Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
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Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


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3d bezier curves ] custom toolbars ] clever snap to grid ] Excel in PowerPoint ] fast ppt in outline view ] Friday for FAQ's ] object selection and visibility ] offline clip art (new) ] photo albums ] powerpoint layouts ] round tripping ] Save image portion as image in 2003 or 2007 ] [ smart tags ] word art from text ] xcelsius Interactive Charts ]


Smart tags

Logic: shows you how to use PowerPoint's Smart Tags to integrate with other programs (such as Outlook).

Most people have seen Smart Tags as the little purple wavy underline and wondered: "How do I get rid of that"? I think Smart Tags will be one of those things many people will not know what to do with until they are long deleted in some future version of Microsoft Office. So, what are they, what do they do, and should you waste your time? Naturally, if your opinion differs, please let me know and we will open up a discussion!

To me, Smart Tags save time as they are really hyperlinks to other programs which perform actions based on the type of data you have entered on your slide. PowerPoint will check information as you type it in, based on what it knows. The good news is you can update to new Smart Tags, as well as some commercial options also.

For example, type in someone's name and PowerPoint will hopefully recognize it as someone you can email. You will know it is recognized by the purple underline.

auto correct options

You turn Smart Tags on or off via the Tools menu, AutoCorrect Options.

auto correct dialogue box

The process is then simple:

  1. First, you need to turn them on by labelling text with tags.

  2. Tags available include financial symbols and

  3. Persons names.  PowerPoint will be good at picking up a names you have already used in Outlook. I have used them in Office 2003.

  4. You can tell PowerPoint to check the presentation and this is important particularly if you update to new tag types or change some options.

  5. Extra Smart Tags are available online.

  6. Finally, you have the option to embed Smart Tags. This may be important if you believe other people who may use your presentation does not have the same Tags you have. But remember, embedding anything will increase file size.

smart tag

When your Tags are ready, you can click on the drop down button to see what action to take. For example, you can quickly go online to update share prices.

smart tag options

Hence Smart tags give you access to options outside of PowerPoint. They also work in other Office programs. For example, you can maintain information in Excel that is linked to PowerPoint. But the information in Excel can be Smart tag rich.

download smart tags

Remember this is only the beginning as you can download other Smart Tags.

Now, the bad news.

Smart Tags are for editing presentations only. They do not work in Slideshow mode, so you cannot interactively use them while running a show.

Finally, love them or hate them, they are here. I'd suggest you explore them further. Unfortunately, while PowerPoint's help tells you how to use them, to me it doesn't tell you WHY.






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