Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 5: Viewing the Presentation

This is Lesson 5 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to Lesson 1(Table of Contents at the end). In Lesson 4 we added a new slide layout that let us put two pictures side by side. We inserted a picture and added a frame and effects to it. If you haven’t already, go ahead and add a picture to the second picture placeholder and put captions underneath both of the pictures. If you haven’t gone through the previous lessons, you might want to do so or some of what I am telling you to do may not make sense. Below, you can what my slide looks like. Of course, you won’t have the same pictures that I do, but no worries about that. Just pick from the pictures you have available and we’ll go from there.

Main Slide

Since PowerPoint is primarily a presentation software, I thought now might be a good time to show you how you can put this new presentation in presentation, or “Slide Show” mode. Pictured below, you can see the ribbon toolbar with the “Slide Show” tab selected.

Slide Show

You will notice that I have circled the button labeled “From Beginning”. This is what you select when you are ready to present your presentation. The “From Current Slide” button basically will let you look at the particular slide you are editing at the moment. This comes in pretty handy when you’re not sure how a particular slide will look in a “Slide Show”. So far in these tutorials, we have used a real simple format. We chose a template to work from and added a couple of slides with pictures. When you click the “From Beginning” button, you will notice that your presentation will start in full screen mode. To progress to the next slide, click the left mouse button and it will move to the next slide. Continue doing this until all the slides have shown. At this point you should see a screen that says “End Show”. If you click this screen then your “Slide Show” will end and you will be back to where you can edit your presentation. Also note that any time during the presentation, if you hit the “Esc” key on your keyboard your presentation will end. Go ahead and give your presentation a try. When you are finished make sure you hit save.

This concludes Lesson 5. Make sure to keep coming back as we will continue to show more features of PowerPoint. As always, please feel free to ask questions. Thanks for reading Techie Buzz!

PowerPoint Basics Table of Contents

Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 4: Fun with Pictures

This is Lesson 4 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to Lesson 1 (Table of Contents at the bottom of this article). In Lesson 3, we deleted all of the sample slides from the template and added our own “Album Cover” slide. We also typed text into placeholders and added our own picture. Today, I would like to take the picture concept a little further and see what kind of fun we can have with them.

Let’s take a moment to add a new slide to our photo album. In the image below, you will see where I have clicked the “New Slide” menu and selected the “2-Up Portrait with Captions” layout.

Slide Galler

This particular layout will give us a place for two pictures on our slide side by side with captions underneath.  See the picture below for an example.

Slide Layout

Let’s add a couple of pictures to our slide. Notice that square in the middle of the picture placeholder that looks like it has a mountain scene with a little sun over it. Click this square to open a dialog where you can choose a picture to add to the slide. I am going to pick one that is particularly wide so that I can show what can happen on these narrow picture placeholders. See the image below to see my problem.


Notice my poor little dove is aligned way over to the left of the picture and partially cut off. The problem here is the ratio of my picture doesn’t match the ratio of my picture place holder. What can I do? Well there is a lot that can be done but for now, I just want to show you a way to get it more centered. If you click the picture the “Picture Tools” tab shows with several options. On the far right side of the ribbon you will see the “Crop” button. Go ahead and hit the crop button. Notice in my image below, how the image changes. In this mode you can put your mouse in the middle of the picture and  click and drag the picture to position it exactly where you want it in the frame. Once you have the picture where you want it click the “Crop” button again and it will apply your change.

Crop Frame

Now that we have our picture positioned where we want it, let’s play around with some other features. Remember earlier when we clicked on the picture, the “Picture Tools” tab showed up with lots of options for us. We could literally spend days here. There are a lot of nifty features we can apply to this picture. Let’s take a look at the “Picture Tools” and discuss some of their functions.

Adjust Group

The first group in the “Picture Tools” is the “Adjust” group. Here you dramatically change the look of the picture. “Remove Background” will let you click areas of the picture you want to keep and remove. So if you have an ugly airplane flying in the sky behind your prize rose, you can use this tool to remove that part of the picture. “Corrections” will basically allow you to blur or sharpen as well as, change picture contrast. The “Color” button will let you tint the picture with color. “Artistic Effects” can be a lot of fun but try not to go to overboard here. “Compress Pictures” will help you lower the file size which is handy for emailing. “Change Picture” basically opens up a dialog so you can pick a different picture. “Reset Picture” will come in real handy if you royally screw up your picture with too many edits. It puts things back to its original state.

