Blog Archive

Subtitle your Presentations



When we run webcasts and presentations, we like to include subtitles.  There are a couple of ways we’ve done this with the Microsoft tools and one of those methods is now in the ubiquitous PowerPoint.

Microsoft have done very well in the last few years improving the accessibility tools in Windows and Office and much of this has to do with the improved AI capabilities enabled by Azure.

Office has included a dictate feature for some time, first in OneNote, followed by the mainstream applications.  Dictate allowed users to create notes and documents using voice and also to edit documents and control the interface.

Dictate in PowerPoint now goes a step further by adding real-time subtitling to your slide shows.  There is a bit of a lag and it’s not perfect but it’s easy to use, helpful and included in the application.

To use the feature, open a PowerPoint presentation and click the Slide Show tab and choose your subtitle options, including the languages.  This is not a translation service and I haven’t determined how good the translations might be but the subtitling feature accepts various spoken languages and can display the subtitles in another language.

Subtitle feature in PowerPoint 2019


Next, run the slideshow as normal.  You can use presenter view in the normal way if you choose to.

On the primary presentation screen, move the mouse to view the overlaid toolbar and click the subtitle icon.  PowerPoint is now listening and will display subtitles.

Here’s a video of the feature in action.  I’m using a small headset here and I haven’t tuned my microphone and the results are pretty impressive.  I spotted a couple of minor mistakes during testing but for live, automated subtitling, I think this is excellent.


The subtitling feature is not available if you are recording your slideshow to video, which I think is a big loss as that’s a great way to create accessible presentations that can be viewed later.

And the final point.  The subtitling does not show swear words (although I probably haven’t tested this exhaustively) and as detailed in this previous blog post, I still can’t get this feature to create a £ sign.


PowerPoint’s Morph Transition



When we train on PowerPoint, we don’t often go through the animations and transitions in detail because everyone plays with them and you should never overuse them.  There is a thin line between effective and gaudy.  Please, we’re begging you never to use the airplane transition in a serious presentation.

There are two very useful transitions in PowerPoint however; morph and whilst not listed on the transition ribbon group, the zoom control which we’ll blog about later this week.

Morph

Morphing two similar slides is nothing new and in the past I would have used animations tools such as motion paths and fade.  The morph transition potentially saves me hours by automating what I need.

Let’s get started

I have the following slide and want to add a second slide afterwards with different text and layout but essentially the same main components.

PowerPoint morph example slide 1

 

Of course, I could just use a fade transition but to be really flashy I’d create motion paths to move each of the elements around as if it were the same slide animating.

The easiest way to utilise morph is to duplicate your starting slide so now we have two slides the same.

In slide 2, move the elements where you want them to be, edit the text as required and create any new elements you require as you would normally.  Here’s my new slide 2.

PowerPoint morph example slide 2

 

Once you’ve finished, select the morph transition for slide 2 and if you have transition preview set on, you’ll see PowerPoint recognising the existing elements from slide 1 and automatically moving them to their new positions on slide 2.  The text and new elements simply fade in.

Here’s the effect.

 

Morph can also be set to animate words or characters as well as objects by setting your choice in Effect Options in the Transitions ribbon tab.

If you try to set morph on two completely dissimilar slides, you’ll just see morph perform a simple fade.

Whilst morph is a great time saver and looks really special, you may still need to create motion paths if you want elements to animate in certain ways, such as following a defined route.

This Early Solar System Explorations – Morph PowerPoint deck is a great example of using morph.  There are no animations in this deck whatsoever, the work is all done by PowerPoint and it makes the fictional Mrs Roberts look awesome.

Morph is available in PowerPoint on Office 365 and PowerPoint 2019.


PowerPoint Presenter View Says No



PowerPoint Presenter ViewAn attendee had an issue with a PowerPoint file and could not choose ‘Use Presenter View’ as it was greyed out and disabled.  What’s more, when the slideshow was started, it didn’t take up the whole screen but annoyingly, played in a window and left the system tray icons at the bottom of the display.  How is a speaker supposed to present their awesome slideshow on plans for World Domination v1.0 if they can’t even get PowerPoint working?  As you can imagine, we use PowerPoint quite a lot so were happy to point out the issue.

First thing to check of course is whether the dual monitor option in Windows is set up correctly and in this case it was.  The second cause is a feature of PowerPoint that is less well-known because most slideshows are presented live by a speaker.  An alternative is to set-up self-running presentations, either in full screen (for example on kiosk displays) or in a window.  These will typically use recorded timings for each slide and animations so they play and advance in a timely manner and might even loop continuously.  To set your PowerPoint deck up to run automatically, choose Set Up Slide Show in the Slide Show ribbon tab.

Set up slideshow button

 

 

This will open a window where you can set your play options.

Set up PowerPoint slideshow

 

 

 

 

 

In our attendee’s example, the Show Type was set to Browsed by an individual which meant the show would play in a resizable window and not full screen or presenter view.  Kiosk mode plays the show full screen and uses timings to advance the slides; users cannot click or touch to advance.  The default is Presented by a speaker and for some reason this deck had that option changed.  Once we’d selected the correct show type, the Use Presenter View checkbox was active again and the world is happy.

Of course, if you’d like to know more hints and tips on Microsoft PowerPoint or any Office application, we’d love to hear from you.