Software

Office challenge: How do you display a black or white screen on the fly during a PowerPoint presentation?

Test your knowledge of PowerPoint in this week's Office challenge and learn the answer to last week's Access stumper.

It's common for an audience to pause a presentation by asking questions and comments. In fact, most presenters like to interact with the audience. However, if the question or comment isn't relevant to the current slide, it can be a bit distracting. How can you black out (or white out) the current slide? Last week we asked… How do you draw a border around a report page in Access? Amasa was the only one to offer a solution — manually adding line objects to all four page margins. That method works, but it requires a steady hand and you must add vertical lines to each report section. In a complex report, that would mean a lot of work. VBA provides an easy and flexible method for drawing a border around a report page. Simply add the following subprocedure to the report's module:
Private Sub Report_Page()
  Me.Line (0, 0)-(Me.ScaleWidth, Me.ScaleHeight), , B
End Sub
The above procedure uses the default line property settings to create a border around the report's margins, enclosing all data, including headers and footers. You don't have to use the default line properties though; simply set them in the same procedure as follows:
Private Sub Report_Page()
  'Draw border around report's margins. 
  On Error Resume Next
  'Set line's thickness and style.
  Me.DrawWidth = 3
  Me.DrawStyle = 3
  Me.Line (0, 0)-(Me.ScaleWidth, Me.ScaleHeight), vbBlue , B
End Sub
This procedure draws a thick, broken blue line around the margins. The higher the DrawWidth property value, the thicker the line. The DrawStyle property settings follow:
  • 0: (Default) Solid line
  • 1: Dash
  • 2: Dot
  • 3: Dash-dot
  • 4: Dash-dot-dot
  • 5: Invisible line
  • 6: Invisible line (solid interior)
The VB constant vbBlue determines the line's color. There are several to choose from:
  • vbBlack
  • vbRed
  • vbGreen
  • vbYellow
  • vbBlue
  • vbMagenta
  • vbCyan
  • vbWhite
You can make a border-drawing procedure even more flexible by passing the line width and style values.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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