Review: What’s new in PowerPoint 2010?

When presentation design’s your bread and peanut butter, it’s a big deal when your tools are upgraded. It’s been a couple of months since Office 2010 hit the shelves. The Ideaseed team has assimilated (yes, like cyborgs) our new software: PowerPoint 2010.

Right up front, if you build media-rich, high-end presentations like we do, PowerPoint 2010 wins big brownie points. It has beefed up media capture and editing – it’s easier to embed YouTube videos, and you can edit clips within the program as well. Image-editing tools are also improved; you can remove backgrounds, for instance.

When Office 2007 came out, the Ribbon interface took some getting used to. Turns out, Microsoft actually reads its forums, and PowerPoint 2010’s ribbon is decidedly more user-friendly.

Remember when the File menu did a disappearing act in the 2007 version? It’s back (smattering of applause from cranky presentation designers), but with a twist. Clicking on File pulls up the Backstage view, a master control panel for your PowerPoint presentation. There are some real gems Backstage, like the ability to turn your slide show into an HD movie, make an autorun disc, and compress embedded media when you save, which is fab when you’re file-sharing.

Collaborative editing means more than one user can edit a file simultaneously. It’s a gargantuan time-saver (even if it took some getting your head around it, at first).

Features we like: the Screenshots tool that makes screen-grabs a snap, and the Sections tool that lets you organise your slides into, well, sections.

There have been improvements to the Animations menu, slide transitions and Word Art. Although, as presentation design pros, we are warning you: don’t splash out in your excitement. These three tools are the biggest culprits in the tacky slide deck Hall of Shame.

What’s your experience of PowerPoint 2010 been like?