Mac Tips

Subscribe to Mac Tips feed
Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

How to Password Protect PowerPoint PPTs in 60 Seconds

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 13:55

We should all think about how our data is used after we press send. In this 60 second video I'll teach you how to add a password to protect your PowerPoint presentations. Passwords help us to make sure data isn't accessed by the wrong party. 

We also have a helpful compliment to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on. 

How to Quickly Password Protect Your PowerPoint Files 

Note: Watch this short tutorial screencast or follow the quick steps below, that compliment this video.

1. Lock Your PowerPoint Presentation With a Password

To get started, let's jump over to the File tab, let's make sure we're on the Info tab, and find this protect presentation drop-down button. Let's choose, Encrypt with Password and then we'll add a nice, strong password and press OK

Add a unique password to protect and lock your PowerPoint presentation.2. Now a Password is Needed to Open Your File

Now, the next time we go to open the file up, we'll get this warning requiring us to enter that password. Without the password it can't be opened, of course. 

Password required to open a locked PowerPoint file.3. PowerPoint File Option: 'Mark as Final'

There's one other option I want to show you, which is to simply Mark as Final. This doesn't add a password, but it does signal to the user that it shouldn't be changed any further. 

I'll add that option from the Info menu as well, and you can see that this is the warning that a viewer will see when working with the file. It's a great way to not totally lock a user out of a PowerPoint file, but instead, let them know that it's finalized and shouldn't be edited.

Mark as Final will warn the user before they make any edits.Finishing Up!

Either way, these options will help you protect your PowerPoint file and make sure it's not edited any further. 

More Great Envato Tuts+ PowerPoint Tutorials

Learn more in our PowerPoint tutorials and quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+. We have an assortment of PowerPoint material to help you make a great presentation: 

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We also have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint With Templates

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 13:55

Flowcharts are visualizations that help you see the parts of a sequence or process. They illustrate the way that individual parts "flow" together to create a finished product.

Instead of a technical document or detailed description, a flowchart summarizes a process visually. You can easily see steps or parts of a process and quickly gain an understanding.

This circular flowchart was built right inside of PowerPoint using a feature called SmartArt.

Because flowcharts are so useful during presentations, it should come as no surprise that you can build these visualizations in Microsoft PowerPoint. Using a feature called SmartArt, we'll walk through making a flowchart without any additional apps.

Here are a few ideas for how you can use a PowerPoint flowchart in your presentation or for your own purposes:

  • Create a flowchart for a new teammate at work to show the steps of how to complete a new task, like how to order software.
  • Flowcharts can help you visualize how you interact with your customers to encourage them to work with you again.
  • Map out something new you're learning to cement your understanding.

No matter which purpose you'll use a flowchart for, you can build one right inside of PowerPoint. In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to make a flowchart in PowerPoint.

Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)

Before you read on, be sure to grab our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It will help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

Now, let's learn all about making great flowcharts in PowerPoint, starting with this quick video tutorial: 

How to Quickly Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint (Watch & Learn)

Watch this two-minute screencast, where I walk you through creating a flowchart using PowerPoint's built-in features. Then, we'll move on to using a premium PowerPoint theme with custom flowchart designs.


Check out the written step-by-step guide below to learn more. I'll show you how to use the premium Marketofy PowerPoint template to create a stylish flowchart to easily map out your processes.

Intro to SmartArt

I've always admired graphic designers—mostly because I know I could never be a great one. It takes a special touch to create awesome looking graphics and professional design apps like Adobe Illustrator or Sketch to build them in.

That's why SmartArt in Microsoft PowerPoint is one of my favorite features. Instead of hiring another designer or spending your time learning to build unique graphics, you can use SmartArt to create customizable graphics quickly—without leaving PowerPoint.

This example of SmartArt shows how we can combine text with graphics to create smart illustrations.

My favorite part about SmartArt is that it's adaptable. Instead of developing charts and constantly reworking them in another app, they automatically update and adapt in PowerPoint.

Make a SmartArt Flowchart in PowerPoint

SmartArt has a variety of designs. You can illustrate ideas like org charts, pyramids, and lists visually with SmartArt. In this tutorial, learn how to daw a flowchart in PowerPoint with SmartArt:

To build a SmartArt chart, start off by going to the Insert tab on Excel's ribbon. Click on the SmartArt button to get started.

Go to Insert > SmartArt to get started.

Now, you'll see a variety of styles to choose from for creating SmartArt. For a simple flowchart, let's get started with the Vertical Bending Process.

Let's try out the Vertical Bending Process design to build a flowchart.

Once you've inserted the SmartArt, you'll see a box open on the left side next to the SmartArt to change the text in the art. This box allows you to type over the placeholders to update the graphic.

On the left side, try replacing the [Text] placeholders with the steps in the process to create a flowchart. Use each of these boxes to describe a step in your process.

If you have more boxes than you need, simply delete a bullet point by pressing backspace. Doing so will remove a step from the flowchart.

Using the outline on the left side, type over the placeholder text to add your own steps to the process.

If you need to update the steps in the process later on, that's no problem. Simply click on the flowchart again to reopen the text box, or type directly on the SmartArt chart itself.

Create Branching Flowcharts

A flowchart can also have branches, or options for how to proceed. Maybe your process is based upon a decision. If you're managing a sales process, you might branch depending on if you're selling to a new customer or a past customer.

To create a branching flowchart, try out the SmartArt style Horizontal Organization Chart. This might typically be used for showing the employees in a company, but it's a great way to show a branching flowchart.

The Horizontal Organization chart can be used for a branching decision tree, also known as a flowchart.

After you insert the Horizontal Organization Chart, you can add your content that branches into multiple options.

Just as we did with the first flowchart, you'll see a box on the left side where you can add content for your flowchart.

To create multiple branches in the flowchart, you can press return in the outline box, and press tab to indent. In the example below, I've created "yes" and "no" branches that each have one indent. Then, I add more indents to the points under it to keep the decision on its own branch.

The branching flowchart design is very useful to create a chart that shows how decisions impact the flow.

Flowcharts don't always describe simple processes. That's why branches, indents that help us choose different paths, are so useful in SmartArt.

How to Use a Pro PowerPoint Flowchart Template

SmartArt is a great way to get started with flowcharts, but it's not the only option. If the styles I showed you above aren't up your alley, it might be time to think about downloading a premium PowerPoint presentation template. Discover great PPT template designs with pre-built infographic slides and more modern features includes: 

You probably already know that PowerPoint has built-in themes that you can choose from. I think of those as "styles", because they don't come with ideas or designs inside of them. Sure, you can choose from one of these to change the fonts and colors of the slide, but you're still left to design the slides yourself from scratch.

Marketofy is what's called a premium theme, a custom PowerPoint presentation that you can drop your own content into to save time.

In this tutorial, you'll see me work with Marketofy PowerPoint template. This is a premium PowerPoint theme that you can download and use for your next presentation. It has 390 different slide designs. Use any of these designs and drop in your own content to skip the work of building charts from scratch.

Using Marketofy Slides for Your Flowcharts

This theme includes a custom flowchart design that you can add your own steps to. In fact, there are at least four slide designs in Marketofy that you can use for a creative flowchart style. 

Let's take a look at those designs and when you might want to use them:

1. Arrow Flow Chart

The first of these (slide #145 in Marketofy) is what's called an Arrow Flow Chart, a simple stacked arrow chart. If you have a sequential set of steps you want to show, this is a great choice.

This chart is ideal when each step has to be completed to advance in the process.

The Arrow Flow Chart (slide design 145)  is a very good choice for showing a sequential set of steps where each part of the process is necessary.

If you wanted to add more arrows, you could always copy and paste any of these to add another step.

2. Spider Web Flowchart 

Another choice for building a flowchart with Marketofy is the Spider Web Flowchart style that is pre-built on slide 119. The spider web style flowchart design could be used if you have many small steps of a process that lead to a key result.

In this example, you could use each of the smaller circles to show each of the employees involved with creating a finished product.

Think of the Spider Web Flowchart (slide design 119) as a way to show how many parts of a process come together to create a final outcome, like assembly of smaller parts creating a finished item.3. Multimatch Flowchart

Another option is what I call the "multimatch" flowchart, which is on slide 139. Items on the left have multiple matches to the items on the right.

A slide design like this is ideal when you're comparing two groups of objects. On the left side, maybe you have your raw materials. The right side could show which products those raw materials go into. In any case, this is a non-traditional flowchart that shows how items can move between groups.

This flowchart design shows how items can belong to multiple categories; imagine using the left side for basic raw materials and the right side for the finished products that they create.4. Benchmarking Flowchart

Slide 142, the Benchmarking Flowchart is my last pick for charts in Marketofy. This is a grid of linked boxes that are sectioned by color.

This chart would work great if you have tasks that move between different departments. You could use the dark blue boxes for the steps in finding a new supplier, the teal boxes for reviewing the vendor, and the green boxes for the steps to arrange shipment.

Marketofy calls this slide "Benchmarking" (#142) and it's a great way to show a process split up into "sections."

No matter which PowerPoint flowchart template you use, think of these as a starter kit to drop your own content into quickly. SmartArt isn't the only choice for making attractive flowcharts; don't forget about using a template like Marketofy instead.

Recap and Keep Learning More PowerPoint Techniques

In this tutorial, you tried out SmartArt as a technique for building flowcharts. Think about this tool when you need to show how several steps fit together.

These tutorials will give you more ideas about how to build great presentations. While we usually know what we want to say to an audience, it's challenging to build the slides that support it. 

Need Help? Grab Our Making Great Presentations eBook (Free)

You can find more information in our new eBook on making great presentations. Download this PDF eBook now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

It will help you master the presentation process, from: initial creative ideas, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

Do you use flowcharts in your presentations? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Present Your Google Slides Slideshow Presentation

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 13:55

It's one thing to create an effective Google Slides presentation. It's another thing to present the slideshow you created.

Before you give your presentation, do some preparation work first. You need to understand what sort of slideshow presenter Google uses. You also need to understand the different ways that you can give a slideshow presentation. You may even want to find out how to publish your presentation online.

We'll address those topics in this post. We'll cover Google's slideshow presenter (also called Presenter view). We'll also provide important information about how to get your presentation ready to present. You'll learn how to use the Google slideshow auto advance feature. You'll also discover how to use transitions and the Google Slides Speaker Notes tools. 

We also have a helpful compliment to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on.  

Now let's get into this Google Slides slideshow tutorial, first digging into Presenter view: 

1. Learn About Presenter View

As the presenter, you need to be able to advance your Google Slides presentation forward when you need to or pause it. The Presenter view gives you a means to do that, yet those options are not visible to the audience. You can also turn on Speaker Notes from Presenter View or start a Question and Answer session.

Here is how to access the Google presenter tool from your Google Slides presentation.

Open the Google Slides presentation you intend to use. Here is the presentation I'll use as an example in this tutorial:

Open your presentation to access Presenter view.

