Creating Device Mockups with PowerPoint

TLDR: I went through quite some trouble creating a set of device mockup templates for PowerPoint, which you can download here for free.

Realistic device mockups are a great way to showcase creative work, whether it’s a mobile app, a website, or any other digital product.

Device Mockup in PowerPoint

While Adobe Photoshop is certainly most designers’ first choice for creating device mockups, I wondered if PowerPoint’s “3-D Rotation” feature could do the job just as well.

3-D Rotation Settings in PowerPoint

(You can find the 3-D settings in PowerPoint by selecting a shape and navigating to FormatShape Effects3-D Rotation3-D Rotation Options...)

I started with a photo of a MacBook on a table and a dummy image that I wanted to project onto the laptop’s screen. Unfortunately, PowerPoint doesn’t let you transform an image by simply dragging its vertices like Photoshop does – you have to manually adjust the rotation, perspective and size settings. Pretty quickly, I realized that guessing the right values was virtually impossible and that I had to try a different approach.

The Math

My idea was that in order to determine the optimal “3-D Rotation” settings, I first had to understand how the settings actually work. With some reading on 3D transformations and a good amount of trial and error, I finally found the math behind PowerPoint’s calculation of the coordinates of a 3D transformed shape.

Let’s suppose we have a rectangle shape located at position (left, top) with size (width, height). We want to calculate the coordinates of the (left, top) point after 3D rotating the rectangle using the “X Rotation”, “Y Rotation”, “Z Rotation” and “Perspective” values set in PowerPoint.

Start Vector

We start by building a transformation matrix:

Building the Transformation Matrix

Now we transform the (left, top) point using the matrix:

Transformed Vector

The resulting vector is divided by z to project the 3D coordinates to 2D:

Projected Vector

We reverse the translation to the origin:

Translated Vector

The resulting 2D point consists of the x and y coordinates:

Final Vector

Brute-Force Search for Optimal Values

Knowing the mathematics behind PowerPoint’s 3D rotation, I wrote a small, quick-and-dirty tool to find the optimal 3D settings for given input values. Basically, you feed the tool the four vertices of the screen and the size of the image to project onto the screen. It then tries possible combinations (using nested intervals to improve performance) of width/height, x-rotation, y-rotation, z-rotation and perspective to check which one gets closest to the target coordinates. I have published the source code on GitHub.

Ready-to-use Templates

The result of the journey is a PowerPoint document comprising eleven mockups of different devices (laptops, tablets, phones). Here’s an overview:

PowerPoint Device Mockup Templates

The mockups are based on photos released by their authors under the CC0 license, which means they can be used for any purpose without attribution. I have included source links for the photos in the comment section of each slide. You can download the .pptx file from the link below:


To add your own screen image, simply select the placeholder image on the slide, go to the “Format” Ribbon and click on “Change Picture.” Have fun!

How to Give Your PowerPoint Slides a Makeover

I just came across this great SlideShare presentation that gives examples of how to beautify slides in a few simple steps:

How to Insert Headers and Footers in PowerPoint

PowerPoint allows you to create headers and footers, that is, information that appears at the top and bottom of all slides. This information will typically include the name of the presenters, their affiliation, and the presentation title, slide number, and date, but other information can be added as well. However, be careful not to spoil your presentation with too much information.

  1. First, you need to access the INSERT tab and click on the Header & Footer button.
    PowerPoint: Header & Footer Ribbon Button
  2. A dialog box will appear, as shown in the screenshot below.
    PowerPoint: Header and Footer Dialog
  3. The first option available is Date and Time. If you select the Date and Time checkbox, you will be given two options: Update automatically and Fixed. The Update automatically option means that the date and time will updated every time you open the presentation, which will save you the time and effort involved in updating it manually. The Fixed option means that, even if you open the presentation a month from now, the date and time will be fixed to the time when you created the header and footer. If you select Update automatically, you will be given a number of different formats for displaying the date and time, as shown below in the screenshot. Make a selection that best fits the format of your presentation.
    PowerPoint: Header and Footer Date and Time
  4. The next two options are Slide Number and Footer. It is usually a good idea to include the slide number so that it’s easier for you to refer back and forth to individual slides while you present. If you select Footer, you will be given the chance to write up your own customized text. Usually this would be your name and affiliation, as seen in the example below.
    PowerPoint: Custom Text in Footer
  5. The last option determines whether the header and footer is shown on the title slide. It is aesthetically better not to show this information on this slide since most of that information will be already displayed, such as the title of the presentation, the name and affiliation of the presenter, and sometimes even the date. So select Don’t show on title slide. Click Apply to All to save the changes and to update the slides.
  6. You can adjust the appearance of the header and footer by selecting the VIEW tab and clicking on Slide Master.
    PowerPoint: Edit Slide Master
  7. Once in the Slide Master view, you can make any changes you like to the header and footer by moving or resizing the text boxes and changing their text attributes via the HOME or FORMAT tabs.
  8. Once you have finished your changes, click the Close Master View button. You will notice that your changes have been applied to all slides.

