[techtalk] PPT – You CAN Change the Colors & Features in Design Ideas

HANNING Darci * SLO Darci.HANNING at slo.oregon.gov
Thu Nov 12 08:42:54 PST 2020

You may not have thought that you can change elements...


 This Week's Topic: PPT

1. ARTICLE & VIDEO ... You CAN Change the Colors & Features in Design Ideas
2. COMMUNICATING ... What you can say in difficult situations
3. LEADERSHIP ... Who does the greatest things?

·     Nov 11 & 13: Q&A Follow Up to Fillable Forms (Word and Google)
·     Nov 18: New Pedagogy for Online Learning... How to Get and Keep Students Engaged in Remote Situations
·     Dec 2: Creating and Maintaining Social Media Accounts (Basic & Intermediate)
·     Dec 16: Video Editing! (You asked for it!)

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PPT – You CAN Change the Colors & Features in Design Ideas

Have you tried using Design Ideas in PowerPoint (available in Windows 10 and Office 365), but get frustrated when it adds objects and colors that just don't work with your slide? You try to edit them or delete an object (like a line), but it doesn't seem as if you can.

For example, as in the image below, we've added a quote and a picture to a slide. The Design Ideas engaged and displayed some cool layout options. But the one we selected to use needs a bit of tweaking as it incorporates a color that conflicts with the image. However, when you click on the object it nothing happens. There's nothing you can do ... or so it seems!

[Design Ideas]

Let's step back. You might be asking, "What is Design Ideas?" Well... it is a new feature available in Microsoft 365 subscriptions, PowerPoint 2016 and newer. When this option is turned on, the Design Ideas task pane appears in the right side of your screen. When you add images, a bulleted list, or other objects, it triggers the Design Ideas to make suggestions to your layout. It works in the background to match your content to creative layout ideas. See a full Tech-Talk article on using Design Ideas here.<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001tjfLqSmZP5exdBxGNcPb31KX62_GzgvgqkiGrkrpiqQ5ZVdIHocQHlPQ-fTJ74_lCyRD9SZDEm5SebbEPfjrIhYZk1HxfJT6on7lbvB8n_XqAw_MkceZ8TX8HgQ4VslqkBDUiH1nuQSaAjHLJkokBSfqw-F0obOkWiT5X8ZTPtVbpA86mgBXGcenQThpZ-9oqLTG9tEMWB4=&c=YxDZOgIaWntuQJQ4zc98oFyo_LRDXFH1gCZiblMKNUmWC2WWmXotGw==&ch=NfzGu6VhY1ovICPyRL31XhN8LyKFJEXd2osSFL59PN9Y7r-Jxx3NcA==>

Now, Design Ideas is partially triggered by your theme choice. With different schematics, you get new choices. So you may add an image where you want the accents to match the picture, but instead it incorporates your theme colors into it. How can you change that or tweak the design?

Make Changes to Design Ideas

So… you've picked a slide layout from the Design Ideas panel that you love -- but there are a few tweaks you need to make. You want to change the color, move or resize an element, or delete an embellishment that's part of the theme (an object). But when you mouse over the section of the slide, nothing is clickable.

Here's the trick. You need to "turn on" the Selection Pane to view and select the objects on the slide that don't appear to be editable. The Selection Pane allows you to click on the objects on the slide and make changes to them.

[selection pane]

·     In the Home tab in the Editing section, under Select, use the drop-down menu to display the Selection pane.

·     You will see objects in the slide titled with names like Rectangle 1 or Picture 2. When you click on each item in the Selection pane, it corresponds to the item (image, text box, object) in the slide and highlights it.

·     Go through the list by clicking on each item to find the one in the slide you want to edit. With it highlighted, you can now make changes (delete, pick a new color).

For example, in the image of a slide below, we want to change the color of both the border between the image and text box and the background color behind the quote.

·     When Rectangle 13 (the border item) is clicked in the Selection Pane it is highlighted and the Shape Format options are available. Just use Shape Fill to change the color.

[selection pane]

We can do the same for the text box background area.

·     In our example, when Rectangle 11 is highlighted in the Selection window, we can go to Shape Fill to choose a new color.

·     TIP: If you have many items in your slide and want to change the generic name (like Rectangle 11) to something else, just place your cursor on the title and you can rename it.

Now the accent colors are more coordinated with the image in the slide.

[finished image]

Here's another example. In the slide below, we want to delete the orange object in the upper left corner.

·     By going through the list of items in the Selection pane, it appears the orange bar is Rectangle 13.

·     With it highlighted, press the Delete key. Or, as an option, we can click the "eye" icon to the right of the Rectangle 13 text to hide it. This is handy if you're playing around with the design and are not sure yet of the final layout choice. You can toggle it back ON if you decide later.

[delete element]

So you CAN make changes to Design Ideas elements, you just have to know where to activate the selection of these parts of the slide.


Communications: Talking
What you can say in difficult situations

We all have those times when we're in a conversation with someone, or in a team meeting, when things are not going as well as we would like, right?

The tendency we have is to interject a voice of reason or to present a new idea. (That's because studies have shown that we spend 80% of our talking time giving information.) It's what we do, but it's not always the most effective.

Here's another approach to consider: use one of the two phrases below. Both convey a healthy respect for what is being said in a neutral fashion. One takes the conversation in a new direction; the other clarifies so that everyone is on the same page. (Click on each link to get specific examples in the Tech-Talk articles.)

"Let me build on that. ..."<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001tjfLqSmZP5exdBxGNcPb31KX62_GzgvgqkiGrkrpiqQ5ZVdIHocQHnD5AfodD1ZC21-zHoarvZvB4bKPjEiZU8o_-tqQjkyhAQaFmGYAFJsEmZnXZitMBFZpBvpToZf61iHrQCDSmj8rlJdtBaKWHAnNyEv7tGJNwTa0G4zYZpFX8WrxZUUXlLWDTr3AN_xM2sIWDSWzty8=&c=YxDZOgIaWntuQJQ4zc98oFyo_LRDXFH1gCZiblMKNUmWC2WWmXotGw==&ch=NfzGu6VhY1ovICPyRL31XhN8LyKFJEXd2osSFL59PN9Y7r-Jxx3NcA==>

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These two phrases inherently give a time-out. They tend to cleanse the pallet of the brain. It shows that you are actually listening and hearing. It tends to distill some of the animosity or confusion. It reboots the conversation.

When you use these techniques, you are building trust and gaining respect. It helps you take control of difficult situations.


Who does the greatest things?

"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He [or She] is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things."
– Ronald Reagan

How do you get folks to do great things?

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Public Library Consultant / CE Coordinator
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