Category Archives: Techniques

Converting photos to powerpoint with lines and shading

powerpoint newborn wallaby drawing

drawing of newborn wallaby created in Powerpoint

If you want to create drawings like the one to the right using a program you already know how to use, this tutorial may help you. Powerpoint is not ideal for this sort of drawing, but it is easier than Inkscape (free) or Adobe Illustrator (very expensive), since you already know how to drive powerpoint. No new user interface to learn, just a few tricks and tweaks to get the head around.

My tutorial will take you through the key steps in generating this illustration of a newborn wallaby attached to a teat in the pouch. I will show how to generate the base by tracing the outlines from a photo, and then how to embellish this with fills and shading to get a reasonably 3-D appearance.

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Opening old PPT files

I recently tried to open an old ppt file, only to discover that Micro$oft no longer supports ERROR-Powerpoint cannot openopening of PPT 95 and earlier. Sigh! Alas, the current Open Office also failed to open the file (open office usually manages file conversions that Microsoft fails; I could always hunt out an older open office installation and load it on a virtual machine, but that seemed like overkill for a single file conversion). Fortunately there is an easy way to open these old files, that I found on this page. It provides explanations and links to a free file conversion service offered by Zamzar. I gave it a whirl and it worked like a charm. Only one issue – I asked it to covert the old PPT file to the new PPTX format, and it failed. I tried again, asking conversion to PPT (1997-2003) format and it worked (current powerpoint 2010 that I use will open ppt 1997-2003 format files), so I opened and re-saved in PPTX format for good measure.

The Zazmar conversion service also supports a plethora of other format conversions including:

PDF to Word | PDF to Excel | FLAC to MP3 | DOC to PDF | MP4 to AVI | MP4 to MP3 | M4A to MP3 | WAV to MP3 | MKV to AVI | WMA to MP3 | JPG to Word | XPS to PDF | FLV to MP4 | AVI to MP4 | MKV to MP4 | AVI to MP4 | FLV to AVI | DOCX to PDF | MOV to AVI | MP3 to OGG | PNG to JPG | TIFF to PDF | AIFF to MP3 | JPG to PNG

They claim to support over 1200 file formats, so you are not likely to have some format they cannot convert (and if you do, you can email them and their software engineers will have a look).