The 20 Most Useful PowerPoint Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve your productivity with PowerPoint. Why? Because usually, you already have your hands on the keyboard. There is no need to disrupt your workflow by reaching for the mouse and moving the mouse cursor across the screen.

In this post, I will introduce you to twenty very useful keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint 2013/2016. Please note that I don’t include common Windows shortcuts such as Ctrl+C (copy) and Ctrl+V (paste) in the list.

Working With Shapes and Slides

  • Ctrl+D: Duplicates the selected item (shape, slide, etc.), which is much faster than copy and paste
  • Ctrl+G: Groups the selected shapes together (use Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup them)
  • Ctrl+Y: Redoes the last action
  • Ctrl+Shift+C: Copies the formatting of a shape (use Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it to another shape)
  • Ctrl+Alt+V: Opens the Paste Special dialog box

Formatting and Editing Text

  • Ctrl+Shift+>: Increases the font size of the selected shape (use Ctrl+Shift+. on a QUERTZ keyboard)
  • Ctrl+Shift+<: Decreases the font size of the selected shape (use Ctrl+Shift+, on a QUERTZ keyboard)
  • Ctrl+B: Applies bold format to the selected text/shape
  • Ctrl+I: Applies italic format to the selected text/shape
  • Ctrl+E: Centers the text in the selected shape
  • Ctrl+L: Left-aligns the text in the selected shape
  • Ctrl+R: Right-aligns the text in the selected shape
  • Shift+Enter: Creates a line break in the text (instead of a paragraph break that is inserted when simply pressing Enter) at the current position


  • Ctrl+F1: Hides/unhides the Ribbon (very useful for quickly freeing up space on small screens)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Switches between the Thumbnail Pane and the Outline View Pane
  • Alt+F10: Shows/hides the Selection Pane
  • Alt+F5: Shows the presentation in Presenter View
  • Shift+F5: Starts the presentation from the current slide

While Presenting

  • +: Zooms into the slide (up to three zoom levels); once zoomed in, you can pan the slide with the mouse cursor or the arrow keys
  • -: Zooms out of the slide to provide an overview of all slides of the presentation (including sections)
  • B: Blacks the screen

(Bonus) Combined Mouse-Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Shift+Select Item with Mouse: Adds the item to the current selection (makes it easy to quickly select multiple shapes on a slide)
  • Ctrl+Move Item with Mouse: Duplicates the selected item
  • Shift+Move Item with Mouse: Restricts movement of the item to straight up/down or left/right
  • Alt+Move Item with Mouse: Moves the item with Smart Guides and Snap to Point features turned off (can be helpful when making small position adjustments)
  • Ctrl+Resize Item with Mouse: Resizes the item around its center
  • Shift+Resize Item with Mouse: Keeps the original proportions of the item while resizing it
  • Alt+Resize Item with Mouse: Resizes the item with Smart Guides and Snap to Point features turned off

Tips from Presentation Gurus

Here’s a great slideshow with insights from professional presenters on how to prepare, deliver, and close a presentation:

Using PowerPoint as a Sales Tool

PowerPoint presentations are hybrid sales tools. These slideshows evolved from two well-established sales regimens: face-to-face selling, and sales presentations in the form of letters, flyers, brochures, and web pages.

With face-to-face selling, it’s easy for the salesperson to solicit questions and comments from the prospect. A prospect who doesn’t want to buy your product or service might raise a legitimate objection that is making her reluctant to say “yes.” Alternatively, she might fabricate an objection so that she doesn’t have to deal with the real problem. In either case, the salesperson has an opportunity to listen to the objection, and deal with it.

Crafting a sales brochure or a website product page, on the other hand, leaves very little opportunity for the salesperson to hear a prospect voice an objection. A prospect might phone you with a question. But the most effective printed or online sales presentations are the ones that anticipate all possible objections, and answer them as part of the write-up.

