Powerpoint for Graphics
Did you know that the graphic tools in Office 2007 (Windows) and Office 2008 (Mac) can be used as a quick and easy alternative to using tools like Photoshop?
"When [PowerPoint] 2007 came out, it scared the design world because the average user could now create some impressive-looking work," Darla Wigginton, creative director at eVision Design, San Francisco.
Let's take a look at some of these tools now...
Shapes & Pictures
- Artists break complex pictures down into a series of simple shapes. Use the Shape tools on the Insert tab to draw your own pictures.
- Insert several pictures to create a collage. (See Using the Shapes Tool to Create Objects for more information.)
WordArt & SmartArt
- If you have an abstract idea, try representing it with WordArt and some images.
- Use SmartArt for organizational charts, process cycles, replacements to regular bulleted lists and more.
ClipArt & Beyond
- If you can't find ClipArt that fits, try searching and downloading from Microsoft Online.
- You can also search sites like Flickr for images that you can modify under a Creative Commons license (CC).
- Customize these according to your needs by editing, cropping, combining several images , adding WordArt , etc.
Quick Styles & Effects
- Microsoft Office now has Shape Effects like Reflection, Bevel, Glow, and 3-D Rotation. These make objects look more realistic. Just don't use all of them at once!
- Quick Styles are a shortcut to these effects.
- You will also find suggested colors according to a selected color palettes. Most are more subtle than previous palettes. I recommend selecting subtle colors and/or sampling colors from other objects.
- You can align & distribute shapes uniformly.
- You can rotate or flip an image.
Save as Picture...
- Crop What you don't need.
- Select what you do need.
- Right-click & Save As Picture... (See Saving PowerPoint Slides as Images for more information on how to save PowerPoint graphics for use elsewhere.)