing everything. Here are some templates from Office. that you can use and customize for your self.

Not sold on this idea just yet? Watch this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Excel Art

Tired of using Excel for just number crunching? Here's an idea for you. All I have to say is, "wow."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Holidays in February

There are so many holidays in February. Groundhog day (2/2), Chinese New Year (2/14, year of the Tiger), Valentine's Day (2/14), Presidents' Day (2/15), Mardi Gras (2/16), My birthday (2/17) and Hoodie-Hoo day (2/20). With so many holidays, it can be expensive to buy cards for everyone. That is why I prefer to make my own cards in PowerPoint. Attached is a simple template for a one-sided card, folded in fourths. You can customize all your own. (All clip art is courtesy of Microsoft.)

The steps are easy. Create a new presentation, one slide, blank layout. Use the grids to set up the fold lines and margins. Insert text and images, rotating them to layout. Simple!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Create a photo wall effect in PowerPoint

Someone shared this with me on Twitter, and I thought it was a great example. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Windows 7 shortcuts

As you may know, I love shortcuts (because I'm lazy) and found some great ones for Windows 7 by using my mouse. Until I figured it all out, it was frustrating, but now that I understand how it works, I love it!
  • Drag a window to the top of your screen to MAXIMIZE
  • Drag a window to the left or right to dock it on that half of the screen
  • Shake a window back and forth to MINIMIZE everything but the active window (the one you are shaking)
  • Double-click the top window border (edge) with the vertical resizing arrow to MAXIMIZE VERTICALLY

Monday, February 1, 2010

Excel: Calculate the difference between two dates

Let me just get this off my chest. "I don't do math in my head." I really hate math, but Excel is a dream as it makes math so easy. I used to have to really think how old my family members are. It is a really bizarre thought process for me, so I won't bore you with that. Instead, I'll show you how I made an Excel spreadsheet that will tell me. I have since used it to calulate days, months or years between two dates (such as time between start and end dates of a project).
Here is the formula's syntax. (BTW, don't go looking this up in the Help section as it is a "secret" formula.)
=DATEDIF(Earliest_Date, Latest_Date, UnitOfMeasure)
Here's how it works...

1st argument: A2 is the cell reference for the early date.

2nd argument: For the late date, I used the TODAY() formula so it is dynamic for whenever I open the spreadsheet to have the current date.

3rd argument: The unit of measure can be either "Y" for years, "M" for months or "D" for days, depending on how you want the results to be calculated.
If you prefer to calculate the WORKING days (excluding weekends and holidays) you can use the NETWORKDAYS formula.
=NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, holiday_range[optional])
Here it is in action...