Configuring Tombstones for your organization

Modified on Wed, 26 Apr 2023 at 02:25 PM


Introduction to the Tombstones feature

Why are Tombstones useful?

Tombstones are one of the most powerful features available in Power-user for PowerPoint.

Many companies use tombstones (also called credentials or references) in their proposals to show potential clients that they have successfully delivered similar deals in the past. This is especially true for companies in consulting, finance or marketing services.

But in most firms, credentials result to considerable wastes of time and efficiency:

  • Users waste time manually searching tombstones in previous presentations,
  • They take the tombstones they find, not necessarily the most relevant for their current proposals,
  • They spend a lot of time formatting tombstones in PowerPoint,
  • They may also need to translate them (sometimes even translating them back the next time!).

With Power-user, Tombstones are one burden less off your mind, and a big boost to the productivity of the teams:

  • Users will be able to browse all your Tombstones directly from the Library in PowerPoint,
  • They will be able to quickly find the most relevant references, by applying filters on dates, industries, language, etc.
  • When inserted in just 1 click, Tombstones will automatically take your corporate format, so that users don't need to apply formatting manually.

Power-user l Tombstones filters from PowerPoint Applying custom filters will provide users with the most relevant credentials to win a proposal

Power-user Tombstones insertion into PowerPointTombstones can be inserted in 1 click and will immediately take the corporate format defined by your organization

Tombstones can be fully customized to fit your own organization's template and data. The instructions below will provide you with the steps to follow for configuring Tombstones for your organization.  

Tombstones work with any structured dataset. 
This means that this feature can also be used to configure a collection of CVs, or any other structured data that might be used frequently in your presentations.

How Tombstones work in Power-user

The Tombstones work the following way:

  • An Excel database compiles all the references of your organization
  • A PowerPoint template defines the format in which the Tombstones should be inserted
  • When a user browse Tombstones within the Library, Power-user will fetch the data from the Excel database, fill the PowerPoint template with that data and insert it in the presentation   

Creating the Excel database of tombstones

  • Download our sample Excel database of tombstones from this link.
  • In the "Tombstones" sheet, customize the sample database to your need by adding or renaming columns. Each columns represents a distinct field (e.g. date, client name, industry, country, language, project manager, etc.)
  • Fill the database with the data of your organization's references. Use 1 row for each tombstone.
  • Make sure the Tombstones remain part of an Excel Table named "Tombstones" (as in the sample), in a sheet also named "Tombstones", so that Power-user will know where to find the data to use.
  •  When the database is ready, save the file

Customizing the Tombstones Excel database

For logos, you can enter the path to your own files, or you can also use the following function to get company logos automatically:
Where in this instance, D1 is the client name or website url.

Customizing the PowerPoint template

  • Download this sample Tombstones template.
  • Open the file, and add a shape for each column of your Excel database that you would like to display on the Tombstones. These shapes will act as placeholders for the data from Excel. Customize their format, colors, text alignment etc. as you see fit.
  • From the Selection Pane, rename each shape with the header name of the matching column (without the suffix). For instance, rename "Year" the PowerPoint shape that should be filled with the data from the "Year [Slider]" column of the Excel database.
  • For shapes that will contain pictures (e.g. logos), use the name of the column that contains the path to the picture.
  • You can include decorative shapes (not linked to data from the Excel database), no need to rename them. 
  • When all the shapes have been properly named, group them and rename the group "Tombstones".
  • To display multiple Tombstones on a slide, just duplicate that group and position each tombstones on the slide.
  • To provide users with multiple choices of layouts, just use a distinct slide for each layout.
  • When your template is ready, save the file.

Customizing the Tombstones PowerPoint template

Customizing the filters available to users in PowerPoint

You can customize the filters that are available to users in PowerPoint. Each filter can be defined by adding the appropriate suffix to the header of the column in your Excel database:

  • [Slider]: Use this suffix to display a slider Filter, allowing to select values within a range. This is appropriate for numbers (e.g. years, amounts...).
  • [Combobox]: Use this suffix to display a combobox Filter. This is appropriate for a one-choice selection (e.g. language or client name).
  • [Multi selection]: Use this suffix to display a checkbox Filter, which is appropriate for allowing users to keep several choices in their filter (e.g. filtering tombstones from project either in France or Germany).
  • [Multiselect]: Use this suffix to display a checkbox Filter, which is appropriate for allowing users to keep several choices in their filter (e.g. filtering tombstones from project either in France or Germany). If each row can have multiple tags, enter these items in the same cell (with a "//" separator).

Customizing Filters available for browing Tombstones in PowerPoint

When you configure fields to be available as Filters, they will also automatically be available in the Sort options. But you can also add extra fields in the Sort options by adding a [Sort] suffix to a column.

Publishing the Tombstones

Once both your PowerPoint template and Excel database are ready, you can publish the Tombstones so that they will become available to users in your organization.

To publish the Tombstones:

  • Add a new folder to your file-sharing solution (e.g. shared drive or network)
  • In that folder, save the relevant files:
    • The PowerPoint template
    • The Excel database
    • A folder containing all the pictures that will be used by the Tombstones (e.g. logos, flags etc.). Make sure that the path to that folder is correctly reflected in the Excel database. 
  • Connect to your admin portal, using your organization's credentials
  • Go to the "Library" menu
  • Click "New" and add a new library with the "Tombstones" type
  • Enter the direct link to the PowerPoint file and the Excel file (see Getting the direct link to a file or folder)
  • Click "Save changes" to publish the  update

Important: we strongly recommend you test your Tombstones updates to avoid any issue for the users. From PowerPoint, look for any error in the Tombstones pane:
Power-user l Tombstones errors

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