Save PowerPoint Slide as a High Resolution Picture

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi (click the File menu, Save As, and choose jpeg as the type). This is fine for the Web, but not for printing. In most cases, you’ll need at least 300dpi.

To create high resolution jpgs, you have two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that will do this for you. To complete a recent project, I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same).

The ImageExport on the PPTools Website is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free.

For more tips in PowerPoint, buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2007 and another one on PowerPoint 2003 or enroll in one of my PowerPoint workshops.

UPDATE: I’ve recorded three videos to show you how to use ImageExport.

 

PEACE.

Sending attachments when you mail merge in Outlook

In my Computer Magic! seminar at the Affordable Meetings conference, several attendees wanted to know how to send an attachment when they send a mail merge email.

The bad news is that you can’t with the native Outlook program.

But, the good news is that you can purchase an inexpensive add-in ($24.00) that will make this easy (if you’re on a company network, check with your IT administrator before you attempt to download anything to your work computer).

http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/mail_merge/

Somewhere along the way as you start the merge, you may get a message about a program trying to send email on your behalf…You can avoid this happening by downloading the “Express ClickYes” utility that is available as a free download from http://www.contextmagic.com/express-clickyes/

“Express ClickYes is a tiny program that sits in the taskbar and clicks the Yes button on behalf of you, when Outlook’s Security Guard opens a prompt dialog saying that a program is trying to send an email with Outlook or access its address book. You can suspend/resume it by double-clicking its taskbar icon.”

Creating and Editing a Movie Can Be Easy

Last summer, I was a speaker at the Phenomenal Women Speak conference in the US Virgin Islands. It was part of a PBS special for the island’s affiliate. They sent me a copy of the DVD. My plan is to pull 8-10 minutes from this and create a video for speaker bureaus.

(I know you’re thinking that I should be paying someone to do this for me, but I’m a computer nut, and instead of watching TV or going shopping, I learn stuff on my computer. I get caught up in it, and hours go by with friends and family having to remind me to eat.)

Unfortunately, the DVD was in the .vob format, and none of the software I used to convert it worked. I went to my favorite Website and looked for software that could do it (www.snapfiles.com). They test software, evaluate it, and put it on their site for you to download. Some of it’s free, some not. I’ve always found exactly what I needed.

I tried various software, but nothing was giving me the quality I needed. The free software converted it, but the quality was bad (it might be that the video is an hour long). Another software converted it, but my mouth movement wasn’t keeping up with the sound.

Finally, I found what I needed. The Movavi Video Converter converted the file and kept the quality.

To create the movie, I thought I’d be able to use Microsoft’s free Movie Maker. But every time I added my video, the software crashed. I tried different scenarios to fix the problem (checking codecs) but nothing worked.

I was wasting time, so I went back to Camtasia to pull segments from the full video, add graphics, photos, music, etc. It’s by www.techsmith.com, and is probably the best software in the world for this type of project (for regular people like us). The company uses its own technology to create tutorials that are free on their Website so you’ll have no problem learning how to use it.

When I finish the project, I’ll burn the DVDs and use my artwork I talked about in a previous post to create the finished product. I’ll create a link later so you can see it. Stay tuned…

I’ve done this before and have a video segment for a time management seminar I gave for small business owners. Click the link to view.

PEACE.

Create Interesting Art Projects with PowerPoint

I just finished an interesting project using PowerPoint. In an earlier post, I talked about how to save PowerPoint slides as pictures. I do this a lot when I create the photo gallery for my Website. And I’m finding other uses for this tip.

I’m creating a DVD using some great video footage from a PBS special I did for the US Virgin Islands affiliate. I edited the video using Camtasia and put a 6-minute video sample together (see SUITETV tab above).

The only thing left to do was to create the DVD jacket covers and disc label.

I could have gotten a designer here in Atlanta to do this and pay hundreds of dollars. Or I could have bid this out on Elance.com and gotten someone in China or somewhere to do it cheaper. But I wanted to give it a try…mainly because I’m a computer nut and love creating in PowerPoint (I teach PowerPoint and have written a book about it…see links below). And also because I knew I could do it as long as I kept everything simple and clean. So I turned off the TV and went to work.

Here’s what I did.

I created a disc cover and DVD jacket (front, back) in PowerPoint. I measured a DVD jacket from one I’d purchased and resized a PowerPoint slide to the same dimensions. In a separate file, I resized another slide to fit the back cover dimensions (that also included the spine). Then I went to work on the design.

Once I designed the jacket cover, I saved it as a high resolution jpeg right from PowerPoint.

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi. This is fine for the Web, but not for printing…you need at least 300dpi. I had two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that would do this for me. I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same). The ImageExport is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free. Saving the file in the PNG format is giving me the best quality.

