Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Top 10 Web sites for students

Picture1 Since Brainy Betty has such a huge audience of educators and students, I thought I would pass along this article about the top 10 web sites for students.

Students can use these great sites to research for school projects and for help with homework assignments!

Have a great week!

Nan @ brainybetty

Thursday, December 03, 2009

YouTube Video Add-in for PowerPoint - you asked for it, you got it!

Use this add in to insert YouTube videos into a PowerPoint slide.

All you need to do is to provide the YouTube video URL that appears in the browser address bar, the rest is taken care of by the YTV Wizard.

Note: YouTube videos are streamed so a live internet connection is required to playback the video during the slideshow. Use the free FlashBack add-in to play/rewind the YouTube video automatically.

This (and many other free PowerPoint addins) are made available by the very talented Shyam Pillai - a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional)! Be sure and contact him and say thanks!

A LOT of people have written to the Brainy Betty site asking for this - we're happy to have found something that will be of benefit to you!


Have a great week,

Nan @ brainybetty

Sunday, November 29, 2009

PowerPoint 2010: Images and Video - Cool New Features Demo


Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 comes with new rich media tools. Follow this quick tutorial and see how to easily integrate images and video in your PowerPoint presentation. Also, learn how to share PowerPoint presentations with remote abilities.

All you Brainy Betty fans who have written to me asking how to embed YouTube videos in PowerPoint, this new version has the ability to do just that as well as "trim" any video right in PowerPoint!

Awesome. Have a great week! Keep learning.

Nan @ brainybetty :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

36 Free Templates by Brainy Betty: PowerPoint Templates for PowerPoint 2007 at Microsoft Office and much more...

This is a preview only. Click Download Now to download the template.You can find 36 PowerPoint templates at Microsoft Office Online (for PPT 2007 version) with many you can use for Christmas. Go there now.

Do you know about Microsoft Labs?

Microsoft Labs researches and puts out new and cool, innovative programs and applications (just like Google Labs if you are familiar with that...)

One of their awesome new applications is PhotoSynth. You can take a series of pictures of a still object and create a 3-D view of the same object. This is very cool on a number of levels - for businesses, to create 3D images of products, for organizations and schools to create people pictures and amazing graphics, more.

You can check it out and use it free at this site.

Another cool application is Seadragon available free  here. This application allows you to pan and zoom around large picture files on the Internet.

New on our site, under the TEACHER and EDUCATIONAL Resource menu, we've added a link to the Annenburg Foundation's site which provides free educational multimedia for classroom educational use! It's a great site, nonprofit and useful for any educator. I'd definitely bookmark it.

Have a productive, creative fun November and if you don't mind, let a couple of people know about this blog! We want to reach as many people as possible!


Nan@brainybetty :)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free Thanksgiving Background for PowerPoint

Grab it now - it's free and available only for the rest of the week. You can download either the 97-2003 or the PowerPoint 2007 version of the background. Why not make a self running presentation with all your gratitude for your coworkers, family or friends and send it to them or post it online this Thanksgiving?

All the best for a warm, safe and happy holiday. At Brainy Betty, we're thankful for YOU!  :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

YouTube - Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Picture Formatting

An interesting 1 minute video: see how easy picture formatting becomes in PowerPoint 2010! Have a great week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Office 2010 Beta now available

The Office 2010 beta release is now available for anyone to download and test. Remember, it's best to install a beta copy on a second machine (not your primary) because there are still things to work out.

Learn what's new in Office 2010.

Also, Crystal Graphics is having a blowout sale on their PowerPlugs package - more templates, more backgrounds, video backgrounds, transitions, music and flash ready. It's an awesome buy at 80% off the regular price and the sale ends soon. Get in on this one for great presentations for the rest of the year and into the next. *Shine on!*

Finally, we've added new blog links to some of our own favorite blogs on this page as well. Take a look at the right menu.

Have a wonderful week and remember to subscribe to the blog at the top right of this page so you can get the latest news and free downloads from Brainy Betty!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18 cool things Windows 7 does that Vista doesn't from TechRadar

This fantastic and succinct article explains why the upgrade may be worth it for some Windows users. Enjoy!

