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The use of computers, computer programs, and other computerized equipment to assist in the orthodontic practice will be reported under this section of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Manuscripts and comments may be submitted to Dr Martin Abelson, 14720 N Shotgun Pl, Tucson, AZ 85737.

Powering up your PowerPoint presentations


Frederick J. Regennitter, DDSa Louisville, Ky

PowerPoint (Microsoft Corp, Redmond, Wash) has become the de facto presentation software for the Information Age. It has many features that can enhance the delivery of content and meaning and enable you to customize your presentation. The purpose of this article is to build on material previously presented by Halazonetis.1 If you have a PowerPoint presentation that you have completed, it may be helpful to try out some of the advanced techniques to be described. PowerPoint is popular for several good reasons.2,3 1. Ease of making last minute changes and customization. You will be able to modify the presentation right up until the moment you give it. Updates can be inserted as new information becomes available or changes. Customization is as easy as cutting and pasting within a digital presentation or hiding slides unsuited for a particular audience. 2. Ability to incorporate multimedia files. In addition to choosing from a myriad of standard bullet text slides, you can also include photographs (scanned and digital), computer artwork, digitized audio, and digitized movies. This media enrichment can make your presentations more informative and hold the audiences attention. 3. Portability. Instead of carrying 2 to 10 carousels of slides and slide projectors, all you need is a laptop computer and a display projector. Most places have the computer display projector and even the laptop. Therefore, for large, media enriched presentations you could travel to the site with just a zip disk or CD-ROM. There is even a PowerPoint utility entitled Pack and Go that allows compression of the presentation onto a number of floppy disks if you dont have access to a CD burner or zip disk.
aAssistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Pediatrics, and Geriatric Dentistry, University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Reprint requests to: Dr Fred Regennitter, Department of Orthodontics, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Louisville, KY 40292; e-mail, fred.regennitter@louisville.edu. Copyright by the American Association of Orthodontists. 0889-5406/2000/$12.00 + 0 8/1/108983 doi.10.1067/mod.2000.108983

4. Cost reduction. Although there are costs initially with the hardware, old and faded 35 mm title slides, which cost $3 to $5 apiece, become a thing of the past.
BEYOND THE BASICS

You can add dazzling effects to complement the features of PowerPoint in the following areas: backgrounds and text, animation, and incorporating multimedia files. Knowing how to utilize these advanced features will help you get the audiences attention and keep it.
Backgrounds and Text

The most important rule in any presentation is keeping it simple. The most common error in creating presentations is trying to pack too much information on one slide. With all the bells and whistles in PowerPoint, this is an easy mistake to make. As a rule, about 7 words across and 8 double spaced lines represent the limit information density. Some other key things to remember include information density, slide background color, and text formatting. Decide what information is absolutely essential and show only that. Try to keep text short. Search for 1 word that will do for 2. Use alternative text weights to add emphasis; avoid overusing bold and italic text. Replace underlined text with words set in bold, italic, or small capital letters. Text with all capitalization should be used only for emphasis. A combination of upper and lower case text is easier to read than all capitals. Colors convey moods. Maintain a consistent design throughout the presentation. Changing backgrounds, fonts, and colors can confuse the audience or distract from the message. In addition to the wide variety of stock backgrounds to choose from the Format menu bar, the Web can offer more choices4 (Fig 1). If you would like text in your presentation to appear progressively, you can go to Slide Show in the toolbar and drag down to Preset Animation. You have several preset animations from which to

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Fig 1. Selection of a design template.

Fig 2. Selecting animations.

choose. Or, you can go to Custom Animation, which will give you a much wider variety of options for animation effects (Fig 2). You can minimize slide overload by using slide builds. This will allow you to introduce com-

plex topics logically and with some structure. From Custom Animation under the Slide Show tool bar, you can create slides that highlight the current bulleted item, dim previous bullets, and will not show future bullets.

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Fig 3. Selection of photo to animate.

