Good old PowerPoint, Say what you want about 'death by PowerPoint' presentations at work, or extraordinarily cheesy animations and sounds, PowerPoint is still one of the first go-to programs when it comes presenting your ideas across to others.

PowerPoint has been a part of the Microsoft Office suite since 1990, but started life on the Mac as Presenter, developed by Forethought Inc. in 1987. Since then, it was renamed, the company was bought by Microsoft for a then fortune of $14 million, and it appeared the same day as Windows 3.0.

A plethora of themes are the order of the day in PowerPoint 2013


It can also lay claim to the fact that an estimated 95% of all presentations are handled by PowerPoint and that it's installed on at least one billion computers worldwide and used at least 350 times every second. Not bad for a package that comes with the term 'PowerPoint Hell'.

PowerPoint 2013

Needless to say. PowerPoint has improved over the years, and the 2013 version is no exception. A new landing page, color themes for templates, enhanced Presenter View, account management, widescreen and full screen support and the ability to better share a PowerPoint document are just the icing on the cake.

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Presenter View and Second Monitors
The Presenter View in PowerPoint 2013 greatly apes the now accepted Windows 8 UI and way of doing things. It's not exactly the same, and there's a fair bit of control still, but if you have a second monitor, you can make the most of viewing your slide on one screen, while seeing a summary on the next

Widescreen

Also, under the Design tab, you'll find a Slide Size option with a drop-down box that enables you to change the aspect ratio according to your monitor. So if you have a widescreen 16:9 monitor, you can now take advantage of it.

Background Music

A background audio track can also be added for your slideshow via the 'Play in the Background' icon, found in the Playback tab in Audio Tools.

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Export a Video
Although PowerPoint 2010 allowed you to export your slideshow as a WMV file only, PowerPoint 2013 now allows you to export the slideshow as both WMV and MP4, for more modern devices to play.

Using Video

As well as a being a better container for playing video formats, PowerPoint 2013 also allows you to search for a video from an online source and drop it into your slide without the need to download and convert it beforehand.

Theming

With the new version of PowerPoint, themes are the buzzword of the hour. Microsoft decided that you should be able to tweak and choose your slideshow themes via the Design tab. Colors, fonts and other visual effects can also be enhanced and tweaked through the Variations option.

Merge Shapes

An interesting and often missed tool within PowerPoint 2013 is the newly improved Merge Shapes. If you highlight two or more shapes within your presentation, you can click on the Merge Shape stool under the Format tab to create a unique and custom shape.

Conclusion

There are many other additions to the latest version of PowerPoint, but the fun is in finding them out. Needless to say.at least with all these wonderful new elements perhaps the PowerPoint presentation of the future needn't be quite as deathly boring as it once was.