There are many e-greetings generators out there, most of which subject your recipients to at least a few annoyances (not to mention harvesting your email address or worse…). But did you know that you can use PowerPoint to create a custom, animated greeting card for that special occasion or holiday, replete with music and animation? You can, and thanks to a template put together by Microsoft MVP Sandra Johnson, it’ll only take you a few minutes. Afterward, you can send your custom e-greeting directly via email, either as an attachment or by uploading it to a YouTube, Facebook or a file sharing service, like Dropbox.
To see how the end product looks, check out this groovyPost.com greeting e-card I threw together this afternoon and uploaded on YouTube.
Here’s how you can make your own PowerPoint e-greeting:
Download the e-Card template I built for the demo below OR, grab the Official Microsoft template from Microsoft.com for building e-cards with Powerpoint 2010.
Open the template in PowerPoint 2010 or PowerPoint 2007. You’ll notice that there are instructions in the bottom pane, but we’ll walk you through them visually to help you out.
Select the template text that currently reads “Thank you for a wonderful 2009” and delete it. Do the same with the signature from Sandy.
Replace the template text by clicking the Insert tab and choosing WordArt. Choose whichever style tickles your fancy.
Just a reminder: If you’ll be sharing this as a PowerPoint Presentation, make sure that you use a font that everyone is likely to have, such as Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial. You’ll also likely have to resize the text to fit into the are provided.
Repeat these steps for the signature.
Click the Animation tab. Select your sentiment and choose the Fade animation. Next, in the Timing pane, click the drop-down menu next to Start and choose With Previous.
Repeat these steps for the signature.
If you feel like it, you can also include a picture. Or, if you want to get fancy with your text, you can save your WordArt or generate it elsewhere and embed it as a picture. In this way, you can choose a font or style that others may not have on their computer.
Save your PowerPoint project. If you know your recipients have PowerPoint, you can go ahead and email it to them as a pptx file. Otherwise, you can ask them to install the free PowerPoint Viewer, or save it as a WMV. To save it as a video, click File and choose Save and Send and click Create a Video.
However, if you save it with PowerPoint 2010’s built-in WMV encoder, you will lose the audio. For the example I embedded above, I used the Camtasia Studio 7.1 PowerPoint add-in to get the audio. It’s a little choppy because I had so many programs running at the time, but if you were determined, that’s an option for you.
Anyway, it’s a little bit of a process, but if you’ve got the time and a copy of Office 2010 (powerpoint), then there you go.
Where is the Template – I have downloaded the winzip file but there is no sign of it?
HI Gordon – In both cases the template files are .potx files, not winzip files. Just open the files in Powerpoint and it should work. Here is the first one: http://gpo.st/p1 and here is the template from microsoft: http://gpo.st/p2
Yes, but there are no .potx files when I download and unzip your files – honest – u try it! Gordon
No no. First download the .potx file then go into PowerPoint and open the file. There is nothing to unzip. It works for PowerPoint 2010. I just tested it. Not sure about older versions.
Be sure you don’t double click the file in windows explorer. I’m guessing that is what you did and you system is trying to unzip the PowerPoint template file. Be sure to open from inside PowerPoint. File, open.
It works now – it was downloading as a zip file. Ta
Awesome Gordon – Glad ya got it working!
worked for me and it’s working awesome. thnx
When I send my ecard as an attachment to myself and I open the card it opens Powerpoint and shows the file as I saved it. I don’t know how to get it to just open and show the animation and play sound only. Obviously, I am new at this so any help would be appreciated. I am sending this to business clients and would like them to think I know what I’m doing.