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09
oct

The Top 5 Reasons You Need to Upgrade to PowerPoint 2016 Right Now!

by Adam Noar

If you aren’t using PowerPoint 2016 already … you should!

Microsoft Office 2016 has received some pretty great reviews online and today we are going to be talking about the top 5 benefits of PowerPoint 2016 (which is included in the Microsoft Office suite) and why you need to consider making the 2016 PowerPoint upgrade.

Just imagine all the functionality and features you’re used to, but with added enhancements to help you create the most stunning slides.

You’ll be glad you made the switch.

So let’s begin!

Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #1: Morph – a clever transition effect for making smooth animations, transitions, and object movements across your slides. We would upgrade to PowerPoint 2016 for this reason alone!

Morph Transitions in PowerPoint 2016 was created to take your ANIMATIONS to the next level.

It hasn’t created that much buzz yet but we think overtime people will realize how awesome this feature really is.

Simply explained, Morph allows you to SEAMLESSLY move an object from Point A to Point B. To move objects effectively you’ll need to have two slides with at least one object in common. An easy way is to duplicate the slide and then move the object on the second slide to a different place. You can also copy and paste the object from one slide and add it to the next.

PowerPoint then “AUTOMAGICALLY” estimates the difference between the two slides and applies a smooth animation between them. Play around with movement and transitions. You can use Morph to move objects, change colors, shrink or zoom into a particular view.

So, how can this tool be applied?

You can apply the Morph transition to slides and create the appearance of movement in a wide range of objects, such as shapes, text, images, and charts.

Check out the animated GIF below that we created to see the Morph transition in action. Pretty cool right?!

The direct transitions of Morph can be a very powerful tool to help you explain business processes or steps.

Morph Transitions is an easier way to animate without the use of complicated motion paths. But unlike motion paths, the transition takes the shortest direct route.

One thing to note about Morph, it’s an Office 365 subscription only feature. This means that you can only access this feature if you have purchased Office 365.

However, keep in mind that animations and a smooth transition between slides can mean the difference between captivating your audience or putting them to sleep.

Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #2: PowerPoint designer – suggests color schemes and layouts for your presentation, based on the picture you add to your slide.

Suffering from presentation design-block? Staring at a blank canvas and nothing comes to mind? Stressed about where to even begin? We know how difficult it can be to design a presentation.

While we have designed an award winning PowerPoint template and put together a list of top places to find presentation inspiration to get you started, PowerPoint’s Designer feature can also help make your presentations better.

So what is PowerPoint’s new Designer tool? According to Microsoft, “Designer applies cloud intelligence to analyze and identify the most compelling portion of your images to determine which blueprints work best with your content.” Wow! That sounds fancy, right?

Well the good news is that this time-saving assistance isn’t only about dropping a pretty graphic on a slide. Even better… Designer uses cloud smarts to analyze and highlight the most compelling portion of your images. Designer will automatically suggest a number of options for you when you add an image to your slide, instantaneously making your slide more visually appealing.

Check out the quick demo that we put together below to see how PowerPoint Designer works:

Of course you may still need to clean up the slide after selecting the design you like.

One of the things I like most about it is that it’s a really fast way of taking an image and having it fill the entire slide perfectly. Simply take a high-res photo, from somewhere like Unsplash, and paste it anywhere on the slide. Then, select “Design Ideas” from the Design Tab and select the option that takes the photo and fills the entire slide with it. That’s it and badabing! … PowerPoint fills the entire slide with your image. No more annoying (and sometimes inaccurate) image cropping!

Obviously this tool won’t design your ENTIRE PowerPoint for you (that’s what our team of Presentation Pandas are for :D) but similar to our award winning Influencer presentation template (seen below), and other presentation tools we often talk about, this tool can help. At least give it a try and see how you like it!

While PointPoint designer can help make your slides look better, there are a few downsides worth mentioning.

One downside is that similar to the Morph tool that we mentioned in reason #1, PowerPoint Designer is an Office 365 subscription-only feature, meaning you will need to purchase this cloud-based subscription.

Also, this feature will only work with Microsoft supplied templates, so we do not recommend using it if you have a custom template. And lastly, you’ll have to be sure you are connected to the internet since Designer goes online to pull design ideas.

Lastly, while PowerPoint Designer can be useful to some people, the design recommendations are somewhat limited. If your looking for a more robust solution we recommend checking out our Influencer presentation template that is filled with 200+ beautifully crafted slides.

Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #3: Tell Me – a clever little shortcut box that finds the right command when you need it, so you can save time and focus on your work.

At Presentation Panda we are all about smart presentation hacks and shortcuts for getting the job done better and faster! And we love telling you about them…

Microsoft Office 2016 introduced the Tell Me assistant feature. This tool is meant to help you navigate through the many options of Office 2016.

