How to Supercharge Your #PowerPoint Workflow

Do you know that you can upgrade your PowerPoint workflow with add-ins that put additional capabilities right at your fingertips? From finding great stock photos and icons to searching Wikipedia and adding an online map there are a lot of ways to upgrade your slides without ever needing to leave PowerPoint.

Think about how nice it would be to avoid the stop, juggle windows, web search and download/insert dance just to get a great photo.

You can see a more complete list and even follow it to be notified as I discover new ones over on my presentation resources page.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:


If you’re doing to deliver your slides as a live presentation, PollEverywhere is a great way to engage your audience and make them an active part of your talk. This audience interaction add-in is great for training and workshops too!

Powerpoint Labs

This open-source add-in from the National University of Singapore saves you time by automating labor-intensive tasks and adding features like easy pan and zoom, highlighting text, and a whole host of other useful jobs. My favorite is the spotlight tool.

zoomlab highlightlab effectslab

And a few other free options work checking out.

Stock Photos


The newest PowerPoint add-in for stock photos is from Pixabay. One of the largest options for free photos, many of my photo quests leads me to Pixabay.


Pexels is one of the better sources of free stock photos. Even better is the ability to access them directly in PowerPoint with their free add-in.



Sometimes the free options just don’t quite get the job done. When that happens, give the Shutterstock PowerPoint plug-in a try. (available for Mac & PC) The plug-in is free and you’ll need to purchase the images. If you’re working on a mockup or haven’t found the perfect image yet, you can use the “Try Image” option to add free watermarked images.



Depending on which version of PowerPoint you have, you might already have access to vector icons. If not, or if you need more than Microsoft provides, take a peek at these options.

Noun Project

The Noun Project is my go-to source for icons. With this add-in, you’ll get free access to 100 of their most frequently used pictograms or you can unlock the entire collection for just $39.99 per year. Which just might be the best $40 I’ve ever spent!

Thirsty for more? Pop on into the official PowerPoint add-ins and see what else they have to offer. Here’s how you can do that.


The IconScout add-in serves up a mix of free and paid icon options.

Remember, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out a more complete list of add-ins, follow the page to get notifications when new items are added or suggest new ones over on my PowerPoint resources page.

What do you think? Are you already using any of these or do you see any you’re going to try out? I’d love to hear from you.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

5 thoughts on “How to Supercharge Your #PowerPoint Workflow

  1. One more for you.

    Office Timeline. Relatively inexpensive add in to make timelines using PPT.

    There’s a free version too. The paid version is $59/year and has all kinds of nifty import features.

    Happy Monday!


    You learn something every day if you pay attention.

    -Ray LeBlond


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: