I’m sure like me you’ve seen the new iPhone 6s advert a whole bunch of times and Apple’s rather innovative (if slightly unbelievable) strapline of…
THE ONLY THING THAT’S CHANGED IS EVERYTHING
It’s a lovely line, if true.
And if I could think up a strapline to describe PowerPoint 16 it would be similar, but would read, “The only thing that’s changed is nothing”!
I tell a lie, the colour of PowerPoint is now a slightly deeper shade of orange.
If these sound like the bitter and twisted words of some pro Prezi, PowerPoint hater then you couldn’t be more wrong. I absolutely love PowerPoint and particular PowerPoint 16. So if nothing’s changed, why do I love PowerPoint 16 so much?
Because it’s exactly the same as PowerPoint 13, which is an absolutely brilliant version of the worlds most used presentation tool.
So please don’t think for one moment that PowerPoint 16 isn’t good, because it’s great. It’s just not the progressive leap that PowerPoint 13 was from 2010.
Ok, so I’ve taken a good look around and there a few and I mean few new things!
Charts have had an upgrade with the introduction of 5 new creatively named graphs, including “Box and Whisker” (which I promise is not a form of cat food)…
Remember data tells a story and there is no point showing your audience an interesting nice new looking sunburst graph if all it does is confuse them. Whatever the story is in your data, make sure that it’s crystal clear to your audience!
The ability to add in clip-art has gone! Gone and hopefully never, ever to be seen again…
There’s a new box at the top of PowerPoint, that allows you to type into it, for example you could select an image and start typing “hyperlink” which would bring up the option to “Add a hyperlink” which is kind of handy.
This is more useful when the function you need is hidden away in the menus, so you could type “Align” instead of going to “Format” and then “Align”.
It’s not much of an improvement for accessing regular tools, as its best to keep links to these in a well organised “Quick Access Toolbar”.
But if it’s a function you know exists but don’t know where find it, then it will come in very handy.
I also think this is more for people with devices using Cortana, as using voice recognition will speed things up no end, compared to typing.
In terms of additional tools and functionality, that’s about all that’s new to PowerPoint 16.
So I guess the strapline should be, “The only things that’s changed is a couple of things!”.
The official strapline of Office 16 is actually…
The real changes to Office 16 are to its real time collaborated working environment…
The online videos that demonstrate this in Word look absolutely amazing, with 2 or more people logged into the same file, at the same time, typing as the page live updates in front of their very eyes.
Sadly, the PowerPoint experience really depends on how your organisation’s data is arranged.
At Eyeful we work like many others, we have an HQ with multiple users in different offices and users, along with individual team members who are field based, with us all accessing files from a central server, so true collaborative working would have been a game changer – sense the tone.
Myself and my designer colleague Lorna have recently upgraded to 2016 and thought we would put the real time collaboration through its paces…
Alas, when Lorna went onto the server and opened the same file as me, she got the age old error message:
“Matt Roper is working on [doc name]. Do you want to open a read-only copy in the meantime?” Great, not much collaborating going on here then!
After some researching and testing, we found by saving the file onto our corporate OneDrive account, we could both open and edit the file in PowerPoint at the same time.
The collaborative experience was quite clunky though. If I made a change, Lorna could only see it if I saved the file. She would then receive a notification in a tiny grey box that an updated version was available.
We took our stroll through the virtual collaborative working arena into the cloud and things got a little better.
By collaborating in the cloud based PowerPoint App, we started to see changes happening in real time, great, but…
Unfortunately the solution was also the problem…
You see the online version of PowerPoint is and, how can I put this gently, RUBBISH!
It lacks so many features, it doesn’t even have the most basic of tools such as “Align”. How can anybody create a new presentation without the ability to align objects and keep things looking consistent and neat?
The PowerPoint App is better for making small text and image changes, it’s simply not cut out for designing and creating proper presentations and thus has little to offer when it comes to live collaboration.
For us, the hassle of moving files back and forth between our server and Onedrive means this form of collaborative working is simply not an option.
Moving away from collaborative working, PowerPoint 16 is a really excellent piece of presentation creation software and if you would like to master it we have an excellent course to support you, it’s just not the leap and bounds jump we got from Office 10 to Office 13, nor the truly collaborative working environment that Microsoft are promising.
Our verdict is if you have PowerPoint 2013, it’s probably not worth upgrading.
If you have PowerPoint 2010 or older, 2016 is a must have presentation creation tool, but when it comes to true collaborative working, it really isn’t as good as what Microsoft are suggesting…
So when it comes to PowerPoint and collaborative working, please do insert your own word to compete the strapline…
And let us know your thoughts once you’ve tried out the latest version of PowerPoint…