Transparent Shapes in PowerPoint

When I make screen captures, there are times that I would like to add a highlight to a graphic. There may be some tools within OneNote Clipping Tool that I am not familiar with yet (be on the lookout for a new post in the future if that’s the case), so I have been using PhotoShop as a work around.

I realize not everyone has PhotoShop, and I also don’t always want to have to save out a screen shot, open in PhotoShop, add shape, use the “Darken” filter to create transparency, and then save out the image again.

Sometimes I just want to copy and paste the screen shot and then highlight it in PowerPoint using a transparent shape.

How to create a transparent shape

Create a shape from within the Home tab, set the Shape Outline to No Outline and set the Shape Fill to the color of your choosing.

The transparency feature is actually somewhat hidden:
In the Shape Fill menu, click More Fill Colors.

At the bottom of that dialog box, is a transparency slider. While you slide it, it won’t change the shading in the view, but once you click ok, you’ll see you have a transparent shape.

Making Templates for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Today I made templates in MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint. Why? Because of a feature/glitch in SharePoint Online. Site owners – read on.

Creating templates

Using templates in your daily operations is actually good practice. It saves you from needing to open a file, do a save as, and then delete the content before starting over. Working from a template ensures that all documents look the same.

Templates tend do have a t as part of their file extension: Word.dotx, Excel.xltx, PowerPoint.potx

For my Word document, I added the filename, page numbers, and a last modified date to the footer of the document.

For my Excel document, I added the filename, page numbers, and the current date to the footer of the document.

For PowerPoint, I asked one of our CIT designers to provide me with a template and just uploaded it.

All of the templates include corporate colors and fonts.

Once I saved out my templates, I uploaded them to SharePoint for everyone to use. (Note, apparently you cannot save template files directly to SharePoint Online – at least it wouldn’t work for me.)

ONENOTE:

  • Unfortunately, OneNote is no longer a file, but rather a collection of files, so if you want a OneNote Notebook on your site, you will need to create a blank notebook yourself in the Desktop version of OneNote, and then save it to your sites, using the URL or webaddress of your site to tell OneNote where to save it.

 

Advanced / site owners:

In document libraries, out of the box, there is no way to just add a link to a document that lives in a differerent library or even a different site. You can add that capability by adding a “Link to a Document” content type to your document list. Cool right?

However, when you do this, it breaks the well-loved feature of the “New” icon, and it now only shows Document, which is a Word Document. Because we like to work in different types of documents, we need to have the other types available to us also. So, I created the templates complete with our corporate color scheme, and in the case of Word and Excel templates, page numbers and file names in the footer to help make it easier for us to work with printed documents.