/>
X

Images: PowerPoint 2007 beta 2

The updates to Microsoft's PowerPoint are supposed to make it less of a hassle to dress up slide shows. CNET editors take a look.
16204.jpg
1 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Tied together by the Ribbon

PowerPoint is the ubiquitous tool business people and students use to create multimedia presentations. The 2007 updates are supposed to make it less of a hassle to dress up slide shows. Most of PowerPoint's features are available as icons in a tabbed ribbon atop the interface. And dynamic, visual galleries let you see a change before finalizing it.

In trying out the beta, CNET Reviews found that the two-pane presentation of the PowerPoint file is similar to that of earlier editions of the application, but the ribbon menu along the top of the interface sets it apart from its predecessors.

16205.jpg
2 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Room for a view

The View tab offers a variety of ways to display a document. The ribbon within Office 2007 presents such options with icons that are larger than in Office 2003 and labels icons with text to help you figure out what they mean.

16206.jpg
3 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Get smart

The Insert SmartArt feature can turn a bulleted list into a variety of diagrams, such as hierarchical flow charts, matrixes and cycles.

16207.jpg
4 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Not so smart

You'd think that SmartArt would convert a highlighted, bulleted text into a diagram. But no. Instead, you must first type your text within the SmartArt input window.

16208.jpg
5 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Sense of style

If you change your mind about how you want SmartArt and other graphics to look, the Quick Styles galleries let you preview the changes.

16209.jpg
6 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

WordArt

Selecting a slide headline and choosing a new font look from the WordArt Styles menu produced a surprise: PowerPoint didn't apply the changes to our chosen text. Instead, it created a newly formatted version of the headline.

16210.jpg
7 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Picture pages

Picture Tools options within the ribbon's Format tab provide a slew of choices for framing and shaping graphics.

16211.jpg
8 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Drawing borders

Picture Styles galleries let you quickly change the border and position of an image.

16212.jpg
9 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Making transitions

To animate your PowerPoint presentation, a gallery of fades, dissolves, and wipes lets you see how effects behave before you apply them.

16213.jpg
10 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Wherefore chart thou?

Microsoft emphasizes the integration provided between the programs in the Office 2007 system. But it was tough to figure out how to add an Excel chart to a slide in PowerPoint 2007 beta 2. When we chose Chart from the Insert tab, PowerPoint gave us options for creating a new chart.

16214.jpg
11 of 11 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

Publish PDFs

Publishing a PDF version of the PowerPoint slide show took about half a minute.

Read CNET Reviews' First Take and slide shows of the beta 2 versions of Microsoft Word 2007, Excel 2007 and Outlook 2007.

Related Galleries

First Look: New Surface PCs include Android-based Duo 2 [in pictures]
thumbnail-72371d1d9eb043bcb3986b87c5b47dc7.jpg

Related Galleries

First Look: New Surface PCs include Android-based Duo 2 [in pictures]

12 Photos
Linux turns 30: The biggest events in its history so far
05-debian.jpg

Related Galleries

Linux turns 30: The biggest events in its history so far

31 Photos
Say hello to the early days of web browsers
netscape-shutterstock-189041855.jpg

Related Galleries

Say hello to the early days of web browsers

9 Photos
Inside the Microsoft Surface Duo (in pictures)
microsoft-duo04.png

Related Galleries

Inside the Microsoft Surface Duo (in pictures)

16 Photos
Parallels Toolbox 4 for Windows and Mac
parallels-toolbox-show-desktop-macos-screenshot

Related Galleries

Parallels Toolbox 4 for Windows and Mac

10 Photos
These 7 top wireless earbuds deliver scarily superb sound
airpodspro-gal.jpg

Related Galleries

These 7 top wireless earbuds deliver scarily superb sound

8 Photos
Windows tablets through the ages: The good, the bad and the ugly, in pictures
microsoft-tablet.png

Related Galleries

Windows tablets through the ages: The good, the bad and the ugly, in pictures

30 Photos