New Stuff (PowerPoint 2007)

Here’s a link to the PPT and Office Art blog. Good stuff there.

And in no particular order, here’s my list of new stuff in PowerPoint 2007. (click here for a list of missing stuff)
1. We can add our own placeholders to slide masters!
Woohoo! Finally! We can even make it say what we want if we don’t like “click to edit text.”
2. Custom slide layouts
PPT 2007 allows you to create a variety of slide master layouts now — chart slide layouts, subtitle slide layouts, table slide layouts, picture slide layouts, whatever you want. And they provide a bunch of ’em for us, too.
In the new PPT-speak, a “slide master” governs a bunch of “slide layouts.” So you have a slide master and then an associated title slide layout, a title and content slide layout, a section header slide layout, a two content slide layout, and so on. The individual layouts will inherit their default settings from their parent slide master, and then you can go in and tweak the individual layouts as necessary.
3. SmartArt diagrams
Use these to create slick-looking organization charts, flowcharts, and other diagrams. Upping the coolness factor is the ability to turn a list of bulleted text into a SmartArt diagram at the click of a button.
4. Outline text
We can now apply separate colors for a font’s “fill” and “outline.” No more struggling with WordArt to create outlined text.
5. Other text effects
Shadows, reflections, glows, bevels, 3D rotation, and transforms (like the old WordArt shapes)
6. Shape effects
Shadows, reflections, glows, soft edges, bevels, 3D rotation and better 3D depth and rotation control.
7. Shape and text presets
These make it really easy to apply a preset look to an object or text.
8. Selection pane
Woohoo! A taskpane lists all objects on the slide. We can rename objects (and that name shows up in the custom animation taskpane, YEAH!), change the stacking order, and make the object visible or invisible in the pane.
9. Themes
Themes include color schemes and fonts (one for headings and one for body text) that carry through all the Office programs. This means it’s easier to make PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Word all work together aesthetically.
10. Custom colors
It’s now possible to specify custom colors that travel with the Themes. This means it’s finally possible to specify your corporate color and make it easily available in all the Office applications and in charts (!!). Unfortunately, there’s not a user interface for this, so you’ll have to hack the Theme XML. (But I’m still excited to have this ability!)
11. Photo edges
These are way cool. Torn edges and reflections and shaped pictures and simple borders and complicated borders and all kinds of stuff. AND each PowerPoint template (Theme) has its own photo edge effect already available. Just add a picture using a provided “picture with caption” slide layout; then you can see the picture effects change as you change design themes.
12. Recolor picture
My old buddy the Recolor tool is gone. In its place are a number of more sophisticated recoloring options. While that gives us many more options to tint photos and things like that, it doesn’t make it easy to simply recolor clipart.
13. Shadows
Shadows in general are so very nice compared to those in previous versions of PPT. We can actually control the transparency, amount of blur, and color now.
14. No more MS Graph
Charts are now done in Excel. But don’t panic! It’s not scary, I promise. When we insert a chart in PPT, we still get a dummy chart to begin with, just like always. I think in the long run the change to charting in Excel will make charting much better.
15. Chart elements work more like drawing objects
This means all the effects we can apply to shapes, we can now apply to elements in the charts. Sure makes it much easier to add nice drop shadows to charts!
16. Real-time previews
When you scroll over the various galleries in PowerPoint, you’ll see your slide and various objects change to display what they’ll look like if you decide to apply those settings. Just click on the thumbnail in the gallery to actually accept the changes. This makes it a lot faster to see, for example, how changing a color scheme will affect your slides. Unfortunately, the real-time preview doesn’t work on everything.
17. Kerning
Woohoo! We can finally kern text! YEAH!
18. Quick layouts and quick styles
When you select an object on your slide, you’ll be presented with a gallery of layouts and/or styles. These provide quick formatting options for the object in question, and make it easy to create good-looking slides with just a few clicks.
Some of the objects that have style galleries are pictures, SmartArt diagrams, charts, WordArt, text, autoshapes, and tables.
19. Tables
Duh! I almost forgot tables. The quick styles make the new PPT tables look really nice right off the bat. AND we can specify sizes for cell height and width now.
20. Zoom slider
It’s quicker to zoom in and out now using the zoom slider in the southeast corner of the screen.
21. Presenter view
Oh, man, you’re gonna love this! You can resize the slides and notes and all kinds of stuff in the new presenter view. More information here.
22. Ctrl+G now groups selected items!
Thank god. PPT finally joined the rest of the world. Use Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup.
23. Insert and Link
Now when inserting a photo, we have the option to 1) Insert, 2) Link to File, or 3) Insert and Link.
