I know there is the RSS news ticker feature. But, I wonder if we could have a word doc, excel file, or something with rows of text and set up a slide so that each time it comes up, it will randomly select a line of text to display? We wanted to do something like a “Did you know?” slide and have a list of company facts and let the slide pick one each time.


Sure! That is easy to accomplish with our DataPoint plugin for PowerPoint. With that tool, you can easily connect your presentation to a data file or database and read out the did-you-knows automatically, and it can even pick a random one from a long list. A random did-you-know whenever you open your presentation or arrive again on this slide. Follow these instructions.

Start with any presentation. Here we have inserted a nice picture as background. We need one large textbox to host the did-you-know text. You can use the same mechanism for quotes as well as for did you knows.

starting slide design

Click the DataPoint option (get your free trial) and click the List button of the Connections group to set up a link to your data file.

datapoint menu with list connections

For example, we use a simple Excel file where all our did-you-knows are stored. Select the Microsoft Excel data provider from the list and click the Add connection button. Browse to your Excel file and select it.

add connection to excel file

From the file connection, click the Add query button and select the worksheet of the Excel file that you want to use. Optionally you can set a different than the proposed data range.

With the current settings, we are going to retrieve all data from this Excel worksheet in the sequence as it is stored in the file. But for this purpose, we need random data, so the sequence of the data should be different all the time.

Click the Advanced button here.

connection to data query
Check the option ‘Randomize data rows’ and hit OK to close the forms.
randomize data rows
Now you can see a preview of the did-you-know data you have imported into this presentation. Click on the connection and query labels to give it a better name.
preview of your 'did you know' data

Select the textbox of your slide where you want to show the did-you-know text. Click DataPoint from the menu, and then the Textbox button.

datapoint textbox options

The default value for the connection is already correct since we only have one connection to data. Just select the column that holds your did-you-know sentence. Here for this screenshot, this is column F1.

The row can be left on position 1 to always show the first value. DataPoint will always refresh and randomize the sequence of sentences.

textbox linking properties
The first did-you-know sentence or message is now dynamically linked to your textbox.
textbox is linked

Add more slides with other company information, new employees, promotions, upcoming events, etc., and play in your factory or office.

Wondering how to get your presentation on a television screen in the back of your factory or in multiple offices? Have a look at our digital signage solutions.

run your 'did you know' slideshow with real-time data

Build your own did-you-know slides

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