Note: This sample presentation is based on the popular Fox presentation template from Envato's GraphicRiver. It also uses the fictitious company name, AnyTown Consulting. Discover more great Google Slides presentation templates

Click the Present button in the upper right of the screen. The presentation appears in Presenter view on your screen:

The console to help you control your presentation appears in the bottom left.

You can also access the Presenter view by selecting the View > Present option from the main menu.

Notice the Presenter console in the lower left corner of the presenter view. The Google Slides Presenter console allows you to control your presentation with icons. From left to right, the icons are:

  • Start and stop your presentation. This icon looks like a right arrow, but changes to a Pause symbol (two vertical lines) while the presentation is going.
  • Go to a specific slide. This icon lists the slideshow slide you're on. Click the down arrow to the right of the icon to move quickly to another slide.
  • Launch the Q&A tool. Click this icon to launch a Question and Answer session within your Google Slides presentation.
  • Show your Speaker Notes. Click this icon to turn your Google presentation notes on or off, which is visible only to the slideshow presenter.
  • Change the pointer. Click the lightning icon to turn the pointer into a lightning bolt. Click the icon again to turn the feature off.
  • Change presentation screen size. Click this icon to toggle between showing your presentation on the full screen and showing it in a smaller window.
  • Define options. The icon that looks like a gear includes a drop-down menu with several options. Available options include: show speaker notes, print, and download as PowerPoint.
  • Exit Presenter view. The final icon on the right allows you to exit from the Google Slides Presenter view.

For more information on the Q&A tool, Speaker Notes, and other Google Slides tips, study the following tutorial: 14+ (Quick) Professional Tips to Using Google Slides Better.

Now that we've shown you how to access Presenter view, let's look at a few tips that'll help you to get ready to make your presentation:

2. Prepare for Your Presentation

Before you give a presentation, examine the following:

  1. Decide if you want your presentation to automatically advance and loop (which is good for online presentations).
  2. Decide what type of transitions you want between your slideshow slides (if any).
  3. Compose your Google presentation notes and add them to your presentation (for live presentations).
  4. Plan and practice your presentation.

Let's look at how to do each of these items individually:

Item 1. How to Set Up Auto Advance and Looping

Auto Advance causes your Google Slides presentation to automatically move to the next slide after a set period of time. Looping means that your presentation starts over after the last slide displays.

These features are used with presentations that are published online. This makes sense, because imagine how distracting it would be if your presentation automatically moved to the next slide while you were still speaking about the previous one in a live presentation.

To set up Google Slides Auto Advance feature, open your presentation. Select the File > Publish to the web menu option. The Publish to the web dialog box displays. On the Publish to the web dialog box, choose the Link or Embed tab from the top of the dialog box.

Here is how the Embed tab looks:

Choose the Link or Embed tab.

Use the Embed tab to incorporate your Google Slides presentation into a website or even a document. The presentation then becomes part of that website or document.

Keep in mind that when changes are made to the original presentation, those changes are not reflected in the embedded presentation. So, if you expect that your slideshow presentation may be updated frequently, the Embed option may not be the best choice for you.

Here is the Link tab:

Both the Link and Embed tabs allow you to define auto-advance features and looping.

When you create a link to a presentation file, the recipient can view your presentation when they click on the link. The link can be shared through email, social media, or other means.

You should also know that after you update the presentation, the next time someone clicks on the linked presentation they will see your updates. This feature makes the Link option a good choice for sharing presentations that you expect to change often.

Regardless of which tab you choose from the Publish to the web dialog box, the process to set up auto-advance and looping is similar. Here's how to do it, step by step: 

Step 1 

Click the up and down arrows beneath the Auto-advance slides field to display a drop-down menu with pre-defined times:

Use this drop-down menu to define how often the slides advance.Step 2

Click on the desired time period in the drop-down menu. As you can see, time periods range from every second to every minute. Choose the best time period for your needs. Now you are ready to define what starts the Google slide show.

Step 3 

To start the slideshow automatically as soon as it opens, click the checkbox to the left of the Start slideshow as soon as the player loads.   

To make the Google slide show loop (begin again after the last slide), click the checkbox to the left of the Restart the slideshow after the last slide option.

Your screen should now look something like this:

Set up auto-advance and looping in Google Slides. Step 4 

After you have made your selections, the final step is to click the Publish button.

If you're working from the Embed tab, you'll see a link you can use to embed the presentation in a website or document:

Use the code to embed your presentation in a document or website.

If you're working from the Link tab, you'll see a link you can use to share the presentation through email or social media:

Use the link to share your presentation through email or social media.

Notice that the Publish button now reads Published. This means that your Google Slides presentation is published to the web. However, you can still change your mind and unpublish your presentation if you need to.

Step 5 

To unpublish your Google Slides presentation, select the File > Publish to the web menu option. The Publish to the web dialog box displays again:

You can unpublish a presentation if you need to.

This time you'll see the Stop publishing button in the lower left corner. Click this button and any links to the presentation you've shared or any code you've embedded will no longer work.

Anyone who tries to access the presentation after you unpublish it will see this error message:

This message displays if the document is unpublished.2. How to Set Up Transitions

After you've set up the Google Slides Auto-advance and Looping features, add extra pizzazz to your presentation by using transitions between the slides in your presentation. Transitions are animation effects you can use when your presentation moves from one slide to another. Google Slides offers seven different transition effects.

Define transition effects using the Animations panel that opens when you click the Transitions option in the toolbar menu. For a complete tutorial on how to use transitions and other special effects, study this tutorial:

3. How to Set Up Speaker Notes

If you're going to give your Google Slides presentation live, you will probably want to take advantage of the Google Slides Speaker Notes feature. This feature allows you to see Google presentation notes that your audience cannot see as you are giving your presentation.

Speaker Notes are a good way to write reminders to yourself about specific points you want to make during the presentation.

To access the Speaker Notes while you're editing your presentation, select the View > Show speaker notes menu option. Speaker Notes for the current slide display beneath it:

Select a slide and add speaker notes.

Click in the Speaker Notes area and begin typing to add your own notes to the slide.

Once you're in Presenter view, click the Notes icon to see your Speaker Notes display over the Presenter view. Here is what you will see as the presenter:

This is what speaker notes look like from the Presenter view.

Your audience cannot see the presentation notes. Instead, they see your slideshow presentation.

To close the Speaker Notes, click the X in the upper right corner.

4. Plan and Practice Your Google Slides Presentation

Planning and practicing are key elements to successfully presenting a Google Slides presentation. Your presentation won't be as strong if you try to skip these steps. So, don't skimp on putting time into planning and practicing.

The following questions should be part of your presentation planning process—especially if you're going to be giving your presentation live:

  • Who is my audience for this presentation?
  • What do they already know?
  • Where will I give my presentation and what is the facility like?
  • How long will I have to make my presentation?

The answers to these and other planning questions determines the nature of your presentation.

Once you've answered your planning questions, it's time to practice your presentation. There's really no substitution for making a trial run of your presentation—more than once if you can. The more familiar you are with your presentation, the better it will be. If you can, have a friend or family member listen to you practice your presentation and offer constructive criticism that can be really helpful.

To learn more about how to get ready to present a great presentation, grab our new presentation eBook for FREE: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It covers the complete presentation process of how to plan, design, and deliver your presentation right. 

3. Make Your Presentation

After you've completed all the previous steps to your satisfaction, you're ready to make your presentation.

There are basically three ways you can make your presentation:

  1. In-person. This is where you present your presentation to a live audience.
  2. Streaming. Use your Android or IOS device to stream your Google Slides presentation on a monitor. 
  3. Online. You can publish your Google Slides presentation.

Let's focus briefly on how to make an in-person presentation. Giving a presentation in front of a live audience often makes a presenter nervous. In fact, fear of public speaking has consistently ranked as one of the most common fears in numerous studies.

But you don't have to be afraid of public speaking. There are steps you can take to reduce your fear of public speaking and make the whole experience more comfortable. I've put together the following list of Envato Tuts+ tutorials to help you feel better about giving a live presentation:


You've just learned about how to give a Google slideshow. You've learned all about Google's slideshow presenter tool, the Presenter view. You've explored other tools like Speaker Notes that can help you during your presentation. You've learned how to set a presentation to auto-advance and loop. Finally, you've also discovered how to publish your presentation online.

Whether you're presenting your Google slideshow in-person, streaming it, or publishing it online—use the information in this tutorial to give the best Google Slides presentation you can give. 

Or, download our FREE eBook for more information: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It will help you write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.  

You'll feel better prepared and more confident just by knowing what to do when it comes time to present your Google Slides slideshow presentation. Good luck!

10 Days of Freebies From Envato Tuts+

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:54

What better way to celebrate ten years of Envato Tuts+, than with a fantastic selection of freebies and resources for our community? Join us as we take a look at how Tuts+ has changed over the last ten years, and share a selection of free courses, templates, eBooks, graphics, and lots more.

Want to jump straight to the freebies? Just click the banner to join our newsletter and get the first item in your inbox!

10 Years of Tuts+

Not many of you will remember when Tuts+ used to look like this! But at its core, Tuts+ remains focused on exactly the same thing we started out doing. We're teaching technical and creative skills, helping people grow in their careers. In the past decade, we've:

  • Published over 24,000 tutorials (and 15,000 translations)
  • Published over 1,000 video courses
  • Grown from one topic (Photoshop) to nine topics
  • Re-built our entire platform three times (with countless re-designs!)
  • Grown our team from one, to fourteen, fantastic editors and experts
  • Worked with over 1,800 talented instructors and translators
10 Days of Freebies

This month, we're doing something a bit special to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Envato Tuts+. We'll have a selection of "10" themed content in Design & Illustration, as well as a fantastic promotion featuring ten days of freebies.

What will we be giving away? We don't want to spoil the surprise, but you can look forward to a selection of:

  • Free courses and videos
  • Graphics, backgrounds, icons, and brushes
  • Presentation templates
  • Exclusive eBooks
  • And much more!

Just join our Tuts+ newsletter to get started. You'll receive a daily email for the next ten days, with a different freebie to download (or watch) every day. The first one will land in your inbox straight away! Here's a sneak peek at some of what you can expect:

Thank You!

We've had an incredible ten years creating tutorials, courses, eBooks, quizzes, learning guides, and so much more. We know it's had a wonderful impact on many of you, changed lives, and helped further countless careers.

Thank you for reading Tuts+, subscribing to watch our courses, commenting, sharing, and being part of Envato's incredible community of creators.

Here's to the next ten years!

10 Best Mind Mapping Software Tools for Better Brainstorming

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:54

Mind Mapping is a great way to lay out your thoughts and brainstorm new ideas. Rather than just using simple lists, you’re able to link ideas in multiple different ways. You can think creatively rather than just linearly. 

