Letter sized presentation? Change the size of your PowerPoint slides

Ever wanted to create a presentation which you or your audience could print out perfectly on Letter sized (8.5x11in) paper?

Well you can really easily in PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010, or PowerPoint 2013. What we will do is change the size of the slide to match the size of the paper you want to print or present the presentation on.  Let’s see how to do it…


  1. Click on the Design Tab in the Ribbon
  2. Look for the “Customize” group at the far right hand end of the ribbon

  3. Click on “Slide Size”
  4. Click on “Custom Slide Size”

  5. In the “Slide Size” dialog box that appears, select your preferred slide size from the drop down box. In this case select “Letter Paper (8.5x11in).

  6. If you want the slides to be in portrait orientation – so they print out as you would read them naturally on Letter paper… make sure you select “Portrait” in the Slide Orientation section

There you have it – your Letter Sized Presentation!

’till next time!

What is the annoying Yellow Bar in Word, Excel or PowerPoint?

If you have been using Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 for a while, you might have come across what most people call the “Annoying Yellow Bar”

If you don’t know what I am talking about – open up a word document that someone has send you via email – or a spread sheet that you might find on a website.  Chances are when you open that Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will see the “Annoying Yellow Bar” – and you will not be able to edit, print, or save your document.

Well it may be annoying, but it is actually really important.  The yellow bar shows you that Word, Excel or PowerPoint is running in what we call “Protected Mode”.  Any time you open a file that isn’t on your computer, or from somewhere that you can’t trust (like the internet), the document will be opened in protected mode, to (as the name suggests) protect your computer from harm.

It opens up the document so you can take a look at it, and then if you are sure it is what you are looking for, and you trust that it will not do any harm, you can then click on the “Enable Editing” button, which sits on the yellow protected view bar.

Now there are ways to stop Protected View from happening, but trust me, it is worth putting up with because if you accidently open a document that causes damage to your computer, it is a LOT more annoying!

‘till next time!

Change the slide Layout in PowerPoint

Are you working on a PowerPoint presentation and want to insert a new slide?  By default, chances are you will get a slide which has a title at the top, and a big box below that in which you can add your bullet points.

The default layout is what we call “Title and Content”, but there are many others you can choose from.  For example:

  • Title Slide (the first slide you see when you create a new presentation)
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Comparison
  • Title Only
  • Blank
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

To create a new slide with one of these layouts, simply click on the bottom half of the “New Slide” button on the “Home” tab in PowerPoint.

A small menu will appear with pictures of what each layout looks like.  Simply click on the layout you like and it will be inserted into your document.

Now if you want to change the layout of an existing slide:

1) Click on the slide that you want to change

2) On the “Home” tab, just to the right of the new slide button you will see one called “Layout” – click on that

3) From the menu that appears, select the layout that you want

Now your presentation will have a bit of variety!

‘till next time!

Building an add-in for Microsoft Office

Soon I will be publishing a series of articles on The New Paperclip which dive a bit deeper into extending the functionality of Microsoft Office.  Probably a scary thought for most of you, but I have found that if we want to extract that extra 10-50% more out of Office there comes a time where you need to start coding.

In particular I am going to focus on building high value add-ins for Microsoft Office.

Now when it comes to writing an add-in, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

1) Roll your own

If you are confident C#  or VB coder there is nothing stopping you from cracking open Visual Studio, downloading Visual Studio Tools for Office and giving it your best shot.  I must admit I tried this at first, and had some success.

But that success was time consuming, and when I wanted to build an add-in that was backwards compatible with Outlook 2007 (which has that horrible combination of ribbon and command bar), Office 2003/XP and beyond it became VERY time consuming.

So I decided to use an alternative.

2) Use Add-in-Express

Before I share my experience with Add-in-Express… here is what the brochure says!

Add-in Express for Office and .NET is the only all-in-one platform that includes all the features you may expect for your Microsoft Office extensions such as Office COM add-ins, smart tags, Excel XLLs, RTD servers and Automation add-ins (UDFs). It fully supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, 2008 and 2005 and makes it very comfortable for developing application-level extensions for all available Office versions from 2000 to 2010.”

What that means for people new to Office Development is that Add-in-Express makes it easy to quickly extend the functionality of Microsoft Office, irrespective of what version you are running.  And after spending about a month using the tool to build some add-ins myself, I have to agree.  For someone who is exploring Office Development for the first time, taking the painful parts of COM out of the picture meant that I could focus on the features and functionality I wanted to build, and not spend hours pulling my hair out!

For example, being able to access all the key events in Office without having to write event handlers accelerated development time.  Sure, it may only seem like a small thing, but as any developer knows, anything that saves you time, and takes the pain of troubleshooting away is a good thing!

Anyways – if you are interested in developing your own Office Add-in, make sure you subscribe and check back in the next few weeks for more content about my development experiences – and some examples that will get your Office Development journey started.

‘till next time!
TNP Winking smile

Create PowerPoint slides designed specifically for A4 or Letter printing

Usually PowerPoint presentations are built to be delivered on-screen.  Using the print options you can create handouts and notes pages that you can then print out and hand to your audience. 

