Microsoft Powerpoint: for screen, not for print!

Most businesses do some in-house design – usually basic office documents and forms. Sometimes this can extend to presentations, or even brochures. The types of programs used to create the artwork we have seen, have been quite creative, but not always ideal.

The tricky part is that nearly every office has Microsoft Office in their software. This comes with a range of handy programs, each with their own features. Publisher is really the “design” program of Microsoft Office, but we rarely see it used. It even handles CMYK colours (print ink colours!), but we feel it’s probably not utilised because it’s the lesser-known of the programs. And lesser-used = lesser-familiar, etc.

So we have artwork sent to us from Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. We even had one client build a webpage and get it online in Excel (you know who you are)!!!

The trend we see is clients get frustrated by the limitations of Word, and create what they want in Powerpoint instead. Word has print margins that, by default, won’t let you place anything outside them – leaving a big white border. Word also generally won’t let you position text “anywhere”, unless you get creative with text boxes. So the next best program for flexibility that we have all used in our life? Powerpoint!

The issue is that Powerpoint is not set up for print – it’s set up for screen presentations. It does have a lot more flexibility with positioning images and text, as print areas don’t matter on screen. It also allows you to shuffle pages around, which Word doesn’t. The flexibility makes it a much more friendly program to create artwork in, even though it’s not traditionally for print. The files from Powerpoint don’t save too well for printing either.

If you’re creating your own artwork in your office, try to stick to this guide:
Microsoft Word: forms, single-page flyers
Powerpoint: presentations on a computer/projector
Publisher: posters, brochures