Mind mapping starts with a big idea. From there you work your way down into smaller and smaller concepts. The big idea is like the trunk of a tree, each idea a branch, each sub-idea a smaller branch, and so on down until you get to the twigs and leaves. You can always follow any branch back to get to the main idea.

We’ve got a full tutorial on mind mapping, Mind Mapping 101, so if you’re not over familiar with the concept, you should check it out before continuing. In today's article we’re going to look at some of the best mind mapping apps available for both individual users and small teams.

Do you need to start using one of the best mind mapping software tools?What Makes a Great Mind Mapping Software Tool

Mind mapping is a pretty free flowing concept, this means that you need an app that can take whatever you throw at it. Your idea of a neat and tidy mind map might be another persons’ idea of messy hell and vice versa. 

On the other hand, mind mapping is meant to help you structure chaotic ideas. It can’t be too free flowing, like say MS Paint; it just wouldn’t be of any use. 

Go From Brainstormed Ideas to Visual Order

So for good mind mapping software, we’re looking for something that can take whatever brainstorming ideas you throw at it and turn it into an ordered mind map.

Other features, like collaboration, are nice but optional for some users. If you’re a solo writer you don’t need to be able to work with other people. If you’re part of a small start up, you definitely do. We’ll be covering the most popular mind mapping software that will work for either case.

Finally, like all software decisions, what mind mapping app you use for brainstorming is intensely personal. My perfect app might drive you up the wall. That’s why we’re going to cover a broad selection. 

Test Drive the Best Apps Before Committing

Try a few apps that have the features and feel that might fit your workflow and go with the one that works best. Many of them are free, have free trials, or have a free tier so you can check them out before committing. 

10 of the Best Mind Mapping (Software) Tools

There are a lot of good mind mapping apps available and since the creative process tends to be quite personal, it’s difficult to draw hard and fast “this is better” comparisons between them. All the mind mapping apps featured below are good; it’s just that some of them will be better for you than others.

1. (Web) is a web-based mind mapping software tool. Unlike some of the other solutions which often try to do a lot more, is focussed on pure mind mapping. It’s one of the simplest cloud brainstorming apps available. has two tiers: Free and Premium. Users on the Free plan are limited to 3 mind maps and only get basic features. The Premium plan starts at $6/month/user and enables features like realtime collaboration and revision history.

If you want to keep things as simple as possible and know you don’t need more than a mind mapping app, might be what you’re looking for.

2. XMind 8 (macOS, Windows, iOS)

XMind is one of the more professional options available and may be the best mind map software for Mac. There are three different pricing options, XMind 8 (free), XMind 8 Plus ($79), and XMind Pro ($99) but to make the most of it, you’ll need to shell out for Plus at the very least, and realistically, for Pro.

While you can create mind maps with the basic plan, you can’t export them to other formats. The Plus plan adds the ability to export them. Pro adds powerful features like Presentation Mode so you can present your mind maps to your colleagues, and Brainstorming Mode to make creation easier. 

With the XMind Cloud you can sync your mind maps between devices and with your colleagues. 

XMind is billed as “the most popular mind mapping tool on the planet” and it’s easy to see why that would be the case. 

3. WiseMapping (Web)

WiseMapping is a free online mind mapping software solution for individuals and businesses. Since it just runs with a browser, it doesn’t matter what device you use to access it. 

If you’re running your own business, you can even run a copy of WiseMapping on your own server. This should alleviate any security concerns about using a web app.

4. Mindomo (macOS, Windows, Linux, iPad, Android)

Mindomo is a freemium mind mapping app for macOS, Windows, and Linux. There are also iPad and Android sync apps so you can work on your mind maps on the go. 

Mindomo is free for up to 3 mind maps with limited features. If you want to do things like back your maps up to Dropbox, add video or audio, or export them to other formats, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. The Premium plan is $36/6 months and gets you 1 user account. The Professional plan is $90/6 months and gets you 1 user and 5 guest accounts as well as enables guest editing. The Team plan is $142/6 months and includes 5 user accounts.

5. FreeMind (macOS, Windows, Linux)

FreeMind is a free and open source application for macOS, Windows, and Linux. While it’s a little less user friendly and intuitive than some of the other solutions, it’s pretty powerful and flexible. 

FreeMind doesn’t have much in the way of a collaboration features so it’s best for just one user. If you are only making mind maps for yourself and the other free options seem a little basic or limited because of the paid plans, FreeMind might be the solution for you. 

6. IdeaFlip (Web)

IdeaFlip is a web software designed for group brainstorming, although of course individuals can use it. As a web app, it can be used on any desktop or tablet device. 

Individual plans that would work for small teams start from $9 a month. Enterprise solutions start from $145 and come with team management features. 

7. MindNode (macOS, iOS)

MindNode is a beautiful macOS and iOS mind mapping solution. The Mac app is $29.99 and the iOS app is $9.99. While some mind mapping solutions include everything and the kitchen sink, MindNode is really focussed on brainstorming new ideas and then organising them into coherent mind maps. 

MindNode really embraces Apple’s design ideas and includes features like full VoiceOver support, iCloud Syncing, and an Apple Watch app that aren’t available on other platforms. If you’re fully invested in Apple’s ecosystem, it could be the best app for you.

8. Scapple (macOS, Windows)

One of the classic examples of a use for a mind map is an author writing a book, and Scapple is designed to do just that. Literature and Latte, the developers of writing app Scrivener, also created Scapple as a tool to help writers outline their projects.

It’s $14.99 with a free trial. Scapple integrates with Scrivener so you’ll need both apps to get the most out of it. 

9. MindManager (macOS, Windows)

MindManager is the most enterprise focussed mind mapping app on this list. It’s used by big companies like Proctor and Gamble and integrates with Microsoft’s Office suite. The Windows app is more fully featured, and thus more expensive, than the Mac app. The Windows app is $349 per licence while the Mac app is $179. There is a 30-day free trial.

Obviously at that price point, and with it’s aim to be an enterprise solution, MindManager is one of the more powerful mind mapping software tools on this list. This isn’t just a visual brainstorming solution for a small team, it’s something the CFO of a Fortune 500 company can sign off on.

Most teams won’t need something as enterprise focused as MindManager, however, if your team is looking to work with much larger companies, say as consultants, it might be worth a look, especially if that company is already using it.

10. Lucidchart (Web)

Rather than being a strict mind mapping app, Lucidchart is a diagramming app. This makes it perfect for creating mind maps, but also gives it a huge amount more flexibility to diagram out other things like process flows. It’s used by the likes of Netflix, Spotify, and Ford.

If you want mind maps for brainstorming, but also want a tool that can be used for other things as well, Lucidchart is a good bet. A single user Basic license starts at $4.95/month while licenses for Teams start at $20/month for three users. There’s also a limit free tier if you only want basic features.

Wrapping Up

Mind mapping is a powerful tool for fine tuning and creating new ideas. You can do it with a piece of paper and a pen, but any of the apps in this article will help you keep everything safe and secure. A sheet of letter paper is a lot easier to lose than a properly backed up digital file. 

This is far from a complete list of mind mapping apps. Almost any app, from Word to Photoshop, can be repurposed to do it. Though you may need a dedicate mind mapping app, especially if you visually brainstorm your ideas out often. If so, try one of these apps out. 

Learn more about brainstorming techniques in our ultimate guide, or dive deeper into one of these topics: 

Which is your favorite software for mind mapping? Let us know in the comments.

What Is Multimedia? +How to Use It in Your PowerPoint Presentations

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:55

What is a multimedia presentation? You've probably heard the term multimedia, but what does it actually mean in PowerPoint? 

In short, it's combining multiple types of media in your presentation. You can use combinations of images, audio, and video to make your point.

Every PowerPoint slide is a blank canvas, waiting for your content to reinforce your speaking points or guide the presentation. Multimedia brings variety to your slides and helps visual learners understand your content better.

Adding a simple image to a slide makes it much more interesting than a text-only version. Find royalty free photos on Envato Elements

You probably already know how to work with text so, I'll show you how to combine multiple types of media into the same PowerPoint presentation. You'll learn how to insert multimedia and edit it, right inside of PowerPoint. Multimedia presentations hold more interest and engage your audience better when done well. 

Need Help? Grab Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free)

We a great compliment to this tutorial. Quickly download this FREE eBook before you read on: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It will help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation. 

Why Use Multimedia in Your Presentation?

If we were bound to using only text and shapes, it would be much harder to hold an audience's attention during a presentation.

Multimedia exists to help reinforce our key speaking points. Here are a few ideas for working with images, audio, and video to make your presentation more interesting:

  • Images - These could be used for everything from simple stock photos that add slide variety, to logos and icons that showcase your brand.
  • Audio - Audio is a great way to add narrations to your slides if you can't present directly to your audience or to add music and sound effects.
  • Video - You can add video clips from your computer or sites like YouTube. Videos could be used for showing instructional walkthroughs from YouTube, TED talks, or a recorded screencast of your own.

Discover high quality PowerPoint presentation templates on Envato Elements or Envato Market, like the popular Simplicity PPT template we use in the slide above.

Before we dive in, always remember: less is more. It's great to incorporate multimedia in PowerPoint, but don't clutter slides with too many distractions for your audience.

How to Use Multimedia in PowerPoint Presentations (Watch & Learn)

Let's walk through multimedia together in this quick screencast. In it, I'll teach you how to insert each type of multimedia and make basic edits to them.

PowerPoint also has tools inside the app to add basic edits to your multimedia. You can crop images, trim video clips, and adjust audio levels. I'll show you how to use each of these tools, so that you don't have to open other apps to work with multimedia quickly.


If you want more detail on how to work with each of those types of multimedia, check out the step-by-step tutorial below on how to add multimedia to your presentations.

1. Images in PowerPoint: Stills & AnimatedHow to Insert Images into PowerPoint

The simplest way to add an image to PowerPoint is to simply copy and paste.  You can copy an image to your clipboard in practically any app like a web browser or image editor, and then right click to paste it into PowerPoint.

A better way to insert images is to save them to your computer, then insert them using the Insert menu. Go to the Insert > Pictures menu to browse to an image to insert.

Insert an image from the Insert > Pictures menu on the PowerPoint ribbon.

On the pop-up menu, browse to where your images are stored and click on them to add them to the presentation. 

The reason that I prefer using the Insert menu is that you can add multiple images at the same time. Hold the Control button on your keyboard and click on multiple images before you press Insert to add them all to a slide.

Select multiple images by holding Control on your keyboard and clicking on them before pressing Insert to add them all to a slide.Resize and Reposition Images

Once an image is on the slide, you can click and drag it to move it around on the slide. If the image is larger or smaller than you want, you can click and drag on the corner to resize it. 

Click and drag the white circle on the corner of an image to resize it on your PowerPoint slide.PowerPoint Picture Tools

PowerPoint also includes a set of tools to edit images from within the app. You don't always have to open up Photoshop or another editor to make basic changes to your images. 

