Getting Started with PowerPoint

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Don Edrington - Computer Columnist for The Californian and San Diego's North County Times
Computer Tutor Don Edrington

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    MSWord Help
  1. Creating Labels & Envelopes with Word, Excel, & MSWorks
  2. Replacing NORMAL.DOC when MSWord Becomes Unstable
  3. Password Protecting Word & Excel Documents

  4. Pictures & Text Boxes
  5. Picture in a Text Box
  6. Placing Both Text & a Pic in a Text Box

  7. Other Document Types
  8. MSWord, Wordpad, Notepad, Google's Writely/Docs
  9. Converting Data between MSWord & PDF Files
  10. Show a Spreadsheet in PowerPoint (using Paint)
  11. Less Complicated Word Processing Programs

  12. Working with Columns
  13. Dividing a Page into Columns
  14. Lining Up Numbers in a Column

  15. Bullets & Page Numbering
  16. Using AutoCorrect for Bullets & Numbering
  17. Add Page Numbering to a Word Processing Document

  18. Telling a Story with Your PC
  19. Writing a Personal Memoir
  20. Creating a Newsletter
  21. MSWord Paragraph Formatting
  22. Convert CAPS to lower case (& vice versa)
  23. Sending a Family/Holiday Newsletter
  24. Automatic Backup of MSWord Documents
  25. Free Trials of MSWord 2007 & of WordPerfect Office X3
  1. Various Computer Audio Formats, such as WMA, WAV, MIDI, etc.
  2. Finding Free Downloadable Music Online
  3. Recover Songs from your Temporary Internet Files
  4. Converting Music Formats (WAV to MID, etc.)
  5. Converting Vinyl LPs & Audio Tapes to Digital Music Formats
  6. More on Converting Musical Collections to Digital Music Formats
  7. Playing Songs Continuously in Windows Media Player 11

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Getting Started with Microsoft's PowerPoint
Presentation Program

Have you thought about creating a holiday greeting with PowerPoint? The program comes with all versions of Microsoft Office; but I've found that many users don't understand how it works.

PowerPoint was designed to create colorful "slide show" presentations, complete with sound and animations. A presentation can be a simple series of images and/or text messages; but all kinds of creative effects can be added to each slide.

A line of text can be made to appear on the screen one letter at a time, or phrases can be made to slide in from one edge of the screen, or the whole message can be made to appear in a "venetian blind" effect. These are just a few of the many special effects available.

Here are some tips to get you started. After launching PowerPoint you can click on "AutoContent Wizard" and be led through a series of prompts that will have you up and running in no time.

What I do, however, is go directly to "Blank Presentation" and build one from scratch.

This will display a window with a collection of suggested layouts. Dark bars represent "text boxes" where you type in messages. Cartoon faces represent "picture boxes" where graphics can be inserted. Other boxes represent various bulleted lists and charts, where you would substitute your own content for the dummy items.

However, I prefer the "totally blank" frame, because everything you see in the "suggested layouts" can be created manually, along with your own special touch. Here's a brief example:

With a blank slide displayed, click on Insert>Text Box. Use your mouse to draw a rectangle of the approximate size needed for adding some text, and then type a message into it, such as, "Happy Holidays from the (YourName) Family!" You will see a familiar text-editing toolbar for choosing fonts, sizes, styles, and colors.

Now let's have some fun with it. Mouse-select a message and click Slide Show>Custom Animation. Next click the down arrow under "Entry Animation & Sound" and choose a special effect, such as Checkerboard, Dissolve, Spiral, or Swivel.

Click OK and then click Slide Show>View Show. Your entire screen will go blank and wait for a mouse click to start the presentation. After the animated text does its thing, click twice to return to the editing mode.

To add a photo go to Insert>Picture>From File, and browse your way to an image. Move the inserted picture to wherever you want it and then return to Slide Show>Custom Animation, where you can choose special "entrance" effects.

Now press F5 and watch your text and pictorial magically materialize.

Finally, go to Format, and choose "Background" or "Apply Design Template" to give your slide a colorful backdrop. When ready to build Slide 2, click Insert>New Slide.

This is just the tip of the PowerPoint iceberg — animated cartoons can be used, as can music and/or a vocal narration. The possibilities are virtually unlimited. Click on Help or press F1 for assistance and tutorials.

As for emailing a presentation, the recipient must also have PowerPoint or a PowerPoint-compatible presentation program, such as WordPerfect Presentations or OpenOffice Impress. Google offers a free online presentation program at, however, it may not be as full-featured as the other programs mentioned above.

Beyond all the above suggestions, a free PowerPoint "viewer" is available from The viewer will allow you to play Powerpoint slide shows, but will not let you create or edit them.             Top of Page

Downloadable Music - Mostly 20th Century Big Band Swing Songs

& Big Bands
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey
  • Benny Goodman
  • Harry James
  • Wayne King
  • Guy Lombardo
  • Glenn Miller
  • Artie Shaw
  • Billy Vaughn
  • Bob Wills Texas Playboys

  • Groups
  • Andrews Sisters
  • Ames Brothers
  • Brothers Four
  • Four Aces
  • Ink Spots
  • Mills Brothers
  • Singalong with Mitch Miller
  • Platters
  • Statler Brothers

  • Gals
  • Teresa Brewer
  • Karen Carpenter
  • Patsy Cline
  • Skeeter Davis
  • Deanna Durbin
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Doris Day
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Helen Forrest
  • Connie Francis
  • Judy Garland
  • Lena Horne
  • Brenda Lee
  • Peggy Lee
  • Julie London
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Jo Stafford
  • Vera Lynn
  • Dinah Shore
  • Patti Page
  • Kate Smith
  • Jo Stafford
  • Kitty Wells
  • Tammy Wynette

  • Guys
  • Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Tony Bennett
  • Pat Boone, Sonny James
  • Johnny Cash
  • Ray Charles
  • Buddy Clark
  • Nat King Cole
  • Jerry Colonna
  • Perry Como
  • Russ Columbo, Bing Crosby
  • Vic Damone
  • Billy Eckstine
  • Eddie Fisher
  • John Gary
  • Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Dick Haymes
  • Frankie Laine
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Dean Martin
  • Johnny Mathis
  • Elvis Presley
  • Ray Price
  • Jim Reeves
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Hank Snow, Hank Thompson
  • Jerry Vale
  • Slim Whitman
  • Hank Williams

  • Latin American
  • CeliaCruz, Ernesto Lecuona, Bienvenido Granda
  • Placido Domingo y Amigos
  • Eydie Gorme, Trio Los Panchos
  • Ana Gabriel, Rocío Dúrcal y
    Juan Gabriel
  • Luís Miguel y Lucho Gatica
  • Julio Iglesias
  • Nana Mouskouri, Vikki Carr, Joan Baez

  • Musical Comparisons
  • Teach Me Tonight
  • You Belong to My Heart
  • You Are Always in My Heart
  • Amapola, La Paloma

  • Plus Many, Many, Many Others...