Issue #64 August 3, 2004

1. PowerPoint keys during Slide Show

I had an e-mail and phone chat with a new subscriber recently discussing how to use some keys during the delivery of a PowerPoint presentation. You can get a full list by pressing the F1 key while in slide show mode, but here are a few of my favorites: <slide number> then Enter – you can quickly jump to any slide by typing the slide number using the number keys and then pressing the Enter key. I have used this to skip ahead in my presentation when running tight on time and the audience does not know that I just skipped some slides. B – pressing the B key during a presentation turns the screen black, pressing it again returns you to where you were before. This can be very useful when you want to put the audience’s focus on you for a moment instead of your visuals. Ctrl-L or Ctrl-H – pressing this key combination turns the pointer off during the presentation. Which key combination works depends on which version of PowerPoint you have. Ctrl-L works for PowerPoint 97 and earlier, Ctrl-H works for PowerPoint 2000 and later. This will stop the pointer appearing if the mouse moves during your presentation. A – pressing the A key during a presentation makes the pointer appear or disappear. If the pointer does appear on the screen during your presentation, the natural inclination is to press the Escape key – but this stops the presentation! Pressing the A key toggles the pointer on and off, so it can be used to turn the pointer off if it comes on.

2. Printing Word document at a Copy Shop

When I create a handout for my workshops or presentations, I usually have them printed at a copy shop because it is less expensive and frees my time up for other things. The best way to take your document to the copy shop is on a CD or diskette (or e- mail it if they offer the service). If you have ever taken a Word document to a copy shop for printing, you might have realized that what you get back may not be what you had thought it should look like. That is because the formatting of the text on a page in Word changes based on the fonts installed on the computer and the printer definition of the printer the document is sent to. My solution, and the preferred method of most every copy shop, is to give them the file in Adobe PDF format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a format that appears the same on any computer and prints the same on any printer. It ensures that what you get is what you thought it would look like. It saves a lot of hassles at copy shops, which is why they prefer it. So how do you create a PDF format document? There are many ways to do it, the one I prefer is to buy the Acrobat software from Adobe. There are cheaper ways to do it with other software packages, but I prefer the original creators of the file format because I feel it is the best way to ensure compatibility across all platforms. If you are traveling or would only use the software very infrequently, you can try Adobe’s online PDF creation service at: (more details below). Remember that the easier you make it for the copy shop to do the job correctly, the higher probability that it will be done right.

3. Useful Resource – Adobe Acrobat Online Service

The online service to create Adobe PDF documents is at: In order to see if it would work for you, they offer a free trial subscription that allows you to create up to five PDF documents at no charge. If you want to use it regularly, you can sign up for $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually (all amounts in US dollars). If you don’t want to or can’t install PDF creation software on your computer, this may be a viable alternative.