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Best Practice

How to make custom identifiers

It's sometimes important to help people understand how to think about the material being presented on a slide. The series TO004 in the Tools category provides some great identifiers for the more common types of information (see below).

These are particularly useful because they can be sized very easily because they are graphics, not text. Also, they have a unique look so that the text doesn't blend into the rest of the slide. There is a line above and below the text, setting it off as a stand-alone phrase.

But what about the more specific identifiers, like those that need to convey a date (e.g., "as of March 31, 2013"). You need to make your own then. A technique that we like to use is a single-cell table. Here is what we recommend:

  1. Insert a single-cell table
  2. Right click on the table and click on Format Shape (at the bottom)
  3. Click on Text Box at the bottom of the list of options on the left side of the menu
  4. Change Vertical alignment to Middle
  5. Under Internal margin, change the left, right, top, and bottom margins to 0
  6. Click Close
  7. Click on the one-cell table and the Table Tools ribbon will appear above
  8. Click on the Design tab
  9. Click on the downward pointing arrow next to Shading and change to No fill
  10. Choose a Pen Color (we like black text with a gray pen color, but you can use anything you like as long as you use it consistently)
  11. Click on the Apply a top and bottom Border downward pointing arrow and click on a top border and a bottom border (two steps)
  12. Type the identifier in all caps and italics in the cell
  13. Click on the Home tab and click on the Center text icon
  14. Adjust the size of the cell so that there is not a lot of overhang on the sides
  15. Place in a position on the slide that is consistently used for identifiers. We like the upper right corner, but you can decide where you need it to appear.
That's it. Once you format one identifier, you can use it for all other identifiers that you need for the presentation. Now you have a custom identifier that will blend well with the ready-made identifiers in TO004.