Microsoft today announced major updates to PowerPoint 2016 for Windows and PowerPoint for Windows Mobile that make it easier to build impressive looking layouts and transitions.
The improvements come courtesy of two new PowerPoint features, Designer and Morph. These features are available exclusively to Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft says, and are arriving first in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows desktop and Windows Mobile. But these features will roll out to other platforms “in the coming months.”
“PowerPoint Designer and Morph are new intelligent tools that work for you by automating the creation of slides and presentations, helping everyone get more out of Office,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer explains. “With a cloud-powered recommendation engine and smart animation technology, these new PowerPoint capabilities help anyone create polished slides and captivating motion effects with just a few quick steps.”
PowerPoint Designer helps you create high quality, professional-looking slides. It can suggest multiple design ideas based on an image, letting you focus on the content of your presentation instead of sweating over the design.
According to Microsoft, Designer uses “cloud intelligence” to analyze and identify the most compelling part of an image to determine which of over 12,000 blueprints will work best with your content. “The end result is a high quality and customized presentation—in seconds,” Koenigsbauer says.
Morph seeks to work a similar magic for transitions. Instead of just animating text or images, Morph can also animate 3D shapes or be applied at a word or character level, including text wrapping. “Simply duplicate slides you want morphed together, move the objects based on how you want them to animate and click the Morph button under Transitions,” Koenigsbauer explains. “You’ll be amazed with the quality of animations you create with just one click.”
I haven’t had time to check out these new features yet—apparently, the Office team uses a roulette wheel to determine who gets prebriefed these days—but both are desperately needed. I was surprised by how little the theme choices had changed in Office 2016, and none of the stock choices are particularly interesting. So this is good news.
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