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June 7th, 2016

2016June7__MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CMicrosoft smartphones have been on their last legs for months, if not years. Though builds and new features held promise in revitalizing the device, Microsoft announced the removal of their phones from the consumer market. While Microsoft maintains its stance on “fully committing” to Windows Phones, the fact that they are selling off their handset business, shows otherwise. Here is the rundown on the downfall of the Microsoft smartphone business.

A brief history

The Windows Phone was introduced in 2010 and quite late in entering the smartphone game. After acquiring Nokia - a company facing severe losses - for $7.6 billion, Microsoft introduced Lumia handsets in the market. Since then however, Lumia handset sales fell by 49%. Additionally, over 10,000 employees were laid off and the failed smartphone venture would then be sold to Foxconn, a multinational company in Taiwan, for $350 million.

Reasons for the failure

There were many reasons why the Microsoft smartphone was not successful in the consumer market. Perhaps the biggest reason was because Microsoft entered the smartphone market too late, especially when Apple and Android devices were already starting to dominate the market. While the Windows Phone was a perfectly fine device, it lacked the “wow” factor that brands like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android captured.

Apple and Android already had a wide variety of apps and features available for users by the time Microsoft joined in. So it didn’t help that Microsoft, at the time, had limited access to popular social media apps and advanced hardware features, which is why consumers kept lining up for the latest iPhone. Furthermore, Microsoft’s phone success had only been limited by its low price point and commitment to security, which might be good for business but not for consumer use.

Additionally, the success of Apple and Google was a result of being laser focused on the mobile market, while Microsoft simply had priorities other than their smartphone venture. Overall, phones are just a very small part in Microsoft’s strategy. They are more focused in areas like developing their cloud productivity suite, the Surface Pro tablet, and getting more consumers and organizations to use Windows 10 as their operating system of choice. On the other hand, Android’s operating system was far more advanced and Apple’s constant development of their hardware made it almost impossible for Microsoft to infiltrate the smartphone market. Therefore from the beginning, Microsoft was already fighting an uphill battle.

What now?

Though Microsoft has experienced a heavy blow in their smartphone development, this doesn’t mean they are down for the count. They decided to remove their products from the consumer market and focus on enterprise only markets as their product appeals to value-oriented buyers. As for the significant losses, Microsoft is not likely to go broke any time soon.

There are also rumors going around that the success of the Surface Pro tablet might bring about a Surface Phone. And even if there won’t be one, Microsoft’s tablets performance are on par, if not better, than the iPad Pro, so the company still has chances to enter the mobility devices market. At the end of the day, the failure of Microsoft’s smartphone gives the tech company more time to focus on areas like HoloLens, Internet of Things (IoT), gaming, the cloud, and the further development of their operating system.

Do you think Microsoft will survive their smartphone blunders? If you want to learn more about the latest Microsoft trends, features, and applications, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
May 16th, 2016

2016May16_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_APrivacy and security concerns can derail a lot of great software ideas -- but Microsoft is determined not to let that happen to their browser-based Office Online services. Last week, the software giant announced that their cloud-based versions of Office would be available to be hosted locally, wooing over security skeptics. Let’s take a look at whether or not this update could improve efficiency and security in your Microsoft Office suite.

Released in 2013, Office Web Apps offered access to powerhouse software packages like Word, Excel and PowerPoint without cumbersome installation procedures and storage requirements. Earlier this month however, Microsoft updated and renamed Office Web Apps to Office Online Server (OOS), and allowed delivery of these services via local SharePoint servers.

The update to OOS will include a number of collaborative features, like allowing multiple users to view and edit documents simultaneously. This will allow everyone’s changes to be visible the moment they make them -- thereby eliminating the necessity for drawn-out workflows. In addition to editing, OOS can also be used to easily facilitate meetings and presentations by utilizing real-time co-authoring in programs like PowerPoint, OneNote and Word.

The announcement elaborated that, “By integrating OOS with Exchange Server, you can view and edit Office file attachments in Outlook on the web and send back a reply without ever leaving your browser.”