Animations

Table I. Summary

of compatible file extensions for


Extension .jpg, TIFF .mid, .rmi files .wav files .mov files

PowerPoint You can introduce images, text, or sound in a number of ways and choreograph their interactions. Once again, go to Slide Show-Custom Animation to add these effects to your slide. The Timing tab allows you to choose the areas of your slide that you wish to animate. The Effects tab will put the image on the slide in a variety of ways and allow coordination with sound effects (Fig 3).
Incorporating Multimedia Files
Media Pictures MIDI CD-Audio Clips Sound Corel movie

HOW TO INSERT A SOUND INTO POWERPOINT

The 3 most common multimedia file types used with PowerPoint are JPEG (picture), WAV (sound files), and MIDI (music files) or AVI (movie files). You should use these unique features only when they add to the message. A short video clip can tremendously add to the informational value of a presentation. Office 97 version of PowerPoint (for PCs) does NOT support QuickTime, so this will only work for Office 95 (and earlier) or on Macintoshes (all versions including Office 98). The audio files end in the extension .wav. The video files end in the extension .avi. Your operating system must have the appropriate drivers installed to hear and see these files. If you have a newer system, you should be able to incorporate these types of files automatically (Table I).

You can insert sounds on any slide (Fig 4). A sound may be introduced in a number of ways. To play when a page loads: 1. Go to the Tools menu. 2. Select Slide Transition. 3. Click on the down arrow next to No Sound. 4. Select a sound from the list, or choose Other Sound to find one. To play as part of an animation: 1. Select the object that is being animated. 2. Right click on it and choose Animation Settings, or go to Tools and select Animation Settings. 3. Click on the down arrow next to No Sound.

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Fig 4. Selection of sounds during an animation.

Fig 5. Selecting a sound to play when the mouse moves over an object.

4. Select a sound from the list, or choose Other Sound to find one from another folder and/or drive. To place as a button on your slide: 1. Go to the Insert menu and choose Sound. 2. Select From File and browse to find a sound file.

3. It will appear as a speaker on your slide. OR 1. Open a file in Media Player or Sound Recorder. 2. Choose Copy in the Edit menu. 3. Go to a PowerPoint slide and choose Paste.

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By default, the sound starts when you click its tiny speaker icon during a slide show. Note that you can resize this icon by dragging the corner handles or apply a different background color in the square surrounding the icon. You can also animate the sound icon to move onto the slide and then begin playing within an animation sequence. Try right-mouse clicking on the icon, then select Edit Sound Object and choose Loop until stopped. To change how the clip starts or to add a hyperlink to the clip, go to Action Settings on the Slide Show menu or in the right-mouse pop up window. Select the inserted object and then right-mouse click to choose Action Settings. When the object is selected, Action Settings can also be accessed from Slide Show on the menu bar. Note that the Action Settings window has 2 tabs: Mouse Click and Mouse Over. From both tabs, you can check mark to activate Play Sound and then scroll to find a built-in PowerPoint sound or Other Sound from your computer. When you View Show after using the action settings, you can hear sounds when the cursor moves over the object or when the object is clicked (Fig 5). When using the Custom Animation feature, you can add sound effects via the Effects Tab. Click the down-arrow on the second field to see the available sound options. Using custom animation, you can set a sound or video to play automatically in an animation sequence. Note that the default setting is No Sound.

If you scroll deep enough, youll find the category of Other Sound that opens a window so that you can add sounds from any folder on your computer. This is an excellent method for customizing your version of PowerPoint with various .wav sounds that you can find on the Web.5 When you insert any type of media clip into a PowerPoint presentation, the media files are linked, not embedded. The .wav or .avi file must be available on either internal or external drive to be utilized in a presentation. I find it useful to include a separate folder entitled sounds and clips in the disk directory that I am using. Visualization is a powerful educational tool. Once you start using some of these advanced techniques, you will find it easier to illustrate complex subjects. The demand for high-quality presentation media such as animation, audio, and video is on the rise whether presenting to national or local groups. This review has described how to create computer-based case presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint and multimedia files.
REFERENCES 1. Halazonetis DJ. Making slides for orthodontic presentations. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1998;113:586-9. 2. Cook DM. The power of PowerPoint. Nurse Educ 1998;23:5. 3. Carmichael SW, Pawlina W Animated PowerPoint as a tool to teach anatomy. Anat Rec 2000;261:83-8. 4. http://www.websiteestates.com/powerpointslides.html. 5. http://www.csc.calpoly.edu/~ebrunner/Sounds/SoundCollections. html.

CONTRIBUTORS WANTED! The possibilities for computers are limitless, as is our job. Our research team is the world of clinicians who try new ideas and concepts. To grow, we must share. If you do not have time to write a formal paper, submit an outline with all pertinent facts and findings. We will complete the job. MA, DH, & RS.