Guru Tab (PPT) Help

By Chris Newman •  Updated: 03/06/23 •  14 min read
Guru Tab (PPT) Help

Current Version: Version 2.1

Compatibility: PC Only | Excel 2007 & Later | (32 or 64-bit)

Table Of Contents
  [A] Getting Started
  [B] Paste & Swap Paste
  [C] The Dimensioner
  [D] Objects/Shapes
  [E] Slide Status Tags
  [F] Callouts
  [G] Color Palette
  [H] Keyword Finder
  [I] Export, PDF, Email
  [J] Other Features

Getting Started

Installing This Add-in Inside PowerPoint

This add-in installs just like any normal PowerPoint add-in (.ppam) file. If this is your first time installing a PowerPoint add-in you can view step-by-step instructions on how to get the file set up in this instructional post:

How to Install and Uninstall A VBA Add-in File For Microsoft Office

Where To Save The Two Guru Tab Settings Files

The Guru Tab add-in stores all of your custom settings in a separate text (.txt) file called "GuruTabPowerPointSettings.txt" and your custom graphics in a PowerPoint (.pptx) file called "GuruTabPowerPointSettings.pptx". These files can be automatically generated if missing, but it is better to get them set up manually the first time you use your add-in.

Inside your delivered .zip file, you should see a folder called Guru Tab Settings. This entire folder should reside within the same folder as your Guru Tab.ppam file. Within the Guru Tab Settings folder, you will see your two settings files that were mentioned earlier.

Below is an example of how your files should look when properly set up inside your default Microsoft Addins folder.

Settings Folder

You should refrain from opening these settings files and modifying them, as any modifications you do to the files can risk the corruption of the Guru Tab add-in. No refunds will be issued to those who corrupt the add-in.

If for some reason the add-in is having trouble generating the settings files for you or you want access to the default Guru Tab Callouts and Slide Status Tags within the .pptx file, you can download them below and manually place the files in your Guru Tab Settings Folder.

[Text File] GuruTabPowerPointSettings.txt

[PowerPoint File] GuruTabPowerPointSettings.pptx

Entering Your License Code

  1. Click the Settings dialog launcher button
  2. Select the License button near the upper right-hand corner
  3. Enter in the License Code provided to you via your download email
  4. Read the End User License Agreement and click the I Accept & Activate button
Add in License Activation

Does Your “Guru Tab” Keep Disappearing?

Due to a security update released by Microsoft in July 2016, add-in files you download from the internet are "blocked" by default. To unblock the file or create a "safe" folder location for your add-ins, please read my article to keep your add-ins showing in your PowerPoint Ribbon (it's a pain, but is fast and easy to do!).

Prevent Microsoft Office Add-ins From Disappearing From The Ribbon Interface

Non-English Users Seeing SpellCheck Squiggles

If you are using a language other than American English, there may be a chance that you see the Spellcheck squiggles under correctly spelled words. Below is an example of how the words "Draft" and "Review Comments" appear in German even though they are translated properly in the German vernacular.

Non-English Users Seeing SpellCheck Squiggles

To fix this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the GuruTabPowerPointSettings.pptx file
  2. Select all the objects on the slide (select one and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + a)
  3. Go to the PowerPoint Review Tab and select the Language dropdown menu
  4. Click Set Proofing Language to your native language (ie German)
  5. Save the PowerPoint file and Close

After you have updated the spellcheck language settings, you should no longer see those improper spellcheck squiggles when using your Callout or Slide Status Tag buttons.

Paste Swap and Paste

Paste Special Buttons

Paste Picture options

Every Option Imaginable

Within the Paste Picture dropdown menu, you are given easy access to all the various paste special options available to you in PowerPoint.

Simply copy something and select the option that suits the format you wish to paste as. The Default option is similar to a normal paste or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + c

Which option works best for your needs? For charts, the Bitmap or PNG paste types produce the best image quality. For everything else (including charts that are grouped with other objects), the Metafile Picture or Enhanced Metafile paste types seem to produce the best results.

Default Buttons

There are two dedicated buttons to perform pasting on the Guru Tab.  The reason why there are two separate buttons is due to the fact that the Excel charting objects paste differently from a graphics perspective. Having two separate buttons allows you to quickly paste different objects without having to go through the dropdown menu every time.

Paste Picture and Chart

Changing The Default Settings

There are two "default" buttons on the Guru Tab where you can store your most often used paste types. This is meant to minimize the need to navigate to the dropdown menu under the Paste Picture button.

To navigate to the Guru Tab Settings userform, click one of the two available dialog launchers on the Guru Tab.

