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Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac - PowerPoint 2011 review

Can the latest version of PowerPoint for Mac tempt back users who have defected to Apple's rival Keynote program? Read our in-depth review to find out.

Microsoft has even tackled one of the perennial bugbears of slide design: trying to click overlapping items. Under the Format tab is the Reorder Objects button which splays out all the objects on the slide in a 3D view reminiscent of Windows 7's Flip3D; you can then riffle through them and drag to move an element up or down the stacking order. It's a cute idea, but you can't select an item here and then move or resize it, so you may still end up having to bring an item to the front to edit it, then send it back again.

The temptation to pile lots of media onto each slide is increased by the radically overhauled Animation options, which along with extra SmartArt elevate PowerPoint almost to the level of a multimedia authoring tool. If you just need results fast, there are plenty of cool graphics and effects to apply instantly, and rather than being limited to a preset number of circles or boxes you can just keep adding them, with SmartArt doing the fiddly work of duplicating elements and making them fit together. But if you want things just so, you can customise extensively, breaking apart the supplied diagrams if necessary or animating your own graphics. The return of Visual Basic for Applications scripting provides further scope for more ambitious presenters.

One item that remains on our wish list is font embedding. The freedom to pick your own fonts, including your organisation's corporate identity typefaces where appropriate, is an essential aspect of professional presentations. The last thing you want is to turn up with your .pptx file on a USB flash drive, only to find nothing looks as intended on the podium computer because it doesn't have the same fonts installed.

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