Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Merging Multiple PowerPoint Presentations.....

.....created by several authors.

The CIC LT Group is having a virtual conference, Clouds on the Horizon. I'm facilitating one of the working groups, LMS/Sade. We are doing a session later today called Apres la LMS. The session is to be held in Adobe Connect. Risk averse about these particular things, I insisted that team members make PowerPoint presentations that are pre-uploaded into Connect rather than do any screen sharing. I thought we might have latency issues with the latter.

So the last day or two the PowerPoints have been coming in. I have to say that working with a bunch of folks I really didn't know before but who have something of a common purpose and who have adopted a cooperative tone is quite a bit of fun. The collaboration itself has been a very good thing. I believe the CIC should encourage this sort of thing more frequently. There are benefits from it.

Merging PowerPoints, however, was more challenging than I had anticipated. I did a Google search on this and found this page, which unfortunately applies to Office 2003. The approach doesn't seem to have been retained in PowerPoint 2007. I tried the help but didn't find anything useful, so I flailed around for a while. Ultimately, I had a brainstorm. If I were designing PowerPoint and I wanted this work, how would I build the functionality in? From there I got to the solution in a few steps.

On the View menu, there is an Arrange All button. If you have two PowerPoint presentations open, those appear side by side. Put each presentation in slide sorter view. Then select a slide in one presentation and drag it over to the other, inserting it where you want in the presentation. For whatever reason, on my computer that usually took two tries. But it did work.

Once in a while what copied didn't quite appear the same in the destination as it looked in the original. Some of the formatting gets messed up if there is too much of it on a slide. Perhaps because my original was .ppt and some people sent .pptx. But otherwise, it worked.

Not bad. I wonder whether this will add to the pile of useless knowledge that I've accumulated or if I'll use this approach again in the future.

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