Litigation Support Tip of the Night

May 20, 2020

A PowerShell script posted on the Microsoft Scripting blog here, can be used to merge multiple .csv files together. 

Begin by entering this source code for the merge function in PowerShell:

function Merge-CSVFiles { 
    [string]$OutputFile = "c:\merged.csv" 

$Output = @(); 
foreach($CSV in $CSVFiles) { 
    if(Test-Path $CSV) { 
        $FileName = [System.IO.Path]::GetFileName($CSV) 
        $temp = Import-CSV -Path $CSV | select *, @{Expression={$FileName};Label="FileName"} 
        $Output += $temp 
    } else { 
        Write-Warning "$CSV : No such file found" 

$Output | Export-Csv -Path $OutputFile -NoTypeInformation 
Write-Output "$OutputFile successfully created" 

Enter this code and press return.   The function will be activated.  Next compose a simple line of script which references the full path for each of the .csv files you want to merge together:

Merge-CSVFiles -CSVFiles C:\foofolder8\AllstarFull.csv,C:\foofolder8\Appearances.csv,C:\foofolder8\Batting.csv -OutputFile c:\foofolder8\output.csv

Separate the listed .csv files with a comma.   At the end of the script, enter a path for the resulting file which will contain the merged data. 

The new .csv file will contain a new column at the right which lists the name of each source file. 

As always, I tested out this script myself tonight, and confirmed that it functions correctly. 

February 27, 2020

Don't miss that after you've copied and pasted a list of bullet points from an outline onto a PowerPoint slide, you can automatically set them to appear one at a time with animation (whether by appearing from left; fading in; etc.).  It's not necessary to animate each bullet point individually.

1. Select the text box in which the bullet points have been entered and add animation for it on the Animation tab. 

2. On the Animation Pane select the entry for the text box; right click and select Effect Options. 

3. On the Text Animation tab, set the group text to 'By 1st Level Paragraphs'.

4. The bullet points will now appear one at a time. 

November 21, 2019

After a PowerPoint presentation is finalized, it's often difficult to prepare a version that can be printed in out in hard copy.  If you have multiple animated objects on a single slide, it won't be possible to prepare a print copy or PDF that shows each object on a separate slide. The below vba code, posted here by by Kallis, can be used to solve this dilemma. 

1. In this example we have a slide which has eight different animated objects.   Although it's not the case in this example, animated objects often overlap making it hard to create a hard copy in which each displayed.

2. Press Alt + F11 to enter Visual Basic.  Right click on a presentation in the project panel on the left and insert the below vba code in a new module. 

3. Back in PowerPoint, go to View . . . Macros and then Run 'AddElements'. 

4. The macro will generate a new slide for each animated object. 

5.  The original slides will remain, so delete those before printing your hard copy. 

Sub AddElements()
Dim shp As Shape
Dim i As Integer, n As Integer
n = ActivePresentation.Slides.Count
For i = 1 To n
    Dim s As Slide
    Set s = ActivePresentation.Slides(i)
    s.SlideShowTransition.Hidden = msoTrue
    Dim max As Integer: max = 0
    For Each shp In s.Shapes
        If shp.AnimationSettings.Animate = msoTrue Then
            If shp.AnimationSettings.AnimationOrder > max Then
                max = shp.AnimationSettings.AnimationOrder
            End If
        End If
    Dim k As Integer, s2 As Slide
    For k = 0 To max
        Set s2 = s.Duplicate(1)
        s2.SlideShowTransition.Hidden = msoFalse
        s2.MoveTo ActivePresentation.Slides.Count
        Dim i2 As Integer
        For i2 = s2.Shapes.Count To 1 Step -1
            With s2.Shapes(i2)
                If .AnimationSettings.Animate = msoTrue Then
                    If .AnimationSettings.AnimationOrder > k Then
                        .AnimationSettings.Animate = msoFalse
                    End If
                End If
            End With
End Sub
Sub RemElements()
Dim i As Integer, n As Integer
Dim s As Slide
n = ActivePresentation.Slides.Count
For i = n To 1 Step -1
    Set s = ActivePresentation.Slides(i)
    If s.SlideShowTransition.Hidden = msoTrue Then
        s.SlideShowTransition.Hidden = msoFalse
    End If
End Sub

November 14, 2019

Don’t miss that PowerPoint includes an option under Slide Show . . . Set-up Show to deactivate animated objects.  In the dialog box that appears, on the lower left you’ll see a checkbox to run the show without animation. 


November 8, 2019

Tonight's tip concerns visual basic code I crafted on the basis of the macro posted here by Chris Newman which is designed to remove all animation on all slides of a PowerPoint presentation.   The vba code posted below will change all of the animation set for all shapes on all slides to the simple 'Appear' effect.   Simply enter Visual Basic by pressing ALT + F11, and then enter the code in a new module. 

