PowerPoint is a very popular slide making program. It has many features that make it relatively painless to produce colorful presentations.
When starting a new presentation, open the program. Then in the "create new presentation" box, choose either "from template" (you will get a listing of various professionally designed templates to select), or "blank presentation". The next dialog box to appear gives you a choice of the general format for the slide (it can be changed as you add more slides to the presentation.
You need to create a properly formatted page. From the "file" menu, select page setup, and then "slides sized for". Under this submenu, choose "35 mm slides", and either portrait or landscape orientation.
Not choosing the proper slide format is the error we most commonly see. The computer, by default, chooses "on screen show". The result is that the subject matter will not totally fill the slide area. The areas not filled with subject matter will be filled with black.
For text slides, restrict the amount of words on your page to a quantity that allows you to use at least 24 point size lettering. You can control the amount of physical space the text occupies by using type size and style (narrow fonts are available), and "line spacing" (under the "Format" menu).
Applying shadows to text (on "formatting" tool bar) often makes your type stand out well.
Do not allow any material on your slide to come within 1/4" of the borders, it will be cut off when the slide is ultimately mounted.
To add additional slides to your presentation, choose "new slide" from the "Insert" menu. Do not select "new" from the "file" menu, unless you are changing your background template or orientation (portrait or landscape). This will keep all of your slides in one file.
If you will be importing pictures into your slide, be sure that the "Link to file" box in the "insert-- picture from file" menu is not checked.
Generally, slides look best when using a darker background with light lettering. If you insist on a white background/black lettering, choose a light gray background. This will create good contrast without overpowering the lighter and thinner lines which would tend to be unacceptably light when imaged at the high resolutions we use. Stay away from dark text and line colors, like most of the reds. In addition to appearing very dark on the screen, many people are affected by color blindness. Yellow, white, light green, light blue, all look good on dark backgrounds.
If you have used any unusual, non-standard, or uncommon fonts, you must supply those font files to us. Your slides might look acceptable to us, but they may not appear as you designed them. If the font that you used is not resident on our imaging computer, another font will be substituted by the computer. This will usually change the overall format of the slide. Unless you send us a hard copy printout, and/or a list of the fonts you actually used, we will have no way of knowing, and any consequential re-imaging will be at your expense. Call if your are unsure.
Slides should be sent to us in their native format. That is, save as a "presentation". If you send us hard copies, we will be able to check your job.
For the most predictable results, use the most recent versions of your programs. When the software translates older programs to their new versions, there is the possibility of translation errors. We have a selection of older programs and will try to match them to your needs. Presently, we have Versions 4.0 and above on both Macintosh and PC platforms.