Pictures say so much more than words. That is why advertising cannot live without pictures, photographs, and video. An ad with only text is boring and unexceptional. People love to see graphics to visualize messages.
With DataPoint the user can create dynamic presentations where the user can have a list of products or ads in a database, Excel file, or text file. In other articles on this blog, we have already explained how the user can connect a text box or table to a database list of data. We will show how the user can enrich the data driven slides with images to accompany the texts.
Imagine for this dynamic presentation that we are working at a hospital and that we want to display the names and pictures of the doctors that are available today.
First set up a connection to the Excel file. Click DataPoint in the PowerPoint menu.
Now click the List button of the Connections group.
Navigate to the Excel files node and select it.
Now click Add connection and browse to Excel file. Click OK to commit the file selection.
Now click the Add query button and select the data sheet with the data and set the range to a safe maximum range and check the option that the first row contains the field or column names.
Hit OK to close and again OK to commit the connections list.
Link data to shapes
We can start to link information to our slide. Design the slide and add 3 text boxes to hold the doctor’s names. For each one of the text boxes select one and click DataPoint, Text box and set the column to Name and set the corresponding row to 1, 2 and 3 respectively. This will dynamically link the content of our Excel data to our PowerPoint text boxes.
To the left of the names we want to display the doctor’s picture. To start we insert a normal picture on our slide as we are used to do in PowerPoint. Click Insert, Pictures and browse to the folder containing the picture that the user wants to use for this presentation. As a default picture, we just use a question mark picture for now before we make it dynamic.
Now we are going to display dynamic pictures based on the data that we have in our Excel file, and that will be updated every day.
Select the first picture and click DataPoint, Picture. Now PowerPoint will suggest to change this static picture into a dynamic DataPoint picture for dynamic updating. Choose the Yes option here.
Then set the column to our Picture column of Excel, and for the first picture, we leave the row number at one. Note that the Excel column is holding the name of the picture without the folder name and the extension of the file. We can manipulate this in the picture properties here. At the Options frame indicate that the picture column is holding the filename only. Then set the folder to our folder that contains all the doctor’s pictures and set (in our case) the extension to png.
We see a preview of the picture here when everything is correctly set. Hit OK to apply.
Set up dynamic slide show
Now we have dynamically linked the picture to our Excel data. We repeat this action for the doctors on data row 2 and 3 too. All the information remains the same as the first picture except here we increase the row.
As a final action, we want to make sure that the slide show will run continuously. Click Set Up Slide Show in the Slide Show menu and set the Show Type to Browsed at a kiosk and hit OK to apply.
Now the user can run the slide show on the television screen in the waiting area of the hospital. Names and pictures are now changed in the Excel file that resides on a file server. DataPoint will now check the content of the Excel file for new data and change the texts and pictures in the slide show accordingly without interrupting the running slide show.