Today we released a new version of our DataPoint product. Next to images, text boxes, charts, tables, … that you can link to dynamic information for real-time content, we have added something revolutionary; dynamic pointers on your slides.

You can now display objects or shapes with dynamic positions on your slides, with a custom caption and moving positions. Imagine a map with real-time flight information, or a positioning system for trucks on roads, or any moving object on any map.

You can use DataPoint and PowerPoint to display items dynamically on any map, based on any data source. Let’s dive deeper into this new feature.

Let us start with a new PowerPoint presentation. Add a map of your area of interest to your slide like this and put a new shape on top of the image. This can be any shape that you can have in PowerPoint.

initial map with a normal shape

With DataPoint you could already display real-time information in a text box or table. But now with these new pointers, you can display a shape at any location on your slide. Typically a position is identified as an X,Y coordinate. At our database or data source, we need to store this information.

As an example here, we have some flight information and current positions in a Microsoft Excel file like so:

positioning information in Excel

With DataPoint we set up a connection to this Excel file, select the data sheet and data range that we need. And of course the automatic refresh rate in order to make it dynamic.

positioning data in PowerPoint

We can now select the shape and click the Pointer button of the DataPoint menu.

pointer button in datapoint menu

And that will open the Pointer properties that you can set.

pointer properties and bindings

First of all you can select the corresponding data connection with your pointer data. The default value here is good because we only have one connection or data query set up for this presentation.

Then we select the columns that represent the X and Y coordinates. The scale X and scale Y represent the maximum values that you can have at your X and Y position. So scale X represents that maximum number of pixels horizontally on your screen. Scale Y represents the maximum size for your Y-axis or the vertical line on your slide or screen. So when your pointer needs to be exactly in the middle of your screen, and you have set scale X to 400 and scale Y to 300, then your pointer should have XY values set to 200 and 150.

Use the caption field to name your shape.  Optionally, you can choose dynamic column to bind the rotation of the shape, the font color and the background color or shape fill color.  All these values are optional values.

Rotation is a value between 0 and 360.  Font color and background color are written as RGB values. This is 3 times a number between 0 and 255 for red, green and blue respectively.

all dynamic pointer properties set

You will see that when you hit OK, the shape is placed on the slide according to the X and X coordinates, the caption is set, the shape is rotated according to the database rotation value and the colors are set.

shape dynamically set as pointer

With normal DataPoint-enabled text boxes and other shapes, you would now set up a new shape to host your second record and so. With pointers this is not needed. You just have to insert one shape as the pointer definition and then when you run the slide show, DataPoint will dynamically add other shapes to host all your data records or occurrences.

Start the slide show, and it will look like this screen below. You can update the data in the Excel file and DataPoint will move around your shapes, change positions, change rotations, change colors and so on.  It will also add new shapes when you add new rows to your data, and drop shapes from the slides when you remove the corresponding data row.

dynamic pointers on slides

Start using this new feature of DataPoint by getting this free update.

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