Once viewing the Settings userform, you can change the Paste Picture and Paste Chart dropdown options to your preferred paste types. Once you save your settings you will be able to carry out those specified paste types by clicking the Paste Picture or the Paste Chart buttons.

Guru tab setting default paste types
Paste to Powerpoint in Bitmap format

Custom Screentips

To help you remember your default settings, the button screentip will display which paste type will be called when you hover over the Paste Picture or Paste Chart buttons.

Swap Paste

The Swap Paste buttons allow you to perform a 1-for-1 Paste Special replacement of any object on your PowerPoint slide. This means you no longer need to resize or re-position your images when you are replacing old slide graphics.

How It Works

  1. Copy something (a range, a chart, an image....anything!)
  2. Select the object (image) you want to replace it with on your PowerPoint slide
  3. Click the Swap Paste button

Then the following will happen...instantaneously!

  • Your selected (old) image will get deleted
  • The image you copied will be pasted to your slide
  • Your new image will be resized to the same size as the old image
  • Your new image will be repositioned to exactly where the old image was located

Different Variations & Options

In the Swap button dropdowns there are 3 different variations you can use to obtain the perfect size for your images.

  • Exact Size - This option will swap your image 1-for-1 even if the aspect ratio is skewed
  • Same Height - This option with swap your image to ensure the same height but will not disrupt the aspect ratio
  • Same Width - This option with swap your image to ensure the same width but will not disrupt the aspect ratio

You can set the default for these three options by going into the Guru Tab Settings userform.

Default Paste types and PDF email options


The Dimensioner is a tool of precision. It allows you to read a selected object’s properties and then apply those properties to newly selected shapes or images.

The dimensioner

How To Use The Dimensioner Tool

  1. Select an object on your slide that you want to apply specific aspects like size, position, or name to other objects.
  2. Click the Dimensioner button within the Objects/Shapes group.
  3. The Dimensioner tool will open displaying all the characteristics of your selected object.
  4. Within the tool, you can change values or uncheck specific attributes you do not wish to apply
  5. Once you have configured your Dimensioner attributes, go to your slide and select the object(s) you wish to apply the dimensions. Note that the Dimensioner tool will float on top of your PowerPoint application while you are selecting your objects
  6. Click the Apply To Selected button and watch the Dimensioner apply the attributes to your selection

Apply To All

The Apply To All option in the upper left-hand corner of the Dimensioner allows you to apply the checked attributes throughout your presentation to any object possessing the object name displayed in the Dimensioner's "Name" field.

This is a great option if you need to adjust the position or size of something that is on every slide and has the same object name. Examples could be a title textbox or a slide footer. To ensure your slide objects have the same name you can open the Selection Pane (Home > Select > Selection Pane...) to view all the object names residing on your slides.

Objects and Shapes
Apply All Features

Center/Center Within

  • Center - Centers your selected objects to your slide. The first click centers your selection horizontally and the second time you click the Center button it will center your selection vertically.
  • Center Within - Located in the Center button's dropdown menu, this button will center all selected objects within the first object that was selected.


  • The Alignments drop-down has the exact same capabilities as the built-in PowerPoint alignment options

Clear Slide

  • The Clear Slide button removes all objects located on the slide. This button can also work to clear multiple selected slides at once.


  • The Cycle button essentially rotates through (think juggling) your objects in a clockwise motion.

Same Size

  • Same Height - Makes all objects in selection the same height as the first selected object
  • Same Width - Makes all objects in selection the same width as the first selected object
  • Same Height/Width - Makes all objects in selection the exact same size as the first selected object
  • Same Angle - Makes all objects in selection at the same angle as the first selected object
  • Lock Aspect Ratio (Adjust Selection) - Toggles the Lock Aspect Ratio property on/off for all objects currently selected
  • Lock Aspect Ratio (Adjust All) - Toggles the Lock Aspect Ratio property on/off for all objects in the currently selected slides

Slide Status Tags
  • Slide Status Tags are available to you to help you and your team keep track of the progress for each individual slide in your presentation.

Various Actions

There are various combinations you can perform while adding or updating your Slide Status Tags. You can...

  • Apply or Update the status of a slide across multiple slides at the same time
  • Remove all Slide Status Tags at once (More > Remove Status Tags)
  • Add Status Tags to all the slides in the entire presentation (More > Add Status Tags)

Customizing The Status Tags

The Guru Tab allows you to customize everything about your status tags. If you don't like the default ones, you can simply create your own shapes/text and load them into the add-in. Here are the steps to get a customized Slide Status Tag loaded into the add-in.

