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Best Practice

Strategy for making sure your presentation slides remain editable

We have touched on this in other articles, but it's worth mentioning again – in detail and with emphasis! PowerFrameworks advocates for a 100% editable presentation. This is important so that the presentation can be pulled up at a later date and updated without having to search for the source data for the charts, graphs, and tables. Can't stress this enough, as it will save you so much time in the long term. Embrace this practice for the time-saver it is.

There are certainly times when you need to save a chart and its associated text as a picture. It's a good way to reduce the size of a chart when a drastic sizing change is needed. Don't just do it when you need to reduce it just a little – in this case, simply group the chart and associated text and resize the group. Then ungroup and select the associated text and adjust the size of the text using the Decrease Font Size button on the home page (an A with a downward-pointing triangle); then click on the chart so you select the whole chart (not just an element in the chart) and reduce the text the same was.

Okay, so you needed to actually bring the chart way, way down in size. Make your picture from the chart and the associated text by selecting all of it and then right-clicking on one of the elements while they are all selected. This will bring up a menu where you can click on Save as Picture. Then just bring it in and rescale it (size it while you hold the shift key down) to the desired size.

BUT, do not delete the editable chart that you just used to create the picture. Simply move it off to the side of the slide. It will be there for you if you need to make changes to the chart, either during the editing process or at a future date when you need to update the numbers. The space off the slide is a work area that you can place important pieces or information related to contents of the slide. Use it.

You can also do this with tables. If you need a perfect replica of a full-size table, then this method is best. If you just need to reduce the size of the table, then resize it and decrease the font size for the whole table by clicking on the perimeter of the table and reducing the size of the font for everything all at once using the Decrease Font Size button. Put the original table off to the side, off the slide.