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Macabacus libraries are repositories for content and templates intended for frequent reuse that facilitate the standardization and preparation of materials produced by you or your organization.


Up to three libraries can be created with Macabacus—a personal library intended for use by a single Macabacus user, a team library to be shared by users in a group, and a company library to be shared by all users in an organization. Macabacus libraries are similar to PowerPoint's native Slide Library, except that (a) Macabacus requires neither the Professional Plus version of Office nor SharePoint to deliver such functionality, and (b) Macabacus lets you add more than just slides to the library.

What's in a Library?

A Macabacus library may contain five types of content:

Slides PowerPoint slides that are commonly used in presentations, such as team pages, bios, and "creds" (tombstone) pages
Shapes Office shapes that are commonly used in presentations, workbooks, and documents, such as Harvey Balls, clip art, etc.
Images Collections of images that are commonly used in presentations, workbooks, and documents, such as company logos and head shot photos
Charts Collections of pre-formatted charts that are pre-populated with dummy data and commonly used in workbooks, presentations, or documents, such as waterfall charts, Marimekko charts, etc.
Tombstones Shapes showcasing a company's role in completed or pending transactions, such as an investment bank's advisory role in an M&A deal

A Macabacus library may contain three types of templates:

PowerPoint presentation template (.potx) files used to define layouts, formatting, etc., for your presentations
Financial or other models intended for use as starting points when building new models in Excel
Word document templates such as fax cover pages

The term "template" is used here loosely, as "template" normally refers to .xltx/.xltm and .dotx/.dotm files in the context of Excel and Word, respectively.

Using Library Content & Templates

Inserting Content

Library Pane

Click the Macabacus > Library Content button in PowerPoint, Excel, or Word to open the Library pane, which shows the content in all three of your libraries. The types of content available in the Library pane vary with the Office application in which you opened the Library pane. For example, slide content is only viewable in the Library pane when opened in PowerPoint. Available content is displayed as thumbnail images that provide convenient previews of content items as you browse them. You can mouse over slide and chart thumbnails for a larger preview. Library images are displayed on a checkered background, so that you can determine if transparency is supported, as you would expect to occur in certain illustration file formats (.png, and .emf). Use the toggle buttons at the top of the pane to toggle the visibility of libraries and content types. The search bar is a fast, powerful tool to help you find what you are looking for, and searches pre-indexed slide and other text very quickly.

To insert content into your presentation, workbook, or document, select the content in the Library pane and click the Insert button. Macabacus will insert the content at the current selection. When inserting shapes, images, and charts into PowerPoint with a placeholder pre-selected, Macabacus places the content into the placeholder if the placeholder accepts the type of content being inserted. When inserting charts into Excel, the inserted chart and its dummy data are added to the workbook on a new worksheet.

In PowerPoint, when you click native buttons for inserting pictures and charts, either on the ribbon or in some content placeholders, Macabacus can override the native behavior and open the Library pane instead, showing images or charts, as appropriate. If the Library pane is already open, then clicking these buttons results in native behavior (so, you can always click twice for native behavior). These settings are enabled by default, and can be changed in the Application Settings dialog on the Library tab, if desired.

You can optionally link slides or shapes inserted into PowerPoint via the Library pane to their source presentations, so they can be updated with a click of the same Macabacus > Update Link button used to update Excel links. To link inserted slides and shapes, check the Link to Source checkbox in the Library pane. Linking to image content is not possible. Read more about linking with PowerPoint slides/shapes.

Linked Slide Example

A slide highlighting recent deals is published to your company library. This slide is updated quarterly, and is used frequently in presentations. An analyst begins drafting a presentation including this slide on June 20, but by the time the presentation is ready for print on July 5, the slide is outdated. With the click of a button, the analyst can replace the outdated slide with the library's updated version.

