PowerPoint 2004 (11.5) - graph problems

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by fl8rmaus, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. fl8rmaus macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    Hi all - we've run into a problem with our presentations and I'm curious to see if anyone has a solution or ideas or thoughts on it.

    We're on OS X and we're using PowerPoint 2004 for our presentations. These presentations are used over and over - we keep them on a server (not sure if it's Novell or what) and a number of staff are allowed to edit and use them for sales calls. We encourage them to drag a copy to their desktop to use, instead of opening from the server and editing/saving there - but I know some people do it anyway. We recognize that as an issue, and we struggle with it.

    Part of the updating that we do to the files is changing graphs when new data comes in (and there are often MANY graphs per presentation). So we open the file , dbl click the graph and edit the numbers in the graphing software, close out of it and then save the presentation with the updated graph.

    Usually this is no big deal but sometimes a file becomes a problem. The graphs won't save. You'll update it and then open it later, only to find that the graph has shrunk or resized to be huge or that it won't display at all, just showing you a box with a big red X. At first I thought I was going crazy but then I started taking notes and it is definitely changing the graphs after I've edited and saved them. With the big red X I can still dbl click the graph and see the numbers and the graph in the graphing software, but then when I change one number and close out of that, PowerPoint still only displays the big red X. It's baffling.

    I did research online and it seems we are not alone, that there have been many documented problems with PPT - especially on the Mac. But no one seems to have a good solution. We're up to date on patches, etc, I've tried restarting my computer, renaming the file via save-as. Nothing seems to help.

    For now, I'm just going to rebuild the presentation from scratch but I know this problem is not going away. Does anyone here have anything to add? Tips? Solutions? A good drink recipe to make me forget my PPT woes?


  2. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    Howdy. I sympathize with your PPT problems.

    In PPT Preferences, select the tab "Edit" and make sure that "Autofit text to placeholder" is unchecked. On the "Save" tab, uncheck "Allows fast saves" - that can cause file problems, especially with many having access and using the files.

    On the Insert menu, go to Object... and on the lower right corner there is a box that says "Display as icon". That should be unchecked for each object in the file.

    I found that it often works better to build the data and charts in XL then copy/paste links to each chart in PPT. However, with many people having access, that could be a problem. Perhaps one way around that is to have an Excel file and a Powerpoint file on the server, and everyone downloads both to update their specific data worksheet. One key is to always open the Excel file first.

  3. fl8rmaus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008

    Thanks so much for your reply! I don't know if using Excel files will mesh with our work flow, but I think we will start with your other suggestions and go from there. If it continues to be a problem, we can try pasting in Excel graphs later.

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