At 356 Labs We Tested the MLC PowerPoint Add-in - This Is How It Works

Recently, we had the opportunity to test the MLC PowerPoint Add-in – a convenient toolbar developed by the presentation agency MLC Presentation Design Consulting, led by founder Maurizio La Cava.

They developed it to speed up their presentations and it comes with 20+ custom functions that improve efficiency and quality.

In this article, we provide an overview of the features that we loved the most.

Before we start, we should mention that the MLC PowerPoint Add-in is a unique tool. It is designed for presenters by pro presenters. Moreover, it is constantly under development, being improved by people who work professionally with PowerPoint presentations daily.

At first glance, it appears very clear and well-designed.

Those guys at MLC sure like design!

We classified the features to help you understand how easily it works.

Swap

Easily swap shape positions in one click.

Control sizes

You can make two objects the same size, width, or height with a single click.

However, the best aspect of this feature is that it works on images by cropping them while respecting the ratio.

Remember, the first selected shape applies the sizes to all the others:

Select all the other pictures:

Hit the Same Size button from the MLC PowerPoint toolbar.

All the pictures now have the exact same ratio and size, no one has been deformed.

Cross slides

We named these features “cross slides” because they work across multiple slides.

What if you had to make two objects on different slides the same size? You can’t select them at the same time, right?

That is why the MLC team invented a feature that allows you to copy/paste the size of an object.

The aspect of it that we enjoyed the most is the copy/paste position. It allows you to keep objects aligned even if they are positioned on different slides.

Align & Distribute

You know the importance of alignments and distributions, but this add-in isn’t just about giving you shortcuts. It also provides you the MLC version of these features.

The cool thing here is that the alignments are applied based on the first shape selected. So, all the shapes align with the first one chosen in the selection.

We appreciate the fact that this feature doesn’t overlap with the standard alignment functions of PowerPoint. Instead, it offers a complementary solution.

Text and Tables

Here are some very quick shortcuts to reach traditional PowerPoint functions. We use these very often but we don’t realize how many times we click to reach them.

Wrap text in a shape
When text wraps, it automatically continues on a new line as it reaches the right border of the shape or text box.

Remove margins
Sets all the textbox margins to zero to help you with alignments.

Do not autofit
Stops the shape from auto-resizing when you add text into the shape. It is handy when you need to avoid the text to wrap when hitting the textbox border.

Consistency – we love this tab

This tab allows you to keep your presentations consistent under many points of view.

You can correct crooked lines with a click, and it works on multiple lines at the same time!

Also, you can make multiple shapes the same fill color just as easily. Only keep in mind that the first shape selected will influence the others:

This tab also allows you to keep fonts and colors under control. It has a simple and user-friendly side panel that shows all the fonts and colors used in the presentation.

From the same panel, you can replace the specific font or color you need.

Once edited in the panel, the font or color will be replaced in the entire presentation. No need to worry about slides with different fonts or colors that run out of control anymore.

Brand colors

With this feature, the MLC PowerPoint Add-in takes a unique positioning on the market. It gives you the possibility to save your company’s brand colors and have them always at hand in the ribbon.

You can also open the panel and switch to a personal palette (not shared with your colleagues). It is great if you are working on a presentation that does not need to comply with your company’s brand colors.

Save Active Slides only

Do you know when you need to send part of the slides to somebody, and you can’t just export those you need to send?

This button enables you to copy only the active slides into a new PowerPoint file preserving the theme.

It is a fast way to export only the slides you need. Select the slides to activate them by pressing CTRL + Mouse click, and then hit the Save Active Slides button.

Opening the new PowerPoint presentation, you will find the three slides I have saved in this example.

Graphic libraries

The MLC PowerPoint Add-in offers a wide range of graphic assets for your presentations. All the assets are free from copyrights, high resolution, and very good quality.

You can find millions of images, an entire collection of vector icons handmade by the designers of the MLC team. Additionally, vector maps for countries all over the world, and premade slide templates for timelines and agendas.

Once you get a license, you can use all the assets you like with no limits.

The add-in also offers a customizable library tab in which you can upload and manage your graphic assets.

You can create your own folders and upload the assets you prefer. The platform also allows you to share the folders with your colleagues and have them contribute to the repository.

Gantt

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning the user-friendly – yet powerful – Gantt chart creator they have embedded into the Add-in.

It does not offer advanced features yet, but it is great for the easy, on-the-go Gantt diagrams to show your projects’ progress.

Hit the Gantt chart button and you see this little popup window appearing.

Fill the form and hit ok, the Gantt chart will automatically appear on your slide.

You can even update it after creation.

In summary

The MLC PowerPoint Add-in has plenty of additional features, but we highlighted the ones that grabbed our attention and found invaluable.

Maurizio has published a detailed guide about all the features that you can find on his blog – Design slides +300% faster with MLC PowerPoint Add-in. Make sure to check it out!

And if you want to test it yourself, do not hesitate to do so! You can do that for free for an entire week.