But most importantly, we understand that many small and medium-sized business owners still have security concerns about the public cloud -- no matter what assurances they get from software providers. Many SMBs didn’t feel safe sending their company documents outside of their network and Microsoft’s OOS update aims at addressing those concerns by allowing OOS to be hosted locally. Contact us about how to move your Microsoft Office suite to the cloud without compromising your privacy.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
May 4th, 2016

2016May4_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CWindows has increasingly been left forgotten in the smartphone game. This is especially due to the huge success of iOS and Android devices. But just when you think that Windows smartphones will just fizzle out, Microsoft has quickly announced plans to revitalize their mobile operating systems. So what steps will Microsoft be taking to stay in the game? Here is a review of the solutions for the Windows 10 Mobile that Microsoft is planning to take.

The problem

Since its release, Windows 10 Mobile has not been getting as much traction as Microsoft had hoped. One of the biggest factors to this is due to Windows 10 Mobile struggling to get popular apps like Instagram or Snapchat onto their platform. This would mean that customers would have to settle for third-party services that were usually quite obscure, and had a higher chance of shutting down since developers cannot maintain the app running for long without proper funding.

Furthermore, because of such a small market for Windows 10 phones, fewer apps were being developed. No app creator was going to spend time making an app for a platform that is constantly overshadowed by iOS or Android devices. The only thing the Windows 10 Mobile had going for it was its lower price point, but with barely any apps to make the entire device worthwhile, customers were going elsewhere for more popular alternatives.

The solutions

So, clearly, Microsoft needed to reevaluate their strategy to get people’s heads turning back to their devices. In pursuit of a larger user base for Windows phones, here are some of the features that Microsoft are planning to deploy:
  • Cross compatibility apps: In order to get on the same playing field, Microsoft has been trying to make apps that were only available on iOS and Android compatible with Windows devices.
  • Universal Windows Platform: Microsoft’s best solution for a lack of apps on the Windows 10 Mobile is to allow apps to run in several platforms. This means apps that were initially developed for PC, Xbox and Internet of Things (IoT) powered devices can also run on your phone. Instead of getting limited services from one device, you have access to all the apps available for any Windows 10 product.

Will this work?

We’re still uncertain if these strategies will make you want to run out to the nearest store and pick up the newest Windows Phone model, but it seems promising. Companies like Apple and Google have not been successful in unifying their apps for different devices. However, Microsoft’s large PC customer base and available apps can hopefully change that. It also gives Windows phones a unique selling point, other than their competitive pricing, which is sure to attract some customers.

These days, users are working with more than one device at any given time and as we begin to lose track of all the apps installed on our devices, a unified app platform can be just what we need for the future. So do you think you’ll be picking up a Windows phone anytime soon?

Want to stay up to date with the latest developments from Microsoft? Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
April 15th, 2016

2016Apr15_Windows_CRecently, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update announced some pretty cool features that you didn’t even know you wanted. Some of these changes include making Cortana an even better personal assistant, automatically putting your laptop in battery saver mode, allowing you to choose for Windows to update, and more. Now how will these new features help small business owners? If you want to know more about the Windows 10 update, below are just some of the features that you can look forward to.

Cortana updates

One of Microsoft’s biggest announcements are the changes made to Cortana. Basically, cross-platform support for Cortana allows Android users to receive notifications on any Windows 10 devices and interact with them too. This means alerts from your phone can immediately be transmitted to your Windows 10 tablet or PC and you can send a quick text back, saving you the hassle of having to frequently pull out your phone at work. Even if you have low battery on your mobile devices, with Cortana installed, she’ll warn you on any device.

The update will also enable you to share directions across all devices. If you search up directions on your computer, Cortana will send those same directions to your phone. Additionally, if you ever lose your phone, you can locate it from your PC as long as Cortana is enabled on your phone.

Action center updates

Tired of getting notifications from unimportant applications? With the new Microsoft update, you can now prioritize the levels of notifications you want to see in your Action Center. Simply go to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions then click on a specific app and prioritize its alerts. You can set three levels of priority for each application: Normal, High, or Priority. Now you’ll only receive notifications that are important to you.

Microsoft Edge extensions

Microsoft’s web browsers have always lagged behind more popular browsers like Chrome or Firefox. However, Microsoft is hoping to entice people to use their web browsers by giving Windows users new and updated web extensions like OneNote Clipper and Pin It Button. Add-ons like Microsoft Translator and Mouse Gestures also received new upgrades for you to try out. To access these features, click on the dotted icon on the top right of the screen and select Extensions to find out how you can customize your Microsoft Edge browser.