Remember 1990’s Clippy? The annoying little paper clip mascot that wasn’t all that helpful. Well, you can think of “Tell Me” as Clippy’s smarter and more attractive cousin.

The Tell Me What to Do text field is located after the last Tab of the Ribbon.

To use this feature, simply type what you want to do in the Office program. You will notice a drop-down menu open with suggested searches as well as recently used options. The little genie will not only show you how to do what you want to do, like a help feature, but gives you the option to do it directly from there.

For example, if you want to adjust line spacing, but haven’t memorized how to do it, just type it in the little “Tell Me” text field. PowerPoint will then provide you with your line spacing options faster than you can blink.

Here’s a quick demo that we put together to show how the Tell Me assistant feature it works:

So unless you have memorized how to edit every single thing in PowerPoint this tool will probably work wonders for you.

Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #4: Smart Lookup – brings research directly to PowerPoint.

How many times do you find yourself having to jump out to a browser to do a search for a definition, image or for inspiration? With PowerPoint 2016 you no longer have to leave PowerPoint to look up simple information.

By using Smart Lookup you can quickly learn more about text you select by seeing definitions, images, and other results from various online resources, including Wikipedia (all powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine). How convenient is that?

In order to use the Smart Lookup feature all you have to do is:

Right-click a particular word or phrase on your slide

Choose Smart Lookup and that’s it! PowerPoint will then bring up a side panel and show you more info, images, and other results about the word you just looked up.

Here’s a quick demo that we put together to show how the Smart Lookup feature works:

 

Using a tool like this can also help eliminate errors by quickly checking the facts or the vocabulary you will use on your slides. There’s nothing like an error free presentation!

You can also use the Smart Lookup tool to quickly find creative inspiration. Just be wary about using any of the images that come up for the image search results right away.

If you come across an image you like, be sure to check the license before using the image for your presentation or give attribution for the image if required by the author.

Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #5: Real Time Group Collaboration – When you share your presentation with others, you’ll see them working with you at the same time.

Collaborating with your coworkers on your PowerPoint presentations just got way easier with PowerPoint’s Real Time Group Collaboration feature.

What is the Collaboration feature? When you save your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, you can work on a presentation at the same time as your colleagues. Pretty cool right? With real time editing you no longer have to deal with emailing edits to your coworkers (and vice versa) and then piecing all the edits together at the end.

Using the Real Time Group Collaboration is pretty easy. Just follow these steps:

Open your PowerPoint presentation, and choose Share in the top-right corner of the ribbon when you’re ready to collaborate.

Choose Save to Cloud and choose a location to save your presentation to.

Once your presentation is saved to a shared location, you can invite others to work on it as well. In the Invite people box, enter the email address of the person you’d like to share the presentation with.

If you already have the person’s contact info stored, you can just enter their name.

So what type of group collaboration does PowerPoint 2016 provide? Here’s what you can do:

See where others are working in your shared presentation – If someone else is viewing or working on the presentation, their thumbnail picture appears in the top-right corner of the ribbon. PowerPoint will also alert you when people enter or leave your presentation. You can instantly chat with the people who are working in the presentation by using Skype for Business. It opens a chat window for instant conversation. Choose the Skype for Business button to start a group chat with everyone working in the document.

Resolve conflicting changes – If there are conflicting changes, a visual comparison between your changes and the conflicting changes from one of your collaborators will pop up when you select Save. You can choose the changes you’d like to keep.

Document activity – The Activity pane lets you see the complete list of changes made so far. It also gives you access to the earlier versions.

Review Comments – Leave comments for other team members to see. Team members can respond to each others comments.

As we have mentioned before, getting feedback and input from others is a great way to enhance your presentation. As long as everyone is on the same page with the design direction, Group Collaboration simply makes the design process easier and more efficient.

Conclusion

As you can see there are many exciting new features that come with PowerPoint 2016.

Just remember, these tools will not do everything for you! But you can be certain that using these new PowerPoint features will take you one step closer to building the perfect slides and creating them in record time.

So, here’s my question to you:

After reading this article do you agree that features like the Morph tool or Group Collaboration can help make your PowerPoint decks much better? How do you think you would use these new PowerPoint features?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about the benefits of upgrading to PowerPoint 2016? If so, email them the link to this post.

Thanks for reading and be sure to share this article if you enjoyed it (by using the sharing buttons to the left).

Hungry for more PowerPoint tips, tools, and tricks? Here are a few articles you might like:

10 Reasons Your PowerPoint Sucks … And How You Can Make Your Presentation Amazing!

10 Essential PowerPoint Hacks For More Exciting Presentations

5 Presentation Design Tips for Amazing Looking Slides

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