Then I went to work on the DVD label, using the same design (the picture above). I used a free Word template designed specifically to fit DVD/CD labels at NEATO. I had to tweak the PowerPoint design until I had a perfect fit, but this was quick. Next, I saved this slide as a high resolution jpg. Then in Word, I inserted my PowerPoint jpg as a fill effect/picture inside the drawing object on the NEATO template.

I saved both of these documents on a Flash Drive (I saved the DVD label as a PDF) so I can use a friend’s high resolution color laser printer for the best quality (or you could use Kinko’s, Office Depot, Staples, etc.). The disc cover will print directly on NEATO CD/DVD labels, 2up (two per page). I’ll print the jackets using high quality photo paper.

I’m very pleased with the results (click here to see the rest of it), and I learned some new things along the way. If you want to learn how to do projects like this, sign up for my class “Create Marketing Collateral with PowerPoint.” Or buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2003 (Update: 2007 version now available).

Let me know what you think.

P.S. I need to add that the only stumbling block in all of this was removing the white box behind my photo when I inserted it into PowerPoint. I used the transparency tool on the PowerPoint Picture toolbar, and it was almost perfect. Almost isn’t good enough for me.

I had to go to PhotoShop Elements and learn how to get rid of the background. I’ve paid people in the past when I’ve needed this done, but I was determined to learn how to do it myself. I went to Help, and could have kicked myself once I saw how easy it was to do this…took me 2 minutes!, if that long. Now I know.

I use two monitors so after I finished in PhotoShop, I dragged the picture over to the slide in PowerPoint. This time when I used the transparency tool, I was more pleased with the finish.

PEACE.

Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert

Save a PowerPoint Slide as a Picture

You can use PowerPoint to create a postcard, ad, or brochure you want to email, place on your Website, or print. One of my favorite things to do is create snazzy photo albums for my Website and email ads I send in Outlook to promote my training. I don’t know enough about PhotoShop to create what I need, but I know a whole lot about PowerPoint (I teach beginning to advanced PowerPoint in a 5-hour class that includes lunch…no kidding), so it make sense to do it like this.

  1. Create a slide in the desired size and create your masterpiece.
  2. (PowerPoint 2003) Click the File menu, Save As. (In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button, Save As, Other Formats.)
  3. In the Save as type list, select the graphics format you want (e.g., JPEG), and then click Save.
  4. In Outlook, create a new email message. Click in the body of the message. Then click the Insert menu, Picture, Browse to find the file you just saved, OK.
  5. Once the picture is in the body of the email, you can create a hyperlink that jumps to your Web site (select the graphic, then click the Insert menu, Hyperlink, add your Web site, OK).

By default, PowerPoint will set the dpi for your picture at 96, which is not high enough resolution for printing. Later, I’ll tell you about a couple of ways around this. UPDATE: Here is the post that explains how to save PowerPoint slides in a higher resolution.

PEACE.

Reduce File Size in PowerPoint – Graphic Sizes Too

If you’re ever working on a PowerPoint presentation and notice that the file seems to get bigger for no reason, try this.

  1. Click File, Properties, General tab to see how large your file is. Close the dialog box.
  2. You can reduce the file size by up to 50 percent by resaving it under a different name. Click File, Save As, and rename the file.

Recheck the file size. If it doesn’t work the first time, try it again.

Compress Pictures to Make File Smaller. If you’ve embedded a lot of pictures, you can compress one picture or all of them. If you choose to compress all pictures, wait until you have inserted all of them so PowerPoint won’t attempt to recompress them.

  1. Click on the picture you want to compress, click to Show Picture Toolbar.
  2. Click the Compress Pictures toolbar button located on the Show Picture Toolbar (hold your mouse over each button to find it. It’s a square with a picture inside and four arrows pointing to each corner).
  3. Make desired selections.

If your file size doesn’t seem to be shrinking when you do the compress, turn off Fast Saves.

  1. Click Tools, Options, Save tab, untick Allow fast saves.
  2. Resave the file under a different name.

Clean up junky looking email messages

Junky email messages are the ones you receive loaded with those darn carets (>>>).

Don’t forward a message like this without cleaning it up first. You can get rid of carets by pasting the message into Word and using the Find and Replace feature to find carets and replace all of them with nothing.

  1. Copy the text from an email message, and Paste it into Word.
  2. Press Ctrl+H.
  3. In the Find what box, type >. Leave the Replace with box empty (to replace > with nothing).
  4. Click Replace All, OK.

Now remove the blank spaces at the beginning of each line that occurred when you removed the carets.

  1. Select all the text (press Ctrl+A).
  2. Press Ctrl+E to center it, then press Ctrl+L to left-align it. All extra spaces will be gone.
  3. Copy and paste the text back into the email message.

Note: If you’re using Outlook with Word set as your email editor, you can do all this in the body of the email. I use Outlook as my editor.