Picture Styles

The “Picture Styles” group will let you add frames, borders, reflections, highlights, shadows, and much more.

Arrange Group

The “Arrange” group will let you work with picture alignment and rotation. the “Bring Forward” and “Send Backward” buttons are for when you have more than one picture. If you overlap these pictures, these two buttons will let you determine which is in front of the other.

Size Group

The “Size Group” we’ve used already when we cropped. This basically lets you determine how big or small you want the picture to be.

Now that we’ve looked through this toolbar, take a moment to apply some of the different styles or color effects. I think I am going to add a frame to mine and sharpen it under corrections. Take a moment to play around a little and be sure to save your project for the next lesson.

Table of Contents – PowerPoint Basics

Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 3: Editing a Template

This is Lesson 3 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to Lesson 1 (Table of Contents at the bottom of this article). In Lesson 2 I showed you how you could use PowerPoint’s built-in templates to create a new presentation. I also showed how to save a presentation for future editing. Today I will build upon the previous lessons and show you how to edit a template to make it yours.

Let’s open the “Contemporary Photo Album” template that we saved in Lesson 2. If you forgot to save it simply click the “File” tab on the ribbon toolbar, choose “New”, choose “Sample Templates”, then choose “Contemporary Photo Album”. You should see a screen similar to the one pictured below.

PowerPoint Window

Notice I have drawn a green rectangle down the left side of the screen where the slides are shown. Since we want to make this template our own, let’s delete all of these slides. There are several ways to do this. If you click on a slide, you will notice that it highlights similar to the way slide 1 is highlighted in the picture above. When you see this, hit the delete key on your keyboard. Notice that the slide disappears with no questions asked. Scary huh? Don’t worry. If you unintentionally delete a slide, you can undo this by hitting the undo button. The undo button is located on the quick access toolbar in the upper left corner of the screen and looks like a looped leftward pointing blue arrow. Now, let’s go ahead and delete all of the slides in the template.

Now that we have all of the sample slides out of the way, we can begin making our own photo presentation. Let’s add our first slide. On the ribbon toolbar you will see a button labeled “New Slide”. If you put your mouse over it you will notice that it kind of divides in half. The upper half has a little white rectangle and the lower half highlights the words “New Slide” with a downward pointing arrow. Two things can happen with this button. If you just click directly on the top part with the icon, PowerPoint assumes for you what type of slide layout you want. However, if you click the lower part with the downward pointing arrow, you get a slide gallery with several different layouts to choose from. See the picture below for an example.

New Slide

Let’s choose “Album Cover” from the “New Slide” gallery. You should see something similar to what is pictured below.

Album Cover

Notice the components of this slide. In the white space there is an icon that when clicked, will allow you to add a picture to that area. In the blue area at the bottom, there is a placeholder where you can add a title to your photo album. Placeholder’s are really simple to work with. Just click inside the area and begin typing. There is also another placeholder in the green area running along the right side of the slide.

Let’s click the icon in the middle of the slide to insert a picture. By default, it will take you to your “My Pictures” folder underneath “My Documents”. Since this is your photo album feel free to pick what ever picture you like from that location. If you don’t happen to have any pictures, most of the time there is a folder called “Sample Pictures” in the “My Pictures” folder that you can use. When you find a picture you like just double-click it to insert it into the slide. Now, you should see your inserted picture in the middle of the slide. Click the placeholder at the bottom labeled “Click to add photo album title”. Type “My Photos” in the placeholder. Click the placeholder on the right side and add today’s date. Notice it types sideways. This is because whoever designed this template rotated the placeholder to look that way. We’ll look at how to do that later. Go ahead and save your presentation.

In our next lesson, we will go more in depth into editing slides in the template. Remember all questions are welcome. Thanks for reading Techie Buzz.

Table of Contents – PowerPoint Basics

Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 2: Starting a Presentation from a Template

This is Lesson 2 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to Lesson 1(Table of Contents at the bottom of the article). Today’s tutorial will show you how to use the templates that are built in to PowerPoint to start a new presentation.

If there is one thing that I try to instill in people that I teach is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When it comes to making good presentations, PowerPoint gives you a lot of sample material that more than likely will cover anything you would like to do in a presentation. They do this in the form of templates and it is one of the better advantages that PowerPoint has over other presentation tools.