Pin windows to virtual desktops

A small change for those who have grown accustomed to using virtual desktops at work. Virtual desktops allow you to separate how your windows are organized by creating an entirely new desktop to work with. Many people use this feature to separate their work files from their personal desktop to avoid confusion. The updates made it so that you can pin a window across all your virtual desktops by clicking Show this window on all desktops. What can this feature be used for? Suppose you wanted to have your favorite news website open at work and at home for personal use. With the new update, you avoid having to open another web browser just to access the same site on a different desktop.

Detailed battery use

Detailed battery use will temporarily stop high powered apps from running if your battery power is low. You can have your laptop immediately go to battery saver once it’s reached a certain percentage. Just go to Settings > Battery and slide what battery percentage you consider appropriate to automatically go on battery saver mode.

Customized update settings

Automatic Windows updates can be a real pain during inconvenient times. You’ll be glad to hear that you can now change that by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. From here you can prevent Windows from automatically updating during business hours.

These are just a few of the exciting changes that are coming for Windows 10 users. We don’t know how many people will utilize these changes but, if we can expect one thing from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it definitely aims to make our lives a bit easier. Want to hear more of the latest Windows 10 news and updates? Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 25th, 2016

2016Mar25_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CWhether you want to have a darker color scheme, run several apps at the same time or have multiple desktop displays, Windows 10 gives you many options to personalize your PC. And while some customization options are less obvious than others, it is well worth the effort to get your Windows 10 to act and look the way you want it to. Here are just a few things you can do to personalize your PC.

Change your themes

Probably the most obvious way to personalize your Windows 10 is by changing your background and lock images by right-clicking on your desktop and going to the Personalization settings. Fiddle around with the different themes you want to see every time you minimize your windows or even add new themes by selecting your own or by clicking on the Get more themes online option.

Use dark mode

Want to give your Windows 10 an edgier feel? Replace those white backgrounds with dark mode. It does take a bit of effort to get to though. Open the run menu (Windows key + R) and type regedit to open the Registry. Then go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER> SOFTWARE> Microsoft> Windows> CurrentVersion> Themes> Personalize. On the right, you’ll notice an option called AppsUseLightTheme. Open up the box, and change Value Data from a 1 to 0.

Changing the value to 0 switches off the light theme and takes you to dark mode. To make sure the changes are made you need to logout of your PC and log back in. To switch the themes back to the Light theme just take the same steps but instead you need to switch the Data Value back to 1.

Virtual desktops

If you’re having trouble separating your work files from your personal files, try creating a virtual desktop. Press the Windows key + TAB to show all your open windows. At the bottom right corner of your screen you’ll notice an option to add a new desktop. Simply click on it to create a new desktop and immediately enjoy looking up your hobbies on one desktop while strictly doing business on the other.

To quickly switch between your desktops you can use the CTRL + Windows key + left/right arrow shortcut to maneuver between screens.

App snapping

App snapping is not exactly a new feature for experienced Windows users but with Windows 10, you can now snap any app in place. For people who like to multitask, this feature can be just for you. Snap any app window into one side or corner of your screen by simply dragging it into the desired area. You can have a maximum of 4 separate windows open in your monitor at the same time for when you want to browse the internet while you’re filling out spreadsheets.

Reorganize your Start Menu

To add a little more “you” into your Windows PC you can do a few things to customize how your apps are readied on your Start Menu. To begin with, you can resize the Start Menu by simply dragging the top or right side of the menu to resize.

You can choose to resize the live tiles by right-clicking on them and selecting the Resize option. You can also rearrange application tiles by dragging them anywhere around the Start Menu. Or if you don’t see yourself using a particular application simply right click the tile and select Unpin from Start. On the other hand, you can pin applications into the Start Menu by going to the All Apps tab, right-clicking and choosing Pin to Start. For even faster access to the apps that you like to go to, simply pin the program to the task bar.

Change color themes

Is plain black Start Menu color not doing it for you anymore? Just right-click on your desktop, choose Personalize> Color and select any accent color that suits you. Switch on the Show color on Start, taskbar, action center, and title option if you want this color applied to the entire menu. There are also various other options you can choose to display the Start Menu by going to the Start section of the Personalization settings.

Disable notifications

We don’t know where you stand on app notifications but if you absolutely hate it and wish to never hear that notification sound ever again, simply click Start> Setting> System> Notifications>Actions and switch off whatever app notifications you don’t want. Goodbye annoying reminders.