18 cool things Windows 7 does that Vista doesn't | News | TechRadar UK

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

16 new free iTouch/ iPhone backgrounds

Enjoy our 16 new free iTouch and iPhone backgrounds here.

Simply download them to your computer.
Hook up your device to your system and copy into the appropriate folder to use.

Have a great week from Brainy Betty!

Monday, November 16, 2009

12 tips for creating better documents

12 tips for creating better documents

1 You want great documents that make an impact—and you've got less time than ever to get them done. If that sounds familiar, you've come to the right place. Microsoft Office offers many features for creating impressive documents. But, with so many choices, it can be hard to know where to begin.

This article will help you make the best choices for your documents. We'll look at three components of creating effective documents and give you timesaving tips to help you get your document done.

New this week coming to Brainy Betty:

17 new iTouch/iPhone backgrounds for free download

New PowerPoint 2007 free backgrounds

Read our blog from our site here and subscribe to it here.

Crystal Graphics has added 600 new templates and a FREE template finder tool - be sure and check it out!


12 tips for creating better documents

Monday, November 09, 2009

Quiz show - Templates - Microsoft Office Online

Download this fantastic new quiz show template we found digging through Microsoft Office's vast online web space! Create a fun or goofy quiz show for school, organization or personal use. Have a great week from Brainy Betty!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Create a self running presentation!

Learn how to create a self running presentation you can send to friends, post on a website or run at a computer during tradeshows or meetings. It's a useful skill to know and only takes minutes to learn.

It's at our main site here and also be sure to visit our free backgrounds section for hundreds of PowerPoint backgrounds and templates, and if you have time, explore our free Word templates, free Excel templates, our graphics and more by looking at the left menu items!

Have a nice weekend!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day - here's your free template!


For PowerPoint 2007

For PowerPoint 97 - 2003

The newsletter is coming out this week! We've got more free templates for subscribers as well as some free new music, animations and fall graphics.

Have a great week!


Monday, September 21, 2009

12 Tips for Creating Better Presentations

From using cool Auto Correct options to Formatting beautiful diagrams and graphics, learn 12 quick ways to create better presentations here.

Hello everyone!

Brainy Betty is back from her sabbatical and do we have goodies coming up next month! We're working on an exclusive free Educators Pack download chockfull of templates, backgrounds and downloads for our newsletter subscribers and website visitors. Don't miss it!

And now through September 30th only, SAVE 80% on Crystal Graphics Ultimate Combo and get every single tool you'll need this year for perfect and powerful presentations!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Top 10 Tips for PowerPoint 2007

Register for and watch this recorded event online at Microsoft to learn the insider top 10 tips for PowerPoint 2007! It's free, informative and 58 minutes of learning you can do at lunchtime while you eat your sandwich!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2 New Graphics Tutorials

You can find the 2 new graphics tutorials as promised free at the Brainy Betty site.

The first explains how create the reflection/picture frame effect while the second explain the 4 color effect.

You can view all the Brainy Betty tutorials on this page.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PowerPoint 2007 Graphics Tutorials!

At the end of this week, I'll be posting a series of PowerPoint 2007 graphics tutorials so you can easily create graphical slides like the ones below and add some pizzazz to your presentations!





Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quick Poll:

Does your company use social marketing?

I.e., do you have a Facebook Fan page; do you use Twitter, are you on LinkedIn? Do you use amateur viral videos?


Take the poll.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Make Your Computer Start Faster

 cp_icon_torch12In the flow of spring cleaning, yet? Learn how to get rid of old software, reconfigure "pushy" programs, and clean up the registry for a faster start of  your trusty old system!

How to Make Your Computer Boot Faster

For preventative maintenance tips, look here. Make it autopilot!

Have you signed up to follow Brainy Betty on Twitter yet? You might win a 30 minute presentation revamp or personal consultation with her! Just follow her by looking up her Twitter name "brainybetty", natch! :)

Or, if you need a presentation makeover right away, call our friends at Crystal Graphics for a FREE Estimate!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

7 tips for working securely from wireless hotspots

Wireless hotspots are changing the way people work. These wireless local area networks (LANs) provide high speed Internet access in public locations—as well as at home—and require nothing more than a notebook PC with a wireless card. From coffeehouses to restaurants, airports to hotel lobbies, hotspots are ubiquitous. They are the de facto connection method for travelers and remote workers to access the Internet, their e-mail, and even their corporate networks.