To access templates, we click on the “File” tab on the ribbon toolbar. Click on the word “New” and you will see the screen pictured below. You will notice that the window is broken down into two sections. “Available Templates and Themes” are basically templates already downloaded with the default installation onto your computer. “Office.com Templates” are templates that are available to be downloaded to your computer via the web.

New Presentation Window

One thing you will notice is that there are numerous types of templates. PowerPoint has a lot of capabilities beyond the basic slideshow. Notice the “Diagrams” template. PowerPoint is one of the simplest ways to create an organization chart for your business. For the purpose of today’s lesson I want to use the “Sample templates” located in the top half of the page. When I double-click this I get the screen you see below.

Sample Templates

The reason I want to start with these sample templates is they represent some of the most common formats for a presentation and they also give you little cheat notes to help you learn more about using PowerPoint. Let’s choose the “Contemporary Photo Album” template. When you choose this template you will see a screen similar to the one below. Notice that it already comes with several ready made slides over on the left. We can delete these later but for now it would be a good idea to click each of the slides on the left and notice the instructions they give you regarding how to add your own photos and styles.

Contemporary Photo Album

Now, the first step in making a presentation be your own is to SAVE IT! The last thing you ever want to do is lose all those wonderful changes you make. The last part of this lesson I want to show you how to save this template into a folder that you can easily find later. On the ribbon toolbar, find the tab that says “File”. Click “File” and the first option you should see below it is “Save”. Click “Save”. This will open up a window, which if you use Windows XP, will be opened to your “My Documents” folder by default. If you use Windows 7 it will open to the “Documents” library. Either way this is a really good place to save your presentation because it is easy to find a file in this location.  At the bottome of the “Save As” window you will see two fields. One says “File Name”. This is where you can type a name for your presentation. Let’s just call it “My Photos” just for fun. Below that field you will see “Save as type”. We won’t get into this today but just so you know, this is where you can save the presentation into earlier versions of PowerPoint or into a different format altogether. For today’s purpose though let’s just click the “Save” button in the lower right corner.

In Lesson 3 we will look at adding slides into the presentation and doing more to make our own. Keep checking back as new content will be continually added. Thanks for reading Techie Buzz!

Table of Contents – PowerPoint Basics

Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 1: Getting to Know the PowerPoint Window

This is the first in a series of tutorials aimed at familiarizing our readers with one of Microsoft Office’s most popular applications, PowerPoint 2010. Admittedly, I am starting this tutorial in a very basic manner, but I believe that even the common PowerPoint user will find some things they weren’t familiar with along the way.

We begin our PowerPoint 2010 series simply by familiarizing ourselves with the basic aspects of the main window. When you open PowerPoint, you will see a window similar to that pictured below minus all of the pretty colored rectangles. I have placed those rectangles there to sort of break up the main PowerPoint window into its different components.

PowerPoint Main Window

The area above highlighted by a small red rectangle is called the quick access toolbar. You can see a closer view below. Notice that I have clicked the small downward pointing arrow which brings up a menu to customize the quick access toolbar. This toolbar lives up to its name. You have the ability to add buttons to this toolbar which provide quick access to commands you commonly use. For instance, in earlier versions of Office, the print button was easy to find. This isn’t the case in Office 2010. If you want a quick button that you can click to hit print, then choose the “Quick Print” option from the customize menu, as pictured below.

Quick Access Toolbar

Let’s take a look at the area highlighted by a blue rectangle in the main image above. This area is called the ribbon toolbar. For folks used to using Office 2003, the ribbon toolbar is a pretty dramatic change. As a matter of fact, probably the only thing that will look familiar to you is the placement of the file menu. The ribbon is broken into tabs and underneath each tab are sections. For instance, in the picture below, you can see that the “Home” tab is highlighted. Below it are several sections like “Clipboard”, “Slides”, “Font”, etc… Some of the sections have more options. You can know this by noting a small arrow in the lower right hand side of the section. Pictured below, I have circled the arrow in red. When I put my mouse over the arrow, you will notice I got a little box labeled “Font” with the words “Show the Font dialog box.” You will also note that the section labeled “Slides” is all inclusive and doesn’t have more options.

Ribbon Toolbar

Highlighted in orange in the main image above is the Slides and Outline tabs area. If the Slides tab is selected, then you will see a miniature version of all the slides that you have created in the presentation. If the Outline tab is selected, then you will see the outline view of the presentation. As a matter of fact, this is a great way to organize a presentation. I have previously done a tutorial located at this link http://techie-buzz.com/how-to/using-the-outline-view-in-powerpoint.html which will show you how you can utilize the Outline view to build the basic shell of your presentation.

