Layers in Powerpoint?
September 1, 2005 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to work with layers in Powerpoint, similar to Photoshop?

I'm making slides with many graphics layered on top of each other (they will appear separately through animation). However, in order to fix or change a graphic on the bottom of the pile, I need to move all of the graphics on top of it off the page. Then they all need to be moved back. Sometimes they even like to reorder themselves. This is a real pain. I'd like to be able to make the top 5 graphics invisible while I work on the 6th, etc. Is there any way to do this?
posted by undertone to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Nope. Though I hope to be proven wrong.

I have also struggled with overlapping objects in PPT - just keep your slides simple. If you have too much stuff on one slide, break it into multiple slides. A slide transition can be made to look identical to objects appearing on a slide. If you have a progression of items, just copy and paste each slide into the next and then add the next element on top. This will also help your presentation looks more sensible when printed.
posted by GuyZero at 1:13 PM on September 1, 2005

Not as easily as Photoshop, no.

You don't need to move things on and off the page though, just use the various commands in Draw > Order on the drawing toolbar. You can even drag it off and make it a separate palette.

Grouping objects you want kept in an order will make that easier as well.
posted by grouse at 1:14 PM on September 1, 2005

I agree with GuyZero esp. A slide transition can be made to look identical to objects appearing on a slide.

I can be a little tough to line objects up in the next slide, especially if you're using motion paths animations.

Although it makes it a *little* harder to judge how long the presentation will be from slide count.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:53 PM on September 1, 2005

Why not just do whatever fancy graphics you'd like in photoshop and then put one jpg file into PPT? I never use powerpoint ever so I might have no idea what I'm talking about.
posted by TurkishGolds at 4:18 PM on September 1, 2005

No, there isn't an easy way. Using Powerpoint to create worthwile presentations is extremely fustrating.

No, doing it all in Photoshop is actually harder.

The trick is to use a shitload of slides with minor differences to present one 'package slide'. You can also use multiple slides as seperate working layers and then merge them together.

When you start doing really complicated stuff, It's also good to keep the .ppt file you are working on down to less than 50 slides or so, and when things really balloon, use seperate working .ppt files for each 'package slide.' It's easier to work on and Undo/Cut/Paste/etc. work better.

Save things seperately until you are finished and then merge them all together as one file. Make the merged file 'present-only' so that it is unmodifiable. Makes things much harder to fuck up. When things need a-changing, change the individual files, then merge again.

Powerpoint trick-of-the-day:
You can make amazing graph transitions where new data sets 'appear' on the slide by making the final graph slide first, then copying that and selectively removing the numbers from the data set that you want to appear or disappear. Don't remove the entire row or column for the redacted data set, just remove the cells that contain presented data.
posted by blasdelf at 7:09 PM on September 1, 2005

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