Hotspots range from paid services, such as T-Mobile or Boingo, to free connections at your local coffee shop or library. But they all have one thing in common: These are all open networks that are vulnerable to security breaches. And that means it's up to you to protect the data on your PC. Here are a few tips to make working in public locations more secure.

7 tips for working securely from wireless hotspots

Monday, March 30, 2009

More of Crabby's favorite Office tips - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online

I adore Crabby Office Lady. She reminds me of "Maxine" from the Hallmark cards. All of us seem a bit crabby these days, so this is apropos, I think.  :)

Here, she's listed some great tips for a variety of Office programs from Word to Excel to PowerPoint and Publisher (all different versions 95 and up) to make life easier and more efficient when working with these applications.

Also, if you're a Brainy Betty fan, we have a new series of free tutorials coming up that will debut in April that showcase the use (and efficiency!) of Crystal Graphics products. Our first tutorial, "Using Presentations to Go" makes it easy for anyone to create presentations on the most common topics using pre-populated slide "shells" which contain the outline, places for you to fill in text and prompts - all professionally designed on gorgeous templates.

I don't know about you - but I'd pay $49 for someone to hand me a bunch of almost finished, logically laid out professional slides for my presentations where I just need to go and fill in the details. Saves me time. SO many presentations are standard issue for many of us.

Have a wonderful spring week, everyone!

More of Crabby's favorite Office tips - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The PowerPoint Live Template Contest: American Idol Meets Slide Design

Brilliant artistry, crazed contestants, and
famous judges all on display in annual
competition to create conference template

For the fifth consecutive year, the PowerPoint Live User Conference is holding its Design-a-Template contest, with a free trip to the fall event being awarded to the person whose work is chosen to serve as the conference template.

The conference has received over 300 entries across the last four and a half years, spanning all software versions and many design motifs. The contest’s legacy includes brilliant work by exceptionally talented people, as well as a bit of comic relief by those who just wanted to be part of the experience...not unlike those who audition for American Idol.

“We have had our share of pranksters” notes conference host Rick Altman, “and that has prompted us to assign the roles of Randy, Paula, and Simon to our own judges. Mostly, though, we have seen truly incredible work submitted and even feel as if we have been responsible for watching a few stars be born.”

The judging panel is comprised of a select group of conference regulars, including Richard Bretschneider, Senior Program Manager for PowerPoint at Microsoft, slide:ology author Nancy Duarte, indezine editor Geetesh Bajaj, prominent slide designer Julie Terberg, and several other members of Microsoft's Most Valued Professional team of support specialsts. Evidently, the specific roles of Simon and Paula remain a closely-guarded secret.

“The challenge to this contest,” says Altman, “is the requirement that our slide design serve as the backdrop for all of the great ideas and visuals put forth by our presenters. In order to be a contender, a design needs to wear well for eight hours a day across three days. Contest participants want to be noticed, we get that, but their designs need to succeed in staying subtle and playing the supporting role. That's not so easy.”

Deadline for entries is Friday, June 5 and the contest is open to anyone.

Contest rules:

Gallery of past winners and entrants:

Conference website:

Online link to this article:

    Rick Altman
    Conference Host
    925.600.PRESENT (600.7737)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PowerPlugs: Ultimate Combo for PowerPoint - 80% OFF Until March 31st! WOW!

At a whopping 80% OFF, this is possibly the very best deal you can find for your PowerPoint use this year! I have this program myself and it's worth every penny.

There are 17 different aspects to the program including transitions, backgrounds, music, video and more and the plug ins make life so much easier to incorporate all these things into fantastic presentations.

One question I get asked very single month on Brainy Betty is "How can I get my music to play across slides and then how do I save it all so it works on other PCs?" Well, this program does that for you automatically - not to mention it gives you access to thousands of royalty free music clips as well.