PowerPoint presentations have elements of both of these traditional sales methodologies. Because PowerPoint slideshows are usually delivered to a live audience, there are opportunities to interact with prospects and entertain their objections. Often, however, there isn’t an effective way for the presenter and the audience to have a conversation. When crafting a slideshow, it’s wise to anticipate the problems that people are considering, and weave the solutions into the PowerPoint slides.

PowerPoint as a Sales Tool

Here are the most common objections that salespeople have to deal with in face-to-face selling. It’s important to understand each objection, to analyze how the objection applies to the products and services that you’re selling to each of your target audiences, and to include answers to these objections in your slide show, and in the narrative that accompanies your PowerPoint presentation.

I can’t afford to buy what you’re selling

Even though it may be true, most buyers won’t tell you that they don’t have the money to buy your wares. This is especially true if you’re delivering your PowerPoint sales presentation to a diverse audience, such as the people who attend your presentation at a seminar or trade show. By contrast, if you’re standing in front of a smaller group of professionals from the same company, you may hear that the manager who needs to make the buying decision doesn’t have enough funds in her budget.

No matter how it is expressed, the underlying problem is that your price is too high. When a prospect compares the benefits that you’ve explained with the price that you’re asking, she may decide that she’s not going to sign the purchase order.

Your PowerPoint presentation has to justify the price of your product or service. Mention the high-quality components that your company uses to build your product. Compare your price with that of competitors who charge even more for a comparable product. Dollarize the price and express it in a cost-per-day or cost-per-week. Compare the price of your solution to the price that your prospects will pay if they continue with the status quo. Weave risk reduction and good will and customer support and other benefits into the discussion about price.

Don’t dwell on the costs that your company incurred to bring your product to the marketplace. Your prospects aren’t interested in the years of research and development that you performed. They don’t care that you had to retool your manufacturing plant to make the new products. They only care about the ratio of the price you’re charging to the benefits that you provide.

I have to discuss the buying decision with my spouse, my boss, my parents

Some prospects believe that they have to discuss their buying decisions with anybody who will listen. Remind your prospects that they do indeed have the authority to make a buying decision. Tell them that they buy much more expensive products and services every year, with no need to get special approval.

I want to study your competitors’ offerings

Deal with this objection by equating urgency with price reductions. Tell prospects that you’re offering a discount if they make the buying decision immediately. Explain why the items that you’re selling are superior to those that your competitors offer. Talk about the special support level that you’re offering to people who buy today. Mention the discount coupons that you’re bundling with today’s purchase, enabling prospects to save even more money when they buy future products from your company.

I have a specific problem with what you’re selling

The general objections discussed above are annoying and need to be dealt with. The specific problems, however, are huge opportunities for you to close the sale and walk away with a contract. You should do everything in your power to encourage prospects to voice these concerns.

It’s possible that somebody has a misunderstanding about your products and services. If they’re reluctant to buy because they have a misconception about what you’re selling, then this is an opportunity for you to explain the problem away. From a long-term perspective, you have a chance to change your PowerPoint presentation to include accurate information about this mistaken perception.

Your best policy is to encourage questions. Silence is your enemy. For every person who will voice an objection to buying the product or service that you offer, many more will sit silently and simply not buy. Or they’ll report back to their managers that your offering is flawed in some significant way. The only way to solve this problem is to encourage the people listening to your PowerPoint presentation to voice their concerns so that you can answer them in front of the whole group.

There’s always the danger that you’ll flub your answer to a question that you didn’t anticipate. From a long-term perspective, it really doesn’t matter. Do your best to answer the question today. You’ll be able to think about it tomorrow, and develop a powerful answer for your next presentation. And as Sergio Zyman said in his book The End of Marketing As We Know It, “You don’t have to win every round to win the fight.”

The bottom line

When crafting a PowerPoint sales presentation, anticipate your prospects’ objections and deal with them in your slides and in your narrative. Welcome questions. Deal with them as best you can, and learn from them. After every presentation, think through how you can tweak your slides and narrative so that you’ll increase your sales effectiveness the next time you deliver a slideshow to a group of prospects.

About ShapeChef

ShapeChef is a tool that helps you find and manage graphics and charts for your presentations. Click here for details.
ShapeChef: Graphic and Chart Library for PowerPoint

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