When you select an image, you'll see a new option on the PowerPoint ribbon. Click on the Picture Tools > Format to open up image editing tools.

Here are the key Picture Tools to try out:

  • Cropping - Select a portion of the image that you want to keep (and remove) to trim an image inside PowerPoint
  • Remove background - If you have a logo with a white or black background, use this wizard to isolate the logo.

Check out this tutorial for a deep dive on working with images inside PowerPoint:

2. Audio in PowerPointAdd an Audio File to PowerPoint

Audio is another multimedia type you can work with in PowerPoint. 

If you have an audio track on your computer like an MP3 or WAV file, you can easily add them to your presentation. Choose the Insert > Audio > Audio on My PC option to browse for and choose an audio file.

Go to Insert > Audio > Audio on my PC option to browse for and choose an audio file to add.

After you choose the audio file, you'll see a small speaker icon on your PowerPoint slide. You can hover over it and press the play button to play it while presenting.

Record Audio Inside PowerPoint

If you don't already have your audio recorded in a file, you can actually capture it right inside of PowerPoint.

To record audio for the presentation, go to the Insert > Audio > Record Audio option.

Go to the Insert > Audio > Record Audio option to record audio using a microphone.

Now, you'll see the Record Sound option pop up. Press the red Record button, and PowerPoint will start grabbing audio. When you're finished press the Stop button (black square) to add your audio to PowerPoint.

Press the record button to record audio inside your presentation and add it to the PowerPoint file.Working With PowerPoint's Audio Tools

PowerPoint lets you make minor edits and adjustments to audio files without having to open another app. With the audio file selected, the most useful options are found on the Audio Tools > Playback menu.

Here are some of the most useful options:

  • Trim Audio - Open this option to reduce your audio file to play only a selection of the original file.
  • Start - Change from On Click to Automatically to play the audio without clicking the speaker icon.
Using PowerPoint Audio Tools Playback options.3. Video in PowerPoint

Video is a powerful multimedia type you can use. PowerPoint supports adding video from your computer or online. Let's look at how to insert and modify them: 

Add a Clip From Your Computer

If you have a video clip on your computer, you can quickly drop it into your presentation by using the Insert menu. Go to Insert > Video > Video on My PC to browse to your video file.

After browsing to the video and inserting it, you'll see it placed on your slide with the playback controls.

Once the video is on your slide, you can drag the corners to resize it and control how much of the slide it covers.

PowerPoint has good support for most of the major video file types, like MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media files. 

Learn more about how to add video into PowerPoint: 

Add a Video Clip from Online

Finding an inspiring or insightful YouTube video can help make drive your point to reach an audience. Instead of finding a workaround to download and convert a YouTube video, PowerPoint can link to and insert them directly.

To add a YouTube (or other online) video, go to Insert > Video > Online Video to launch the menu.

To add an online video, choose Insert > Video > Online Video to get started.

Now, PowerPoint will show a new window to search for or add an online video. If you want to add a YouTube video, you can drop in the URL for a video, or search directly inside this box for a relevant clip.

Other sites might give you embed codes on their site. On sites like Vimeo or TED, try out the Embed code and dropping the HTML into the bottom box.

Search for videos using the box or drop in a URL for a YouTube video of your choice.

Adding a YouTube video is a great way to include a video without increasing your PowerPoint file size. Instead of embedding the video inside the file, the link will play a YouTube video, right inside the presentation. For more detail, read through this quick tutorial: 

PowerPoint Video Playback Options

Just as PowerPoint has built-in tools to adjust images, the Playback Options are great to adjust how a video plays inside the presentation.

With the video selected, click on the Video Tools > Playback option on the ribbon to access key settings to control the video.

With a video selected, you can use the Video Tools > Playback options to edit your video inside of PowerPoint.

Here are several key options to try out to change how the video plays:

  • Start - Change this option from "On Click" to "Automatically" to start playing the video as soon as the slide appears.
  • Play Full Screen - With this option turned on, playing the video will cut to a full screen mode with the rest of the slide hidden.
  • Trim Video - Open this option to select which parts of the video to reduce the video to the parts you want to show.
Recap and Keep Learning More About PowerPoint

In this tutorial, you learned how to mix multimedia types to create an interesting presentation. PowerPoint makes it easy to add and edit images, video, and audio. 

We've just scratched the surface on what's possible with PowerPoint presentations. Here are a few more tutorials that will help you build great looking slides from scratch:

Make Great Presentations (Free eBook Download)

We have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Multimedia helps your presentation stand out, but there is a whole lot more to master. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

What types of multimedia do you use most often in your presentations? Let me know in the comments section below if you'd like to share a quick tip.

Apple Event September 2017 Round Up

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:16

Apple showcased the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the much-rumoured iPhone X with Face ID recognition. Here's the notable things to take away from Apple's keynote.

Apple Event September 2017 Key AnnouncementsApple Special Event, September 2017

The September 2017 event was the first Apple Keynote to be held at The Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple's brand new campus.

  • Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity
  • Apple TV 4K
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10)
  • AirPower Wireless charging coming 2018
Apple Watch Series 3 With Cellular ConnectivityApple Watch Series 3 With Cellular Connectivity

Apple demonstrated Apple Watch Series 3 by making a telephone call from an iPhone in the Steve Jobs Theatre to an employee who was paddling on a paddle board on Lake Tahoe.

What was notable about this was that the call was made direct to the Apple Watch without the need for an iPhone to be nearby and paired with Bluetooth. Not only was the watch receiving a cellular call independently of an iPhone, the call quality was exceptionally clear given that the watch was on the wrist of someone paddling, thus a distance away from the mouth of the person wearing it.

With Apple Watch Series 3, it is possible to make and receive telephone calls even when you're away from your iPhone and, similarly, to send and receive SMS text messages. Again, without an iPhone connected, you can ask Siri to set a reminder, send an invitation or give you directions.

Notifications work too, independently of iPhone. Siri is faster than ever before and speaks back to you from the watch. A first for Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 3 comes with GPS and Cellular connectivity or GPS only. Obviously, some of the functionality will be limited without the Cellular connection.

The Apple Watch makes cellular connectivity possible, without requiring a physical SIM card, through an innovative new eSIM or Electronic Subscriber Identity Module. This is something Apple has been working on for a few years. Watch out for this, it's likely to be big in other devices going forward.

Early indications are that EE in the UK will charge its customers an extra £5 per month to use their same telephone number on Apple Watch. 

Apple TV 4KApple TV 4K

Apple announced a new iteration of its Apple TV product, in the same form factor, but taking it to 4K HDR.

The previous Apple TV was 1080p HD meaning that it was capable of displaying 1,080 pixels, vertically, on a screen. HD means High-Definition and this is the resolution of many modern televisions and is capable of giving a very clear picture.

4K displays four times as many pixels, twice as many across and twice as many vertically at 2160p. It is the next stage in television technology and newer, more expensive televisions offer 4K displays. This gives an even crisper picture than ever before.

Apple TV 4K HDR

HDR means High Dynamic Range. It refers to the colours in the picture with HDR giving brighter, more realistic colours and greater detail. It makes images appear even more lifelike than before.

Companion Apple TV apps are coming to iPhone and iPad soon.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and AirPoweriPhone 8 and AirPower Wireless Charging

iPhones 8 and 8 Plus is the next iteration of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, foregoing the speed bump 7S designation.

The form factor of the two models remains the same as before, but we a glass rear panel not metal, in order for wireless charging, and with the expected iterations in technology contained within.

The iPhone 8, along with iPhone X, are the first models to support Apple’s AirPower …their name for wireless charging. By placing the device on a special mat, it will charge. No plugging in of cables required. Disappointingly, AirPower mats are sold separately from the phone and will not be available until sometime in 2018.

With Apple’s new Retina HD display, the phone uses True Tone technology to adjust the white balance of the image, according to the ambient light around you, to ensure that images look as natural as you’d expect on a printed page. Apple says this reduces eye-strain. And they say that the best colour accuracy, so far, will make for lifelike photos.

Augmented Reality, or AR, is a big thing for iOS 11. Apple claims that iOS is the world’s largest augmented reality platform. An OS with AR can digitally redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited or even see what a new tattoo will look like, …if tattoos are your thing.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are splash, water and dust resistant. They’ve been tested under controlled laboratory conditions that resulted in a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Apple say that splash, water and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear. 

iPhone XiPhone X

The new, flagship iPhone X—pronounced iPhone 10, not Eks—is pretty much the screen size of an 8 Plus in the smaller physical unit size of the iPhone 8. This is due to the screen covering the entire front of the device.

The X is also the first iPhone to use an OLED screen that produces true blacks, bright colours and a contrast ratio of a million to one.

A TrueDepth camera is contained in a small bar, or notch at the top of the screen, housing the technology that enables Face ID, the new face recognition technology used to unlock the device. Machine learning tracks your face over time to account for changes in appearance such as wearing spectacles or growing a beard.

The iPhone X is made from Apple’s most durable glass to date. Like the iPhone 8 models, the X is glass front and back combined with a surgical-grade stainless steel frame for water and dust resistance.

With dual 12MP cameras, the iPhone X gives the photographic power of the Plus model size in a smaller chassis.


Apple had much talk about in their September 2017 event. The naming convention for iPhones changed a little and has left some commentators bemused at the lack of an iPhone 9. 

How To Convert Columns To Rows In Excel With Power Query

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 13:55

The problem is not that we lack data, it's that we have so much data that it's hard to find meaning inside of it. You need a way to re-arrange and clean up your data to make it usable. Microsoft Excel is a very user-friendly tool, but you still need to clean up your data before it's usable for analysis and review. 

That's where Power Query comes into play. Power Query, also called "Get and Transform Data" lives inside of Excel and automates the data cleanup process.

One of the most popular data cleanup steps is to take data that's spread across columns and convert it into rows of data. Take your Excel skills to the next level by "unpivoting" your data using Microsoft Power Query. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Power Query to convert columns into rows in Excel.

Why Convert Columns to Rows?

Before we get started, you might be wondering why it's so helpful to take data that's structured in many columns and convert it into rows.

The answer that is a bit technical. Basically, it's preferable if each row of data is like a record, a single data point. Columnar data is mixed up with multiple attributes spread across columns.

In the example below, you can see what data looks like when you convert it from columns to rows in Excel. On the left side is a set of client records, with different project types in columns. On the right side, I've unpivoted the data and converted it to a row format.

Converting columns to Rows in Microsoft Excel.

Also, if you're a Pivot Table user, it's very important that your data is in rows instead of columns when you use it to create a Pivot Table. Data in columns simply doesn't feed Pivot Tables correctly. 

In short: converting data from columns to rows makes it easier to work with. Power Query makes this an easy, two click operation. Let's learn how: 

How To Quickly Convert Columns To Rows In Excel (Watch & Learn)

If you've never used Power Query before, I'd highly recommend checking out this quick, two minute screencast below to watch me work with it. You'll learn how to take your columnar data and convert it into rows (records) in Excel to make it easier to work with.