The offer ends March 31st, so I'd act quickly! Just click the link below to go directly to the site:

PowerPlugs: Ultimate Combo for PowerPoint - Home Page

Monday, February 16, 2009

Windows Live Photo Gallery Panoramic Photo - Alexa - The Rookies


This is simply adorable. If a 7 year old can do it, so can you. Now, I've spent years teaching about PowerPoint, pictures, presentations, and other Microsoft Office topics, but this one video pretty much shows it all in about 10 seconds how easy it is to create a panoramic photo from a series of photos using Windows Live Photo.

If you need photos for your presentations, you can get 100 high resolution photos from Crystal Graphics for only $99 here.

Windows Live Photo Gallery Panoramic Photo - Alexa - The Rookies

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Microsoft Office Online Training and Demos for the 2007 Microsoft Office release

pencil You can get free training through your RSS Feed Reader (Outlook 2007 has this capability if you have Office 2007) or you can view it in Microsoft IE or Google Reader. These training modules are delivered straight to you and include demos, quizzes, step by step tutorials and more. You can find Microsoft's RSS Feed by clicking here.

Stay warm everyone!

nan @ brainybetty :)

Microsoft Office Online Training and Demos for the 2007 Microsoft Office release

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PowerPoint templates for $99 for one year! Unlimited downloads + template finder FREE.

images_ppt_th_bus808 Crystal Graphics has a wonderful offer for those of you who spend a lot of time trying to find the correct background for your presentations. For just $99, you can get UNLIMITED downloads and choose professionally designed, beautiful backgrounds.

Find it here.

The template finder (FREE) allows you to avoid the hassle of downloading and inserting the template into your presentation. It's done automatically for you!


PresentationstogSig200 And if you don't even want to bother creating slides and figuring out how to best present your information - try their Presentations to Go! (Only $49!) The 23 topics you'll get presentation "shells" for are:

Category Review
Change Proposal
Communicate Bad News
Company Overview
Company Strategic Analysis
Convincing People of a Problem
General Format
Identify Potential Problems
Identify the Problem
Investor Relations
New Project Proposal
Persuasive Presentation
Product Launch
Project Progress Report
Recommend an Alternative
Satisfying Your Customers
Sell to the Customer Interests
Share Information
Strategy Recommendation
Teach Skills
Technical Presentation
Technical Sales
Work Update


Great deals in this economy for us who have to make presentations every day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

155 people saved. WoW.

I HAD to put in my 2 cents here. I am completely AMAZED and grateful for all the souls saved yesterday in New York. God truly is here with all of us. I am so THANKFUL for all the souls saved and had complete calm. THANK YOU GOD.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Going green: How to cut costs and save the planet - Microsoft Office Online

laptop This is a wonderful article on cutting costs and going green. For our company, reducing paper waste, cutting down energy costs (especially this time of year) and saving money - not to mention, improving the planet - are some primary objectives for 2009.

These aren't complicated ideas or suggestions, but  easy to implement and understand.

For me, in 2009, I am pledging at least 2 "technology free" days a month. This may be on weekends or weekdays, but I think it will help not only my bills but my peace of mind as well!

For example, if on a weekend, I vow to turn off the computer, the regular and cell phone, and not allow the usage of anything from mp3 players to X-boxes to the TV or the minivan.

We'll get up, make and have breakfast together as a family. Spend time organizing, playing games together, hanging out with the dog, catching up with the kids lives and reading some good books. We'll notice our surroundings and look people in the eyes when we are speaking with each other. We will re-recognize the humanity in us all.

I may paint or draw or doodle on paper I've already used to print out things on and saved from some inane reason. I may find items that have cluttered our house for years and create Salvation Army bundles of clothing or old toys and other knick knacks. We'll enjoy our mealtimes, because we're paying attention to what we are eating, not what we are watching on TV while we eat.

In that way, for me, I hope to reconnect with myself, my home and my family... and disconnect with technology and the myriad of social networks online (I mean, how much LinkedIn, Facebook, Twittering and MySpacing can you stand?) ,  cell phone calls and the busy buzz of business, planning and marketing activities always running in my head.

You can also find some awesome articles on going green and saving money here


Happy 2009 all!

Nan @ brainybetty

Going green: How to cut costs and save the planet - Microsoft Office Online