Office challenge: How would you improve this slide?

This week, revamp a slide and learn the solution to last week's Outlook challenge on changing the default font.

This week's challenge is a bit different. Instead of solving a problem, let's have some PowerPoint fun. Take the following slide and improve it—do whatever you'd like to it. The audience is a mixed group of ordinary people, with no particular expertise in Horticulture, Botany, or Lepidopterology. The only known bond between the people in your audience is that they want to learn how to attract butterflies to their yards.

This week's challenge is to make the above slide, which is adequate, better. Remember to keep the informal nature of the audience and the topic in mind. There are only a few rules:

  • Don't rewrite the text, only the design elements are open to change. Retain or update the text, but specif if you're designing for a live or self-running presentation.
  • Keep as much or as little of the original design as you like.
  • Submit your finished slide to me along with a list of changes with a short (I really do mean short!) explanation supporting those changes.

The slide's text follows:

Once butterflies are visiting, you can entice them to take up residence by:

Choosing flowers that bloom at different times. Butterflies will stay in your garden if there's a constant source of nectar.

Providing host plants. Butterflies lay their eggs on host plants and most are very particular. Milkweed, Nettles, and native grasses are the most popular. The prized Eastern Tiger Swallowtail prefers a tree, either a Sycamore or a Willow. The bolder Spicebush Swallowtail prefers Ash, Sassafras, and Tulip trees. If you live on the edge of a field or meadow, you probably don't need to worry about host plants—there are plenty of them nearby. Providing shelter from the wind and rain in the form of tall shrubs, vines, and even small trees. Last week we asked…

How do you change Outlook's default font? This is another one of those tips that belongs in the I didn't know you could do that! category. Changing the default font is simple enough but the task is complicated by the interface layers you have to wade through to get to the option. The curse of Outlook is that everything's buried under layers and layers of breadcrumbs.

In Outlook 2003 and 2007, change the default font used for reading and composing messages as follows:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Mail Format tab.
  3. Click Fonts in the Stationery and Fonts section.
  4. Set the desired font in the Choose Font option.
  5. Click OK.

In Outlook 2010, do the following to change the default font:

  1. Click the File tab and click Options under Help.
  2. Click Mail in the left pane.
  3. Click Stationery and Fonts in the Compose Message section.
  4. Use both tabs to set the default font for your signature and messages. You can set a different font for composing, replying and forwarding, and reading.
  5. Click OK.

If you specify a default stationery, it might override your default font.

Congratulations to Jjacson3755, who was the first to respond correctly! Thanks for playing along everyone!


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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