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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What does Handout Wizard (HOW) do?
    HOW creates handouts from your PowerPoint presentations in the presentation format.

  • Can I create a handout of a custom show?
    Yes, you can create a handout from a custom show, a slide selection, slide range
    or from all the slides.

  • My handout has truncated images in PPT 2007. How can I fix it?
    A bug introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 causes the images exported to get truncated in content. This bug has been addressed in Office 2007 Service Pack 2. You download it here.

  • What is  Custom layout?
    You define the number of slides per row and per column along with the margins and order of slide position to create a handout in the order your want.

  • What is a Defined layout?
    A custom layout is limits you to setting the size/order/position of the thumbnails, a layout definition gives you complete control over each slide represented in the handout. You can decide on the formatting, position, dimensions of each slide in the handout on a page. You can introduce other shapes/graphics while using this option to create consistent corporate handouts. HOW uses a Layout Definition Template while using the defined layout option.

  • What is a 'Layout Definition Template'?
    A 'Layout Definition Template' (LDT) is a customized template which contains shapes which represent placeholders. These placeholder will be replaced by slide thumbnails/notes text at that location with all the attributes of the placeholder in the LDT. LDT is just a slide with shapes, Handout Wizard (HOW) uses the specified LDT to create a consistent handout for you. No need to reposition and reformat a handout every time, just create a LDT with your style and formatting and re-use it every time.

    e.g. if the image placeholder has a red dashed border and is set to be black and white, when the slide thumbnail is created it will have a red dashed border and in black and white mode.

  • How do I create a LDT?
    Click here for step-by-step instruction to create a LDT.

  • What is an 'Image Placeholder'?
    An image placeholder is a rectangle autoshape with the text '{Thumbnail}' or '{ThumbnailBW}' in it. HOW maps a thumbnail onto the image placeholder while creating a handout with a LDT. The thumbnail in the created handout inherits the attributes like position, dimensions, border formatting from the image placeholder on to which it is mapped.

  • How do I create an Image placeholder?
    Open a LDT, click on Autoshapes on the Drawing toolbar and select the Rectangle autoshape. Draw a rectangle on the slide. Position, size and format it.
    In this create rectangle autoshape, type the following text '{Thumbnail}' (without the quotes). The text is not case sensitive, so '{Thumbnail}' is just as fine as '{ThumbNail}'.  HOW uses this distinct formatting to identify image placeholders.


  • How can I create a B/W (grayscale) image placeholder?
    If you wish to create a grayscale thumbnail instead, in the handout, repeat the steps to create a normal image placeholder and then edit the shape text to 'ThumbnailBW'.

  • How many image placeholders can I have on a slide?
    There is no limit. You can have as many as you need.

  • Can each image placeholder be sized or formatted or positioned differently?
    Yes, each image placeholder will be replaced by a slide thumbnail with properties identical to that of the individual image placeholder that the thumbnail maps on to in the handout.

  • How do I insert a slide number on the defined layout?
    To add slide numbers in the layout, click on Textbox on the Drawing toolbar and draw a textbox on the slide. Position, size and format it. In the textbox type '{Number}' (without quotes). Make one for each image placeholder on the slide.

  • How do I get the slide title to appear below the slide in the handout ?
    For this you need to create a defined layout. If you want to have the slide titles appearing in the layout, click on Textbox on the Drawing toolbar and draw a textbox on the slide. Position the shape on the slide. In the textbox type '{SlideTitle}' (without quotes). Make one for each image placeholder on the slide.

  • Do you have examples of using the above field in a layout?
    Yes, open the any of the following layout templates in PowerPoint - 'Sample LDT.ppt' or 'Two slides with lines multi-layout.ppt'. These layouts are included as a part of the installation and can be found in the 'More Layouts' folder within the folder where Handout Wizard is installed.

  • Can I apply a design template to the LDT?
    Yes, a LDT is in presentation format, just as you apply a design to a presentation, you can apply a design to the LDT and save it.

  • Can I edit the created Handout ?
    Yes, the handout is created in PowerPoint presentation format. You can edit it just as another other presentation.

  • Does Handout Wizard support multiple layouts in a single handout?
    Yes, it supports multiple layout. Each slide in a LDT will be treated as a handout layout for each page in the created handout in sequence.


  • How can I change the font while numbering the thumbnails?
    HOW uses the default font in the default presentation or the default font in the used LDT. To change the numbering font, you need to change the default font.

  • My trial period has expired how do I register HOW?
    Look up the help topic 'Register HOW online' for further details.


  • How do I register HOW?
    You can purchase a registration code online from the following page to register your copy of HOW.

  • How do I get support or provide feedback or report a bug?
    Email support is provided free. Send an email to Shyam@MVPs.Org with your problem/feedback and you will receive a prompt reply.

  • Do I get discounts on bulk license purchases?
    You do get discounts on bulk license purchases. To learn about the discount offerings, visit the following page.

  • What are named settings?
    Named settings are the choices made by the user in the wizard (slide selection, output quality, numbering, layouts, footer etc.)  that can saved and invoked for later or repetitive use without having to key in the choices again. Click here to learn more about named settings.

  • How can I save a new named setting?
    Just before you begin creating the handout, click on ‘Save Settings’. Enter a name to save the settings used under that name.

  • How can I load my saved named setting?
    In the main wizard window (Step 1) click on the combo box and select from the list of available settings. HOW will load the save values for that named setting.

  • How can I delete some named settings?
    Select Tools | Handout Wizard | Delete named settings. In the window select the setting to be deleted from the list and click on Delete.

  • Can I update my saved setting?
    Yes, you can. Load a named setting,  make changes to the options then save the setting again under the same name.

  • How can I load a particular setting automatically when the wizard is run?
    ‘Default’ is the named setting  that loads automatically during each session. Select you desired options in the wizard, click on the Save Settings button and type, 'Default' (without quotes) to update the existing stored options. Now, whenever you start the wizard, these updated options will get loaded automatically.

  • I tried to load the Handout Wizard add-in but I do not see it listed in my Add-ins window. What am I doing wrong?

If you cannot load an add-in in PPT2000 or later. Then check the macro settings (Tools | Macros | Security), if set to a security level - HIGH, this would prevent any unsigned add-in from being loaded. To resolve this...
1. Select Tools | Macros | Security on the security level tab, check MEDIUM.
2. Click on OK
3. Now load the Add-in as per the instructions.
4. Once the add-in has been loaded you can set the Security level back to HIGH


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