Slides and Outline Tabs

The next area of focus is highlighted in bright green above and it is the slide content area. This is where the rubber meets the road. It is here that you put the content of the presentation that will be viewed by the audience. Since it is large enough to be seen in the main image above I will not separate it as its own image. However, I will point out the two little boxes that are placed there by default. Those are called placeholders. When you click in a placeholder, it will allow you to type in the text you want. These particular placeholders are labeled as Title and Subtitle which basically means they are formatted differently for emphasis. All of this can be changed.

The last area I want point out, but that is often overlooked, is highlighted in purple and is called the Notes area. The notes area allows you to types notes to yourself and is not visible to the audience. This is a very handy place to write down little reminders to yourself and make sure you get out the intended message.

This concludes Lesson 1. Be sure to return to Techie Buzz for Lesson 2 will soon be on its way. Please feel free to ask questions and give feedback on this and all tutorials. I would enjoy hearing from you and helping you any way I can.


Access Banned Torrent and Video Sites in India

The Indian governments Department of Telecom (DOT) recently notified ISPs to block several torrent and video websites such as Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, KickAss Torrent, Vimeo, Pastebin and more to curb piracy. ISPs like Reliance and Airtel have already started blocking those websites.

In reply to those blocks, the famous group Anonymous has attacked several Indian government websites and taken them down. While the attacks continue, several users in India are still looking to access the websites but are seeing a message “This site has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecom (DOT)”.

If you are someone who is looking to access those torrent and video sites in India, you can still do it through several means. As I had stated earlier you can easily access blocked websites using proxy servers, you will find several proxy servers in our earlier guide on how to access blocked website.

Additionally, you can also access those websites using services like OpenDNS and Google DNS. See our guide on How to use Google Public DNS on Windows 7 and Windows XP or use a Google DNS helper to automatically change to Google DNS. If you are in India, you can use a DNS proxy website like http://dnetproxy.appspot.com/ as well.

If you are still not able to access those torrent websites, you could always try and use the site operator in Google search to directly search those websites and view their cached copies.

If you have any other means to access those websites, please feel free to leave a comment.

Block Unblocked Websites in FlashBlock Extension for Chrome

I don’t hate Flash like Steve Jobs, but it does slow the browsing experience at times and can get annoying. There are several extensions and tools which allow you to block Flash in browsers like and , but most of the times Flash blocking extensions are heavy on memory usage and can slow down the browser. This is why I  prefer to use a lightweight and versatile called FlashBlock for Google Chrome, which does the job very well without using lot of memory.

Disable Flashblock

One of the problems I have faced with this extension though is the lack of support for whitelisting/blacklisting websites. However, FlashBlock does provide users with an option to do so through a right click option as seen above. The problem is that though it is easy to unblock websites from FlashBlock, there is no easy way to block them again if you want to change your decision.

However, I did find a way to block unblocked sites in FlashBlock extension by using a simple trick. If you are someone who wants to do it, follow the steps given below.

To block a unblocked website in FlashBlock, open the website in question in Google Chrome and then click on the wrench icon and then select “Developer tools” from under the Tools menu. Alternatively, you can also use the shortcut key “Ctrl + Shift + I

Doing the above steps will load the Chrome Developer interface. Now click on the “Resources” tab in the interface and expand the “Local Storage” dropdown. Now look for the exact URL of the website under the Local Storage menu and click on it. This will display the “Key-Value” pair of information stored for the website.

Block Flash Again in FlashBlock

To block the website through FlashBlock again, look for the key “ujs_flashblock” and right click on it and select the “Delete” option from the menu. Once you have deleted the key, reload the website again and Flash will be blocked on it.

Though there are several other Flash blocking extensions which provide with an easier interface to manage whitelists and blacklists, the extension in question is one of the best out there and does not hog resources. Blocking a website again is a little hard, but it is a great tradeoff for performance it provides.

Make Chrome Canary the Default Browser on Windows/Mac

has several versions of their browser which includes the stable version, beta version and development version. However, users can only run one instance of them at any given time. Google does provide another cutting-edge version called the Canary build. The Canary build is a nightly build and contains untested code and features which will be introduced in other version of Chrome at a later stage.

