Creating 100 Fact-Based Supplier Negotiation Decks with custom storylines in 15 minutes

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


This tutorial video gives an overview of the SlideFab capabilities when it comes to automatically creating whole presentations and not just mere slides. The example is based upon the idea that for annual negotiations with the suppliers there should be a custom-tailored fact-based presentation for every supplier in order to prepare and support the negotiations, ultimately leading to better results (e.g. savings). Therefore a storyline is created which leads through the historic performance and culminates in a claim for the upcoming year. The video explains how custom formula-based slide titles and content can be created to really have a personalized look and feel beyond just showing charts and tables. As a result, based on 7 templates slides, 650 slides  for 100 suppliers will be created (50 slides are not created for sake of story consistency using the slide condition feature.  Basically it is about just not showing some suppliers how good they actually are 😉 ).

Of course, this idea of custom-tailored presentations can be applied in other domains as well, e.g. when conducting surveys and using SlideFab to create feedback presentations for all participants or when running a decentralized project where individual work plans and instructions need to be compiled in larger numbers or on a regular basis through SlideFab.

Please note: The video was created with SlideFab 1.7 which at this time was still known as SlydMkr. For the new features since then please refer to The most powerful Powerpoint automation tool got even stronger: SlydMkr / SlideFab v 1.8 released.

SlideFab FBN example video tutorial poster

Creating supplier spend tables in Powerpoint automatically using SlideFab

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


The new SlideFab v1.8 introduced the Slide Loops feature which brought great flexibility and power. In this video a very simple example will be shown on how this function works. Spend data from a list of companies in Excel shall be copied over to Powerpoint in such a way that there is one slide per supplier. One slide - and if this is not enough? Indeed, in such cases SlideFab will take care and create as many slides a required in order to have everything covered.

SlideFab v1.8 poster

The most powerful Powerpoint automation tool got even stronger: SlydMkr / SlideFab v 1.8 released

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


This brand new version 1.8 of SlideFab (formerly "SlydMkr") brings numerous novelties and innovations. A huge impact has a conceptual breakthrough in the model base / variants logic: Slide loops which can be found in the slide template edit window.

So far SlideFab was able to create one slide per slide template and variant combination. Now, SlideFab is able to create an arbitrary number of slides per slide template / variant combination. This is tremendously helpful when one slide template is just not enough to cover all content. And even better: Depending on the requirements of each variant the number of loops can be defined using formulas (e.g. when variants are categories and each category contains multiple sub categories. Now, every sub category needs to be put on a separate slide. Then slide loops allow it to flexibly determine the category-specific number of slides based on a simple count function.).

On top this SlideFab v1.8 contains an improved and redesigned reference editor which is key for most worksheet interactions.

Apart from the already existing resize mode (1st button), the named range selector (2nd button), the table / column picker (3rd button) it now contains the possibility to select fields from pivot tables.

The selection windows for named ranges, table / columns and pivot fields now contains a text-based filter. This improves handling of SlideFab when working with richer Excel files.


The following lists give an overview of the novelties and bugfixes since version 1.7.


What's new in SlideFab 1.8


  • Added loops to slide templates (see explanation above)
  • Remade the named range and table/column picker windows which now contain filtering features
  • Added the option to reference pivot table fields for the variants list directly
  • Import Handling has now the feature to remove orphaned shapes (shapes which exist in SlideFab but not in the PPT template anymore)
  • When focussing the entry field of the range picker, SlideFab will automatically activate the appropriate sheet and select this range in Excel
  • When opening up template file a progress bar will show how long it still takes
  • SlideFab is now able to delete existing shapes, tables, etc. from a slide when the shape condition evaluates to false (instead of just ignoring it)
  • For creating think-cell charts SlideFab can now handle transposed source ranges
  • Added option to remove think-cell tags from shapes in the Powerpoint add-in
  • SlideFab can now remove activated computers from the license server, freeing up the license for other machines.

Bugfixes / Improvements:

  • Fixed a bug where an Excel table without formatting stopped the Excel table to be created at all
  • Fixed a bug which stopped decomposition into multiple files by template
  • Fixed a bug where Excel tables where slightly moved towards the bottom right corner as if they were copy pasted
  • Ensured cleaning of the clipboard while running SlideFab
  • Fixed the error message when running custom VBA code which appeared all the time - even when everything went fine
  • Fixed a bug which led to an incorrect name when the template file was refreshed and the names were supposed to be taken from the template file


SlideFab v1.7 poster

Automatically creating Powerpoint reports got even easier: SlydMkr 1.7 released!

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


The latest version of SlydMkr contains a couple of new functions to improve user experience and to create even better slides and presentations. One really cool new feature is to create sections in the output presentation which improves readability and browsing in the slide sorter view. For example when creating fact based negotiation decks by suppliers then there will be a section for each supplier (cf. screenshot for illustration). A new auto-update functions help to keep SlydMkr up-to-date without having to download and install the latest version manually.
This new version contains also some bug fixes and improvements to robustness.


