By Data Juggler Software

AutoStyle IT is my first PowerPoint Addin.

Now that I am making videos for Data Juggler Software, I found myself repeating the same task over and over in PowerPoint.

I found it was nice in my videos to highlight one bullet on a slide and darken the other bullets so that I could demonstrate one task or feature.

This wasn't so hard, duplicate the current slide x number of times, then highlight each bullet the desired colors. The problem would occur when I started making edits to a slide, and I would then find myself editing multiple slides and repeating the whole process again.

So I decided to create my first PowerPoint Addin.

Open the DataJuggler.Office.PowerPoint.AutoStyleIT.sln in either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio 2012.

Run the project and this should open PowerPoint 2010 (obviously you must have PowerPoint 2010 installed).

Open the Sample PowerPoint presentation 'Regionizer.pptx" which is located in the Samples directory of the download.

Select the second slide, and click the Auto Style button.

This should duplicate the selected slide two times, and highlight one bullet on each slide.

I am working on an Installer, but for some reason the User Control installs but the button click doesn't do anything. I am releasing the code so that I can ask for help in a forum post with the code live.

If anyone is real good at making installation programs or VSTO please contact me at

Copied from the Auto Style Release Comments:

This is my first PowerPoint Addin so I know I have a lot to learn still to become a PowerPoint Guru. Luckily I do not have to work with COM objects from Microsoft on a day to day basis or I would probably quit programming.

The PowerPoint Addin wasn't that difficult to write, it is the deployment issues that I have been stuck on for a week trying to make an installer that will run so that people without Visual Studio can use Auto Style It (98% of PowerPoint users probably).

I am currently looking for a VSTO PowerPoint Guru or Installshield wiz that could help solve a few issues.

When running from Visual Studio the program runs correctly, but when you click the Auto Style button, I had to show a MessageBox showing the Auto Style is complete to get the Preview Pane on the left hand side to refresh.

An answer by a Microsoft MVP suggested it was my Graphics card that causes PowerPoint not to refresh, but when I show the MessageBox, it refreshes before the user ever hits the 'Ok' button.

My solution (hack) worked, but I would rather not show the MessageBox if anyone knows of a way to refresh PowerPoint, a Microsoft MVP told me he didn't know of a way to refresh so maybe refresh doesn't exist, but it seems like there must be an internal method to refresh that just ins't exposed to VSTO.

I have an installer project (Installield Limited Edition for VS 2012) that appears to install; PowerPoint launches with the UserControl visible, but when you click the Auto Style button nothing happens on the deployed version; it works correctly when run from within Visual Studio.

Please send an email to if you think you may know of a solution to either of these issues.

I can upload the installation project (Visual Studio 2012 Installshield LE) if any one thinks they might be able to solve the why the installed version will not actually style.

I had some weird issues after I enabled and disabled the Auto Style Addin in PowerPoint; before the issue I was not prompted for a security permission to run the Addin. I only have one machine with PowerPoint 2010 so it is difficult for me to test this Addin. If you are prompted with a security warning message could someone let me know yes or no at

I have not tested this Addin on existing slides with many shapes or custom images added to a slide.

I have only tested Auto Style It with a title shape, and a collection of bullets which are referred to as slide.Paragraphs as I just learned this week.

The option for Skip Title is checked by default, but if you do not have a Title shape, than uncheck this box and that should work (also not tested).

I now know, that if you do not want to leave Auto Style It installed in PowerPoint, click Clean Solution after running Auto Style It in Visual Studio and this will remove Auto Style It from PowerPoint else it will remain installed.

In PowerPoint you can also go to File > Options > Addins > at the bottom click Manage: COM AddIns - Click Go button, and then from the Addin Editor you can enable, disable or remove addins.

To Run Auto Style It, download and extract the contents of the download to a folder on your hard drive.

Open the solution file:


Build the solution to verify it compiles.

Start > Debug will run the application and launch PowerPoint 2010 (of course PowerPoint 2010 must be installed).

In PowerPoint, open the file:


Select the second slide (Prerequisites / System Requirements)

Click the 'Auto Style' button.

If everything goes as expected, this will Duplicate the current slide two times.

On the first slide the first bullet will be highlighted.

On the second slide the second bullet will be highlighted.

And finally on the third slide, the third bullet should be highlighted.

You can change the selected color and normal color by double clicking on the text box for each color.

A good future enhancement would be to save the preference for colors.

I will make a video of Auto Style It as soon as possible.

Please report any problems, suggestions, best practices or even let me know if Auto Style It worked for you or if you like it or hate it.

Most of my projects were used for years in production environments so I know they work but I am brand new to PowerPoint. Working with the Visual Studio DTE for Regionizer ( for a couple of years undoubtly increased my knowledge (and frustration) of dealing with COM objects, but I jumped right in with this project so I will admit upfront that I am very new to PowerPoint.

I am very eager to the get installed version working; for years I have tried to build market and sale products to software developers, which is a very hard sale to make because developers only want to buy products or learn skills that add value to their resume. Plus taking a chance on a project with an unknown company is a risly career move for a developer.

I never really thought about it until I developed this project, but PowerPoint users are probably more likely to be decision makers in a company (out side of software development companies) than developers. I would also imagine as a whole PowerPoint users are a pretty afluent demographic as they are probably in sales, marketing or other executive positions; or they are a broke entrepreneur like me!

Last edited May 5, 2013 at 4:33 PM by Corby, version 2


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