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by Nancy Stevenson

Welcome to Special Edition Using Microsoft PowerPoint 97, a collaborative effort by authors with unique experience and expertise with the most powerful presentation software available today.

Although computer books are sometimes simply updated to reflect changes in new software products, this book is entirely new. It has been written by a team of experts to cover all the exciting features in this new version of PowerPoint comprehensively, to offer a focus on real-world presentation examples, and to add value to your learning experience with special features such as Troubleshooting and Tips.

Why You Need PowerPoint

Presentation software such as PowerPoint is nothing new. However, recent advances in multimedia and online features are bringing presentations into a renaissance. With sound, animation, video, and even hyperlinks to World Wide Web sites, today's PowerPoint presentation has only a vague resemblance to the overhead transparency and slide-producing tool of years past.

In a media-savvy world, knowing how to produce professional, dynamic presentations to persuade, inform, or entertain is no longer a nice-to-have skill. Creating effective presentations is a way to survive and advance in a competitive world.

Who Should Use This Book?

Perhaps you work in a large corporation. On the other hand, you might run a home business, do marketing for a non-profit group, or need to organize the PTA's spring meeting. Whatever your presentation needs, the clear, logically organized information in this book will help you take advantage of all of PowerPoint's tools and features.

In this book, we have made the assumption that you are a competent user of Windows 95 and know the basics of file management and using a mouse. Perhaps you've never used PowerPoint or any presentation software. That's okay. Maybe you used an earlier version of PowerPoint, or count yourself proficient on another presentation software product. That's also okay. Whether you're new to presentation software or upgrading to the features of the PowerPoint 97 product, this book will provide added value.

Use this book to learn PowerPoint 97 and as a reference over the next year or two when a question arises. This book does address using PowerPoint with other software products. However, if you want to use PowerPoint extensively as part of the Microsoft Office suite of products, you might also want to own Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 97, also by Que.

How the Book is Organized

This book has been organized so that you can use it in two ways:

  • You can use the book in a linear fashion, reading straight through from Chapter 1 to the last chapter. Using the book this way will build your knowledge of PowerPoint from more basic functions at the outset to more advanced features towards the end.

  • Because of handy features like cross-references, more advanced users can also just jump into the chapters that interest them. When a concept is discussed in more detail in another chapter, you are referred to that chapter so you can get more detail if you need it.

This book uses a combination of step-by-step procedures and easily understood conceptual information. Special Edition Using Microsoft PowerPoint 97 helps you to not only practice keystrokes and mouse moves, but also to comprehend how mastering those processes can help you do your job in the real world. In fact, the last part of this book, "Building Presentation Applications," explores typical uses of PowerPoint presentations in a variety of business settings.

Special Edition Using Microsoft PowerPoint 97 is divided into eight parts.

Part I gets you acquainted with the PowerPoint interface by exploring its toolbars, menus, and different views in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, you begin to build presentations and are introduced to PowerPoint templates, layouts, placeholders, and Master views.

Part II explores working with text in a presentation. Chapter 3 shows you how to add, edit, and format text, and use some of PowerPoint's proofing tools, such as AutoCorrect and Style Checker. Chapter 4 studies various features of the Outline view of PowerPoint, which is a powerful way to organize and structure the information contained in your presentation. Chapter 5 discusses Notes Pages and Handouts, two aids to understanding for the two key participants in any presentation: the speaker and his or her audience.

Part III is dedicated to visual elements of your presentation, such as drawing objects (covered in Chapter 6 and 7), ready-made artwork called clip art and text effects using WordArt (Chapter 8), and the exciting possibilities of adding animation and sound to your presentation elements (Chapter 9). In this part, you learn how to draw, insert graphics files, edit color and background patterns of objects, and use the text effects applet called WordArt to add sparkle to your slides.

Part IV discusses how to use charts and tables to visually represent data in your presentation. Here you learn how to build your own charts in Chapters 10 and 11, and create Word for Windows tables right within PowerPoint in Chapter 12. Chapter 13 teaches you how to take advantage of another built-in applet to create organizational charts quickly and easily.

Part V is where you take all the elements that you've learned to create on PowerPoint slides and bring them all together to make a presentation. Chapter 14 provides a valuable overview of presentation concepts that help you structure the most effective presentation possible. Chapters 15 and 16 give you details about rehearsing a presentation, by using features like Meeting Minder to take notes during a presentation and using the Pack and Go Wizard to take your presentation on the road. Chapter 17 tells you how to print paper presentations and generate slides.

Part VI is where we've put some of the advances that link PowerPoint to the explosive growth of the Internet. Chapters 18 and 19 provide the information you need to publish your presentation on the Internet, while Chapter 20 looks at the benefits of distributing your presentations on a company intranet.

Part VII, "Advanced Topics," looks at topics you'll want to explore once you have become a proficient PowerPoint user. Chapter 21 and 22 look at customizing PowerPoint's interface and functionality to work best for you and automating functions with powerful macro technology. Chapter 23 explores all the ways you can link or embed information from other programs—even the World Wide Web—into your presentations. Chapter 24 deals with more advanced multimedia and electronic publishing topics such as video editing and use of various projection systems. The last two chapters enable you to put what you've learned to work building typical business presentations. This is where you get ideas for putting PowerPoint's features to use in your day-to-day activities.

Appendix A

Finally, the Index of Common Problems provides at-a-glance reminders of where you can find solutions to common problems and procedures to perform typical tasks in the book.


This book uses certain conventions for representing computer procedures. In most cases you are provided with several methods for performing operations, including keyboard, tool and menu options. Underlined letters such as those in File, Save are called hotkeys. If you do not have or want to use a mouse to make a selection in a menu, you can hold down the Alt key while you type these letters to make your selection instead. These hotkeys are also found in various dialog boxes for making choices.

Terms that may be new to you are set in italics when they are first mentioned. If there is specific text that you are asked to enter during a step-by-step procedure, that text appears in boldface.

Menu selections are indicated by first listing the menu name, then the command to select from the menu, as in the following example: choose Edit, Cut to cut selected text from a document. Keystroke options are listed with any keys which must be pressed together connected by a "+" sign, as in "Press Ctrl+X."

Special Elements Used in This Book

We've provided certain special features to provide value-added information and to help you learn the various features of PowerPoint.

Each chapter begins with a roadmap, a brief description of the key skills and features you learn about in that chapter.

When there is a PowerPoint tool button that can be used to execute an operation, it is shown in the margin of the book, next to the paragraph where its use is mentioned.


A note is a piece of additional information regarding a topic that might be of interest in using a particular feature.

On the Web

We've highlighted related Internet sites that you might want to explore with a special On the Web icon. These notations include a complete Web site address so you can get to these helpful sites quickly and easily.


A tip is a handy optional way to perform a mentioned procedure, or additional feature you might want to explore. In a tip, you might learn about often overlooked information, or pick up a shortcut to help you get things done more quickly.


Cautions warn you if performing a particular task carries possible risks, such as permanently losing information.

Troubleshooting Tip

Troubleshooting boxes provide commonly asked questions about problems or challenges typically encountered by new users. These troubleshooting tips are presented in the form of a commonly asked question and its answer.

Whenever a new feature in PowerPoint is mentioned, we've called attention to it with a special PowerPoint 97 icon.

Finally, you will occasionally see references in the margin to related or more in-depth information about a topic being discussed. These cross-references assist you in exploring all aspects of a topic, no matter how we have selected to organize that information in creating this book.

See "Using 3-D Effects,"

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