How to Create Any Custom Shape in PowerPoint?

This post is a tutorial on how you can create any shape in PowerPoint and bring your creative ideas to reality. And, you can do this with your computer mouse itself without having to invest in an expensive Wacom tablet!

I know… it is always nice to have a Graphic Designer work on the visuals of our presentations, but there are times when we can’t afford one or the Graphic Designer is inundated with other requests and is unable to fulfill our requests. Sometimes, we may just feel the creative urge to develop the graphics on our own. It is in those situations that you will find this tutorial helpful. Even if you have a Graphic Designer on the project, suggest him or her to use PowerPoint to create the graphics instead of their favorite image editor tool.

Note: I am using Office 2016 for this tutorial.
Why Create Shapes in PowerPoint and Not in Image Editing Software? I can give you several reasons for creating shapes in PowerPoint directly: PowerPoint is a commonly available software in …

Things You Should Do Before Developing Captivate Simulations–Part 2

This is the second and final part of my post on the activities you should perform before developing Captivate simulations. You may extend some of these activities to simulation development projects using other tools also, such as Articulate, UPK, SAP Enable Now, etc. While in my previous post, the activities that I described mostly focused on the Captivate tool, in this post I will explain the activities that are related to the management of your project, such as setting up standards, checklists, trackers, and processes; training the team; and managing the subject matter experts (SMEs). Now, let’s look at the remaining activities. 1 Understand the Scope Finalize the scope of the project by creating a list of simulations that must be developed.  2 Create Folder Structure Come up with a folder structure on your computer for the project. The structure should have dedicated folders for your project deliverables, and it should be easy and intuitive to navigate. A good folder structure wil…

Things You Should Do Before Developing Captivate Simulations–Part 1

I have been developing software simulations using Adobe Captivate for almost a decade now. So, based on my experience, I am going to use this two-part post to share the activities that you should consider performing before developing simulations using Captivate. Whether you work alone or in a team, these activities will help you standardize the development process and mass produce high quality simulations that look and work consistently. Not only that, these activities will also reduce rework in your project. 
As you know, Adobe releases a new version of Captivate almost every year. However, the points I am going to share with you in this post are timeless. It is 2019, and these points still hold true today!
Note: In this post, I will be using the words ‘software’ and ‘application’ interchangeably, but they mean the same. 1 Make Sure the Application is Ready for Recording Simulations This is a very important point. Do not record simulations before the software application is stable or…

Accelerating Training Content Development with VBA

This blog post describes how you can use automation in training content development projects to deliver high quality content efficiently. Microsoft Office is one of the preferred software application suites for developing training content. Visual Basic for Applications or VBA is a powerful technology built into Microsoft Office products. Instructional Designers can use this technology to develop automation solutions that can speed up the training content development process and improve the quality of training deliverables.
1 Introduction Developing training content is a rewarding, but an effort-intensive activity with several manual tasks. Training content development involves several days of researching content, authoring the content, and then hours of proofreading, formatting, and integrating the content. The content development process becomes more complex and challenging when there are multiple authors, multiple reviewers, multiple formats, and shorter time frames available to de…


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