Lessons: 11Length: 33 minutes

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1.3 Choose Your Theme Variant

In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose the right format and try different styles for building our example presentation.

1.3 Choose Your Theme Variant

We've gone ahead and grabbed the X Note template and are ready to get started with it in PowerPoint. The X Note comes packaged as a zip file that you'll need to extract to get the presentation file itself out. Let's go ahead and open it up. And now let's double-click on this main_files folder to get started. Inside that folder is a variety of files, but the first one I wanna call your attention to is the help file packaged as a PDF. I'll go ahead and open it up. And this is yet another reason to use Elements to grab files. Files like PowerPoint templates include these help guides and instructions on how to use and customize the template. The files are all documented. So if you download something, you can get up to speed using it pretty quickly with the documentation. Back inside the X Note folder you'll see two main folders, and the one that you'll choose is important. One of these is for 4 by 3 screens, and another is for 16 by 9 screens. Let's talk about this quickly, because the file you choose is based upon the screen you'll present on. Every screen has what's known as an aspect ratio, which is the proportion of width to height. A wide screen TV might have a different aspect ratio than an iPad screen, for example. Most often, the decision comes down to either a 4 to 3 aspect ratio or a 16 to 9 aspect ratio. It helps if you know what type of screen you'll be presenting on so that you can choose the size that best fits the display. When you pick a presentation with the same aspect ratio as the screen, the presentation will fill the entire screen and look its best. Here are some quick rules of thumb for choosing the aspect ratio based upon popular screen sizes. Laptops are mostly 16 by 9 aspect ratio, although MacBooks are often 16 to 10. Many projectors are 4 by 3 aspect ratio, but some are even designed to mimic the widescreen 16 by 9 format. Large screen displays are often found in modern meeting rooms, which are just basically large LCD screens that are 16 by 9. If you aren't sure, I'd recommend building your presentation on a 16 by 9 canvas. The X Note and many other themes from Elements contain multiple slide formats to accommodate the range of screen sizes. Let's jump back and open that folder up. Inside, you'll see several different color options for creating your presentation, colored, dark, green, and yellow. For the purpose of this presentation, I'm going to use the dark version that we saw in the preview online. Inside the dark folder, you'll again see another option, a .ppt and a .pptx file. If you're using a modern version of PowerPoint like 2010 or newer, I would definitely recommend using the PPTX file. Very old versions of PowerPoint may still work with the X Note if you use the .ppt version. Go ahead and double-click the file to open it up. Now, we're inside of the starter file for the X Note. Throughout this course, we're going to take the bones of this presentation file and re-architect it for our own purposes. The value of starting with a presentation template like this is that it comes with better slide designs than I can build on my own. I can simply take the starter slides and add my own content to it for the best of both worlds between professional and easy to build. Next up, we'll talk about writing our presentation and the steps you should take to build it. Stay tuned to start developing your content.

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