Essential software for the workplace allows you to make presentations with cool animated special effects
Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful platform for creating, editing and displaying presentations.
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is part of the Microsoft Office 2013 suite. It’s available and usable as a standalone program or as part of that suite. The program isn’t free to use for the most part. It’s a trial. After the trial is up, you’ll be prompted to upgrade. If you don’t, most features will be locked. You’ll still be able to view PowerPoint presentations that you and others have created, however.
One of the new innovations that come with this PowerPoint edition is a welcome page that helps you get started, with minimal fuss. If you want to edit a presentation, you’ll find most recently accessed files here, as well as file explorer tools. If you want to create a new presentation, you can choose a blank canvas or select from an array of templates. If you’ve created your own templates or downloaded templates from someone else, you’ll find those here as well.
In addition to templates, PowerPoint gives you access to a wealth of themes, transitions and objects to embed. This version also includes basic editing tools for photos, which is a nice touch. You’ll still want a dedicated photo editor for heavy lifting, but this toolbox saves you the trouble for minor operations, such as a basic crop or resize. The import tools are more sophisticated as well, and you can now import photos, videos and other content directly from the Internet rather than just from local sources.
Arranging photos, videos and other content has gotten a lot easier as well. In fact, the guides used for this are now consistent across all MS Office products. That may not be a big deal if you only use PowerPoint, but if you also use Word and the like, you’ll find that the skills you gain in one app carry over to the others. PowerPoint has also become a lot smarter and accurate in terms of showing you, in real-time, what your graphics will look like in the finished presentation.
PowerPoint also has full integration for SkyDrive, which has since become OneDrive. This lets you store all of your work on Microsoft’s servers. Access your work for editing or viewing wherever you have Internet access. You’re also not limited to just your desktop or laptop computer. Microsoft now has powerful tools available for most tablets and smartphones.
Creating a basic presentation in PowerPoint is fairly easy, but the program becomes more difficult to use as you move past that point. That investment is certainly worth it because the things users can do with PowerPoint - once they’ve mastered it - are amazing. The program could be more user-friendly. The basic tutorials are fine, but beyond that point, they’re less useful or missing altogether. It’s also worth noting that this is the 2013 edition of PowerPoint. Newer versions are available, which are more powerful and easier to use. This version is quite - but not fully - forward-compatible.