Let's also walk through a written version of these instructions to learn more about Power Query and "unpivoting" data in Excel.

Meet Microsoft Power Query for Excel

Power Query, which is formally called "Get and Transform Data" in Excel 2016, is a tool with two main functions:

  1. You can use it to get data, such as pointing it to other Excel files, databases, and even web pages to pull data down and into a spreadsheet.
  2. It can help you transform data, which means rearranging it on the fly, adding more columns, or merging other sets of data with it.
When you send data to Power Query to work with, it opens up in a new window on top of Excel where you can apply data transformations.

Power Query is a deep and powerful tool that lives inside of Excel. Instead of manually rearranging data and repeating the process, Power Query lets you build a set of steps that you can apply to your data repeatedly. 

Installing Power Query

Power Query is built into Excel 2016, but you can install it for earlier versions of Excel as an add-in. Unfortunately, Power Query is only available for Excel on Windows.

To install Power Query for Excel on Windows, (only needed for Excel 2013 for Excel 2010, as this feature is built into Excel 2016) jump over to Microsoft's website to download and install the Power Query add-in.

Send Data to Power Query

Power Query is used inside of Excel, but it opens up in a new window that sits on top of Excel.

To unpivot data in Excel, you'll first need to convert your Excel data into a table if it's not already in that format. You can hand off a data table to Power Query to work with your data.

If you'd like to follow along with me in this tutorial, I've made the sample data available in this free Excel file.

Convert to Table

To convert data into a table, click anywhere inside the table and then find the Format as Table option that's on Excel's ribbon. You can click on any of the style thumbnails to convert your flat cells into a data table.

To convert your flat data to a table, choose the Format as Table button on Excel's ribbon.Handoff to Power Query

Once your data is in a table format, go to the Data tab on Excel's ribbon, and click on the From Table button to send the table data to Power Query to transform your data.

Click on Data > From Table to send the data from the standard Excel view, into Power Query.

This sends the data into a new window that opens inside of, but on top of Microsoft Excel. It's an entirely new window with a ton of features.

Unpivot Data

At this point, you should see something similar to the screenshot below. This is the window that holds the tools you need to unpivot.

To unpivot the data in Excel, highlight all of the columns that you want to unpivot. Basically, Power Query will transform each of these columns into rows of their own. For the sample data here, I've highlighted each of the columns for the project types:

Highlight all of the columns that you want to unpivot into rows, then click on Unpivot Columns just above your data.

Once you've clicked on Unpivot Columns, Excel will transform your columnar data into rows. Each row is a record of its own, ready to throw into a Pivot Table or work with in your datasheet.

Unpivoted data appears in rows instead of columns.

This feature feels like magic. Now, let's send the data back over to Microsoft Excel to work with.

Close & Load

The Power Query window has many features that you can dive into with other tutorials, but for now, we're finished with unpivoting our data. Let's go ahead and click on the Close & Load button to send data back to Excel.

After you close and load your query, Excel will put the unpivoted data into a new sheet and show the query that we just built on the right side.

Close and Load sends data back to Excel, and puts it in a spreadsheet. You'll also see a queries window on the right side that shows the query that we just built to unpivot data.

Refresh the Query

So, what if your original data changes? If you have more rows added to the original data, you don't have to repeat this entire process in order to unpivot those rows.

Instead of recreating the query from scratch, you need to use the Refresh Data option. In the screenshot below, I'll add an entirely new row for a brand new client to my original data source:

For this example, I've added a new client on the highlighted row to the original data set.

Now, let's return to the tab where our unpivoted data is loaded. When we click inside of the table, you'll see the Workbook Queries menu open next to your data. Press the Refresh button (right side of the menu) to refresh the query.

This action looks back at the original table and re-runs the query steps. Because we've added new rows to our original data table, Power Query adds these new rows to the query and runs them through the unpivot transformation.

Click refresh next to the query name in the sidebar to add the new rows to your unpivoted data set.

This is one of my favorite features about Power Query. We added data to the original source, but one click has refreshed it and unpivoted the new data as well.

Recap and Keep Learning More About Using Microsoft Excel

In this tutorial, you learned how easy it is to convert columns to rows in Microsoft Excel. Power Query is a flexible and robust tool to grab and rearrange your data on the fly. Continue learning more Microsoft Excel techniques in these Envato Tuts+ tutorials: 

How do you use Power Query or other tools to unpivot your data? If you have a favorite tip to share, make sure to check in with a comment below.

How to Add Text Drop Shadows in PowerPoint in 60 Seconds

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 13:55

Drop shadows are one of those text features that help you really set your text off on a slide. Today, I'll teach you how to apply these types of text effects in PowerPoint. 

We also have a helpful compliment to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab it now before you read on. 

Note: In this tutorial we use the Simplicity PowerPoint Template. You can find more great PPT presentation templates on GraphicRiver or in our Ultimate Guide to the Best Microsoft PowerPoint Templates.

How to Quickly Add PowerPoint Text Drop Shadows 

Note: Watch this short tutorial screencast or follow the quick steps below, that compliment this video.

1. Select Text Effects Shadows to Apply to Your Text

This title slide is a great example of an opportunity to apply a drop shadow to text. With the text selected, I'll go to the Format menu here on the ribbon.

There are a couple of options for how I could add drop shadow to text. And my favorite is to click on the Text Effects drop down. 

From the Shadow drop down, I could choose one of these styles with some text selected. The different styles we can choose from influence primarily the direction that a shadow comes from.

Text Effect Shadow options in PowerPoint.2. Applied Text Effect Drop Shadow in PowerPoint

Let's try one out. Now that I've applied some drop shadow, the text is really more recognizable off the background. 

Apply your text effect drop shadow.Finishing Up!

You could always come back and try out another style by returning to the menu and choosing one of the other drop shadow styles. These effects are easy to add in PowerPoint and you don't even have to open up a separate app to build a text style.

Each style changes the direction or weight of the drop shadow. A drop shadow is an effect to really make your text pop off the background of a slide.

More Great Envato Tuts+ PowerPoint Tutorials

Learn more in our PowerPoint tutorials and quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+. We have an assortment of PowerPoint material to help you make a great presentation: 

You can also find great PowerPoint presentation templates with premium designs on GraphicRiver or Envato Elements. Or, browse through our selection of the best Microsoft PowerPoint designs

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We also have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

How to Be a Smart iPhone Buyer, Part 2

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 06:00

The best way to buy a new iPhone depends, to some extent, on what sort of buyer you are. In these two tutorials, I'll show you how to be a smart iPhone buyer and make how to make an informed decision.

Further Considerations

In the previous tutorial, I explained different ways of purchasing a new iPhone. In this tutorial, I'll explain some further considerations before you make a choice. 

AppleCare+ on the iPhone Upgrade ProgrammeAppleCare+ for iPhone

If you're considering the iPhone Upgrade Programme, you'll be wondering how it is 0% interest when the deposit and the 20 months instalments add up to more than the cost of the handset.

The astute amongst us will notice that the different is £119 and that sum happens to be the cost of the AppleCare+ contract.

It is mandatory to take out AppleCare+ on any iPhone purchased under the Upgrade Programme. If you're clumsy, it's probably worth it. If you begrudge paying extra for an insurance policy, you may wish to consider the pros and cons of AppleCare+ before deciding whether the Upgrade Programme is really for you.

The AppleCare+ contract lasts for two years and extends the apple Apple warranty from one to two years. Similarly, technical support via telephone is extended from 90 days to two years.

AppleCare+ covers the iPhone against accidental damage, such as drops from height and immersion in water. Apple will replace the iPhone, for these reasons, on up to two occasions. Though there is an excess of £79 to pay for a replacement iPhone. 

Credit Where Credit's Due: Important Considerations

Being able to take out any loan, such as with your bank, with Zopa or with PayPal or Barclays via Apple, is something that you'll want to give careful consideration as it may affect your credit score.

If you're in the United Kingdom, you'll need to be aware that there are three credit agencies:

  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. Call Credit

When applying for the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme, Apple searches all three.

If you're planning on buying a house and are needing a mortgage then now would not be a good time to be taking personal loans or the Apple finance programmes. 

If you're unsure of your current credit standing, you can make enquiries to each of the credit reference agencies in order to check your credit score. Be aware that you'll have a different score with each of the three agencies.

To check your credit score with each, you can sign up to three free services:

  1. Equifax, sign up at ClearScore
  2. Experian, sign up at MoneySavingExpert
  3. CallCredit, sign up at Noddle

Studying your own credit reports will enable you to make a more informed decision before taking any credit.

Buying a New iPhone for the Long TermApple offers different financing options, including interest-free

Buying an iPhone for the long term would be the aim of someone not wanting, necessarily, to be constantly upgrading. You might be looking to get the best value for money by investing in something that is going to last for a long time.

For such people, I'd recommend avoiding any loan or finance deal that incurs interest. That's just going to cost you more.

The next consideration would be whether insurance is required, as that adds to the cost. If you're going to be buying AppleCare anyway, then consider the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme. 

Don't worry too much about the *upgrade* part of that. You can use the programme to spread the cost of the iPhone and AppleCare+ package over 20 months, following the £69 upfront payment. 

This deal is 0%; you only pay for the actual cost of the iPhone and the AppleCare+ meaning that you can keep cash in a savings account and earn some interest whilst paying down the loan.

Alternatively, it's an outright purchase if you're fortunate enough to have that much spare cash. 

Buying to Upgrade iPhone Every Year

If you're intent on having the latest and greatest iPhone every year, the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme has been designed particularly for you. You'll still need to consider whether it's the best deal for you.

Apple iPhone Upgrade ProgrammeThe Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme

To get the best out of it, you'll be needing to upgrade to the new iPhone immediately each year. This is because you return the old iPhone I exchange for the new one plus a new £69 upfront fee and a new 20-month contract.

Buying Outright and Selling Later

Before jumping into Apple's Upgrade Programme, if your budget allows, consider the outright purchase of the iPhone handset with a view to selling it next year.

Use a tool such as Bidvoy that analyses the actual sale prices, of products, on eBay. As a rule of thumb, an iPhone retains around 40 per cent of its value one year later when the new model comes out. 

There's so many variables to each sale that this can only be a rough guide, you'll need to do some research beforehand.

Consider, also, that if your using an old handset to finance the new one, you'll be without a phone between selling one and buying the other. If this is an issue, the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme might start to look attractive for its convenience.

Remember, though, selling on eBay will incur approximately 14% costs on the final sale value. These fees are swallowed up by eBay and PayPal. You might consider, instead, the Apple Recycle Programme that will pay for the old handset. 

There are also many third party companies that will buy old handsets, but prices vary, depend on condition and you're unlikely to get the best value compared to selling it yourself.

