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