Saturday, August 22, 2015

Learning PowerPoint 2016 the Hard Way

I took all the documents I had on my PC and copied them over to my iMac.  For reasons I don't understand, to access these documents in the Finder, I first have to open the computer itself, then go to a folder called PC Files, then one called Documents, and finally I see the stuff I copied over.  If you go to the Documents folder on the iMac, you cant access the files that way.  I now know this, but I don't have a sense for why that is the case.  Yet it offers an inkling to what I say next.

I've experienced enormous difficulties with opening pptx files from within PowerPoint.  I should note here that I have Office 365 and to activate that you have to go through an authentication screen first.  For those files that were deep in my iMac, every time I tried to open one of them, that authentication screen came up, and then when I'd authenticate it would come up again.  The file would never open.  It was very frustrating.

It finally occurred to me to copy the file to the Documents folder from its original location.  Once I did that I could open the file without the authentication screen coming up at all.  I was ecstatic with this discovery because now I can use PowerPoint, where before I couldn't.  However, I don't know why it works.  Why can I open files in the Documents folder but not elsewhere on the computer?  This is one way where the Mac and the PC are different.  Once you know how it works, fine.  Until you do, it's sheer aggravation.

Here's another one along these lines.  I like to make Notes pages from the PowerPoint that have an image of the slide and under that the text of the speaker notes that are associated with the slide.  This I save as a PDF and post along with the regular PowerPoint file.  On the PC what you do is choose Save As.  Then you selection filed type and choose PDF.  Then there is a button called Options.  You click that.  Select Notes pages and click a checkbox to include the slide image.  That works like a charm.

Silly me, I expected it to the be the same way on the Mac.  It isn't.  Indeed, Save As is much more limited on the Mac.  It doesn't even allow PDF as  format.  However, there is an alternative, Export.  For that PDF is a possibility.  But there is no options button.  When you Export as PDF it produces slide images only.  I was disappointed by this.

Ultimately, I learned that you can get Notes pages by choosing Print.  On the lower left there is a button that says PDF.  If you click on this, there is an option which says Save as PDF.  I wouldn't have put it there, but I'm glad I finally found it.

You'll find something in the last place you look. 

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