PowerpointAre you tired of creating mediocre PowerPoint presentations? Are you ready to make the most out of this useful program? Step out of your boundaries and use some of these tips to make the most interesting and visually appealing PowerPoint ever!

PowerPoint 2013 has all the tools to get you started in creating an impressive presentation. With its new graphic features and updates to old ones, you will have everything you need to produce a visually stimulating presentation that won’t have your colleagues dosing off to sleep. Here are some tutorials on how to create and format basic shapes, merge shapes, and add some special effects to your presentation.

Create & Format Shapes

Start by opening a blank canvas. This can be done by opening PowerPoint and selecting the Blank Presentation slide. In the next boxes that appear select the CTRL key and the boxes, now press delete. Now you have a blank canvas.

  1. From the Drawing group on the Home tab, select Shapes, then select the second shape under Rectangles.
  2. The cursor will become a cross, now simply hold the left mouse button and drag down and over to draw the shape you selected. Once you release the left mouse button the shape will appear.
  3. To format the shape, place your cursor on the shape and right-click. Now select the Fill icon from the Shortcut menu and choose a gradient from the Theme Colors > Gradient window.
  4. To make positioning graphics easier, select the View tab, and check Rulers and Gridlines so that they appear. Now click your rectangle and press CTRL-C and then CTRL-V to paste it seven times. Position the eight rectangles at the top and bottom of the slide.
  5. Select a color range for the top row, and a different one for the bottom row from the Shape Styles group in the Format tab. Convert all eight colors to gradients.

Merge Shapes: splice & dice

  1. Copy each rectangle on the first row to the center, and then do the same for the bottom row. Overlap the bottom rectangles to the top ones. Click the first rectangle, and then hold down the CTRL key to select the overlapping rectangle. Now the Format tab is available.
  2. Click the Format tab and select Merge Shapes under the Insert Shapes group. From the dropdown menu, select Union. Now the highlighted shapes become one shape.
  3. You can follow the same steps in the dropdown menu to Combine the shapes, Fragment them, Intersect, or Subtract them.

With these cool new features you can create any shape or look you want just by combining, joining, or dividing the basic shape provided.

Add Special Effects 

Now that you know how to create basic shapes and format them into new shapes, use these cool 3D features to make your shapes pop right off the page. With the use of lighting, shadows, and reflections, you can start to make things look more realistic and fun!

  1. From the Home tab, select Shapes from the Drawing group and select any shape. Draw the shape down to cover four grid squares.
  2. With the shapes active, select Shape Fill from the Drawing group under Home. Under Theme Colors, select More Fill Colors. Select any color, and then change the transparency to 35%. Now select Shape Outline to turn off the outline.
  3. Now learn how to turn a circle into a sphere. Right click the circle you made and select Format Shape from the shortcut menu. Under Shape Options, select Effects. Scroll down to the 3D section and click Top Bevel. Choose Circle and set the height and width to 72pts.
  4. To add material and lighting effects, while the sphere is still selected choose the Material button from the 3D section of the Format Shape menu. Now select the Warm Matte icon. Now you have a sphere with soft lighting and a matte finish. This looks more realistic and eye-popping!
  5. Experiment with Format Shape from the shortcut menu to add other effects like shadows and reflections.

There are endless possibilities to be experimented with on PowerPoint 2013, so play around with the settings and produce a spectacular presentation for your business needs. The more visually stimulating your presentation, the better results and reception you will receive.

For more information on how to use PowerPoint 2013 to produce an effective presentation for your business needs, contact our team at QualityIP. You can call us at (330) 931-4141 or send us an email at info@qualityip.com. We will help ensure your presentation stands out from the crowd!

Windows Task BarThe Windows 7 and 8 impress with their ability to pin applications to the taskbar. Now with these shortcuts, you’ll find that you’re able to efficiently access your applications through that wonderful taskbar!

In order to access your applications through your keyboard only, simply hold the Windows key in tandem with either numbers 1 through 0, to open any of the first 10 applications pinned to the task bar. Although you can’t go past ten, you can still get the most out of this tip by making sure that the applications you use most are put in the top ten list on the taskbar.

Below is a list of a few other Windows taskbar tips:

  • Select the Win Key + D to quickly minimize all activity to the desktop screen. Once you click the Windows key + D again, it will resume all activities for the user.
  • If you repeatedly tap the Win Key +T it will highlight each application on the task bar, once you press Enter on an application it will the application
  • Win Key + ESC or CTRL + ESC will open up the Start Menu

These are some of the many keyboard shortcuts Windows provides its users with. By utilizing these tips and tricks you will find that you can enhance your overall efficiency and experience with your system.