Switch up and personalize your Windows 10 how ever you like by using some or all of these options and hopefully you get the settings that’s just right for you. If you would like to know about more ways you can personalize your desktop or need information on anything Windows 10 related, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 3rd, 2016

2016Mar3_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CYou’re likely a busy person. So the last thing you want to be bothered with is a slow computer. If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may be surprised (and slightly annoyed) to discover that it’s running much slower than expected. So what can you do? Here are a few steps you can take to significantly speed up your new OS.

Prevent programs from launching at startup

Windows loads several programs at startup so they’re quickly available. While Microsoft likely has good intentions for doing this, the auto-launch can also slow down the speed of your computer. To fix this issue, you’ll need to make some manual adjustments in the settings.

To see what programs are launching during startup, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Next, click on the startup tab of the Task Manager window, where you can easily disable any programs you don’t want launching at startup. However, there will likely be a few programs you’re unsure about. For those, it’s best to play it safe and keep them enabled.

Get rid of useless applications

Having a large amount of programs on your computer takes up valuable memory and hard disk space. In other words, it slows your computer down and makes it work harder than necessary. To quickly clean out your unused programs, follow these steps:
  1. Type Change or remove a program into the taskbar search box (this will show you all the apps stored on your computer)
  2. Select the program/s you no longer want, and click Uninstall.
Once you do this, you’ll then be guided through a number of steps to complete the uninstallation process.

Tidy up your disks

While most people like to clean out their houses come Spring, why not do so with your computer sometime this month? Thankfully, Microsoft’s Disk Cleaner tool makes it easy to do so.

To find Disk Cleaner, right-click any drive in File Explorer and select Properties and Disk Cleanup under the General tab. Once open, it will automatically find files that may be taking up unnecessary space, such as temporary Internet and system memory dump files, and presents them to you for your review. Once you’ve looked them over, you can easily erase them by simply clicking OK.

Turn off apps running in the background

Much to your surprise, there are likely some programs running in the background of your Windows 10 OS that you’re completely unaware of. Microsoft has enabled their native universal apps to do this so you can quickly access their features. However, it also will cause some slow down to your CPU, so you might want to disable them.

To find out what programs are running in the background, navigate to Start Menu>Settings>Privacy>Background apps. Then, switch off the programs you don’t want running at all times.

By following these four steps, you are sure to see a noticeable difference in the speed of your PC. If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your Windows system or need assistance with your other Microsoft products, feel free to give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
February 18th, 2016

2016Feb18_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CIt takes seconds to infiltrate and obtain private information. And while it’s unlikely that Microsoft will cause your business financial ruin with their data collection, the fact is that Windows 10 gathers a ridiculous amount of private information from users. So here are some tips that will enhance your privacy when using the operating system.

Say goodbye to ad tracking

Every time you log on to surf the net, you are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. With Windows 10, however, it goes a tad further by using an advertising ID. They not only gather information based on web browsing but also when you use Windows 10 apps.

If you find this bothersome, launch the Settings app, go to General, and look for “Change privacy options”. You then move the slider from on to off, but if you want to make absolutely sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalized ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Slip off the grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in awhile. To do so, launch the Settings app, then Privacy, and disable the Location tab.

But if you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab, and choose your desired apps. Also, regularly clearing your location history doesn’t hurt either.

Cortana, why so clingy?

Albeit a very helpful digital assistant, Cortana requires access to your personal information. Turning it off completely just stops some of her data-collection, since whatever data she already knows, is stored in the cloud. So to break up for good, log into your Microsoft account and then clear all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services (ex. Bing maps) have gathered.

Other measures include clearing the information in your interests section or heading over to the “interest manager” tab and edit which interests you wish Cortana to track.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense?

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections, but some have misunderstood it to be an opportunity to log onto your network and be naughty. Wi-Fi Sense allows you to share your network’s bandwidth with specific people while ensuring they can’t access your entire network. Vice versa, it lets you connect to Wi-Fi networks your friends share with you.

If it still worries you, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Prioritize privacy

All of the aforementioned tips should take about five to ten minutes to implement, but if you’d like to take it one step further, launch the Settings app, go to Privacy, and look on the left-hand side. Here, you will find various settings that allow you to make very detailed adjustments to your privacy. Enjoy!

