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PowerPoint. How to define objects within.

My company, GraphPad Software (www.graphpad.com), makes a program (Prism) that helps scientists make graphs. They can then click one button, and our program will launch PP if it isn't already running, create a new slide, and paste in the graph they were working on. Pretty cool -- one click to get a graph from Prism into PowerPoint (even handling background colors correctly, leaving it out of the object but sending PP a message to recreate that background color for the entire slide).

But people often want to show the slide sequentially. First the axes so they can explain the experimental setup, then click to show the control data  in blue circles, then click to show the experimental data in red, then click to show the statistical comparison as a text box...

PowerPoint provides nice animation features, which let you show objects sequentially. But our graph is pasted in as one object. If the user ungroups, then it becomes hundreds or thousands of tiny objects, too many to be useful for showing a graph sequentially. We are looking for some way for us to define within the EMF or WMF file (or some other way) the definition of objects (for the purpose of slide animation), so our users can use PowerPoint's existing Custom Animation controls to set up a slide where data sets and objects appear sequentially.

When you paste a graph made in Excel (Microsoft Graph), PowerPoint "knows" about data sets and can show them sequentially. But we cannot find any documentation for how we can make this happen with our graphs. Anyone have any clues where to look? Thanks.

Harvey Motulsky
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Why not just give the user the option to create multiple slides with varying pieces of the graph?  I assume you can control the "objects" within your app, so when they click New PP Slide, give them a set of checkboxes.

Otherwise, I guess my first inclination would be to try putting the graph into Excel programmaticaly, and then telling excel to hand it off to PowerPoint, and seeing if that makes the object grouping situation any better :)  Not the most efficient, but if they have PP, they probably have Excel too...

Joe
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Joe. Your second suggestion won't work. Our program has lots of graphing features that aren't available in Exel. But your first suggestion has lots of merit. Perhaps that is the best approach. Thanks.

Harvey Motulsky
Friday, June 11, 2004

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