Using Templates

Presentation templates in your libraries are used by several of Macabacus for PowerPoint's presentation automation tools, and require specific configuration in order to work with these tools. You "use" a presentation template in your library by setting it to the "active" template, as discussed in another section of this manual. Spreadsheets and document "templates," on the other hand, are simply collections of useful workbooks and documents intended to serve as starting points or building blocks for creating financial models or a new fax cover page , for example. You use model and document templates by accessing them from the Macabacus > New menu in Excel and Word.

Working Offline

Cached Libraries

You can work with your remote library content and templates even when disconnected from the Internet or the network on which remote libraries are stored. When Macabacus cannot connect to a remote library, it will automatically switch to the locally cached version of the library (if caching is enabled). When inserting cached library content using the Library pane in PowerPoint, the option to link inserted slides and shapes to the library is disabled. An icon in the Library pane notifies the user when cached content is displayed.

How Caching Works

Macabacus automatically caches remote libraries at the frequency you specify in the Library Manager dialog (the default is every seven days). This setting can be shared as part of enterprise configuration so that remote libraries will be cached at the desired frequency for all Macabacus users. Automatic caching, when required, occurs in the background upon starting Excel, PowerPoint, or Word. Macabacus performs incremental caches, updating only those files and folders in the local cache that have changed in the remote library to reduce network load and improve caching speed. Cached libraries are saved in the following local folders, as applicable:

C:\Users\%USER NAME%\AppData\Roaming\Macabacus\CompanyLibrary
C:\Users\%USER NAME%\AppData\Roaming\Macabacus\TeamLibrary
C:\Users\%USER NAME%\AppData\Roaming\Macabacus\PersonalLibrary

Using Cached Libraries Full-Time

In the Library Manager dialog there is an option to always use cached libraries. Enabling this option can improve how quickly content loads in the Library pane, depending on the speed of your network and how much content resides in the library, but prevents linking to library content and may leave you with outdated cached content and templates. If you decide to enable this option, set your cache frequency to a small value, like every one or two days.

Sample Library

When Macabacus is run for the first time after installation, or when Macabacus does not detect a personal library folder upon starting Office applications, Macabacus will automatically create a personal library and populate it with sample content and templates to demonstrate the functionality of libraries and other tools. Macabacus normally creates this library in your Documents folder, and its contents are copied from the installation files found at C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Sample Library.

When the Macabacus software is subsequently updated, the newest versions of sample library content will reside in the ProgramData folder above, but your existing personal library folder will not be updated. Accordingly, you may be confused if you are reading a description of Macabacus-enabled templates in this manual, but the sample template in your personal library does not conform to the description. In these cases, you should refer to the sample files in your ProgramData folder, or reset your personal library (more on that below).

Sample content and templates are provided for demonstration purposes, only, and are not considered part of Macabacus software. They may be removed, replaced, or modified as desired.

Publishing Content & Templates

Content and templates are added to a library by "publishing" them. When publishing content and templates, Macabacus prompts you for the destination library. If a folder path to the selected library has not yet been specified, Macabacus will prompt you to select a folder for the library. For team and company libraries, this will typically be a folder on a shared network drive.

Adding Slides to a Library

First, create a presentation containing only those slides you want to add to the library. Each slide should have a descriptive title for identification and searchability purposes. Then, click the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries > Content > Slides button in PowerPoint to publish slides in the active presentation to the desired library. The file name of the presentation will serve as the description of the slide collection that is visible to end users in some Macabacus interfaces.

You can add multiple presentations to libraries. Therefore, it is not necessary to place all content slides into a single presentation. You may prefer to use multiple presentations to group similar slide content. For example, if you want to add ten team pages and ten "creds" pages to a library, it makes sense to break these into separate team page and "creds" page presentations, with ten slides in each.

Adding Shapes to a Library

First, create a presentation containing only those shapes you want to add to the library (placeholder shapes will be ignored). Each shape should be assigned a name in the PowerPoint Selection Pane that describes that shape's form, function, or intended use. Shape names are used for identification and searchability. Then, click the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries > Content > Shapes button in PowerPoint to publish shapes in the active presentation to the desired library. The file name of the presentation will serve as the description of the shape collection that is visible to end users in some Macabacus interfaces.