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
December 22nd, 2014

windows_Dec18_CLove it, or hate it, the Windows 8 and 8.1 Start Screen is here to stay. While many business users have selected to boot directly into Desktop mode with Windows 8.1, the Start Screen still has some great features to offer. For those who do decide to use it, actually finding your installed apps can be a bit tricky at first.

How to find all of your installed apps from the Start Screen

When you install a new app on your computer, regardless of whether it is a Metro style app, or a traditional desktop style app, you are going to need to be able to find and open it. Because we often install a large number of programs on our computers, it can be a challenge to actually locate these apps via the file explorer used in Windows.

The easiest way to do find your apps is to:

  1. Switch to the Start Screen if you are currently in Desktop mode. This can be done by tapping on the Windows key.
  2. Hover your mouse at the lower-left of your screen.
  3. Click the arrow that is pointing down.
You can also access the apps screen by hitting: Control + Tab from anywhere in the Start Screen. Once open, you should see a list of all the apps you have installed. Apps that have been recently installed will have a NEW tag beside the name.

If you would like to sort your apps differently, such as by name or date installed, click the drop-down arrow beside APPS at the top of your screen and select the sorting option you prefer. Should you have a large number of apps installed and want to quickly find an app, click on the magnifying glass at the top-right of your screen and enter the name of the app you are looking for.

Adding apps to the Taskbar or the Start Screen

When 8.1 was introduced, Microsoft removed the feature where tiles were automatically created in the Start Screen and apps were automatically pinned to the taskbar. If you would like to either pin an app to the Start Screen or the taskbar you can do so by:
  1. Opening the Apps menu via the Start Screen.
  2. Searching for the app you would like to pin, either by scrolling through the list, or clicking the magnifying glass and entering the name.
  3. Right-clicking on the app.
  4. Selecting either: Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.
This will subsequently pin the app to the taskbar on the Desktop, or create a new tile on the Start Screen.

If you are looking to learn more about Windows 8.1, and how it can be used in your business effectively, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
September 24th, 2014

Windows_Sep22_CWhile there are many great features included in Windows 8 and 8.1, one of the more useful, but hardly ever thought about, is the taskbar, which displays all of your useful apps and open apps. Any Windows user is familiar with the bar at the bottom of the screen, but did you know that you can change specific properties about it?

1. Add or remove programs from your taskbar

By default, there are usually two icons on your taskbar: Internet Explorer and File Explorer. When you open a program, the icon will pop up to the right of these icons and will remain there as long as the program is open. Close it however, and the icon will usually disappear.

If you use certain programs a lot, you can 'pin' the icon to your taskbar, making it easier to launch in the future. This can be done by first opening the program, then right-clicking on the icon and selecting Pin to Taskbar. You can unpin unused programs by right-clicking on the icon and selecting Unpin from Taskbar.

Alternatively, you can drag a program's icon onto the taskbar to add it. Just drag it from the folder or your desktop to where you would like it to be on the taskbar, and it should be added.

2. Locking the taskbar

If you have added the programs you use most, and would like to ensure that they stay on the taskbar, you can lock the bar to ensure that nothing can be added or deleted without first unlocking it. Locking will also ensure that the taskbar can't be accidentally moved.

Locking the taskbar is done by:

  1. Right-clicking on the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Lock the taskbar from the pop-up menu.
Note: When you install a new program, or would like to add/modify those on the taskbar you will need to unlock it first, which can be done by right-clicking on the taskbar and clicking Unlock Taskbar.

3. Hiding the taskbar

While the taskbar is useful, some users prefer that it isn't always showing at the bottom of the screen. You can actually enable hiding of the taskbar, so it will only show it when you hover your mouse over where it should be.

This can be done by:

  1. Right-clicking on an empty space on the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties. Note: Don't right-click on an app's icon, as it will open the properties related to the app, not the taskbar.
  3. Tick Auto-hide taskbar.
  4. Click Ok.

4. Move the location of the taskbar

If you have a large number of apps pinned to the taskbar, or don't like it's location at the bottom of the screen you can easily move it by either:
  1. Left-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Holding the mouse button down and moving the cursor to the side of the screen where you would like to move the bar to.
Or:
  1. Right-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties.
  3. Clicking on the drop-down box beside Taskbar location on screen:.
  4. Selecting the location.
If the bar does not move, be sure that it is not locked.

