"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 28 February 2002

“PowerPoint and Your Genealogy”

What can you do when you want to create a unique approach to searching for family tree information? Create a PowerPoint presentation!

You can send it via e-mail to your family members, genealogy buddies, friends, etc., asking them to forward it to other family members and friends. You can also post your PowerPoint presentation on your website and ask people to download it and forward the file.

In a short time, your genealogy research will be all over the Internet!

A PowerPoint presentation will allow others know about your research in a positive and entertaining manner. If you simply put your information out in a long-winded and rambling manner, no one will pay much attention. Instead, create an "entertaining" query or announcement about your family reunion or “genealogy roadblocks.”

The RootsWeb Surname and Location Mailing Lists will not allow you to send attachments. Instead, post a notice on the mailing list that you have a PowerPoint presentation available and request anyone who is interested to e-mail you directly and you will forward a copy to them privately.

PowerPoint presentations will allow family members and genealogy researchers to learn about your work and they can identify visually with your project. You can use something humorous and entertaining to spread the good word about your research. You might want to include a “top ten” looking-for list, a family poem, family recipe or photographs.

Make your PowerPoint presentation touching or otherwise entertaining and then send it around to your friends and encourage them to share it. In no time at all, you could be the talk of the 'Net!

“What is PowerPoint?”

PowerPoint is Microsoft graphic software that allows you to produce professional-looking presentations. It offers word processing, outlining, drawing, and graphing capabilities, all designed to be easy to use and learn. If you have never used PowerPoint, you will be surprised at how easy it is to create a presentation. If you can type with one finger, you can create a PowerPoint presentation.

To learn more about this software, the official PowerPoint website at: http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/default.asp. You can compare a PowerPoint presentation as being a computerized on-screen version of the old-fashion 35mm slide presentations.

A presentation is a collection of “slides” in the form of individual pages. PowerPoint is a multi-media application, meaning that you can add text, various types of images, clip art, photographs, sound, music, voice narrative and even video clips to your presentation to help engage your audience.

Depending on the limitations of your printer, presentations can be printed in black-and-white or in color or on transparencies.

You can import materials you have created in other Microsoft products such as Word and Excel into PowerPoint. You can create a report in your genealogy program and instead of printing it, save it as a “rich text file” (.rtf) on your computer in you “My Documents” folder. Then open the document in MS Word and save it as a document file (.doc). Then you can import the document into your PowerPoint presentation thus you have combined your genealogy material and PowerPoint.

PowerPoint has several "Wizards" that make getting starting with designing your presentation much easier.

Because your presentation is computerized, you can easily update and edit the information provided and, depending on the file size of your PowerPoint presentation, you may carry it with you on a floppy disk or even e-mail.

If you are still reluctant to start a PowerPoint presentation project, check with your local community/junior collection, senior citizens center or local library to see where classes are available in your community. It only takes a little time to get started!

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 15 Mar 2002 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604