You can add multiple presentations to libraries. Therefore, it is not necessary to place all content shapes into a single presentation. You may prefer to use multiple presentations to group similar shape content.

Adding Images to a Library

First, create a folder containing only those images—such as company logos, headshot photos, and other reusable imagery—that you want to add to the library. Each image's file name should describe the image, as file names are used for identification and searchability. Then, click the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries > Content > Images button in PowerPoint, Excel, or Word to publish the image folder to the desired library. The original folder's name will serve as the description of the gallery visible to end users in some Macabacus interfaces.

You can add multiple image galleries (folders) to libraries, so it is not necessary to place all images into a single folder. You may prefer to use multiple folders to group similar images. For example, if you want to add 100 company logos and 15 head shot photos to a library, it makes sense to organize these images in separate logo and head shot folders. Also, if you have hundreds of logos to publish, you could break them into folders named A-G Logos, H-M Logos, and so on.

Adding Charts to a Library

First, create a workbook containing only those charts you want to add to the library using the following guidelines:

  • Each worksheet in the workbook should contain only a single chart, its chart data, and any instructions you want to provide for the user.
  • In the chart data, clearly identify which cells contain "dummy" data that should be replaced, perhaps by changing the cells' font or fill colors.
  • Using Excel's Selection Pane, give each chart a name that describes its type, layout, or intended use to help users identify and find charts more easily in the Library pane.
  • Ensure there is no extraneous information in the workbook you are publishing, such as unused range names, unused styles, links to other workbooks, etc. You may consider using some of Macabacus' workbook optimization or Prepare to Share tools in this step.
  • The workbook should not contain chart sheets.
  • See the workbook containing charts that installs with Macabacus as part of the sample library for examples, if desired.

When you are ready, click the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries > Content > Charts button in Excel to publish the charts in the active workbook to the desired library.

Adding Tombstones to a Library

Instructions for configuring and publishing tombstones are detailed in the tombstones section of this documentation.

Adding Templates to a Library

To add a presentation, model, or document template to a library, click the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries > Publish Master, Publish Model, or Publish Document buttons, respectively, in PowerPoint, Excel, or Word. The template you are publishing need not be open. Macabacus will prompt you for the library and document group to which you want to publish. Document groups provide a way to organize your templates, and you can create as many document groups as you like. The "Sample Models" menu visible under the Macabacus > New menu in Excel after installing Macabacus is an example of a document group. A large organization might create separate document groups for different business units.


You can republish content and templates using the same processes described above. Ensure that any content files/folders being republished have the same name as those that were originally published to ensure that the old versions are overwritten. Macabacus will prompt you to confirm your intent to overwrite existing library content/templates.

Content Links

Slides and shapes published to a library are invisibly tagged with information that supports linking from other presentations. Therefore, when making changes to library content, such as republishing, use the Migrate Links tool to ensure that link information is not accidentally removed.

Library Manager

The Library Manager dialog is used to view, remove, and rename library content, as well as set the folder path for each library. Access the Library Manager from the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries menu in PowerPoint, Excel, or Word. Making changes on the Company tab in Library Manager requires that either (a) the user be a Macabacus account administrator, or (b) the host Office application be run as a Windows administrator.

Library Manager

Broken Links

Deleting a presentation from a library breaks any links to slides/shapes in that presentation.

Reset Your Personal Library

To reset all content and templates in your personal library to the sample library content/template installed with Macabacus, click the Reset button in Library Manager. A reset can only be performed on your personal library, not the team or company libraries. It may be a good idea to back up your personal library folder by simply making a copy of it, prior to resetting the library, so that you can subsequently reverse these changes, if desired. If you want to reference a file in the sample library that has been deleted, you may not need to reset your personal library at all. The file you want to reference can be found at C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Sample Library (the ProgramData folder may be hidden).

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.5.5, and may differ from the PDF documentation
on your computer that installed with your version of Macabacus.