Alternative Journal (KM) : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Kim McDonald

Alternative Journal: Reading Reaction Paper

Endicott, J. (1998, July). PowerPoint Toolbars Save Time, Money and Aggravation. Presentations, 28-29.

Effectively importing scanned high quality scanned images used to mean that you would have to exit PowerPoint and enter a paint program to fine tune a scanned image prior to inserting it into PowerPoint presentation. Fortunately the creators of PowerPoint 97 must have encountered similar troubles and decided to eliminate the cumbersome process entirely. Jim Endicott discusses the challenges faced by people struggling when importing bitmapped images or scanned photos in an article entitled, PowerPoint Toolbars Save Time, Money and Aggravation. He explains how in the past, images were inserted by utilizing, "the insert to Picture from file command sequence to bring them in, but the images are often to dark, too contrast, in need of cropping or bordered by a clunky reference triangle."

In PowerPoint 97 Endicott suggests you utilize the toolbar right on your desktop. These are the steps that he outlines to get the toolbar up and functioning on your desktop:

1. Import scanned photo into PowerPoint 97.

2. Right-mouse click on your scan to reveal a Show Picture Toolbar option.

3. Select it. Then the small toolbar appears on the screen. This toolbar will now appear each time an object is recognized by PowerPoint as a picture, either bitmapped images or clip art.

Identifying the icons on the toolbar and explaining their significance came next. The tools found on the PowerPoint 97 toolbar are: shortcut for inserting additional pictures, contrast adjustments, relative lightness and darkness of an image, cropping tool, recolor picture, format picture icon and his favorite the transparent pixel icon. Once he outlined each icon and their importance he demonstrated his personal favorite, the transparent pixel option. Endicott explained how in the past he would insert a photo image and there would be a rectangular box surrounding the photo. His goal was to eliminate the box and have the image "float gracefully over the background without a telltale rectangle". He outlined a process that he utilizes to have the tool work even better. These are the steps he suggests when an image has a background with more than one color:

1. Scan image from original photo

2. Bring the image into Adobe PhotoShop (if you are lucky enough to have this)

3. Utilize the lasso too to trace around the object carefully turning the background into a single pixel color that was not the same as the image

4. Import the image into PowerPoint as a JPEG image (save space)

5. Right mouse click and select format picture

6. Next, select Transparent Pixel option and select the unique background color you've created

7. The background will drop out and the image will appear to float over your presentation background!

Curious about utilizing PowerPoint more effectively I immediately devoured the article. I was especially interested in creatively and easily manipulating my scanner. My scanner has only served to collect dust over the past two years due to my inability to fully appreciate the functions. In plain English, I have not been able to manipulate even the simplest refinement techniques for scanned pictures. I was hoping for a miracle.

Miracles do occur, in small teaspoonfuls sometimes, but they do occur. I was pleasantly surprised that by following Endicott's simple directions and applying the PowerPoint Picture toolbar techniques I could quickly and easily scan, import and format a photo into a PowerPoint presentation with just a few quick clicks of the mouse! After two years of attempting to assign a purpose to my scanner, other than to catch dust, I am now actively incorporating scanned images into PowerPoint presentations as well as other documents being completed in the M.Ed. program.

-- Anonymous, May 10, 1999

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