Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (2023)

25 January 2016|data point,DataPoint real-time screens,And

Today you will learn a great trick for a PowerPoint presentation. You can make your PowerPoint presentations completely dynamic. See how you can connect a PowerPoint text box to a data source and use text boxes as dynamic text boxes on your slides.

Set up a data connection

First you need to connect your presentation to your data. This data is usually stored in a database or file. The supported databases are Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. Almost any other type of database on the market can be accessed through OLE DB or ODBC drivers. The files can be text files, comma-delimited text files, XML files, or even Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, which are great for storing and manipulating data. To work with databases, you must understand the structure of the database and know SQL. To make working with Excel much easier, I'll use a simple Excel file for this article. Nothing complicated. Let's work with some data that everyone understands; Beer! Yes, we are a Belgian company and we like to promote some national products. We will display information about beer and prices on our information screen. This is the excel file I'm using. A simple file with a data sheet where we list the names and prices of the beers.

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Let's connect to this file in DataPoint. First a connection pointing to this excel file and then a query selecting the excel range A1:B20 and a 5 second refresh rate.

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The range A1:B20 is the maximum data range that can be used. You can always use more than 20 rows and empty rows are ignored in DataPoint anyway. A refresh rate of 5 seconds means that the DataPoint will return to the Excel file every 5 seconds to check for new or updated information and will run continuously while the slideshow is running.

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Start with a presentation

The next step is to set up a presentation and link some text boxes to linked Excel data. Start a new presentation and add a slide. On this first slide, we've added a new regular text box. Note that you should always use text boxes to display static information. Insert a text box and enter your text or message. With this dynamic link, we do not enter any additional text. No, let's dynamically link this text field to a data source. After linking, we keep the information directly in the database or file, but no longer in the presentation. This is just presentation!

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Select the newly inserted text box. click to activatedata pointmenu and click the buttonText's boxGusto.

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The DataPoint Dynamic Text Box Properties form opens.

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Let me choose the data connection or query from which we will get the information. Here in this article we have set up only one connection to the excel file, but we can have multiple data connections in the same presentation. So first select the data connection you want to use in this text box.

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The Data Column combo box contains all the fields or columns of the selected data connection. Select the field you want to dynamically link to the text box.

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In the last step, set the line number. If you want to display the value of the first row of data (in this example, the first beer), select 1 as the row number here.

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CliqueOKto save selections.

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Notice that the value 4.2 is copied into the text box. Note that only the raw values ​​from our excel file are copied into our text box here. Any formatting in Excel will be lost. So we have the flexibility to do the specific format here in PowerPoint. Clickdata pointand then the touter boxbutton again. click to activateFormatab.

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To display the price here, set the category toNumber. put thatdecimal placesto 2 and clickOK. Each new Excel value is formatted as a number with 2 decimal places.

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To display the name of the beer, add a new text field next to the price and select it. Clickdata point,Text's boxclick here again. Use same data connection, same line number, but define herecolumn nameto mark.

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Then click NoText: %sfar. NOprefixText box typeBeer of the Month:and hitOK. The text field now always shows the name of the first beer and prepends the text with this prefix text. Without this option to add text, I would have used 2 different text boxes. One for the static prefix text and one for the dynamic name.

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The Texts tab offers a few more options.

  • As shown here, theprefixthe text always precedes the dynamic value.
  • ASuffixthe text always follows the value of the variable, for example, to indicate C or F for a temperature.
  • The possibility of aarchiveThe text is placed where the row exists in the data source but the value is blank or nothing.
  • and finally thenonexistent rowThe replacement text is copied into the text box as long as the number of rows selected exceeds the number of rows in your data. So if you have set the value 8 as the row number in the text field and your dataset only returns 5 rows, this text will be displayed.

The last option in this Texts tab,Change text fields every n seconds, it should allow the text to change if you have multi-line texts. This is explained in detail inagain a great article. The other 2 tabs called Tickers and Rules will not be covered here as there is much more to say. Here is more information abouttext markersand another about the configurationdynamic rules.

Run your slideshow

The next time you open this dynamic presentation, all the dynamic and linked text boxes will be updated with the latest and most up-to-date information. So if you change the name of the beer of the month or the price, this information will automatically update on the slides. Also, you can start the slideshow and while it is running, check your excel file for updated information and update the slide information during the slideshow without pausing the slideshow.

