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PowerPointPresentation Automation

Agendas

Overview

Agenda Components

Macabacus' agenda tools synchronize a table of contents, "flysheet" slides, and section title shapes with the native PowerPoint sections in your presentation. The "agenda" is determined by the sequence and names of sections, and is comprised of the following components:

  • Table of contents — This slide usually follows the title slide and lists all sections within the presentation, including section numbers/letters and slide numbers of flysheets.
  • Flysheets — These slides are the first slide within each section of a presentation, and indicate the start of a new section. You might alternatively refer to these as section dividers, tab slides, section slides, etc.
  • Section titles — These optional shapes appear on content slides and show the parent section or subsection's name to provide your audience a convenient visual indication of where the slide resides in a presentation and its context.

See below for more information about these agenda components.

Subsections

While PowerPoint natively supports just one section level, Macabacus lets you create subsections by prepending an ampersand ("@") to section names. The leading ampersand tells Macabacus to treat the section as a subsection when populating agenda components, and apply the appropriate indentation, bullet convention, and other formatting defined in your Macabacus-enabled template.

Integration with Native Sections

Agendas are deeply integrated with PowerPoint sections. Upon performing native section operations such as adding, renaming, and deleting sections, Macabacus automatically updates all of your agenda components. For example, when you add a new section, Macabacus will automatically insert a flysheet as the first slide in that section and update the table of contents and section titles, if applicable. This integration can be disabled, if desired, in the PowerPoint > Agendas section of the Settings dialog (pictured below). Macabacus integrates with the following native section operations, depending on your version of PowerPoint:

PowerPoint 2016, 2013 Add sections, rename sections, delete a single section, delete a single section (including slides), delete all sections, move sections up, move sections down
PowerPoint 2010 Add sections, rename sections, delete a single section, delete all sections

Getting Started with Agendas

Configure Your Template

Before working with agendas, you must have configured your Macabacus-enabled template to support agenda functionality. This template must be set as the active template in Macabacus' Settings dialog. Macabacus uses the "agenda" and "section divider" layouts in your template to build agendas. A typical agenda layout will include placeholders for section numbers/letters, section names (topics), and slide numbers of flysheets that mark the start of new sections.

Configure Agenda Settings

Set your default agenda preferences in the PowerPoint > Agendas section of Macabacus' Settings dialog (pictured below). These settings will be applied when synchronizing agendas with sections, but can be overridden for individual presentations on the Macabacus > Agenda menu.

Agenda options

Table of Contents

Insert an optional table of contents ("ToC") slide into your presentation from the Macabacus > Agenda > Table of Contents menu. Macabacus will insert the ToC immediately after the title slide, if present, and populate the ToC with all sections within the presentation, including section numbers/letters and slide numbers of flysheets.

Macabacus can show (a) both sections and subsections, or (b) sections, only, on the table of contents. The default behavior is configured in Macabacus' Settings dialog, and may be modified for individual presentations with the Macabacus > Agenda > Agenda Options > Show Subsections toggle button. Show sections, only, to fit more agenda items on the ToC slide.

You can also include text in arbitrary shapes, such as slide titles, in the table of contents. This can be useful for short presentations containing fewer than a dozen or so slides with no sections. To add a shape's text to the ToC, select the shape and select the desired level from the Macabacus > Agenda > Table of Contents > Include in ToC menu. Levels 1 and 2 are normally used for section and subsection titles, respectively, and level 3 is normally used for slide titles, but you may choose any level you like. Macabacus will ask whether you want to include similar shapes (such as all slide titles) in the table of contents, so that you need not repeat this action for many shapes. You can also unmark shapes previously marked for inclusion in the table of contents from the Macabacus > Agenda > Table of Contents > Exclude from ToC menu.

Flysheets

Flysheets are the first slide within each section of a presentation, and indicate the start of a new section. You might alternatively refer to these slides as section dividers, tab slides, section slides, etc. They are populated and updated automatically when you modify sections into your presentations, unless you have disabled this feature.

There are two conventions commonly used for flysheet layouts, and Macabacus supports both. These layout options are referred to as flysheet styles "Topic" and "Agenda," respectively, and can be switched back and forth with the click of a button. Set your preferred default flysheet style in the PowerPoint > Agendas section of the Settings dialog (pictured above), and at the presentation level from the Macabacus > Agenda > Agenda Options menu if you need to deviate from the default settings for an individual presentation.

Flysheet Style "Topic"

With the flysheet style set to "Topic," only the preceding section/subsection's name (topic) and section number/letter is displayed in a single textbox on the flysheet. The flysheet's layout, including section numbering/lettering convention, is derived from your Macabacus-enabled presentation template.

Flysheet Style "Agenda"

With the flysheet style set to "Agenda," the flysheet looks similar to a table of contents, but with the active (current) section highlighted per formatting preferences set in your Macabacus-enabled presentation template. This flysheet style provides the following options:

  • Collapse Subsections — Enabling this option hides subsection topics on flysheets if the subsection is not within the current section. This lets you fit more agenda items on a single flysheet, and improves readability.
  • Omit Double Flysheets — Enabling this option instructs Macabacus not to generate a section flysheet when the next slide is a subsection flysheet. This avoids back-to-back section/subsection flysheets, reducing presentation length and minimizing printing costs.
  • Skip Double Flysheets — Enabling this option tells PowerPoint to skip section flysheets during slide shows when the next slide is a subsection flysheet. This avoids showing back-to-back section/subsection flysheets during slide shows.

Section Titles

Section titles are optional textboxes that appear on content slides in your presentation used to display the name (i.e., topic, title) of the preceding section/subsection. They provide the reader with visual cues about the relative positioning of a content slide in a presentation, and are updated automatically when Macabacus updates the agenda. You can update and toggle the visibility of section titles using the Macabacus > Agenda > Section Titles button, or from the Macabacus > MasterShapes menu. Section titles must be designated in the slide master (usually in the active template) as described in the MasterShapes documentation.

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.9.17. Some features and descriptions of these features may not
apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.