That post links to an animated .gif I made a long time ago, when I was a lot more tolerant of mind-numbing procedures. As I have gotten more automation-minded, I have learned better methods of doing things, and making timers is no exception.
With some guidance from the folks at PPTAlchemy, I have created this macro-enabled PowerPoint presentation. Simply follow these steps, and you'll be cooking up a fresh 5-minute timer in no time! And unlike the previous timer, this approach allows you to customize the color, the font, and even the duration of the timer.
- Make sure that you have Microsoft PowerPoint and that macros are enabled. If you aren't sure how to enable macros, go here.
- Open the file in PowerPoint.
- Change the slide design as desired.
- Select the text field.
- Run the macro called "Timerize". For more on how to run a macro, look here.
- Save the file as a PowerPoint presentation (if you do "Save As" instead of "Save", then you can use this file as a template for future presentations as well.
- Run the slideshow on the new file to be sure it displays OK. (It may take a while to start, depending on your machine's speed - each tick of the timer is an individual image that is being displayed, and it takes a while to initialize all of those.)
- Be sure that the text field has as many characters as you will want to display. (e.g., for a 5:00 timer, it should have 4. For a 10:00 timer, it should have 5. For a 1:00:00 timer, it should have 7.)
- Be sure to select the entire text field you want to turn into a timer. If you don't do this, the macro won't run correctly.
- You can modify the macro to update the duration of the timer, as well as how long between "ticks" and a number of other variables. Refer to the PPTAlchemy article for more information on this.
- Feel free to post any other tips in the comments below.