Create instant presentations

You can also generatesnapshotpresentations from there. A Flash presentation is a newly created presentation, filled with the latest information, but thenapartyour data sources. So start with your dynamic, linked presentation and create daily or weekly snapshots for statistical purposes or to distribute to others who don't have direct access to your data source.

Create your own dynamic text fields with DataPoint

Try it!

Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (15)

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Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (16)

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  1. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (18)

    HMOFeb 23, 2018 3:39 PM

    I am making a PPT presentation using DP, Excel and PPT animation feature.
    As soon as DP detects the update in the data source (eg Excel),
    The PPT presentation has been reloaded on this page.
    This means that all animations have been reset and restarted from the beginning.
    I only want to change the "modified" data.
    I don't want to reload all the page data.
    how can i control

  2. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (19)

    Administratoron February 23, 2018 at 3:44 p.m.

    We are aware of this and currently do not have a solution for this. The animation plays as the data is updated. We are looking for a solution for this.

  3. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (20)

    HMOon February 24, 2018 at 00:02

    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (21)

    miles lowe22 NOV 2018 at 20:29

    Tip: I am a new user of this concept and process. I finally found this page which I will use to understand a basic Excel connection process. Suggestion add a link to the files used in this process. This would be very helpful. (in this case Excel and PowerPoint files). Your software is so amazing and you just need to find quick ways to use it. Including the demo file would help speed up the learning curve.

    PS: The question here was how to manually update the connection when data changes in Excel so that it appears in PowerPoint. What is the best way to do this manually for the update without encountering any issues?

    Thank you for providing a great product that allows advanced users to continue to grow to meet their needs.

  5. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (22)

    AdministratorNovember 22, 2018 at 9:30 p.m.

    Thanks Miles for the advice. Sometimes we include PowerPoint and data files, but not always.
    We plan to add this here as well.

  6. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (23)

    kevin alrichMay 2, 2019 @ 7:56 PM

    Is it possible to actually configure the data connection for something in the presentation? For example, an online table?

  7. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (24)

    Administrator2 May 2019 at 20:16

    caro kevin,
    So you want to have a data table in the presentation where the data does not come from an external data store, but is stored in an in-memory data store in pptx. Correct?
    When or why do you want this feature? Can you give an example? This option is not currently available, but I would like to hear your story about it.

  8. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (25)

    CastorJuly 16, 2019 at 5:10 am

    I want to make a presentation where I can enter text/number in a field. The text/number is stored in Excel as a database. It's possible?

  9. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (26)

    AdministratorJul 16, 2019 @ 8:17am

    Hi Hady, we have done these projects in the past. This is not done through a standard product that we have, but through a custom macro script submission where you can capture the information typed in the text boxes and then write it to a file or database. Please contact us if you would like to further investigate this as a custom project for you.

  10. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (27)

    Pradeep Kumar SalwanJuly 26, 2019 at 9:06 p.m.

    i want to insert
    an audio clip assigned to a data field + text-to-speech capability based on a matching value of a data field in a concatenation. It would be used to explain a product or to compare two or more products. Text-to-speech can be performed in any language selected by the user. Sometimes an explanation may be available and it would be great if some sort of send key functionality was added to jump to the next previously defined point to avoid repeating information.

  11. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (28)

    AdministratorJuly 27, 2019 at 10:15

    Sounds interesting. We have our text-to-speech option in DataPoint, but it depends on the languages ​​you have installed on your operating system. I'm not sure if you can add multiple voices/languages ​​in there.
    I think we can do something with a linked object. Would it be possible to create a trouble ticket in our support area and send some sample files as data and presentation so we can play with them?

  12. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (29)

    malgosieJanuary 13, 2020 at 8:17 p.m.

    Is it possible to create text boxes with pre-populated examples that disappear as soon as someone starts typing? Sort of like the "Give a comment" section of this website. We try to use this for model building. Thank you!

  13. Dynamic text frames in PowerPoint (30)

    AdministratorJan 14, 2020 @ 8:52am

    Yes, this is possible if you use controls like textbox, checkbox, etc. from the control toolbox (not the normal PowerPoint text box way!) and use macros.

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