Do Tell / Master the Art of PowerPoint

Hello!Do TellWhen I began Ciao Bella, I already had a love for reading, a passion for baking, and an interest for theater – it made sense that my blog grew from those topics! My enthusiasm for graphic design, however, was sparked by necessity; my posts needed images, and pretty ones at that. With neither the patience nor the money to purchase new software in my early days of blogging, I turned to a program already installed on my computer to create my site graphics: Microsoft PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is a user-friendly resource that can serve the needs of beginning and experienced bloggers alike, whether you need to create a post image, a new header, or an infographic. It’s certainly not as fancy of a tool as the Adobe Creative Suite, but I’ve found with a bit of hard work and creativity, you can manipulate PowerPoint to do a lot more than at first thought! Furthermore, it’s a terrific starting point for anyone who thinks they will want to work with more advanced programs in the future; I personally have found my Adobe Illustrator class so much easier to grasp with my knowledge in PowerPoint.

With several readers asking how I work its magic, I thought that the art of PowerPoint would be the perfect topic for my third “Do Tell” post {more a tutorial than an actual discussion, but we roll with the punches :)}. To begin, here are the basic tabs, buttons, and controls you will likely need to know when creating your own blog graphics {As an FYI, I’m using a Macbook Pro with the 2011 version of PowerPoint – adjust the steps as needed for your own computer}:

Slide Layout-minThe new slide button allows you to choose which default template you want to start with; I almost always go with the blank slide.

Slide Size-min

Page Setup-minChanging the size of your image couldn’t be easier. Just press the Themes tab, then slide size and page set-up to alter the dimensions.

Theme Colors-minThe theme color option is perfect if you ever need to change the default colors you’re given {you can see a few of my custom palettes above!}.

Choosing Background-min

Format Background-minThe background button and pop-up window are both important when you need to change the entire color or pattern of the image.

Choosing Fonts-minLike many programs, adding text requires you to open up a new text box under the Insert section. Here, you can also see just the beginning of my extensive collection of fonts!

Choosing Colors-minOf course, a blog image would be nothing without some color, which you can change with the color wheel.

Eyedropper Tool-minI’m a fan of the eyedropper tool; it matches any color of your choice on screen {it’s so helpful when working with book covers, as you’ll see below}.

Line Spacing Options-minIf your font is wonky, you may need to play with the line spacing – that tool can be accessed under the Paragraph section.

Adding Shapes-minAdding a shape is similar to adding text, just with a different button.

Avoiding Shadow-minTo change the color of your shape, you’ll need to press the Format tab. This will bring up a number of options for you to play with, from the color of the item to the angle. Most important, however, is avoiding unnecessary shadow; it’s a design crime in my book :)

Transparency-minI use the transparency slider frequently in my own images. For more in-depth options, you can press “fill,” and then “fill effects.”

Align Objects-minAnyone who is a stickler for centered images will make good use of the align feature, which can align text boxes, shapes, or pictures to the slide.

Rearranging Objects-minRearranging objects brings up this interesting feature – it simply allows you to change the order of each layer!

Adding Table-min

Adding Chart-minPerhaps you need a table or a chart for your site; both are easy to access in PowerPoint.

Saving as Pictures 02-minFinally, and most importantly, is saving your work. I often save both the PowerPoint and the PNG or JPEG image and put the copies in my blog folder.

One feature that I use PowerPoint for all the time is Top Ten Tuesday! For the highly visual learners, here’s a few more step-by-step pictures for that weekly process.

Setting Up Page-minFirst, I set up my slide under the page set-up option so that it is six inches tall and four inches wide.

Adding Shape-minI then insert my image – Little Women, a classic – and a shape that will serve as the background.

Color Shape-min

Arrange Shape and Image-minI then use my eyedropper tool to match the color of the rectangle to the gorgeous golden hue of the title before I send the box to the back.

Choosing Title Font-minI then spend some time looking for the perfect title font. Janda Elegant Handwriting seems like a good fit!

Changing Font Size-minChanging font size is, of course, a breeze with the font options available.

Choosing Title Color-minI then attempt to find the leaf green to color the “Little Women” text, only to determine…

Fix Choices-minthat I want to flip the colors moments later. My color palette is rarely perfect on the first try!

Saving Image-minI then save the image, and I’m good to go.

You did it!-min

Little Women ImageLet’s discuss! What program do you use to make your blog images? Have you ever looked into PowerPoint? Do you have any other design questions?

Have a fantastic Thursday!
B

Psst. You can’t see much of it, but my cute desktop background is from Pop! Goes the Reader. Her wallpapers are the greatest.

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10 thoughts on “Do Tell / Master the Art of PowerPoint

  1. […] As per usual, I decked out my binders with the finest Lilly prints and fonts. I know that working PowerPoint is slightly tricky, so hopefully by sharing my binder covers you can download and use them yourself or take inspiration from how I set mine up! Click on the cover to open the image, then copy and paste it into your PowerPoint screen. To change the wording, simply place a rectangle over the words and retype what you’d like to put. To match the colors I used, use the eyedropper tool under the color wheel :) {A great post on how to work PowerPoint HERE} […]

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  2. Hey, Bella! I have a small question. You know how you have cool fonts and curvy writing and it’s super colorful on the sidebar? Like for “Hello! I’m Bella…” you have it in a cool font and all. Do you just insert image after image and then link it for the social media images? Or is it something else? Like, is “Hello! (followed by a pic of you) I’m Bella…” just an image that says “hello!” and then a pic of you and then an image that says “I’m Bella…”?? Thanks so much!

    Love and books,
    Veda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Veda! I hopefully have a small answer! My Hello/Picture of Me/I’m Bella is all one image that I made in PowerPoint, as are most of the images in my sidebar. I then inserted them under the Widgets menu and added links as needed. I hope that helps. {And thank you for the kind words! Everything in the curvy font is my own handwriting from Adobe Illustrator :)}

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      • No problem! On the side of your dashboard, press “Appearance,” and to the right of that should pop up the “Widgets” tab. When that opens up, you can add images to your sidebar by copying the URL from your media library and inserting it into the proper box.

        Liked by 1 person

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