Buying to Upgrade iPhone Every Other Year

Many people suggest upgrading an iPhone every other year. It's fairly sound advice as you'll have a very capable phone for the two years and you'll be benefitting from more significant upgrades between models.

You'll also be able to take advantage of the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme to spread the cost of the iPhone into manageable instalments and still have a decent handset at the end of it that you can pass on to a relative or sell on to contribute towards the latest iPhone. 


After more than two decades of people buying phones, and a decade of people buying iPhones, with an airtime contact through their mobile provider, it is now easier than ever to purchase the iPhone and a SIM contract separately. 

This gives you, the customer, greater freedom and flexibility and in this two-part tutorial I have given you some points to consider before purchasing your next iPhone.

How to Make a Timeline in PowerPoint With Templates

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:55

Timelines and presentations go hand in hand. One of the best ways to tell a story in your presentation is to give your audience a timeline that connects the past to the present. 

When you're crafting your story, share the key events that led you to the current moment. Timelines can also bridge the gap to the future; explaining these past milestones can help you explain why you've reached a decision or chosen a new direction.

A timeline graphic like the one built into the Motagua PowerPoint theme is ideal for walking an audience through a series of events over time.

PowerPoint is synonymous with presentations, and it's not surprising that you can build timelines using its features. This tutorial will teach you how to make a timeline with multiple milestones right inside of PowerPoint.

I'll walk you through creating a timeline from scratch that adapts to your content using PowerPoint's SmartArt feature. We'll also look at how to use custom PowerPoint themes to build professional timelines quickly.

Need Help? Download Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free)

We also have a useful compliment to this tutorial. Before reading on, download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations, which will help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation.

How to Quickly Make a Timeline in PowerPoint (Watch & Learn)

In this quick two minute screencast video, I'll teach you an easy way to add a timeline to your PowerPoint slide. You'll learn to use SmartArt to add a timeline with points for key dates. These timelines are easy to edit, so if your points change, you can adapt your timeline without having to start from scratch.

We'll also take a look at using a great-looking PowerPoint template to add a unique timeline to your presentation quickly.


If you want an annotated walkthrough for building two different timelines, check out the written tutorial with screenshots below.

Create Your Own Timeline in PowerPoint

You can build your own timeline in PowerPoint using the SmartArt feature. SmartArt is a PowerPoint feature that helps you build charts and graphics, but it adapts to your content. 

Instead of building charts and graphs in another app and bringing them over to PowerPoint, you can create them inside PowerPoint with the SmartArt feature.

To get started, go to the Insert menu on PowerPoint's ribbon, and find the SmartArt option. Go ahead and click on this option to start adding your own piece of SmartArt to your presentation.

Find the Insert tab on PowerPoint's ribbon and choose SmartArt to add a timeline.

On the SmartArt window, you can choose from a variety of different designs for your timeline. There is one built-in design specifically for timelines, called Basic Timeline that I'll use for this example.

Choose the Basic Timeline if you want to follow along with me in this tutorial. There are other styles for SmartArt that could also be used for a timeline that you can see in the screenshot below; anything that resembles an arrow with points along it are ideal for using as a timeline.

There are many options for a PowerPoint timeline, but I typically use the Basic Timeline SmartArt option.

After you find the Basic Timeline, click on OK to add the template to your slide and begin adding your milestones to the slide. A SmartArt timeline is a single object that you can combine with other elements like photos, text boxes, and more to create a full slide design.

When you're working with SmartArt, you'll have a text box on the left side that you can add new points to the slide.

SmartArt adapts the shape and graphic as you change the text in the box on the left side. Each bullet point is a new key point on the timeline itself. You can press Enter on your keyboard to add an entirely new point on your new PowerPoint timeline.

For a timeline, you can simply add key dates or years and then a description of the event that occurred. You can also add as many points to your timeline as you need to tell your story.

Add new bullet points and text to add new key dates to the SmartArt timeline in PowerPoint.

If you need to change your PowerPoint timeline later, no problem; simply click on the timeline again and you'll see the text box open that you can use to modify and add or remove key dates. 

The best part of SmartArt is that it's never a finished product; you can simply reopen it and add more timelines as your events evolve.

After you've finished adding your point to the timeline, you can also tweak the style for your SmartArt. While you have your timeline selected, you can change the Layout by clicking on a different thumbnail above the chart. Your content won't change—only the timeline style will.

If you want to try out another style for your timeline, you can click on a different layout thumbnail without changing your original content.

One other option to change styles is to use the same layout, but try out a different SmartArt Style. This dropdown menu is adjacent to the Layouts menu. Click the dropdown arrow to show other styles for the timeline chart. 

I've used the SmartArt style dropdown to change the standard timeline graphic to a 3D style.

In the example above, I've chosen a 3-D style from the options to change the design for my SmartArt. All of the points on the chart and text are preserved, but the chart design changes slightly.

As you can see, it's very easy to create a timeline in PowerPoint using the SmartArt feature. It gives you the look of a professional chart, but the flexibility to continue editing it.

Learn more about working with PowerPoint SmartArt: 

Advanced Timeline Effects

SmartArt is a great way to get started with building timelines in PowerPoint, but some PowerPoint presentation templates include more creative ideas for the same type of slide.

For this example, I'm going to use the Motagua presentation theme. This is an inexpensive theme that you can purchase on GraphicRiver and use for your own presentations. 

The Motagua PowerPoint theme has 400 different slide designs that you can add your own content to.

Discover more great Microsoft PowerPoint templates with numerous infographic slide layouts: 

The best part of choosing a premium PowerPoint theme like Motagua is that it includes 400 ideas for slide designs. Instead of drawing all of your slides from scratch, you can simply use the pre-built slides and add your own photos and text quickly. 

Motagua includes some great looking slides with timeline template PowerPoint designs built in. Slides 16 through 18 are great starter templates for building a timeline.

If you're working with the Motagua presentation design, open up one of these slides to experiment with your own design. You can add your own points to the pre-built timeline. 

Motagua includes several starter templates to work with timelines in PowerPoint.

This is a vertical timeline design that can even span multiple pages. All you have to do is simply copy and paste the blocks and text boxes to add more points to your timeline. Duplicate a slide to add more room for your timeline points.

Slides 19-20 are additional design options for a professional timeline. These also have the advantage of image placeholders that you can use for a more graphic look for your timeline.

Motagua has alternate options for how you can present a timeline, including these alternate slide designs with image placeholders.

Slide design 21 is an additional choice for a simplified timeline, with a single page approach to presenting your events.

In addition to the timeline slide, Motagua has a litany of other slide designs that you can use. If you aren't a graphic designer, it's usually best to buy one of these templates and use them for inspiration.

Other presentation templates available on GraphicRiver that include built-in timelines are Simplicity, Eureka, and Business Proposal. Try out any of these for a different take on PowerPoint timelines. 

Or, browse through Envato Elements for PowerPoint templates, web themes, and unlimited downloads of creative resources: 

Download Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free PDF)

We have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Recap and Keep Learning More PowerPoint Skills

A timeline is a great way to step your audience through the past into the present. In this tutorial, you learned two ways that you can easily create them in PowerPoint. Whether you're using SmartArt or adapting a template to your liking, a timeline is a powerful storytelling tool that you should consider for your next presentation.

These tutorials are a great way to learn other skills to help you connect better with your audience in presentations:

How do you create your own timelines in PowerPoint? Let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite tip to share.

How to Be a Smart iPhone Buyer, Part 1

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 06:00

The new iPhones have been launched at Apple's latest event on 12th September 2017.

The best way to buy an iPhone will depend, to some extent, on what sort of buyer you are and to your personal preferences. In these two tutorials, I'll show you how to be a smart iPhone buyer and make how to make an informed decision.

Ways to Buy an iPhone

There's essentially four main ways to purchase a new iPhone:

  1. Outright purchase
  2. From a mobile provider
  3. On finance
  4. On the Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme
1. Outright Purchase

Cash is king. Well, that's usually the case but it's highly unlikely that you'll persuade any Apple Store to give you a discount for cash.

That said, if you're the sort of person that likes to avoid debt, and you have the money, then purchasing a new iPhone outright will give you the peace of mind that it is yours and you've paid for it in full.

If, however, you'd like to be a savvy buyer and you're not necessarily hung up on buying the latest model then your best bet is to visit an Apple Store within a day or two of the release of the new model.

Ask for prices on yesterday's iPhone and you'll find that you can pick up yesterday's model for a significant saving, or upgrade to more memory within the price that you expected to pay yesterday.

Even yesterday's iPhone is powerful enough to future-proof you for a few years.

Apple's new iPhone X2. Purchase With an Airtime Contract From a Mobile Provider

This has, historically, probably been the most common way that people have purchased mobile phones, certainly in the United Kingdom at least.

A mobile provider, such as O2, Vodafone, EE or Three will offer you a 12, 18 or 24-month contract. Typically, you'll pay a monthly fee and they'll provide you with the mobile phone and give you a call, text and data allowance.

To work out if you're getting a good deal:

  1. Multiply the monthly payments by the minimum contract term to give you the total cost over the duration of the contract
  2. Subtract the cost of the handset (refer to Apple's website) from that total to give you the total cost of the airtime contract alone
  3. Divide the total cost of the airtime contract by the number of contracted months and compare to other mobile phone deals

It used to be the case the purchasing an iPhone in this way meant that the iPhone was locked to that particular network. Unlocking the phone require you to pay off the contract in full, either early or allowing it to run its course, and then paying an additional unlocking fee often around £20.

Without unlocking the iPhone, it would only ever work on that particular network thus limiting its attractiveness to prospective buyers if you came to sell it on.

3. On Finance

You can purchase a new iPhone on finance from Apple. In the UK, by way of example, you can do this through PayPal or Barclays:

  1. PayPal requires a minimum purchase of £99 spread over 6, 12, 18 or 24 equal monthly payments. The current interest rate is 17.9% APR
  2. Barclays requires a minimum purchase of £399 spread over 24, 36 or 48 equal monthly payments. Or you can choose an instalment period between three and 18 months. The current interest rate is 14.9% APR

Purchasing on finance is an expensive way to purchase an iPhone. More expensive than purchasing outright and, possibly, more expensive than buying the handset through a mobile phone provider.

An alternative would be a personal loan. Again, that is certainly more expensive than purchasing outright. You may consider a peer-to-peer lending service, such as Zopa, that offers interest rates as low as 3% though I'd recommend you think carefully before taking a loan for this purpose.

4. On the Apple iPhone Upgrade ProgrammeThe Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme

The Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme was introduced to allow people to purchase a new iPhone on a flexible upgrade plan.

It works a little bit like personal contract hire car-leasing plans, but for iPhones.

The Apple iPhone Upgrade Programme is a scheme that was introduced, in the United States, with the iPhones 6S and 6S Plus in September 2015. It followed in the United Kingdom and China when the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus were introduced in September 2016.

