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Visual Studio 2012 Tips Part 1 – PowerPoint Storyboarding

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Windows 8 Search PowerPoint StoryboardingThe PowerPoint Add-In for Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate users is a great tool to quickly create interface designs that you can provide to your customers. This in turn allows you to gain valuable feedback from them because you can make these designs interactive.

What is even better is that, because it is PowerPoint, your customers can change elements on the form to illustrate exactly what they mean. To start using PowerPoint Storyboarding, head on over to your Windows 8 Search. (Windows Key + C to activate the Charm Bar and select Search)

As you type “PowerPoint Storyboarding” into the search field, the results will filter until you can select the application from the search results.

Search  Apps for PowerPoint Storyboarding

Clicking on the application will start the familiar PowerPoint splash screen.

PowerPoint Storyboarding Start Splash Screen

After PowerPoint has started, you will notice that it defaults to a blank slide and to the Storyboarding Tab.

PowerPoint Blank Slide Storyboarding Tab

On the right you will notice the Storyboard Shapes menu. This allows you to use common elements to design your interface.

PowerPoint Storyboard shapes side menu

Begin by adding the Ribbon Application shape to your slide.

PowerPoint Storyboarding Ribbon Application

After you have done that, you can add elements to your design as needed.

PowerPoint Storyboarding Ribbon Application with elements

After you have added your elements to your design (you add elements by dragging them from the Storyboard Shapes menu), you can create hyperlinks between your slides to create the effect of interaction. For this I created a duplicate slide of the first one, and added a message dialog screen to the second slide. Then, by creating a hyperlink from the Set Reminder button to the second slide, you can create the interaction.

Create Hyperlink to other Storyboard Item

After you click on the Hyperlink option, the Insert Hyperlink screen is displayed. Select the second slide and click on OK.

PowerPoint Storyboarding Insert Hyperlink Options

On the second slide, select the Message Dialog screen, and create a link back to Slide 1.

PowerPoint Storyboarding Insert Hyperlink back

When you have done this, click on the ‘Slide Show’ button to play your slide show.

PowerPoint Slide Show button

Now you can interact with your slides and use the interface as it is designed to create the effect of user interaction with a live application. If you use a set of custom shapes frequently, select them and add them to your Storyboard Shapes.

PowerPoint Add to My Shapes

This is just scratching the surface of what is possible with PowerPoint Storyboarding. It is a very powerful tool for developers and customers alike.

Download more Storyboard Shapes here.

Lastly, have a look at Storyboard a User Story or Requirement Using PowerPoint and Storyboard Backlog Items for further reading on the subject.

Source: Zain Naboulsi

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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