Swinford, Echo Fixing PowerPoint annoyances. How to fix the most annoying things about your favorite presentation program. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2006. xviii, 305,  pp. ISBN 0-596-10004-3 $19.99 £13.99
I use PowerPoint quite a lot but I don't often get annoyed by it—probably because I am not using it to its full potential; in fact, I doubt that many users, except perhaps in the areas of sales and marketing and consultancy presentation, are 'power' users. The cover blurb notes that, 'More than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created every day...' (how do they know?), so there must be some enthusiasts out there . Most of the time, however, all I want to do is to put up a set of slides that will augment what I'm saying, that will focus the audience's attention on some key point, and that will keep them awake (or at least stand some small chance of doing so!). In doing this, the maximum sophistication I am likely to employ is to use some animation on the various slide elements: I'm a little wary about doing that, however, since I frequently forget what is coming next!
So this book is probably not for me. If, however, you are an enthusiastic user of the total feature set PowerPoint, it is probably for you. And even the casual user like myself can pick up a variet of hints and tips from the cornucopia presented here.
As the author says, it is difficult for any computer application to categorise 'annoyances' (I suppose that's the opposite of 'affordances'?), but she makes an attempt with nine chapters: Presenting your presentation; Dumb defaults; Formatting and editing; Importing; Organization charts, diagrams, and drawing tools; Charts and graphs; Animations, action settings, and hyperlinks; Sound and video; and Printing and distribution, which, I guess, just about covers most things.
What kind of tips can you pick up? Well, here are one or two that caught my attention:
Looking at these, and numerous other tips and tricks, I begin to think that this book is for me after all. Certainly, it will be of enourmous value to anyone who uses PowerPoint as part of the process of making their living.
Professor T.D. Wilson