But did you know that you can use PowerPoint to design presentations built specifically to be delivered in the print format.  One slide per A4 or Letter page (and not a cropped or zoomed version of an onscreen slide)

To do so, all you need to do is change the page size of the PowerPoint slides in your deck.

1) Click on the “Design” tab

2) Click on “Page Setup” in the “Page Setup” group on the left hand side of the ribbon

3) In the “Page Setup” window, in the drop down box “Slides sized for:” select your preferred paper size

This is a great way to design slides specifically for transparencies or over-head projectors as well.

‘till next time!

Add a nice simple background gradient to your PowerPoint 2007 Presentation

Do you want a great looking presentation, but without all the design elements you find in the themes that come out of the box in PowerPoint 2007?

Well the simple, and great looking option is to use a Slide Background.  A slide background is a simple gradient that will turn any standard barebones deck into one that looks very professional.

To add a simple background to your PowerPoint 2007 presentation:

1) Click on the “Design” tab of the ribbon

2) Look for the “Background” group – on the right hand side of the ribbon

3) Click on “Background Styles”

4) Select your preferred background


You will notice that not all the colours of the rainbow are available.  Background styles are linked to the current colour palette that you have selected in the document.  If you play around with the colors by clicking on the “Colors” button whilst you are still on the “Design” tab of the ribbon, you will notice the background colour change to match the new palette.

‘till next time!

Change Slide Orientation in PowerPoint 2007

Do you want to create a slide that is Portrait, instead of the default Landscape slide orientation?

To change to Portrait in PowerPoint 2007:

1) Make sure you are on the “Design” tab of the ribbon

2) Look for the “Page Setup” group – on the left hand side of the ribbon

3) Click on “Slide Orientation”

4) Click on “Portrait”

To reverse back to Landscape, just repeat the process above, but instead of clicking “Portrait” at step 4, click on “Landscape”.


‘till next time!

Add a Excel spreadsheet to your PowerPoint presentation

Do you want to do some hard core data manipulation in your PowerPoint presentation?

Well instead of adding a simple table layout to your slide, you can actually add an Excel spreadsheet.  You have all the features of Excel – like formulas, but in a nice looking PowerPoint table.

To insert an Excel table in PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010 or PowerPoint 2013:

1) Make sure you are on the slide you want to include the table in

2) Click on the “Insert” tab of the ribbon

3) Click on the little arrow below the “Table” button

4) Click on “Excel Spreadsheet”

5) Enter your data, manipulate it, and format the table as you desire


‘till next time!

Duplicate one or more slides in PowerPoint 2007

Do you want to copy one, two, three or more slides and reuse them in your PowerPoint 2007 slide deck?

There are two ways you can go about it – the first is plain old copy and paste.  The other is to use the “Duplicate Slide” feature.

To duplicate slides in PowerPoint 2007:

1) Select the slide or slides you want to duplicate

2) Make sure you are on the “Home” tab of the ribbon

3) Look for the “Slides” group

4) Click on the little arrow underneath “New Slide”

5) Click on “Duplicate Selected Slides”


‘till next time!

Mastering Office 2007 Workshops

I have had a lot of feedback from readers of TheNewPaperclip.com, and those that subscribe to the Office 2007 tips newsletter.  People are screaming out for short, concise courses that will help them do overcome annoying challenges, and do amazing things with Office 2007. 

These people – maybe you – have had thoughts like “How do I get Outlook to do this?…”, “How can I get my document to look as great as Jenny’s?…”.  “How come everyone says how good Brad’s PowerPoint slides are?”

There are plenty of different ways to answer those questions – maybe you have tried some of them, like courses or books.  But they are not for everyone:

  • Maybe you live in a remote area and can’t get to an instructor lead class because the closest one is 1, 2, 3, or even 6 hours away by car.
  • Maybe you think that reading a bland text book that is 600 pages long is not fun (I AGREE!)
  • Maybe you just want to interact with someone who will be able to give you the answers you need?

If you answered yes to just one of the above – then it sounds like the Office 2007 workshops I will be delivering during the next few months will be exactly what you need.

Are you like many of your fellow TheNewPaperclip.com readers and want to improve your capability and confidence with Office 2007?

If so – these four 2 hour workshops are designed just for you. 

  • Overcome Email Overload with Outlook 2007
    Get to know the key features of Outlook 2007 to help you mange your mail – plus time saving techniques that will enable you to conquer your inbox
  • Crunch Numbers Faster with Excel 2007
    Confidently apply formulas, create charts, and communicate complex data with meaning using Excel 2007
  • Create Better Looking Documents with Word 2007
    Build documents for your workplace, club or school that you can be proud of using Word 2007
  • Deliver Better Presentations with PowerPoint 2007
    Forget boring bullet points – learn the techniques professional speakers (and their designers) use to build compelling slide decks using PowerPoint 2007


The workshops will be delivered online, will be interactive, and attendance will be strictly limited to ensure everyone in the workshop gets the results they are after.

For more information as it becomes available over the next few weeks – including dates, times, and workshop prices – and to be one of the first to find out when bookings for each of the workshops have opened – register your details here:


By the way… if you pre register you will have access to a multiple workshop discount as well!

So if you are ready to get the most out of Office 2007 – make sure you register for more information, and then book into one of the workshops… coming soon.

‘til next time!