The scheme is an alternative to buying an iPhone on contract with a mobile provider. It is entirely separate from an airtime contract that you'll take as a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) or SIM Only (SIMO) elsewhere.

By paying £69 upfront, and the balance over 20 months, you'll be able to get the latest iPhone.

After 11 months, you'll have the option to upgrade to the next latest iPhone. To do this, return the now old iPhone in good condition to take out a new upgrade plan.

You may upgrade at any time between 11 and 20 months, but you'll have to return the existing iPhone. 

After 20 months, the iPhone is yours if you choose not to upgrade. 

Before entering into the iPhone Upgrade Programme, you should consider whether your the sort of person that wants the latest and greatest every year, to upgrade every other year or hold onto the iPhone for longer. 

The Upgrade Programme may benefit you if you're going to Upgrade immediately every year or if you wish to spread the payments, interest free, over 20 months. Upgrade beyond 11 or 12 months and you'll be handing back a capable iPhone rather than being able to pass it down through the family or sell it on.

You can read more about the upgrade program on Apple's website

Further Considerations

In this tutorial, I have explained different ways of purchasing a new iPhone. In the next tutorial, I'll explain some further considerations before you make a choice. 

How to Create a Professional Google Slideshow Presentation

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 13:55

You're ready to create a professional Google slideshow, and you do know the basic steps. But you need some help with a few techniques. Or, you've created Google presentations before, but you need a refresher.

Either way, this is the tutorial for you. We'll show you what you need to know to create a great Google Slideshow presentation. We'll also share a few advanced techniques and include links to related helpful resources.

Learn how to make a Google Slides slideshow. (photo source)

If you're in a hurry to make a simple Google Slides presentation, review this quick tutorial:

Now let's get started with the steps on how to create an effective Google Slideshow presentation—from start to finish: 

Step 1. Plan Your Presentation

Planning is one of the most important measures you can take to make sure that your Google Slides presentation is effective and professional. Yet, all too many business people skip or skimp on this very important step. Don't make this common mistake.

Your planning should include an in-depth look at the goal, or purpose of your presentation. You should also investigate to find out as much as you can about the audience you're trying to reach. You can't effectively reach your target audience if you don't know who they are or what they need.

Narrow your topic down. Take out anything this isn't directly related to the message you're trying to convey. When you've tightened your focus, you can start to arrange the order of your information.

For a more in-depth discussion on planning your presentation and other guidance on how to make a great presentation, download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations.

Advanced Tip: To present similar material more than once, but within different time slots, create a master presentation to base other versions of your presentation on. Design the presentation master for the longest time slot and create it first. 

This presentation master should include everything you could possibly want to have in your presentation. Then, make a copy (or copies) of the long master presentation and rename them. Edit each copy down to the desired length by removing less important slides.

Step 2. Download a Presentation Template

How your Google Slides presentation looks is as important as the information it contains. People quickly dismiss a badly designed slideshow as being unprofessional.

If you happen to be a professional designer with gobs of time on your hands, you're in luck. You can design the look of your presentation yourself and it will probably look good.

But, if you're not a professional designer—or if you are, but your time is limited—there's a better way. Using a professionally designed template is a shortcut worth exploring. Professional presentation templates offer the following advantages:

  • Created by a professional designer
  • Proven (check reviews and ratings to see what others thought of it)
  • Quick, and easy to use, with plenty of design options
  • Low cost (most presentation templates cost around $20 USD

You can find a good selection of Google Slides templates and themes at GraphicRiver. To learn more about how to use a theme with your Google Slides presentation, review this tutorial:

Step 3. Create a New Google Slides Presentation

Once you're ready to start creating your presentation, it's easy to get started. Start by opening your Google Drive. Click the New button in the upper left:

Click the New button and click Google Slides to create a presentation.

Click the Google Slides option from the drop-down menu. A new presentation opens:

This is what a new slideshow looks like when you open it.

You've just created a new Google Slides presentation. All you need to do now is apply a theme or template and start adding your content to your slideshow.

Of course, if you have an existing presentation in PowerPoint format, you can import that into Google Slides and start from there. Learn how to import a PowerPoint presentation to Google Slides in this tutorial guide:

Advanced Tip: Copy a single a slide, or a group of slides, from one presentation to another by using the CTRL + C and CTRL + V shortcuts. This shortcut allows you to add content to a presentation without retyping it.

Step 4. Add Your Text

Adding text is an important part of the process of creating a professional Google slide show presentation. Your words help tell your story. They can also serve to remind you of what you intend to say during a live presentation.

Here's a look at how to add text to a new Google Slides presentation with the Text box tool (it looks like a T in the Toolbar menu):

Type your text in the text box.

As you can see, once the text box is open all you need to do is type your text. You can also format the text after you've typed it in. For a more detailed tutorial on adding text to your presentation, explore:

Advanced Tip: Learning and using Text formatting and Paragraph formatting keyboard shortcuts can save you time as you format your text. You'll find a list of keyboard shortcuts under the Help > Keyboard shortcuts menu option. Click on Text formatting or Paragraph formatting in the shortcut list on the left to view those specific shortcuts.

Step 5. Insert Powerful Images

Once you've added the text content of your presentation, you'll want to take the slideshow to the next level. Once way to do that is with graphic images and photos.

It's not difficult to add graphic images and photos to a presentation. Start by clicking Insert > Image from the main menu. The drop-down menu appears:

Click Image on the drop-down menu to insert an image.

The Insert Image dialog box displays:

Use the Insert Image dialog box to add images to your slide.

Import the image that you want to add to your presentation. To learn more about using images in Google Slides, including how to add background images and how to embed images in shapes, study this tutorial:

Caution: Be careful about the images you choose. They need to be clear and compelling. Also, don't try to crowd too many images onto a single slide. A crowded slide detracts from your presentation. Finally, make sure that you have the rights to use any image before adding it to your slideshow. 

Keep in mind that most images online are copyrighted. You can find premium royalty-free images at Envato Elements, and download as many as you need with a monthly subscription.

You could stop right here, since you now know enough to create a basic presentation from scratch. But if you want to make your presentation stand out from the rest, you'll need to add some unique elements to polish it off. There are some additional steps you can take to do just that:

Step 6. Add Engaging Audio and Video

One way to make your Google Slideshow presentation seem more professional and engage your audience at the same time is by adding sound or video elements.

The Google Slides Insert drop-down menu doesn't even include an Audio option, so you may not even realize that there are ways to add sound into your presentation. But there is a work-around that lets you to add an audio soundtrack to your Google slide show if you know what to do.

Learn how to add both sound and video to your Google slideshows by following the detailed steps in these tutorials:

Important: Always make sure that you have permission to use material that is created or owned by someone else before adding it to your slideshow.

Step 7. Set Up Your Presentation to Play Automatically or to Loop

If your Google slide show will be published online, you'll probably want to set it up to play automatically whenever someone opens it. Fortunately, Google Slides includes an auto-play option for slideshows published online.

Click the File > Publish to the web menu option. The Publish to the web dialog box displays:

Set the presentation up to play automatically or to loop.

To set up your presentation to play automatically, click the checkbox to the left of the Start slideshow as soon as the player loads option.

You can also set your Google slideshow up so that it loops (starts over when it comes to the end). To do this, click the checkbox to the left of the Restart the slideshow after the last slide option.

When you've finished making your selections, click the Publish button.

Advanced Tip: When you publish your document online, anyone with the link can view it. A published slideshow can also be embedded in a document or on a website. However, viewers cannot change a published document or make comments. If you would like for your viewers to collaborate with you by making changes or comments, don't publish it. Instead, use the Share button in the upper right corner.

Step 8. Change the Look and Feel of Your Presentation

Even after you've selected a template or theme for your Google Slides presentation, you're not "locked in." You can easily change the look and feel of your presentation by applying another theme. This can be especially helpful if you're rebranding.

Changing the presentation theme gives you access to different master slides and master layouts. Look at this tutorial for detailed steps:

Also, don't forget that you can change the color and font of the text on any slide to further adjust your presentation as needed.

Step 8. How to Save, Restore, or Export Your Presentation

With Google Slides, it's not difficult to save your slideshow. That's because you don't have to do anything. Your presentation exists in the cloud. Any changes you make are saved automatically as you work.

Google Slides also stores earlier versions of your presentation. This means that if you revise your presentation then change your mind about those revisions, you can easily go back to an earlier version of your slide show. To do this, click the File > See revision history menu option. A panel appears on the right listing previous versions of the presentation:

Use the Revision History panel to revert to an earlier version of your slideshow.

To restore an earlier version of the presentation, click on it in the Revision History panel. Then click the RESTORE THIS REVISION button that appears at the top of the screen.

You can also export your presentation to different formats, using the File > Download as menu option. You can export to the following formats:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx)
  • Open Office Presentation (.odp)
  • PDF Format (.pdf)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Graphic image of current slide (.jpg or .png)
  • Scalable vector graphic of current slide (.svg)

For detailed instructions on how to convert a Google Slides presentation to PowerPoint, study this tutorial:

Advanced Tip: If you plan on publishing your presentation to SlideShare, PDF format works best.

Step 9. Give Your Presentation

Once you've finished your presentation, you're ready to give it. There are two ways to present your slideshow. You can:

  1. Publish it online.
  2. Present it live.

To publish your Google slide show online, use the File > Publish to web menu option. You'll get a link that you can embed on your website or share with your potential audience.

To present your presentation live, click the Present button at the top right of the screen:

Click the Present button to start the slideshow.

There's more to giving a slideshow presentation in person than clicking a button, though. To give a good slideshow presentation, you need to practice. The more practice you get, the smoother your presentation will be.

Also, if you find yourself a bit nervous about giving a presentation, this tutorial can help:


You can create a professional Google Slides slideshow presentation from scratch. Follow along with this guide and refer to the linked resources for more detailed instructions when you need them.

You may also wish to refer to the following tutorial for even more tips to make your presentation more professional:

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

Also, we have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Let Use Know How Well Your Presentation Lands

Did you give your presentation already? How did it go? What worked well? What would you do differently? 

Drop a note in the comments below and let us know how it went. 

How to Connect an iPad as an Additional Screen on a Mac

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 07:00

One of the downsides to working from solely a Mac is the lack of screen real estate. Even with a 15” MacBook Pro, the screen is a good deal smaller than an iMac. You can add an external screen but this detracts from a notebook’s big advantage: portability. 

Recently, though, I’ve been trying something different. 

When I travel I also bring an iPad. It’s great for watching films on the plane without needing the tray table or running out of battery too quickly. Or both. An iPad can also be used as a second screen for a Mac. Here’s how.

Duet Display

Duet Display is an app that turns an iOS device into an external display for a Mac. There are two parts to it: 

  1. the Duet Display iOS app, and 
  2. the Duet Display Mac app

While the Mac app is free and available from Duet’s website, the iOS app costs £19.99/$19.99 in the App Store. There is also a Windows app if you want to use an iOS device as a screen for a PC.