24. Save as PDF (and XPS — XML Paper Specification)
This may end up being a separate download instead of being included in PPT out of the box.
25. New file format
PPT file format is now XML, which should mean fewer corrupted files. It also means there are a bunch of different file extensions.
PPTX format (regular PPT 2007 file) PPTM (PPT + macros) PPSX (PowerPoint 2007 Show file) PPSM (PowerPoint 2007 Show + macros) POTX (PPT 2007 template) POTM (PPT template + macros) PPAM (PPT add-in)
26. Columns
Add columns to a textbox. Very slick.
27. Tabs
We now have a real tab setting dialog box. (We can still add tabs by clicking on the ruler.) Tabs also apply to each paragraph now, not to the entire textbox.
28. Slide libraries
Requires Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), but if you have it, you can upload and download slides from a slide library. Among other things, slide libraries make it much easier to ensure that you have the latest version of a slide.
29. Workflow services (review processes)
This also requires Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). And that’s really all I know about it, since I don’t have MOSS to see how this works.
30. Mark as final
Lets you mark the presentation as final and make it read only. This should be a nice way to ensure you’re working from the correct file when you go back to it later, but the jury’s still out as far as I’m concerned — I can’t make changes to my “marked as final” file in PPT, but when I check the file properties in Windows Explorer, it’s not flagged as “read only.” So I think “read only” is probably not the best term to use for the description of this feature.
And the bigger problem is, I didn’t get any kind of “marked as final” notification when I reopen the file in PPT, so I’ve no idea *why* I can’t make changes to it. There is, though, a small icon that shows up on the lower left of the status bar; it will show a “marked as final” tool tip when you hover over it. Hmmm…I can tell already this will be a frequently asked question….
31. Compatibility checker
This could be better, but it’s still a pretty nifty utility. Basically, it checks your file to see what will cause problems in earlier versions of PPT (in other words, what features you’ll lose if you backsave the file to the PPT 97-2003 file format).
32. A few new autoshapes
Not many, but some. Half-frame, decagon, equation shapes, etc.
33. Better autoshape manipulation
That yellow diamond thing works better on most of the autoshapes.
34. Font effects
Just like Word! Woohoo! We now have strikethrough, double strikethrough, small caps, all caps, and equalize character height in addition to superscript and subscript. And we can choose from a huge variety of underline styles!
35. Clear all formatting
Select text or a textbox and click this button to strip all the formatting.
36. Better contrast colors when typing
So I used to have this template that would give me a red fill for contrast when I’d type in the textboxes.It was awful! That won’t happen anymore, because PPT 2007 uses a bluish rectangle to designate your selected text. To be honest, I’m not sure I like the new rectangle (not quite enough contrast), but I know that people who hated the autocontrast colors will be glad to be rid of them.
37. 16:9 page size out of the box
We now have 16:9 and 16:10 ratios in the page setup dialog. This will be very handy for those using widescreen. More info here.
38. Chart templates
OMG, I can’t believe I forgot to list this! We can finally easily save a chart as a template and send it to someone else to use! Woohoooooo! Okay, so the chart templates don’t travel with the themes (templates), but at least they’re easier to share. What I want to know is if custom colors (see #10 above) will travel with these chart templates or at least how they work together. Hmm….
Update: If you’re using PPT 2007 on Vista, be sure to open the chart data source in Excel before applying a chart template, or PPT will crash. See for details.
39. Paste Special has a shortcut
I’m sure most of you know that Ctrl+V is a shortcut for Paste. In PPT 2007, Ctrl+Alt+V is a shortcut that opens the Paste Special Window. Yippee! No more Edit|Paste Special (which always seemed like a really long way to get there for some reason). Of course, we can still get to Paste Special from the Paste button on the Home ribbon (Clipboard chunk).
40. Gradients on lines
We can finally apply gradients to lines.
41. Specify ALL CAPS (or even SMALLCAPS) in a placeholder
In PPT 2007, we can specify ALL CAPS (or small caps) by selecting the placeholder on the slide master and checking the ALL CAPS option in Format|Font. We couldn’t do this in previous versions because there is no ALL CAPS or SMALLCAPSoption in Format|Font in those versions.
42. Inspect Document
This is really neat. It lets you find and remove the following: Comments and Ink Notations, Document Properties and Personal Information, Custom XML Data, Invisible On-Slide Content (objects you’ve hidden using the Selection and Visibility Task Pane), Off-Slide Content, and Presentation Notes. In PPT 2007, the document inspector can only remove these items presentation-wide. I hope in future versions we’ll be able to remove these items on a slide-by-slide basis.
