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By Geetesh Bajaj

Among the fascinating features in PowerPoint 2007 is the option that enables you to reuse slides from old presentations. The Reuse Slides feature also lets you (or your company) set up an online Slide Library from which you can select slides to reuse — whether you’re in the office or on the road.

What’s a slide library?

A slide library isn’t something you’d normally set up yourself — rather, it’s a server-based repository of slides that is set up for you by the system administrator or some other resident geek in your company or organization.

After it’s set up, you need not be aware of what’s happening behind the scenes. A simple interface lets you and other colleagues publish slides to the slide library and access those slides to reuse as required.

The slide library itself is hosted on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (often abbreviated as MOSS) and is, therefore, called the SharePoint Slide Library. As this concept gains popularity, you can expect to see third-party providers of online slide libraries.

Using the Reuse Slides feature

Follow these steps to get started with the Reuse Slides feature:

1. Create a new presentation or open an existing one.

Make sure that the active slide is the one after which you want to insert new slides.

2. Click the Home tab on the Ribbon and then click the down arrow below New Slide. Choose the Reuse Slides option.

This activates the Reuse Slides pane.

3. Open an existing presentation or a slide library as follows:

• To access a slide library, you need to have access to a Microsoft Office SharePoint Slide Library — that’s something I explain in the sidebar, “What’s a slide library?”

• To access an existing presentation, click the Open a PowerPoint File link in the Reuse Slides pane to bring up a Browse dialog box that lets you choose a file on your computer.

You now see several slides in the Reuse Slides pane.

6. Right-click a slide, and in the shortcut menu, choose one of these options:

Insert Slide: This inserts the selected slide.

Insert All Slides: This inserts all the slides visible in the pane.

Apply Theme to All Slides: This applies the theme of the slide in the task pane to all slides in the active presentation.

Apply Theme to Selected Slides: This applies the theme of the slide in the task pane to the active slide. If you are in Slide Sorter view, this relates to selected slides. You can also individually select slides in the Slides pane in Normal view.

7. If you want to retain the source formatting of the slides that you insert through the Reuse Slides pane, make sure that you check the Keep Source Formatting option.