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Stocking Your Slide Cupboard

It takes a bit of time to create the perfect slide: a balanced presentation of text and graphic, precise tone, formatting that blends with the rest of the presentation, and correct message delivery. Once developed, it's reasonable that charts will be reused in subsequent presentations; so it's important to set yourself up so that you can access these charts quickly and easily – a cupboard of charts.

An intuitive file architecture and a good memory are usually the tools employed for finding charts for reuse, but there are better ways. A "favorites" library can be built right in your application if you are using PowerPoint 2003, which means that the library is application-specific. A side library can be created for use with PowerPoint 2007, but you must be connected to a server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which makes it difficult for stand-alone presentation developers to develop a central place for favorite charts.


If you depend on this favorites feature, it's difficult to give it up and upgrade to PowerPoint 2007. Here's how it works – you can add and extract slides from favorites very easily.

  • Adding slides to favorites:
  • Open a document that does not contain the chart you wish to add to favorites
  • Click on "Insert" from the standard menu bar
  • Select "Slides from files …"
  • Click on "Find Presentation" tab
  • Browse for the PowerPoint file that contains the slide you wish to add to favorites
  • Double-click on the PowerPoint file that contains the slide you wish to add to favorites
  • The entire presentation will open and the slides will be in individual "tiles." Select the slide you wish to add to favorites by clicking on it once.
  • Notice that under the slide name in the File window there is a button called "Add to Favorites"? Click this button and your slide(s) will be added to your favorites.
  • Click OK and add more slides if you wish or click "Close."
  • Adding slides to presentation from favorites:
  • Open the document to which you wish to add slides from favorites
  • Click on "Insert" from the standard menu bar
  • Select "Slides from files …"
  • Click on "List of Favorites" tab
  • A list of favorites will appear, but the names of the slides are actually their location on your computer. The last part of the location (after the last "\" is the file name. You can click on the file and then click on the "Display" button to the right if you want to be sure you're selecting the correct favorite.
  • Click on the slide(s) in the tile(s) below and either click on "Insert" or "Insert All." Note that you can opt to keep the source formatting by checking the box at the bottom right of the menu. Consider doing this even if you are bringing in a slide that appears to be in your company's template; there may have been some color changes, etc., that you will want to keep.
  • Click "Close."

As long as you don't change the location of the favorites files on your computer, this method will work well for you as you create new presentations from existing slides.


It's a different method for PowerPoint 2007 users. If you'd like to develop a Slide Library, you will need a few things in place: you must be connected to a server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and have Developer access privileges to your PowerPoint 2007 application. Large companies don't usually make those access privileges widely available. If you'd like for your company to start a Slide Library for its employees, you will need to set it up with your IT administrators.

The other option is to insert slides from documents on your computer or on a network share.

  • From within the document into which you wish to add one or more slides from a different presentation file that is located on your computer or on a network share, click on the Slides tab and click where you you'd like the inserted slide to appear.

  • Click on the Home tab on the standard ribbon menu
  • Click on "New ‘Slide"
  • Click on "Reuse Slides …"
  • On the "Reuse Slides menu on the right, click on "Open a PowerPoint File"
  • Browse for, locate, and click on the presentation that contains the slide(s) you wish to import into the open document
  • Click "Open"
  • From the thumbnails, click on the slide(s) you wish to import into your document.

This method is not really a way to identify, file, and use favorite slides. It is just a way to import slides from one presentation into another. The loss of the PowerPoint 2003 favorites function is a sad loss for PowerPoint 2007 users. The way around this is to stockpile all of your favorite slides into one PowerPoint 2007 document and import favorites from that one document.

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Streamlining a process can make the difference between hitting your deadline or not. It's important to make your resources available in a manner that is efficient, effective, and timely. If you produce presentations on a regular basis, it may be worth your while to establish a cupboard for the slides that are routinely used within your company's presentations.