The year is almost ending and maybe you want to display a countdown till January 1st. Or you need a countdown for the opening of your new shop? This article will show you how you can run a data driven countdown in PowerPoint. For a countdown you have to set a target date (e.g. January 1st, 2015). Then you need to calculate the number of days, hours, minutes from now till the target date. And finally you display this information in real-time in a running PowerPoint slide show on a monitor or television screen so that everyone can see.
Start with a Database
Start with a new Microsoft Access database. Start Microsoft Access and on the welcome screen click to create a Blank desktop database.
We recently added a new product called Dynamic TIME. This new product is designed for time and countdown solutions. Very easy to use without databases.
Name it ‘Countdown.accdb’ and click the Create button.
Store the Target Date
First, create a table to store the target date; the date or time that the counter reaches its goal. In the Microsoft Access menu click to open the Create tab and click the Table button. At the column ‘Click to Add’ click the arrow down and select Date & Time from the list.
Click to open the Create tab again and choose Query Design from the list of buttons. Click the Add button to add our target table to this query and hit Close. Make sure that the Design tab is open. Click the first button named View and choose SQL View from the list.
Now, we have to perform some calculations. Calculate the number of days from now till the target date etc. We are going to perform some magic here. We have to use a few functions and it will become clear when the user see it. Paste the following string into the sql designer;
SELECT Format(DateDiff("d",Now(),[Target])-1,"00") AS days, Format(IIF(DateDiff("n",Now(),[Target]) Mod 60 = 0, DateDiff("h",Now(),[Target]) Mod 24 + 1, DateDiff("h",Now(),[Target]) Mod 24 ),"00") AS hours, Format(IIF(DateDiff("s",Now(),[Target]) Mod 60 = 0, DateDiff("n",Now(),[Target]) Mod 60 + 1, DateDiff("n",Now(),[Target]) Mod 60 ),"00") AS minutes, Format(DateDiff("s",Now(),[Target]) Mod 60,"00") AS seconds FROM TableTargetDate;
Click the Design tab and choose the Run button. It will show the output similar to this;
We are done with our work in Microsoft Access now. Close this database and exit Microsoft Access.
Data Driven Presentation
We are now going to design our dynamic presentation with the PowerPoint add-on DataPoint. Download the add-on and try it out for 15 days. Make sure it is visible in the PowerPoint menu. Start Microsoft PowerPoint and click DataPoint.
Run Dynamic Slide Show
Run the slide show and DataPoint will dynamically update the counters till the targeted end date is reached. Happy New Year to You!
Download DataPoint from the PresentationPoint web site and download this database and the DataPoint enabled presentation of this article with the live updating countdown.