43. New display window
Click this option to show your open presentation in an open window. Pretty cool — we can look at the file in, for example, Normal View and Notes Page View at the same time now. This will make my life much easier when formatting notes pages — I’ll be able to make edits to the slide in Normal View without totally losing my place in the notes. Sweet!
44. Add a digital signature
I admit it — I know nothing about this feature other than it’s there.
45. Persistent undo and redo
We can still undo and redo even after saving the file. Way cool! (Thanks for pointing this out, Shawn!)
46. Convert autoshapes to freeforms
We can now convert autoshapes to freeforms, which means we can easily change the shapes using Edit Points.
47. Add connection points to shapes
We can convert an autoshape to a freeform and add points (using Edit Points), then the points all become connection points for the connector lines to attach to! Woohoo! Finally I can put the connection points where *I* want them!

Missing Stuff
1. Recolor picture (the new tool doesn’t let you recolor clipart or charts)
2. Macro recorder
3. Ability to customize toolbars (the ribbon)
4. Tear-away menus
5. Select Multiple Objects tool (but the new selection pane is much nicer anyway!)
6. Title case (A true title case last existed in PPT 2000. At least now they’ve properly named what we do have: Capitalize Each Word.)
7. Underline just words, not words and spaces. (Okay, so in PPT 97, we could underline words only. Since then, it’s been words AND spaces. I want the option to do either one.)
8. Insert from scanner.
9. Pattern fills are no more. If you rely on pattern fills, consider creating your own pattern images (I believe 1″ x 1″ is usually all you really need) and applying them through the Texture Fills options.
10. Animation Schemes. Gone.
11. Summary slide. Zapped.
12. AutoContent Wizard. Buh-Bye.
13. AutoLayout. PPT no longer changes the slide layout and so moves stuff around on your slide when you insert an object onto the slide. Thank gawd!
14. Microsoft Script Editor has been removed from PPT. When opening a PowerPoint file containing scripts, we’ll receive a warning that says PPT no longer supports scripts. (Note: this does not have to do with scripting in VBA. See for more information about the Microsoft Script Editor.)
15. Presentation Broadcasting. I’m so glad — stupid thing never worked right anyway. The documentation was circular, it was way too fiddly to set up, and it was unreliable as all get out. It was a nice thought, but the execution was sorely lacking.
16. Style Checker, aka “presentation advisor.” It’s too bad, too. I think the problem is that nobody used it in PPT 2003 because 1) it was turned off by default and 2) it sucked. It was very badly implemented, to say the least. (I mean, a lightbulb popping up outta nowhere? C’mon.) I think MS missed a prime opportunity to really make some fundamental improvements to this feature.
(Back in PPT 2000, I used this feature when cleaning up slides I’d received from others. It was good for checking title case on slides and making sure punctuation was removed from bulleted text. But it hasn’t worked since PPT 2000, anyway, and PPT 2002 screwed up title case so badly it probably wouldn’t have mattered if it did work.)
17. Send for Review. I’m bummed to see this go. I think it hasn’t really had a chance yet.
18. Speaker notes dialog popup in slide show view (where you could actually type notes while giving a presentation). Outta there.
19. Allow Fast Saves. Gone! Bada-BING!
20. Patterned lines. Did anyone ever use these?
21. Ugly contrast colors when typing.
22. Black and white settings for charts. This one’s gonna hurt.
23. Ability to resize slide thumbnails after you Send to Word. Okay, so who at Microsoft missed the point that the reason we Send to Word in the first place is so that we can resize the freaking slide thumbnails because we can’t in PowerPoint?! Now it’s either drag a corner (and guess) or start coding, my friends.

Okay, it’s not exactly missing, but you might wanna know…
1. PPT 2007 saves the same HTML as PPT 2003 did. So not all of the new features in PPT 2007 are available when you save as HTML.
2. Organization Chart. We had one kind of Org Chart in PPT 97 and 2000 and another in 2002 and 2003. We now have the new SmartArt diagrams.
3. Microsoft Producer does not work with PPT 2007. Period.
4. Charts are now created in Excel. (See #14 in the “new” list.) When you insert a chart (or click a chart placeholder) in PPT, Excel opens with dummy data, and a sample chart appears on the slide. It’s very similar to how we used to have a sample chart appear when using MS Graph in PPT, but now we have access to all the Excel charting tools. Coolio!
5. Insert | Slides From File is now Home | New Slide (bottom half of button) | Reuse Slides. Navigate to your file, and the slide thumbnails will show up in the task pane. There’s no way to add multiple slides at once, so be prepared to click, click, click your fingers off. (Don’t shoot the messenger; I think it’s ridiculous, too.) But you can insert all the slides by right-clicking and choosing Insert All Slides.