PowerPoint is the dominant presentation software, but lacks some helpful features to give your audience a hint how much they have seen already and how much still to be expected. Maybe you have some chapters/sections in your presentation - and you want your listeners also know about those.
There is no internal possibility to create a progress indicator in PowerPoint. There are some scripts on the web - but they are quite hard to find and harder to use. Furthermore: They are way not as advanced as this – free and open source (!) – Powerpoint add-in!
The Progress Indicator was originally developed by Edgar Loper (Progress Dots), modified by Adam Wilson and heavily extended by Olaf Nöhring.
It should work on Microsoft Office 365/2019 (also 2010 (windows only), 2013 and 2016), 32bit and 64bit versions and on MAC OS as well as on Windows! This page illustrates some features and includes a download link directly from the (last) developer.
Is this macro safe? Yes. Also, you get not only the PowerPoint add-in, but also the source code so you can always check it out yourself (and change it if you like). If you are interested in contributing to the development of the add-in contact me directly (or see the github page to contact Adam).
It looks like this, shown is version 1.92 in Windows 10 with MS-Office 2016:
Version 1.922 in MS-Office 365/2019 on MAC OS (as I do not have a MAC, please send me a screenshot. Thanks):
As you see, the Progress Indicator (macro/add-in) will create a new tab in the ribbon. All options on this tab have keyboard shortcuts (press ALT in PowerPoint and watch what happens). The ribbon is split into several parts (Indicator, Shape, Section, Margin, Slide and Ignore), most of the icons are from FatCow.
If change any settings in the ribbon, the Progress Indicator will immediately update (or create) indicators with those settings. Please note, that if you change a value in the dropdown fields by hand, you need to press the Enter key after you have entered the value to make the ribbon recognize the change. If you are working with a large presentation and the automatic updates are too slow, simply uncheck auto-update (then click create when you want to update the indicators). Also good for large presentations: Ignore the indicator, but show sections only. But don‘t forget: If you change your presentation, add/delete/reorder slides/sections you will need to click create to update the Progress Indicator!
We tried to make the Progress Indicator work exactly the same way on Windows and MAC. This was not always possible. Please read the following documentation where we point out known differences.
Did you know? Progress Indicator is featured on indezine.com. If you know about any other reviews, please let me know.
Dropdown set to "Shapes":
and here the same slide in the same presentation, when the dropdown is set to "Sections":
Introduced in version 1.85 you will see an informational window once you press the Create (or Preview) button or Auto-Update is initiated. The information, as seen in the image, displays the creation progress absolute and relative and gives some information about the number of created indicators and sections (M is medium).
Something very useful is the estimation of the time needed to finish the complete progress indicator and of the estimated end time. This value is recalculated on each new slide and takes in account, that the creation time get's longer with each slide. This seems to be connected to the internal handling of the amount of shapes PowerPoint has to take care of.
Please note, that the estimation is exactly that: An estimation. In tests with approximately 60, 80, 100 and 120 slides it was quite exact after the indicators had been created for about 20% of all slides (or 20 slides).
In case you clicked the Create of Preview button by accident (or forgot to disable Auto-Update) you can now also simply press the Cancel button in the information window. This will cancel the creation after the current slide is finished. Note: As internal code takes up a lot of computing power, you might need to press more than once to make PowerPoint notice that you clicked it.
The list of indicators/shapes also contains some with visual hints (Windows and MAC version shown):
Starting in version 1.86 you can also use custom images as indicators. Just choose the appropriate setting from the dropdown list. Then a new window will appear where you choose your images. Just follow these simple steps:
Warnings: Choose files that are small (width/height + filesize). Choose only images! I tested with png and jpg files.
It could look like this. Transparent background in the png files. In PI a green background and a black solid border were set and different transparency settings applied:
You love colors? Sure you do, and thus we provide you with an easy way to adjust the colors (all of them in Shape, Section) very simple. We created a color-chooser for you (images show Windows and MAC version). Whenever you press a button the color-chooser will open. The title of the window will let you know what color you are working on, the old color, as well as a preview for the new color will be displayed.
The color chooser allows to change the colors by
Each indicator is also a link to that slide, so are the section titles. Links work only when you start your presentation, not in design view!
Sections are a Powerpoint feature to organize your slides into different parts. Think of those as topics or chapters in a book. You can add sections in development view in the miniature view or in the slide sort view by simply right clicking and choosing Add Section. See the official help on using sections in Powerpoint or let Youtube show you how to use them.
The Progress Indicators will divide the indicators by section and display the section names above (or below) the indicators.
If you section has the special joker name PISectionnameHidden, there will be no name in the section title displayed but only empty space. This is used in the (rare) situation that you want to show the indicators for a section without showing a section name. You can have more than one section with this name.
Starting in version 1.827 you can also have a section with the special name PISectionHidden. None of the pages in this section will get an indicator and/or section title. This makes it easily possible to have some backup slides which nobody notices but which are available in case you want to show them. Probably you want to place a section with this name at the end of your presentation. You can have more than one section with this name.
Sections without a slide will never be shown.
You can decide not to show section titles by checking the Ignore Sections (see Ignore)
Available settings include
When you select from the Font dropdown there is also a "...more..." option (Windows and MAC version shown).
Choosing this will open a new window where you can select from all installed fonts on your machine (MS-Word might open in the background but close directly again – the add-in reads the installed fonts from there). Please note: If you choose "...more..." and want to choose another font from the list afterwards again, you need to choose one of the other fonts in the list first. Windows and MAC version shown.
You also get a preview of how the selected font will look.
The settings in this area are for the progress indicator in general (Left, Right, Top), for the sections (Space) and the indicators in the sections (Squeeze) and the vertical space (Gap) between the section titles and the indicators.
Please note: You can enter values by hand. We noticed, that on MAC the values you enter will be used, but not displayed in the ribbon correctly (MAC only displays values that are present in the dropdown list).
In the following image you can see that slides with number 28 and 29 have the same indicator as slide with number 27. On slide 28 and 29 the Repeat-button was used.
In this area are currently only two settings.
This was part of the Ignore area before version 1.92. A user wrote he had a very large presentation (11 sections where one section has 39 slides) and PI would not be too helpful with this. He was asking, if it's possible to have indicators for the currently active section only. So, starting at version 1.92 you get this feature - and more.
This area of the ribbon contains two dropdown lists. The first is for the visibility of sections (characterized by the rectangle), the second for the visibility of indicators (characterized by the star).
For sections you have the following options:
For indicators you have the following options:
Make sure you disable the old version before installing the new version. You can always disable the new and enable an old version.
If you'd like to edit the macro, to make your own customizations to it. It would be nice to let me know about this:
Please be aware, that PI creates a lot of new shapes on your presentation. Creating these, can take it's time, depending on the amount of slides you have. Make sure, you turn off Auto-Update! The information windows that shows up when you press the Create or Preview button (or on Auto-Update), will calculate the estimated time for completion.
I have been testing a presentation with 100 slides. All 100 are visible and have no extra PI settings applied to them, no sections have been created. This means, when creating the progress indicator 100 x 100 = 10,000 new shapes will be created. In my case this took about 7 minutes and 10 seconds. Slow? Well, try creating them by hand ;-)
Please let me know using the contact form.
Attention MAC users only: The Fill Options (introduced in 1.835) seems to crash your PPT sometimes. Save before using!