Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the few software applications that virtually every computer user is familiar with. From students to business executives, PowerPoint makes creating presentations easy and enjoyable for everyone. While PowerPoint offers a great set of features “out of the box,” the following add-ons provide additional functionality and make working with the tool even more productive and comfortable.
vMaps: Insert Editable Vector Maps
This add-on from GMARK PowerPoint Solutions allows you to quickly add a map to a PowerPoint slide. The current version includes over 3,000 different maps of continents, countries, and regions. All maps are fully customizable, enabling you to edit colors, add place names, and even animate parts as needed.
Using vMaps is extremely easy: You simply click the “Map” button in the PowerPoint ribbon and select the map you want to add. To be able to use vMaps, you need to have PowerPoint 2007 or higher installed. A trial version can be downloaded from the vMaps product website; the full version is priced at $149.
Developed by FusionCharts, Oomfo is an add-on for creating beautiful charts that go beyond the built-in charting capabilities of PowerPoint. In addition to standard chart types also found in PowerPoint, Oomfo offers specialized charts, such as Waterfall, Pareto, Marimekko, Funnel, and Pyramid. Furthermore, the tool allows you to connect your charts to live data sources, such as Excel spreadsheets, Salesforce, Google Analytics, or custom back-ends. Other notable features of Oomfo include the ability to import CSV data and to export charts to interactive Flash-based web pages.
Oomfo works with PowerPoint 2003 and higher (32-bit only) and is free for personal and business use.
PowerMockup is an add-on that helps developers plan and design the layout of software applications and websites. It provides hundreds of templates for user interface elements, such as buttons, input boxes, tables, or drop-down menus. Using drag and drop, you can add these elements to a slide and create prototypes with little effort. Worth noting is that PowerMockup allows users to add custom elements to its library, which is as easy as selecting a shape on a slide and clicking the “Add” button. This makes PowerMockup useful to not only developers but also anyone who needs a tool for managing a collection of PowerPoint shapes.
PowerMockup can be used with all versions of PowerPoint since 2007 and is priced at $59.95 for a single-user license. A trial version is available for download from the PowerMockup website.
MomSoft’s PowerTOC is an add-on for automating the process of creating a table of contents (TOC) slide for a presentation. This task usually requires a great deal of copying and pasting, as well as regular updating when titles or slide numbers change. PowerTOC takes the pain out of this process by automatically keeping the table of contents up-to-date regardless of changes that are made to a presentation. To add a summary slide, you simply click “Insert TOC” in the PowerTOC toolbar and configure the style and layout of the summary.
PowerTOC is compatible with PowerPoint 2000 through 2010 and can be purchased for $29.95.
Office Timeline helps you create professional looking project timelines and Gantt charts in PowerPoint. All you have to do is start the “New Timeline” wizard, pick the type of chart you want to insert, and enter your milestones and tasks. If needed, you can also make use of Office Timeline’s extensive customization features, which let you make changes to fonts, colors, or the appearance of markers and end caps.
There are two editions of Office Timeline available: The “Free Edition” offers basic functionality and is suitable for most uses, while the “Plus Edition” for $29.95 includes additional templates, styling options, and support for copying and pasting from Microsoft Excel and Project.
Anyone interested in bringing a PowerPoint presentation to the Web should take a look at HTML5Point. As the tool’s name indicates, it converts PowerPoint files to HTML5 format. Unlike Flash, HTML5 works fine on mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS, making presentations viewable on almost any device without additional plug-ins. After clicking the “Publish” button in the HTML5Point ribbon tab, the tool lets you choose the destination to which you want to publish your HTML5 presentation. You can either save the files to your local computer or upload them to a server via FTP.
HTML5Point requires PowerPoint 2003 or higher and costs $99 per license.
Tabs have been available in browsers for some time now. Many users appreciate how easy tabs make switching between pages without having to handle multiple browser windows. For those who wish Microsoft Office would offer a similar feature, there’s a solution: Office Tabs, an add-on that brings a tabbed view to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The free version of Office Tabs works with Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, and 2010. If you want to use the add-in with Office 2013, you have to purchase the Standard version, which is priced at $25.
Many add-ons are available for Microsoft PowerPoint, but only a few of them truly shine. I hope I was able to help you narrow your search by providing you with this list. If there’s an add-on that you can’t live without, please share your experiences in the comment section.