PowerPoint 2008

PowerPoint 2008

Changes to PowerPoint should make it easier for you to wow your audience.


Creating slick presentations has always been pretty easy with PowerPoint, but there’s a noticeable difference between a good presentation and a genuinely great one. PowerPoint 2008 applies the same new features that make the new Word so much better, making it that much easier to build stunning presentations that really get your audience’s attention.


More Elements

Like the other Office apps, PowerPoint’s Elements Gallery makes it easy to put slides together.


Just like Word and Excel, PowerPoint 2008 comes with a handy Elements Gallery—but this one is even more loaded with options. You can use it to quickly grab slide themes, pick a new layout for your next slide, pick from a host of transitions, insert tables and charts, and create SmartArt graphics or WordArt.


Because the various elements in the Elements Gallery are subdivided into categories, finding the right transition or slide layout takes less trial and error than before. To add a 3D transition, just click Transitions and choose 3D to see eight options, rather than having to wade through 59 different options. (Although you can view all 59 transitions if you want to, of course.)


Object Palette

You can access iPhoto images for use in PowerPoint.


When you want to add photos or clip art to your presentation, just click the Object Palette in the Toolbar. It’s the icon that looks like a little picture. This little tool is available throughout Office, but nowhere is it more useful than in PowerPoint. Here you can browse through a variety of ready-made graphics and photos, or pounce right into your iPhoto library to grab your own images.


Smart Art

PowerPoint makes it easy to add customized graphics.


SmartArt graphics and WordArt are truly intuitive in PowerPoint 2008. While they can be put to good use in Word, they’re almost essential in presentations. Now you can choose a graphic, drop it in, and enter your text in seconds, without having to go into another dialog box to find what you’re looking for. And if the first graphic you choose doesn’t fit your needs, you can just choose another one in the Elements Gallery and any text you’ve already entered will be preserved.


Office 2008: The Final Verdict

With its emphasis on making advanced features like charts and graphics readily accessible and easy to use, Office 2008 may be the first Microsoft product that seems to really get what Mac users want. The Elements Gallery makes Office 2008 not only more powerful than Apple iWork or Office 2004, but also simpler to work with. If you do only minimal work with your Mac, such as typing up the occasional letter or adding up a few columns in a spreadsheet, you probably don’t need to spend $400 to get Office 2008. If you do serious number crunching, write scholarly papers, or give presentations frequently, iWork just doesn’t come close to Office 2008’s capabilities.


COMPANY: Microsoft

CONTACT: www.microsoft.com/mac

PRICE: $399.95, $149.95 Home and Student Edition, $499.95 Special Media Edition

REQUIREMENTS: (Standard Edition) 500MHz G4 or later or Intel processor, Mac OS 10.4.9 or later, 512MB RAM, 1.5GB hard disk space





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I can't agree with the final verdict here. I own and use both iWork and Office 2008 on my Macs, and I would argue that while Word and Pages are equivalent in quality and Excel beats Numbers, Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint. Not only does it have some beautiful themes, but it exports nicely to PowerPoint if needed, and adding media to the slides is drag and drop. It would be nice if additional themes were available without buying expensive software.

As for other claims in the final verdict, as an academic, I wouldn't be using Pages OR Word for serious writing. In the natural sciences, the open-source LaTeX is the norm, and it is on the rise in the social sciences, as well. Its built-in citations database and beautiful typesetting (even for equations) puts it head and shoulders above Office and iWork.


Gavin Thain

Anyone know if Office 2008 is compatible with browsing Aperture pics the same way that can be done with iPhoto?

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