There are plenty of reasons to connect Excel with PowerPoint. Often this is about keeping numbers or charts up-to-date. In other cases it is about creating data-driven slides automatically. For both cases there are various add-ins available. The following list contains a selection of tools for exporting or connecting from Excel to PowerPoint.
The internet is full of articles, blog entries and recommendations dealing on how to create PowerPoint slides from Excel using VBA. As Excel and PowerPoint seem to be quite as old as the internet itself, the amount of information is enormous.
Additionally, there is a huge group of people asking for help in forums like reddit or stackoverflow. Quite often they show pieces of VBA code found somewhere on the internet. And then, of course, they struggle to adapt the code to their own problem.
How can it be that the offer of help is so huge but the need for individual support is even greater? Is it really so easy to create PowerPoint slides from Excel using VBA? The following list gives an overview of what is available on the internet regarding this topic. But, of course, there is much more available through web search.
When creating recurring PowerPoint slides based on Excel workbooks, there are 5 different SlideFab Export Modes to choose from. This video elaborates on how to choose and employ the right Export Mode. The video shows how to set up the Excel model and the PowerPoint slide template for the use of SlideFab.
This update to version 2.0 brings various new features to SlideFab:
A new chart export modes for allowing more flexibility in the output presentation
A helpful feature to edit the path to multiple linked charts at once
A killer button to end all Excel processes
and a few things more.
Apart from these novelties the versioning was improved to distinguish the kind of update: For feature updates like this one, the major number left of the dot increases. For smaller updates and bugfixes the minor number counts. Accordingly, this version is not 1.12 but 2.0.
This new version is available at the download page. Already installed SlideFab updates automatically.
Putting traffic lights showing either red, yellow or green is an important feature for creating many kinds of slides, e.g. flash reports. Something like this can be done with SlideFab 2 easily. Watch the video to learn it.
So far, it was required to use the Make Slides window within SlideFab 2 to automatically create the PowerPoint slides based on Excel. This works fine. But for a deeper integration of SlideFab 2 into your own applications some API functionality was missing… until now. The slide mass creation can be invoked through the SlideFab 2 API using a few lines of code. It is pretty simple to use and offers a whole new world of opportunities for all those who enjoy coding VBA.
This new version is available at the download page or updated automatically from your existing SlideFab 2 installation
SlideFab 2 v1.8 is available now. It brings a couple of logical improvements to the Slide Loops feature. This feature can be used as an alternative or an enrichment to the overall iteration when creating multiple copies of a given slide. Of course, this new version is also available as all free SlideFab 2 LITE edition.
SlideFab 2 v1.7 brings not many updates but for fans of think-cell a significant one: When a PowerPoint template slide contains one or more Excel-linked think-cell charts, SlideFab will allow the chart update and break the Excel links for the output slides. In this way the output slides will contain real think-cell charts (not just mere screenshots or so) which can be fine-tuned or altered when required. Further information about how this works can be found in the documentation.
The art of creating PowerPoint presentations is topic of a whole industry: Templates, tutorials, manuals, best practices, etc. are offered to enable users to sculpture one perfect presentation. However, so much effort for one presentation does not scale well, e.g. when each country, business unit, team leader, etc needs a dedicated presentation. In such cases mass creating slides and presentations can help: Same structure but different data. In most cases the outcome is not very emotional or thrilling as titles or annotations do not reflect the message conveyed through the data. The slides tell no story. In fact, one might argue that a phonebook is more exciting. Unfortunately, the situation is as follows: One gets either customization or economies of scale.
However, this article is about approaches to bring more customization to mass-produced slides. Even though these tipps are meant for SlideFab 2, some will find them helpful for manual automation coding with VBA or Excel modeling in general. So, here are some ideas which explain how to get more customization when mass producing PowerPoint slides or presentation based on Excel.
How much time does SlideFab 2 really save? In order to find that out there will be a competition between Alice and Bob. On the one hand, Alice uses SlideFab 2. On the other hand, Bob uses his own hands with high-performance copy and paste and leverages a small VBA snippet as turbo. The task will be to create dashboard slides in PowerPoint which are filled through an Excel-based calculation.
There are plenty of ways to visualize results from surveys and benchmarks. A classical one is a line plot of the Likert scale (i.e. Likert chart / plot). While it is a great chart type, it is a pity that Excel does not offer it out of the box.
There are manuals on the internet available on how to build a Likert chart with Excel. However, this post explains how to mass create multiple slides with Likert Charts with SlideFab 2 for free. This can be useful in benchmarking surveys for example, where each participant shall receive a personalized result presentation.
UPDATE: There was a bug in the Excel model which led to incorrectly drawn charts. Thanks to Thomas Seitz from http://www.tsm-marktforschung.de/ for pointing this out. The example files was updated, cf. below.