tech tips for writers / writers resources / writing

MS Office Mix–Great Tool for Writers

office mixSad–this is gone!

 

I first met Office Mix a few years ago, before I had the required Office 2013 or higher. I loved the demo I watched, cried a bit that it wouldn’t work for me, and then forgot about it. Now that I’ve upgraded to Office 365, I’m eager to use all the features that got me so excited back then.

Before I get into those, let me back up for those who have never heard of Office Mix. It’s a free PowerPoint add-on that turns your existing PowerPoint slideshow program into a fully-featured presentation tool. Using the traditional slide decks you love, you can now collect all the resources required for a presentation, webinar, or book launch into one place including video (book trailer), narration (book blurb), audio (author interview), form (sign up for the blog hop), screen captures, photo albums (images related to your book), and more. Just like with PowerPoint, you start with either a blank slide or a professional-looking template. Once the slide deck is completed, you share it via link or embed it as a slideshow or video on any device.

Because Mix uses audio and video tools to communicate ideas, users are eager to view the result making it a perfect addition to a book marketing program.

How to get started

To get started, download the add-on from the Mix website. When you open PowerPoint, Mix will appear on the toolbar, toward the right side. Click and you’ll find the features that have made Mix a new favorite digital tool with so many educators.  You can watch a collection of how-to videos, but if you’re in a hurry, Mix is intuitive enough to skip right to the “get started” step.

Pros

Because most people already use PowerPoint, this feels natural. There’s nothing tricky; in fact, it’s intuitive and easy.

I like that you can include a Discussion Board, encouraging readers to add their thoughts and react to those of others.

Mix videos can be downloaded as .mp4s making them easily used in a wide variety of places, including a YouTube channel.

Cons

Mix allows you to embed a web page into a slide, which is cool, but it only allows those with https — the designation for secure sites. I was surprised how many sites don’t include that and were, therefore, unable to be shared.

You have to have MS Office 2013 or above to run Mix. This isn’t really a “con”, more of a warning.

Writing applications

There are dozens of authentic uses for Mix in your writing. Let me share the top three mentioned to me by my community:

  1. Use the screen recording tool to capture just a portion of a longer video (from, say, YouTube) and embed that into a slide.
  2. Videos recorded using the screen recording tool can be saved as a stand-alone video and embedded wherever you need (keeping in mind appropriate copyright protections) such as your book’s website or blog.
  3. Rejuvenate slideshows you created in the past by uploading them to your 2013 or later PowerPoint and “Mix” them by adding video, screencasts, audio, whiteboards, and more.

Overall, Mix is one of the most exciting free tools from Microsoft in years. It’s one of many of the free add-ons now available through MS Office and reason enough to update to MS Office 2016.

–first published on TeachHUB

More on Microsoft tools:

Google Keep:  What is it and why use it for your writing?

OneNote–the all-in-one digital notetaking app

Tech Tips for Writers #100: Top Nine MS OfficeTips


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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56 thoughts on “MS Office Mix–Great Tool for Writers

  1. Pingback: Tech Tips for Writers #AtoZChallenge | Ronel the Mythmaker

  2. you did not look so pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are way ahead of me in the tech department but this sounds like a wonderful way to connect with readers. It seems interactive and I think people like that aspect – it’s almost like being able to have a one on one conversation with your favorite writer. I’m bookmarking this post for future, Jacqui, thank you.
    ,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Jacqui, what a great tool! I just downloaded it and it does look easy to use. I particularly love the ability to capture just a selected portion of a video – something I’ve wanted to do so often and never figured out how to do.
    You are a mine of useful information 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have used 365 since it first came out as updating MS Office required the switch over from outright buying updates to subscription. I was not real happy with MS went to online subscriptions as I have always used MS Office. However, I have adapted and the updates that move with the tech are nice as long as you maintain your subscription.

    That is a cool add-on I will have to check out. Thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I resisted it for the same reasons but now have a monthly subscription. One more bill… Sigh… This comes whether you have the software or online subscription. I like how MS is moving to add-ons for increased functionality.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Office Mix | poetry, photos and musings oh my!

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