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How do I add a visual guide/outline to the top or bottom of my PowerPoint presentations?
March 16, 2011 10:14 AM   Subscribe

How do I add a visual guide/outline to the top or bottom of my PowerPoint presentations?

In various academic talks, I have seen people using some sort of navigation horizontally at the top or bottom of every slide, showing the basic outline of the entire talk and highlighting the section that we are currently in. Although the different presentations have different themes, the outlines seem to all be similar in functionality and structure, such that I suspect they are either using a little-known feature of PPT, or some sort of plugin. (I know this could simply be done by hand, but it seems inefficient and therefore unlikely.)

It is kind of like this, but nicer, and also since it is in academia, I doubt that anyone would have paid $100-150 for the product.

Hopefully, people understand what I am trying to describe.

Does anyone know how people are achieving this?
posted by kosmonaut to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
I should also mention that the people doing this were using Macs, as far as I can remember.
posted by kosmonaut at 10:16 AM on March 16, 2011


You mean something like this?

I made those slides using the Beamer package in LaTeX, and the header outline is just something that's done automatically for you as part of the package and the template used.
posted by ThyroidBob at 10:30 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My colleagues and I do this a lot. It's a manual process. Takes some time, but looks nice, and helps people understand flow and context.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:32 AM on March 16, 2011


Yes, we do these manually in powerpoint. Make a nav bar using shapes, then add clickability to it by adding hyperlinks (right click, choose Hyperlink) to the various places in your document. Paste the whole bar on all the slides you want to work with, and change the color of the shape to indicate where you are.

So slide 1 will have the first shape highlighted, slide 2 the second, etc.
posted by clone boulevard at 10:51 AM on March 16, 2011


Okay, so it sounds like most people really are making these by hand! At least I know, if I do it that way, I'm not an idiot :)

The Beamer LaTeX package seems like it works along the lines of what I'm talking about, so it's worth looking into. LaTeX is one of those things that's been on my "meaning to learn this" list for a long time — maybe it's finally time!

Thanks all.
posted by kosmonaut at 5:06 PM on March 16, 2011


I do it by hand. Then again, I also spend ludicrous amounts of time making attractive Powerpoint presentation as a means of procrastinating on actual work. If you do not want to be like me, the LaTeX package seems like the way to go.

/lazy grad student
posted by pemberkins at 6:10 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


All of mine are lovingly hand-crafted as well.

After you set all the shapes up as your highlight color and paste them onto all the slides, change one shape to your non-highlight color (shading, font color/size), select it as an object, and use Ctrl+Shift+C to copy all the formatting.

Then select all the other objects that should be non-highlighted, and use Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the formatting. Saves you from changing them individually, and you can do other things in between format pasting (unlike with the Format Painter).

Works better in 2003 than it does in 2007; I hope it still works in 2010.
posted by mgar at 7:57 AM on March 18, 2011


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