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10 Other Things You Can Do With PowerPoint

Updated on August 21, 2015

Most of us know PowerPoint is that Microsoft Office software that you use to create presentations, as much as we know that Word is for word processing and Excel is for spreadsheet.But office emergencies can sometimes leave you with nothing but the presentation software to work with, so here are ten things you might want to try at some point: (Note: I’ll be using PowerPoint 2010 in this hub.)

1. Letters and Memos

1. PowerPoint is not a word processing software but its text boxes are a good tool for creating documents that you usually do with Word.To create a letter or memo, start with a blank presentation page. (Go to the Home tab and select Layout button and select Blank.)Then go to the Design tab, select the Slide Orientation and select Portrait. Next thing to do is to create text boxes where you can put in the text for your document.To do that, go to the Home tab, go to the Drawing group and select Text Box.Go to the place inside the empty slide where you want to put the text.This will create a text box there.The default text box uses the font Calibri at size 18.You can change the font and its size by going to the Font group and selecting the desired Font and size.

2. Greeting Cards

Start with a blank slide.Go to the View tab and go to the Show group.Select the Guides option.This will divide the slide into four equal parts.Go to the Design tab and select the Slide Orientation button; select Portrait. To make sure the card prints on the paper size you are going to use, go to the File tab and select Print.This will bring you to the print options.Just below the printer name, select Printer Properties.This will show you a dialog box showing the different options available for your printer.Select the paper size you will use, and then select OK.Go to the Home tab and continue working on your card.Go the lower right portion of your slide.Put in here your design (texts, graphics, pictures) for the cover.After that, go to the upper left quarter of your slide.Put here the content of your card (again, texts, graphics, and pictures).Then select everything you put in this part of the slide by dragging your mouse diagonally across them. Go to the Format tab, select the Arrange button and then select Group.This will group the elements you have selected as one.Hover your mouse over the handle for the grouped objects (the green circle above the group) and rotate it to make the objects upside down. Print your card and fold it along the four parts of the slide.

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3. Calling Cards

Yes, calling cards.Like when creating greeting cards, divide an empty slide into four quarters by selecting on the View tab and selecting the Guides option.Also, change the orientation into portrait as in making a greeting card. Create lines (you can use the Line tool from the Drawing group of the Home tab) throughout the slide that you can use as guide for the size of the calling card (usually 2” by 3.5”).In one of the rectangles that you will create from this step, create a copy of the calling card, being careful to stay within the boundaries.After completing one copy of the calling card, group its objects and copy and paste the grouped calling card copy to the rest of the space in the slide.You can then print the slide and cut the calling cards.

4. Signage

Simply put in your text and graphics in one slide and print it.So your signage doesn’t look like a presentation, start with a blank slide and just create text boxes and insert graphics and/or pictures as needed.

5. Menu Cards

Like when creating letters and memos, start with a blank slide and create text boxes, arrange them into columns and insert the graphics as necessary.By the way, note that you can move the text boxes around in the slide.

6. Posters

Again, start with a blank slide and insert text boxes, graphics and images as needed.A good thing with PowerPoint being a presentation software is that you start with a view where you see the whole page and can work in that view throughout the whole process.Also, you will find the basic photo editing tools handy here.To edit a picture or graphic, select it.Go to the Format tab and select the editing tool you need.Tools you may find useful include Remove Background (for removing picture background; most effective in pictures whose backgrounds are plain or similar color); Corrections (for adjusting brightness and contrast); Color (for adjusting color) and Artistic Effects (various, well, artistic effects such as Paint Stroke, Glow Edges, and others).You can also use Crop to cut your images in different ways, including pre-determined shapes (select the image, Go to the Format tab, select the Crop More Options button—the downward arrow below the Crop button—and then select Crop to Shape and select the shape you want).

7. Name Tags and IDs

You can do this using steps similar to that of creating calling cards. You just need to laminate them after cutting them, and then attach a clip.Also, you can slide them through ready-made name tag or ID cases.

8. Edit Images

Yes, you can edit a picture in PowerPoint and save it again as an image outside of any PowerPoint slide.To do that, insert the image you want to edit in an empty slide.Select the image and do your editing using the tools found under the Format tab.After you’re done, right-select the image and select Save As Picture in the short-cut menu.In the dialog box that follows, type in the file name and select the image format you want.(JPEG works fine for photos; GIF usually works well with line drawings.)

9. Take a Screenshot

On an empty slide, Go to the Insert tab and select Screenshot button.Select the window whose screenshot you want to take.You can then save the image as part of a PowerPoint slide or you can save it as an independent image by right-selecting the image and selecting Save As Picture… and proceed as mentioned already under the Edit Images item (Number 8).

10. Extract an Image from a Video File

On an empty slide insert the video from which you want to extract an image.(PowerPoint can read many video file formats including .asf, .avi, Quicktime movies, .mp4, .mpeg and others.)To do this, Go to the Insert tab and then select the Video button under the Media group. Options under this button enables you to import videos from your hard drive, the Internet or from the Microsoft Clip Art collectionOnce you have the video inside the slide, Go to the Playback tab, and select the Trim Video button.Go to the scene whose image you want to extract using the Start Time navigator (the green marker found at the bottom left of the video) and then select the OK button.In the slide, right-select the image of the video and select Save As… in the context menu that pops up.You can then save the extracted image in a format you want.

A Final Note

A final thing to remember is that PowerPoint may not be the most effective software for most of these but when you don’t have the specialized software for these tasks, you can always use this presentation software as an alternative.


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    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 3 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Its always good to have a backup program that your knowledgeable in to complete a task on older/outdated/barebone new systems.


    • profile image

      cristine 5 years ago