  1. Create your own slide status tag and position it on the slide to where you want it to be located
  2. Select your new tag
  3. Click the Modify Formats button within the More dropdown menu
  4. Select the Slide Status Tag you wish to override
  5. Adjust the Ribbon Label text field (if you wish)
  6. Click Save Format
Customizing The Status Tags

Now you can click the respective button on your Guru Tab ribbon and you will see the new Slide Status Tag generated.

Creating Callouts

Callouts in the Guru Tab are simple graphics you can create and store so you don't need to recreate them. You can store up to 12 individual callouts at one time (as of version 2.0).

How To Create/Modify A Callout

How To Create Modify A Callout

While the Guru Tab comes with a few Callouts built-in, you are more than welcome to replace them with callouts that you personally use on a regular basis. Here is how you can create your own:

  1. Create your own Callout shape, image, or group of shapes
  2. Position it on the slide to where you want it to be located by default
  3. Select your new Callout
  4. Residing in the Callouts button group, click the Modify Formats button within the More drop-down menu
  5. Select the current Callout you wish to override or a [New Callout] line
  6. Adjust the Ribbon Label text field (if you wish)
  7. Click Save Format

After saving, you should see the Guru Tab update its ribbon to display your new callout. You can now click the new callout button to add your graphic to your current or selected slides.

How To Delete A Callout

How to delete a callout

If you wish to delete a callout graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Residing in the Callouts button group, click the Modify Formats button within the More drop-down menu
  2. Select the Callout you wish to delete from the Select Button dropdown menu
  3. Click the Remove button

“More” Callout Actions

Callout Actions

There are various delete/add actions you can take besides just clicking one of your callout buttons. The following capabilities are available through the More drop-down menu:

  • Add Single Callout To All Slides
  • Add All Callouts To Selected Slides
  • Add All Callouts To All Slides
  • Remove Callout From All Slides
  • Remove All Callouts From Selected Slides
  • Remove All Callouts From All Slides

Color Palette

Store Your Favorite Colors

The Color Palette button allows you to store up to 10 RGB codes that can all be added on demand to the Recent Colors menu of your active PowerPoint presentation. By clicking the Color Palette button your color swatch menu will immediately contain your stored colors located in the Recent Colors section.

RGB color codes can be entered into the Color Palette Options section of the Settings Userform.

Guru Tab setting

Keyword Finder

Often for Public Relations or Legal reasons, companies will want to refrain from using certain terms in their presentations. The Keyword Finder is a tool that scans your PowerPoint presentation for specific words or phrases of your choosing and highlights what it finds in Red.

Creating Your Keyword Search List

Keyword Serach List

Running The Keyword Finder

To run the Keyword Finder simply click the magnifying glass. The Keyword Finder will proceed to scan all the text in your presentation and highlight any word from your Search List in Red-colored font.

After the Keyword Finder has finished, you will receive a report telling you if any words on your Search List were found. This report will also tell you exactly which slides were the culprits so you know right where to look.

export pdf email
export pdf to email

The Guru Tab add-in offers a variety of options to export or save your PowerPoint presentation quickly.

Export Slides Button

  • Export your selected slides into a brand new PowerPoint file

Save As PDF Options

  • Save the entire Presentation as a PDF
  • Save the entire Presentation including Notes as a PDF
  • Save only the selected slides as a PDF
  • Save only the selected slides including Notes as a PDF
  • Save the entire Presentation as a PDF and Open the PDF file
  • Save the entire Presentation including Notes as a PDF and Open the PDF file
  • Save only the selected slides as a PDF and Open the PDF file
  • Save only the selected slides including Notes as a PDF and Open the PDF file

Attach To New Microsoft Outlook Message Options

This feature is very similar to the built-in Attach As button for PowerPoint, but it has some key benefits. First, you can rename the attached file to whatever you want. Another benefit is you have a variety of different options to attach:

  • Attach the Presentation as a PowerPoint file
  • Attach selected slides as a PowerPoint file
  • Attach the Presentation as a PDF file
  • Attach Presentation including Notes as a PDF file
  • Attach selected slides as a PDF file
  • Attach selected slides including Notes as a PDF file

Other Features

Undo Everything

If you use VBA at all, you will quickly learn that you typically can't undo what the VBA code did once it was run. With the Guru Tab, you can undo all of the buttons besides the Export, PDF, and Attach button sets. This is HUGE because you don't have to worry about saving your presentation before using the Guru Tab.

Share Settings

You may end up using the Guru Tab add-in with other people and want to share the same settings, Slide Tags, or Callouts. To do this you will want to save your Guru Tab Settings folder to a shared drive.

Within the Guru Tab Settings userform, you are able to tell the add-in where your settings are saved instead of having the add-in only look inside the same folder as the Guru Tab.ppam file.

Save Settings File Path
Chris Newman

Chris Newman

Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.