For more information on tips and shortcuts for your Windows computer contact our company QualityIP. You can give us a call at (330) 931-4141 or send us an email at info@qualityip.com, we are happy to help! 

Business SecurityWith so many businesses switching to the web for their company needs, it is crucial to stay on top of the latest security measures and procedures to ensure no data loss occurs. A recent Gartner study found that 90% of that companies that suffer major data loss close within two years and that 80% of business owners have no plan to protect their data. This is a problematic situation for businesses because cybercrime is becoming more and more common on the Internet. Therefore, the time to study and implement security policies in your business is now! Check out these tips to help you understand more ways to secure your business computers!

  1. Identify Security Needs & Risks

Primarily, you must identify the security risks for the online services and devices your company uses. Once the identifications of these risks have been made, you should then begin to uncover the ways in which you can combat these risks. If no solution is found, consider switching to new services/devices.

  1. Start With The Basics

Start by setting up strong passwords and scheduling a recurrent periods to change company passwords. Set company computers up with protective and preventative services like encryption technology, anti-virus, spam, and spyware.

  1. Keep Your Systems Updated 

Software updates can sometimes fix any security problem you may be having. Make sure to stay on top of updates on all company computers to ensure the protection against any cyber threats. By allowing programs to install updates automatically you have no maintenance to worry about.

  1. Back Up Then Back Up Again!

Back ups are easier than ever with today’s technology and require no extra time or effort. Most back up programs will run in the background and store information safely offsite. Back up on to external hard drives for added protection. Always have a disaster plan in place for your company.

  1. Keep Devices Safe

A lost or stolen device can be the cause of major data loss for your company. Remind your employees to always keep an eye on the devices they use that contain important and sensitive company information. They must report lost or stolen devices immediately to prevent a disaster situation.

All these tips are in place to ensure the safety and protection of your company from cyber threats and disaster situations. Have you thought about these scenarios yet? If not, get started today and don’t waste anymore time. Too many companies have failed due to the lack of security and protection on their devices and services. Don’t let your company be one of them!

For more information and tips on how to secure your business with the best protective policies and procedures contact our IT company QualityIP today. You can call us at (330) 931-4141 or send us an email at info@qualityip.com. We are dedicated to promoting preventative measures to keep your company safe!

Mac File EncryptionIn an age with such heavy dependence on Internet usage and computers, more and more users are looking to encrypt their personal data. Why? Because anytime you are posting your information, you are potentially susceptible to attacks, hacking, or identity theft. Unlike the real world, we can’t just take a shredder to all our important info and data. So, how do you go about encrypting your data in the virtual world? And how do you know what is worth encrypting, and what isn’t?

What kinds of information should you be encrypting? Here’s a list:

  • Credit card information
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Personal information
  • Personal e-mail’s
  • Banking information

Computer encryption is based on cryptography. Cryptography is a practice or a study of techniques that secure communication when there is a third party presence involved. Cryptography has been used for centuries; dating as far back to the Ancient Greeks, who used substitutions or transpositions for letters and numbers to achieve encryption for intended communicators only.

Today encryption on computers is much safer, as hacking a letter/number transposition is far easier to hack than an algorithm made to encrypt files.

So how do you go about encrypting files on your Mac? There are two ways:

  • A built in encryption tool called FileVault. FileVault can encrypt your entire Home folder, including music, photos, and video files
  • Disk Utility. You can use it to encrypt disc images to act as regular folders. They won’t mount unless you supply the correct password

Disk Utility is the preferred way of encrypting files on a Mac because most users find it pointless to encrypt things like music and photos. So how do you create an encrypted folder? Follow these steps:

  • Create your disk image – launch Applications, then scroll down to find Utilities and then select Disk Utility
  • Select New Image
  • Choose a maximum size for your folder and select 128-bit AES Encryption
  • Select sparse disk image for the image format
  • Give your encrypted disk image a name in the Save As field and choose a storage location
  • When the Authenticate dialogue box appears, choose a strong password and deselect the remember password function

To test your new disk image, navigate to the location you saved it in, double click it, and enter your password. Now simply copy files into the new disk image.

For more information on encryption and how to set up an encrypted folder on your Mac, contact our QualityIP. You can reach as at (330) 931-4141 or send us an email at info@qualityip.com.