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Invoking slide automation through the all new SlideFab 2 API. Here comes SlideFab 2 v1.10

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

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SlideFab 2 v1.7 release image

think-cell chart mass production with all new SlideFab 2 v1.7

think-cell create Excel link

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.

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Creating customized story flows in PowerPoint slide and presentation mass production

Using customization to individualize mass-produced PowerPoint slides

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.

Matrix customization vs 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.

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SlideFab 2 dashboard competition title image

Human-vs-Machine: How SlideFab 2 performs against human brute force

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.

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SlideFab 2 Likert Chart Example Title page

Likert Charts mass creation in Powerpoint using Excel and SlideFab 2

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.

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SlideFab 2 v1.5 release hero image

Mass Producing Excel Charts to Powerpoint gets easier with all new SlideFab 2 v1.5

SlideFab 2 v1.5 comes with the great new feature to automate Excel-to-Powerpoint linked charts. This is a great addition to the existing SlideFab 2 features which can copy charts from Excel to Powerpoint as image and to update the data in Powerpoint charts. Of course, this feature is also supported in the all free SlideFab 2 LITE edition.

MINOR UPDATE 10th January, 2019: A new installer was made available as the old SSL certificate had expired.

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How Excel Tables exceed Named Ranges when writing legible formulas

Creating legible Excel formulas is something which is very handy, typically. No matter whether another person or oneself needs to adopt and understand an Excel file. It can be difficult to find into the logic of an old or alien Excel file: Then even plain calculations can be hard to grasp. But there are also cases where complex workbooks are easy to understand. It depends, as always:

Imagine a classical way to make an Excel file hard to understand: Adding numerous references across worksheets to single cells. This happens quite often. Even to adapt Excel users: For example, they separate calculation sheets from a parameter sheet. Conceptually, this is a good idea, but things can get messy.

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How to easily automate creating slides with a Powerpoint chart from Excel

UPDATE: Check out an even simpler and faster way to automate this example using linked charts based on the new SlideFab 2 v1.5. Never the less, the approach below is still valid.

This video is based on a scenario where lots of data in Excel is used to create numerous slides with each having a Powerpoint chart. SlideFab will create the slides and update the data ranges for the charts automatically.

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