My screen setup with a 15" MacBook Pro and iPad Mini 2. Impressive isn't it!

Although the Duet app will work with any iOS device, in reality it’s best used with an iPad. Even an iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t have a big enough screen to be much use as an external monitor. 

Duet makes a big deal of the fact it was designed by ex-Apple engineers, and the polish shows. It only works when the iPad is connected to the Mac through a lightning cable rather than with a laggy wifi interface. 

Setting Up Duet Display

Download Duet from the developer’s website on the Mac and install it. You’ll need to enter the admin password and restart the Mac for the installation to take effect. Also download the Duet iOS app from the App Store on the iPad. 

Duet is super simple to setup. 

Open Duet on the iPad and connect it to the Mac using the appropriate USB cable. Duet will work over both Lightning and 30-Pin connections. 

And just like that, the iPad will be up and running as an extra screen for the Mac. 

Configuring Duet Display

While Duet will work right out of the box, to get the best results you need to tweak a few things. You want what you’re seeing on the iPad to roughly match how everything appears on the Mac. 

To get the most from Duet, you need to select the options that work for you. 

When you first start Duet, it will mirror the screen on the Mac. This is useful in a few circumstances—like letting clients look at photos as you edit them on a photoshoot—but in most cases, you want Duet to work as a second screen.

Click on the Duet menubar icon and select one of the options under Extend Display. There are four to choose from: 

  1. Regular Resolution (Energy Efficient)
  2. iPad Pro Resolution
  3. Retina Resolution (High Power), and 
  4. High Resolution (Smaller Text)

I’ve found that Retina Resolution works best for how I have my display set up, but try all four options to see what works for you.

There are two other options that control how the display will appear: Framerate and Pixel Quality. Each has a High Power and Energy Efficient option. If you are running on battery power or using a relatively underpowered Mac, go with the Energy Efficient options. Otherwise you’re better off just setting things to High Power

You can also use Duet to add a Touch Bar to any Mac. Just select Touch Bar Enabled from the menubar. 

You can arrange how Duet positions the displays. 

To change the layout of your multiple screens, go to System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement. You’ll see all the screens you currently have connected to the Mac and you can position them how you please. I like to have the iPad sit to the right of the main display. 

Using Duet Display

iPads obviously have an awesome touch screen and it would be silly if you weren’t able to make use of it. The good news is with Duet you’re able to. You can drag with one finger to move the mouse curser about, drag with two fingers to scroll, and tap to click. 

If you have an iPad Pro you can also subscribe to Duet Pro. The big feature is that you can then use the iPad and an Apple Pencil as a pressure sensitive drawing tablet for the Mac. This means you can use it to sketch or edit photos in Photoshop. Duet Pro is a $19.99 a year in-app subscription.

The Mountie clip has made a huge difference. 

I first tried Duet when it launched a few years ago and, while I was impressed, I didn’t use it a lot. It was just too awkward to prop the iPad up somewhere. 

Things changed when I discovered Ten One Design’s Mountie. This small clip mounts the iPad to the Mac’s display. It’s adaptable enough to work with any iOS device. At $20 it’s not cheap, but it’s made all the difference to my workflow. 


Duet is one of those apps that, once you start using it, you won’t know how you did without. I mainly use my iPad to keep an extra browser open for referencing things, but you can use it for anything. If you like having a lot of screen real estate but need the portability of a MacBook, Duet is worth a look. 

How to Record Narration in a PowerPoint Presentation

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 13:54

You might think of PowerPoint as the app you use when you're speaking to an audience. But what if that audience can't be in the same room as you? 

This is why adding narrations in PowerPoint is so useful. You can record audio right inside of PowerPoint, and have it playing while your viewer is watching the slideshow. Best of all, the audio stays synced to the slide timings you set while recording the audio.

If you send a presentation on its own, your audience may flip through the slides and miss the point. But if you can add narration to your presentation, you have the chance to reinforce your key points.

Are you ready to record pro narration for your PowerPoint presentation? (graphic source)

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to record narration in PowerPoint. With an affordable microphone (or your computer's built-in option), you can add the commentary your audience should hear and include it with the final PowerPoint presentation file.

Need Help? Download Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free)

We also have a useful compliment to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations, which will help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation. Quickly grab it before you read on.

Note: You may also want to use a professional PowerPoint templates to make your presentation design great. Here is our features selection of the best: 

Now let's learn all about how to record quality PowerPoint audio narration: 

How to Quickly Record Narration in PowerPoint (Watch & Learn)

Watch this quick, two minute screencast below for a guided tour on recording narrations in PowerPoint. In it, you'll learn how to add narration to your presentation or on selected slides:


Prefer a written set of instructions? Keep reading to walk through the steps to add narration to your PowerPoint presentation.

3 Audio Recording Best Practices for Proper PowerPoint Narration

You may not have access to a professional recording studio, but that doesn't mean that you can't improve the audio quality of your voiceover.

There are quick wins to improve the quality of your presentation narration. Here are my favorite tips on how to narrate a PowerPoint presentation better:

  1. As a presenter, I always like to write an outline or script for my recorded audio. Use the speaker notes section in PowerPoint or print your notes to keep your audio on track.
  2. Purchase an inexpensive USB microphone as a major upgrade over your laptop's built-in microphone. I like this Samson Go Mic that clips to the top of my laptop.
  3. As always, remove background noise when possible. Turn off fans, devices, and close the door to avoid distractions.
Record Narration for PowerPoint (Tutorial Steps)

Now let's walk (step-by-step) through how to set up for proper audio recording, professionally record your narration, and add it to your PowerPoint slides: 

Step 1. Setup Your Microphone

Before you start to record audio inside PowerPoint, start off by making sure that your microphone is plugged in and ready to record. Whether you're on Windows or macOS, you'll want to access the audio device settings and set your default microphone. 

You can't change which device to record from or set volume levels for the microphone inside of PowerPoint, so make sure that it's ready for recording before you dive into PowerPoint.

You can't change the microphone settings inside of PowerPoint, so make sure you use the Windows or macOS settings to choose your mic and set levels before you start recording in PowerPoint.Step 2. Press Record in PowerPoint

To record narrations in PowerPoint, start off by finding the Slide Show tab on PowerPoint's ribbon. Click on the Slide Show tab to change the available options. 

On the Slide Show tab, choose Record Slide Show to launch the recording options.

Make sure that you start on the first slide in PowerPoint to record audio and timings for the entire presentation.

Now, find the Record Slide Show button and click on it. A new window will pop up with two options to set before you start recording:

  1. Slide and animation timings. Leave this option checked if you want to setup the timings for your slides. Basically, this option allows you to sync up your narration with slides. I recommend leaving it on.
  2. Narrations, ink, and laser pointer. Definitely leave this option checked to record audio narrations, even if you don't plant to use ink or the pointer to add illustrations.
Leave both of these options checked to record audio narrations and synchronize slide change timings.

Make sure you're ready before you press Start Recording. As soon as you click on it, PowerPoint will begin to record your screen and audio.

Step 3. Start Recording Your Narration

Once you Start Recording, PowerPoint will go into a full screen presentation view. It also begins recording audio from your microphone.

In the upper left corner of the window, you'll see a Recording window with a runtime counter and other buttons. Use this to keep track of the length of your presentation.

You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to switch between slides while recording. Use the right arrow to jump to the next slide, or the left arrow to move to the previous PowerPoint slide.

While recording, you'll see a window with the runtime of your current recording.

Note: We're using the popular Simplicy PowerPoint template from GraphicRiver. Find more professional PowerPoint templates with great designs. 

Basically, PowerPoint is recording exactly what's on your screen along with the audio you speak into your microphone.

When you're finished, click on the button in the upper right corner of the Recording window to complete the audio recording.

It's ideal if you have a dual monitor setup and you can use Presenter View, which puts a preview of your next slide with your speaking notes on a second screen. Turn on Presenter View on the Slideshow tab by checking Use Presenter View. 

It's great to have Presenter View on a second screen while you're recording your narrations. You can use this to show your Speaker Notes and a preview of the next slide to keep you on pace.Step 4. Use Annotations (Optional)

While you're recording your presentation, you can also add annotations to your PowerPoint. You can use a digital pen, highlighter or laser pointer to add markings. 

I love this feature when I'm gesturing toward something specific on the slide in my narration. 

To use annotations, hover in the lower left corner of your presentation while recording the presentation. There are extra tools that you can choose from. For an annotation, click on the third icon of the left to choose from one of the tools.

In this example, I've circled the text logo to bring attention to it. Annotations work well in presentations as a way to focus the viewer's attention.

After you select a tool, you can draw on the slide to add the annotation. It doesn't change the original slide, but it does add it to the recorded version of your presentation. Viewers will see these annotations drawn in while watching the recorded version of your presentation.

Step 5. Reset Presentation Timings as Needed

Let's say that you had the perfect audio take, but the timings of your slide changes were off by a bit. That's no problem; we can readily restart the process of setting your slide timings.

To do that, make sure that you're on the Slide Show tab and click on Rehearse Timings. Your presentation will go into full screen mode and you can use the arrow keys to changes slides to set new timings.

Choose Rehearse Timings to re-do the timing of your slide changes as needed.

Now that you're finished, you can send your presentation onto a viewer with your narration embedded. When they play the presentation, your record narration will play with it, on the timings you've setup while rehearsing.

Note: For more related instructions, learn more about How to Convert Your PowerPoint (PPT) Presentation Into Video in our helpful tutorial on the subject.

How to Add Audio (Narration) for Selected PowerPoint Slides

If you don't want to record audio with timings for an entire presentation, another option is to add audio to a selected slide. 

To do this, click on the Insert tab on the PowerPoint ribbon. On the right side of the ribbon, find the Audio button and click on it. Again, you'll want to make sure that your microphone is selected in your system settings before choosing this option.

Record audio for an individual slide from the Insert tab by choosing Audio > Record Audio.

On this dropdown menu, you can actually add audio clips that you've recorded in other apps using the Audio on My PC... option, or record audio right inside PowerPoint by clicking Record Audio.

Press the record button to record audio for an individual slide.

If you choose to Record Audio, you'll see a new window where you can press the red record button to capture audio inside PowerPoint and place it on a slide directly.

Recap and Keep Learning More About Using PowerPoint

I love voiceovers as a way to share your commentary with viewers, even when you aren't in the same room. Add your audio while rehearsing the presentation to create professional, spoken versions of your presentation.

Download Our New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free PDF)

We have the perfect compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Discover More Great PowerPoint Tutorials (On Envato Tuts+)

For more tutorials to inspire confidence in your PowerPoint skills, check out these tutorial links:

How do you use voiceovers in your presentations? Let me know in the comments below.