Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 review: Microsoft PowerPoint 2002

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Now offers print preview; supports multiple slide designs in one presentation; new Task Pane helps you edit slides faster.

The Bad Expensive; no amazing new tools.

The Bottom Line Got PowerPoint 2000? Then 2002 isn't different enough to justify its price tag. However, if you have an older edition, consider moving up.

Don't Miss

For the past two years, PowerPoint has sat on Microsoft's back burner. Version 2002 yields only a trickle of useful new tools--limited to multiple masters, print preview, and easier slide editing--certainly not enough to merit the $109 upgrade from PowerPoint 2000. And if you run Windows 95, you're out of luck: The upgrade won't even work for you. Nonetheless, PowerPoint is still the best slide-show maker on the market. If you're stuck with an older edition (PowerPoint 97 or earlier), or you don't yet own a presentation package, grab 2002 when Microsoft starts selling it in late spring.For the past two years, PowerPoint has sat on Microsoft's back burner. Version 2002 yields only a trickle of useful new tools--limited to multiple masters, print preview, and easier slide editing--certainly not enough to merit the $109 upgrade from PowerPoint 2000. And if you run Windows 95, you're out of luck: The upgrade won't even work for you. Nonetheless, PowerPoint is still the best slide-show maker on the market. If you're stuck with an older edition (PowerPoint 97 or earlier), or you don't yet own a presentation package, grab 2002 when Microsoft starts selling it in late spring.

More of the same
If PowerPoint 2002 gives you déjà vu, that's because it's the spitting image of past versions. Microsoft made some superficial interface modifications--the navigation bar at the left now shows thumbnail views of slides, for instance--but otherwise, PowerPoint 2000's infinitely usable three-pane workspace remains intact. (We like this view because it puts the slide-design display, your supplementary notes, and your presentation outline all on one screen.)

Another important legacy lives on: PowerPoint 2002 uses the same file format as PowerPoint 2000 (and the even earlier version 97), so you'll still be able to open and edit old presentations, and anyone running an older version of the app can use your files too.

A few good moves
PowerPoint looks familiar inside and out. Version 2002 struts fewer new features and tools than any other Office XP app (in the Standard suite). And in many cases, particularly in Print Preview, these features and tools are new only to PowerPoint; they've been available in other presentation makers for ages.

For example, PowerPoint now lets you create presentations with multiple design templates (PowerPoint calls them masters), a boon if you build sophisticated slide shows that switch designs partway through, or if you need to combine two or more presentations into one file. The new Print Preview feature, a humiliating omission in previous PowerPoint versions, finally makes an appearance here; you can now preview print jobs in a variety of formats. But although multiple masters and previewing are significant changes, they don't make this a gotta-get upgrade for PowerPoint 2000 users.

Other newcomers to PowerPoint include image rotation (which lets you flip or twist any image or WordArt object on a slide; get it via the Drawing toolbar or by clicking and dragging the object itself), a design grid that helps you line things up (choose it with the View/Grid and Guides menu), and password protection to keep prying eyes away from your presentation. Finally, 2002's Slide pane (alongside the Outline pane, which debuted in PowerPoint 2000) displays thumbnails of all your slides, so you can easily switch among slides or rearrange their order without resorting to the Slide Sorter view.

Don't Miss

 

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Microsoft PowerPoint 2002

Part Number: 07901391
MSRP: $229.00 Low Price: $19.99 See all prices

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  • Category office applications
  • Compatibility PC