5. Preview open apps

One interesting feature of the taskbar is that it can offer a preview of your desktop from the tile-based screen. You can enable it by:
  1. Right-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties.
  3. Ticking Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar.

6. Pin apps to the taskbar from the metro (tile) screen

While the tile-based Start screen isn't the most popular with business users, it can be a good way to easily add programs to your taskbar. You can do so by:
  1. Scrolling through your tiles until you find the app you want to pin to the taskbar.
  2. Right-clicking on the app.
  3. Selecting Pin to taskbar from the menu bar that opens at the bottom of the screen.
If you are looking to learn more about using Windows in your office, contact us today to see how we can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 20th, 2013

Office_March26_CThink back to the last PowerPoint presentation you saw. Did it have charts, graphs or other figures obviously from Excel spreadsheets? Were they good? It’s not uncommon to see presentations with weak graphs, which can lead to the audience losing attention. While it may seem hard to get a good-looking graph into PowerPoint, it actually isn’t.

Here’s how you can take data from spreadsheets in Excel and turn it into graphs and charts in PowerPoint.

Before you start

Before you can transfer data from Excel, you should take a look at the spreadsheet. If you have a ton of data and only want to take a certain chunk to make your graph, it would be best to copy and paste it into a new Excel workbook. This way, you can get the data from Excel to PowerPoint easily and turn into a graph or chart.

The key idea here is that you don’t want to do a data-dump – putting every single number, most of which could be useless – into a slide. You want to take only the most relevant information from the spreadsheet. It’s easiest to do this on a slide-by-slide basis, after you have setup the presentation outline. Copy the information only pertaining to that one slide. If you’re not sure whether it will be useful or not, it likely isn’t, so don’t take it.

Create the graph/chart

Once you have only the data you are going to need for the chart, you can switch over to PowerPoint and go to the slide where you will put the chart. This can be done by:

  1. Clicking on the slide’s body field – where you enter the main text of the slide, below the title.
  2. Selecting the Insert tab from the top of the screen and clicking on Insert Chart. Note: This will only work if the slide’s layout supports Content. To change the layout of the slide, right-click on it and select Layout, then pick one that says Content.
  3. Choosing the type of graph that’s relevant to your data from the window that pops up and pressing OK.
  4. Deleting the information in the dummy Excel spreadsheet that comes up by left-clicking and dragging over the content. It will be highlighted and pressing Delete will get rid of it.
  5. Copying and pasting the information from the Excel spreadsheet you setup earlier into the window in PowerPoint. Be sure to click on A1 before you paste it.
  6. Renaming the chart by double-clicking on the title above the cells.

You can click back to the slide to look at the chart. Often times the data will be opposite. For example, the date will show on the X axis, when it should be on the Y. If you click on the chart, and select Switch Row/Column in the ribbon above the slide, you will be able to re-arrange the information.

Time to format

It’s highly unlikely that the graph you placed into the slide is formatted the way you want, or even optimized for your audience. Here are four tips to help you format it so it not only looks good, but can be seen when you give your presentation.

  1. Don’t get too flashy – Yes, there are a large number and variety of charts available. No, they are not all good for presentations. It’s best to pick a simple layout – stick with the classics: Pie, Bar and Line. Don’t pick 3-D charts as they are hard to read and can confuse the audience. Also pick colors that can be seen. For example, light green, yellow, grey, etc. can hardly be seen on most projectors.
  2. Use big text – It may look big enough on your screen, but you can be sure it isn’t going to be big enough for your audience. Use the biggest font size possible, and limit any explanation text.
  3. Remove Gridlines – But Gridlines make it easier to determine amounts don’t they? Yes, on reports. But this isn’t a report, it’s a presentation, so it’s ok to be general. Gridlines will just confuse your audience, and make graphs look cramped. Remove them by clicking on any grid line in the middle of the graph, and pressing Delete on your keyboard.
  4. Test it – Before you give the presentation, it would be a good idea to test the presentation on a screen that is similar to the size you will be presenting on. If that’s not possible, get a colleague to look over it. They will likely be able to point some changes out – if need be.

Having attractive graphs in your presentations can go a long way in keeping your audience engaged, and it could increase the chances of your message sinking in. If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage PowerPoint or any of Microsoft’s other programs in your office, please contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows