PowerPoint 2010 offers a few new features, but the biggest improvement I have seen is its stability. Preparing for a training class recently, I got a chance to dig into PowerPoint and work out a few slides.
Office 2007 users will notice that the Ribbon has continued into the 2010 release, and much of it is a carryover from the last version. As in other applications, Microsoft has improved the Office menu by changing to a concept called BackStage (discussed in more detail in my Word 2010 overview). This puts the menu in focus when it's selected by the user. Rather than produce a series of slide-out menus, Backstage covers the screen when opened.
PowerPoint's slide recording features for narration and timing have also been improved in the technical preview, making rehearsal of a slide show easier than before. In addition, the animations and transitions seem to get better (or at least different) with every release, which provides some new methods for changing slides.
As I mentioned, I've found the stability of PowerPoint 2010 to be a huge improvement. The application feels better and doesn't seem to dump me out and require a recovery of my files.
PowerPoint 2010 brings a way to group slides together within a presentation by creating sections. When you create a section, you can hide or display multiple slides at once, reducing the maintenance needed when working on a slide deck. Sections allow slides to be grouped in the sorter view in PowerPoint to make working with and building (or arranging) your content easier.Note: Sections do not affect the showing of a presentation unless the order of the slide deck is changed by section. If you move section two above section one, the slides will then present in that order. Figure A shows the slide sorter view with two sections of slides.
Working with PowerPoint 2010 has been better than PowerPoint 2007 — but many of the features are carried over. From what I've seen so far, not much is new. Of course, that could change by the time the final product has released. The application stability is a big plus and a huge step in the right direction for Microsoft.
Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.