Chrome Canary Default Browser

I prefer to use Google Canary builds because they usually contain cutting edge technologies and newer features which are not yet available in other versions and gives me a chance to test them out. However, the one thing I have had a problem with the Canary version is that Google does not allow you to set it as the default browser.

The explanation they give for it is that it is a secondary installation of Chrome and cannot be set as the default browser. Well, that is a problem for me because some times the dev version (which I also used) was buggier than the Canary version and was not updated as frequently to address the reported bugs.

So I decided to find a way to set the Google Chrome Canary version as default and found a neat registry hack at this forum. All you have to do is download a simple registry file listed in the forum post and edit it to replace your username in the Registry.reg file. Once you have done that just double click and click on the “Yes” button when prompted to add the entries to your registry.

After you have inserted the registry entry, Chrome Canary will be set as your default browser. If you are looking to reverse that, just head to control panel and change the default application or use your browsers’ preference to set it back as the default browser. The forum in question requires you to register before you download the file as an alternative, you can download the file directly from here.

For Mac users all you need to do is run Safari and then head to preferences and change the “Default web browser” to Canary from the dropdown menu. You can visit this site to find visual instructions for doing that.

Download/Export Instagram Photos to PC, Dropbox or Flickr

Instagram is one of the hottest apps for iOS and with more than 35 million users combined. The app which did not have any revenue was so popular that went ahead and purchased it for more than $1 billion. However, the purchase by Facebook has left many users wondering as to whether they should continue using the app or not?

If  you are one of those disgruntled users and are looking to stop using the app, here is a easy way to export and download all the Instagram photos you have uploaded till now and back them up to your computer. You can also download and move them to a free service of your choice as well.

Export and Download Instagram Photos to Desktop PC

Export and Download Instagram Photos

Instaport is a web service which allows you to export all your Instagram photos and download them to your local PC (they are working on social export soon). To download all your Instagram photos, visit the website at http://instaport.me/ and connect it to your Instagram account.

Once you have done that, you will be able to export and download all your Instagram photos to your computer. You can also select from to only download a smaller number of photos or select photos you have uploaded between certain dates. Additionally, you could also download photos which you have liked and photos with certain tags.

Export, Download or Backup Instagram Photos to Dropbox, Facebook or Flickr

If you are looking to download your Instagram photos to , Facebook (ironic Smile) or , you can use a very useful service called If This Then That or ifttt for short, which provides you with recipes to automatically perform tasks based on certain triggers or action.

ifttt is a very simple service and users can find recipes which will allow them to backup their Instagram photos to Flickr or save them to Dropbox or upload them to Flickr or among other places.

To setup a backup for your Instagram photos, sign up for the ifttt service and visit the recipe page for Instagram at http://ifttt.com/instagram. Once there,  you can select the recipe you want to use and setup the required parameters. Once you have done that, just click the “Create task” button to create it. ifttt will then periodically run the task and backup your Instagram photos to your selected service.

Please note: While using ifttt, your older photos may not be backed up. You might have to use the first method to download all your photos and then upload it to  your choice of service.

Increase SkyDrive Storage to 25GB Free for Limited Time

The war has just exploded with the introduction of Google Drive earlier today. With Google Drive, now all major mobile operating system providers have some form of proprietary cloud storage solution including SkyDrive for Windows Phone 7 and iCloud for iOS along with several others like , Box and SugarSync.

Also Read: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs SkyDrive | 5 Best Ways to Keep Documents Online

Both and provide users with 5GB storage space for free whereas SkyDrive provides users with 7GB free space out of the box. SkyDrive initially started out with 25GB free space, but it has now cut down the storage to 7GB. However, if you have been an old user of SkyDrive, you will still be able to claim 25GB of free space.

SkyDrive 25GB Space Promo

To reclaim your 25GB of free space in SkyDrive, you will have to login to your account in your browser. Once you do that, you will see a link on the top saying; SkyDrive’s free storage is changing – claim your free 25GB.

SkyDrive 25GB Free Space Upgrade

Clicking on the link will take you to the manage storage page where you will be given an option to upgrade your storage. Just click on the “Free upgrade” button to increase your storage to 25GB. This option will only be available for a limited time to users who have already used Windows Live SkyDrive in the past. New users will only receive 7GB of free space.

If you are unable to get 25GB in SkyDrive, there are still several other options available including free 50GB space from Box if you are an user and up-to 18GB storage in Dropbox from referrals and free space.