Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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PowerPoint Outage

Those of you who don’t use PowerPoint will probably want to keep on walking. But those of you who do use it will thank me for this tip!

Our office recently upgraded (ahem) to the Microsoft Office Suite 2007. If you’ve made the switch, you know that the interface for PowerPoint has changed dramatically. A lot of new functionality and effects have been added, and I will say right here and now that I think it’s an improvement overall. I’m very fond of some of the new features and I’m getting the hang of how the menus have been reorganized.


There are some other considerations. Oddly, there are features that have been taken away from the new version of PowerPoint – useful features. Specifically, while there are some cool new options for fill patterns and effects, PowerPoint no longer offers the age-old, familiar palette of fill patterns. I’m talking about such classics as parallel lines, cross-hatches, and dot patterns. They’re just gone, without apology or a suitable replacement.

Well, those old fill patterns may be low-tech and basic, but they can come in pretty darned handy sometimes. I did some reading up on this and found that my eyes were not deceiving me; those fills really are gone. But if you want them anyway, there is a workaround…

It seems that those fill patterns have been eliminated not only from PowerPoint, but from every program in the MS Office Suite – except Word. You can open a Word doc, paste in or draw the shape you want, and fill it with any of your old favorite patterns. When you copy and paste the object back into PowerPoint, the fill pattern will come along with it.

I have no idea why this feature was left in Word when it was stripped out of the rest of the Suite, but there it is. Using Word to create the fill and pasting back into PPT may be a bit of a bother, but if that’s the effect you want, it’s a whole lot quicker than creating it from scratch in PPT!

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