What's new in SlydMkr 1.7


  • The update check was removed in favor of an auto update function which can download and install the most recent SlydMkr version from the homepage
  • An option was added to create sections in the output presentation either by variant name or slide template name
  • Slide making stats will be shown after completion giving feedback on how much time the Excel models takes to calculate in comparison to the slide making time (lower Excel calculation times are better)
  • Added estimation of time left for the slide making process

Bugfixes / Improvements:

  • Improved the handling of all reference edit controls (e.g. for selecting model base range or variants range)
  • Fixed a bug which led to tables having an incorrect size when file decomposition was enabled
  • Fixed an error when duplicating slides that the reference name and id to the Powerpoint slide got lost
  • Improved a bug which disabled automatic version check permanently
  • Some further fixes and enhancements to increase overall robustness (also when using think-cell)


SlideFab v1.6 poster

New SlydMkr v1.6 available now

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


This new SlydMkr release version 1.6 contains several bug fixes and performance improvements. In this rather small update there are two key novelties worth mentioning: a) When exporting to tables, there is a new option to eliminate empty rows. This is really helpful to fit the table to the data. b) When exporting formatted text or table SlydMkr now supports Conditional Formats from Excel and colors shapes or table cells accordingly. This makes it easy to create dashboards without having to use the SlydMkr screenshot function (aka Picture export mode).

What's new in SlydMkr 1.6

Bugfixes / Changes:

  • Fixed an issue when FitShapeToText led to a false positioning
  • Smaller bugfixes and improvements for the table exporting mode
  • The decomposition into multiple files received a significant speed improvement
  • Fixed missing horizontal and vertical alignments of text in freshly created Powerpoint tables
  • Fixed an issue where the progress bar was running too fast to 100% due to shapes without source range
  • When creating presentations and slides an independent progress bar replaced the one embedded into the main window
  • Several changes to the underlying threading implementation for a more robust slide making process


  • Support of conditional formats when exporting texts, formatted texts and tables
  • When exporting tables there is a new option to remove empty row


New SlydMkr v1.5 available now

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


With the release of SlydMkr 1.5 a significant set of changes will be introduced. Apart from a number of bugfixes a small number of nice but useful features will be added to SlydMkr.

So far slides coming from a template presentation (e.g. an empty company presentation with corporate identity) in SlydMkr had the name Powerpoint gave them, e.g. Slide1, Slide2, Slide3. This was OK but when the the order changed or slides were deleted, the naming got a little awkward. SlydMkr 1.5 contains a Powerpoint add-in which allows to rename slides (and shapes as well) within Powerpoint. This will make it much easier to handle the slides originating from a template presentation.


Another novelty is that SlydMkr 1.5 can handle changes in the template presentation itself. For example, when new slides are added to the template presentation in Powerpoint, SlydMkr 1.5 will identify these slides and add them to the already known set of slides. The old behavior of just re-importing everything is deprecated. For the already imported slides, SlydMkr 1.5 offers something new as well. For example, when a shape is repositioned within the template presentation then SlydMkr 1.5 can update the coordination without losing the automation settings  (content source range, content condition, etc.).


These new features of naming slides directly in Powerpoint and the template presentation reload/update feature improve the process of setting up SlydMkr tremendously. 


What's new in SlydMkr 1.5

Bugfixes / Changes:

  • Corrected an issue with Umlaut symbols when saving settings
  • Added XML file type text when saving settings file
  • Corrected an issue when font resizing led to an Excel freeze
  • Corrected an issue when making slides led to an Excel crash
  • Making slides process will be resumed if a valid license is provided upon missing license request
  • Various other minor bugs were fixed


  • Support of multiple Powerpoint themes and layouts coming from the template presentation file
  • Re-importing template presentations and handling existing slides
  • Powerpoint add-in to name slides and shapes

Mass production of think-cell charts using SlydMkr for the Sales Chart Example

UPDATE: SlideFab 2 is now available with groundbreaking changes. The text below is deprecated.


In 2017 the famous Powerpoint add-in think-cell will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Even though plenty of great visualization (and also data investigation) tools such as Tableau and Qlikview have emerged since then, it cannot be denied that think-cell is the gold standard when it comes to creating charts in Powerpoint presentations. think-cell is easy to use and creates pretty, polished charts.

However, when it comes to creating many think-cell charts, the task is not so easy. Using the data-link function to connect Powerpoint with Excel is helpful for sure, but it can become quite hard to maintain in complex situations when there are multiple presentation versions with multiple think-cell charts. Also implementing custom VBA code to create think-cell charts automatically can become quite challenging.

This is where SlydMkr will come into play: This tutorial is about think-cell chart mass production. It will be shown how SlydMkr can be used to create think-cell charts automatically. As this approach does not involve any coding, it is very easy to set up. The "trick" is that the think-cell charts are defined as usual in Powerpoint, while the data range will be defined in the Excel model. But instead of using the well-known data-link mentioned above, SlydMkr will take care of business: While creating the slides, the think-cell charts will be updated with right data automatically.