I’m going to finish off this series of Better with Office posts, but there’s more that could be said. If I’ve peaked your interest, I’d suggest reading the Fair, Good, Better, Best whitepaper which goes into more technical information about the integration between SharePoint and Office products.

In this final post, I’m going to talk about slide libraries. These are a feature provided by MOSS standard that link in with PowerPoint 2007. When creating a new library in SharePoint, slide libraries are one of the templates that come out of the box.

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Once you’ve created your slide library, you can start uploading slides. Unlike in other document libraries, where you upload files through SharePoint’s interface, when you go to upload and click publish slides, you get taken to PowerPoint. You pick a presentation as though you were open a file, but then you get a new window displaying all the slides of that presentation. Each slide has a check box beside it. You can pick specific slides or choose select all and then click the publish button. This will take your chosen slides and put them into the slide library. You can start off this process either from inside the slide library or by going to the main menu and choosing publish from inside PowerPoint.

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The thing that’s worth noting is that each slide is displayed, rather than a whole file. If someone watched one of my presentations and thought that a particular slide was really useful, they would be able to download just that slide, rather than a whole PowerPoint deck.

To use slides, you just click in the check boxes beside the slide preview and then click the Copy Slide to Presentation Button.

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You have the option to either put this slide in a new presentation or to put it in one that’s already open. By default, the slide will take on the formatting of the presentation deck it’s being copied into so you don’t have to worry about changing background and font colours for every slide, but you can override this option if you so wish. The other option that’s worth noting is the ability to be informed with the slide changes. This can be really useful if you’re using a slide that will be updated. For example, you might be using a slide showing sales figures. If you choose this option, you’ll be told when you open your presentation if there is a new version of the sales figures slide, so you can make sure your presentation is up to date.

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Slide libraries are a wonderful feature if you’re in an organisation where PowerPoint presentations are common and where people often want to share and reuse slides created by someone else.