On the line beginning, "sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.Item(x).EffectType =", you can enter whatever animation effect you choose.  When you begin to enter text at the end of this line, Visual Basic will display the available animation effects. 

Sub ChangeAllAnimations()
'PURPOSE: Remove All PowerPoint Animations From Slides
Dim sld As Slide
Dim x As Long
Dim Counter As Long
'Loop Through Each Slide in ActivePresentation
  For Each sld In ActivePresentation.Slides
    'Loop through each animation on slide
      For x = sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.count To 1 Step -1
        'Change Each Animation
          sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.Item(x).EffectType = msoAnimEffectAppear
        'Maintain Change Stat
          Counter = Counter + 1
      Next x
  Next sld
'Completion Notification
MsgBox Counter & " Animation(s) were changed in your PowerPoint presentation!"
End Sub

October 23, 2019

In PowerPoint, you can use an easy trick to add emphasis to a specific area of a photo. 

1.  On the photo, circle the area that you want to emphasis with the circle or oval shape. 

2. Then select both the shape and the photo itself.  Be sure to select the photo first and then press CTRL and select the circle. 

3. Under the Drawing Tools . . . Format menu, and on the far left select Merge Shapes . . . Fragment. 

4.  Then select the background photo and go to the Picture Tools . . . Format menu, and on the far left select Artistic Effects and choose a blurred version of the photo. 

October 16, 2019

PowerPoint 2016 and later versions, include a presenter view which will be activated when your PC or laptop is connected to two monitors or a projector.   Presenter view allows you to edit and preview the presentation while the slides are shown to an audience.

The trouble is PowerPoint can lock up in this mode and prevent you from advancing the slides in main presentation, and limit you to working in presenter view.  If this problem occurs, make sure that under Slide Show . . . Set up Slide Show, the "Browsed at a kiosk" radial button is not selected.  If it is slides will not advance.  It's also possible that you may experience the same problem if 'Presented by a speaker' is selected.   In this case, simply check off the option at the bottom right of the dialog box: 'Use Presenter View'.  

July 9, 2019

Don't miss that you can easily improve the appearance of a PowerPoint presentation on a wide screen computer monitor, or plasma, LCD, or OLED flat panel monitor by changing the aspect ratio of the slides.  

The 16:9 aspect ratio common to HDTV monitors is twice as wide and 1.5 times the height of the standard 4:3 video graphics array (VGA) display.   You can switch between the two in PowerPoint by going to Design . . . Slide Size 

Making the switch can change the appearance of a slide from this in 4:3:

. . . to this in 16:9 

January 31, 2019

If you need to import all of the pages from multiple PDFs into a PowerPoint presentation,  Lori Kassuba has created an action that will do it.  See the post named, 'Convert PDF to PowerPoint' on the Adobe Actions Exchange.   Download the .sequ file named 'temp_file_Convert_PDFs_to_PowerPoint1.sequ' and simply double-click on it to import it into Adobe Acrobat.   It will appear in the Tools menu 

Click on the action and you will given the option to process one or more PDFs. 

A PowerPoint file will be automatically saved to the same folder as the source files with each page of the PDF saved to a separate slide. 

September 12, 2018

David JP Phillips is the author of How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint, and the owner of a Swedish business specializing in professional presentations.   His TED Talk provides some basics on to prepare an effective PowerPoint presentation.

Phillips begins his talk by showing some examples of bad PowerPoint slides.   A New York Times article We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint  included a copy of a slide used at a briefing for General McChrystal, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan.   

The article notes that H.R. McMaster banned the use of PowerPoint and quotes General Mattis as saying that, "PowerPoint makes us stupid". 

Another notorious slide has hard to follow arrows zigzagging between obscure objects. 

Phillips' key points are:

1. One message should be the focus of each slide.  Don't try to cram information on a single slide - just make more slides!

2. Don't speak at the same time the slide is shown.  Let the audience focus on the image or points on the slide. 

3. Titles are usually not the most important thing on a slide - don't make them big:

. . . keep them small.   The most important part of a slide should be the biggest. 

4. Use a dark background. 

5. Contrast different points on a slide for emphasis.    A particularly effective method is to gray out each bullet point after you move to the next one. 

5.  There should never be more than six elements on a slide.    The viewer should just see the total - they shouldn't have to count. 

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Sean O'Shea has more than 15 years of experience in the litigation support field with major law firms in New York and San Francisco.   He is an ACEDS Certified eDiscovery Specialist and a Relativity Certified Administrator.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the owner and do not reflect the views or opinions of the owner’s employer.


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