Since I’m working from home, and I have an opportunity to do some additional training, AND I found out that the Ottawa Public Library has free access to Lynda.com training, I thought I would try to improve my Powerpoint skills. I use Powerpoint for various things at work, as well as some basic graphics work for my website from time to time, but I’ve never really had any formal training in it, particularly not in really getting the full bang for my buck. Lynda.com has a 14-hour training package to “become a PowerPoint 2013 MS Office specialist”, so why not?
The course starts with a quick intro to the various parts of the interface like the quick access bar, ribbon, task pane, main window, slide sorter, status bar etc. Nothing overly new there, I’ve been using it for quite a while. But even then, I did find it interesting that she views the task/activity pane as entirely optional as everything in it is also in the ribbon. While that may be technically true, it is far easier to navigate the task pane to modify parameters around the size of graphics, for instance, than it is to do it in the ribbon, in my view, but an interesting perspective.
They also reference using a bunch of exercise files while we work along, and I can download them. All 2.3 GB of them! Holy snickerdoodles! It says it will take a full hour to download. Okay, well. Finger tap, finger tap, finger tap. I guess I can start with the first few videos while that is happening. I can also theoretically download the whole course for offline viewing, but it doesn’t seem to want to do that while the other files are downloading. Maybe I’ll try again later.
So let’s see what we have in detail…
Lesson One: Navigating Powerpoint (17.5 minutes)
Obviously this section is intended for really new users, but I did like them showing how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar to add a NEW SLIDE option so that it appears on the menu no matter which menu you have open in the ribbon. I also confess that I rarely do anything exciting with the “views” other than normal, so it was interesting to see their use of the reading view (as an alternative to slideshow) and I really liked the colour vs. gray-scale vs. B&W preview options. I normally only look in print preview mode. I was a bit amused to see them talking about how to save to a SKYDRIVE account rather than the current name, OneDrive, giving an indication of when it was filmed.
I came, I saw, I learned stuff, on to Lesson Two.