Slideform Quick-start Guide

Slideform is workflow automation software for presentations. Ready to get started? Use the guides below to help you set up your first slide deck.

Slideform connects your data to your presentation decks so that you never have to repeatedly copy & paste content into your slides, and fuss with the formatting, ever again! 

Slideform works by taking in three elements:

  1. a slide deck template
  2. optional data sources
  3. a mapping of data fields to the slide template

and combining them to create a new, up-to-date version of the presentation.

1. Start with a slide template

To set up your first project in Slideform, you will need a slide deck template. You should choose a presentation that you create often, with slight modifications or customizations for the recipient. Some great examples are reports, project updates, and sales proposal decks. Slideform will save you time updating the deck each time you need it.

Another great place to start is with a presentation deck that contains a lot of data from external sources, like financial reports, marketing reports, and analytics reports. Even if you don't create this deck often, Slideform will save you time and prevent copy-paste errors.

Once you have selected a presentation, you should examine one or more versions of this presentation deck. Identify the fields that change from one version to another, like the client name, client logo, team members, data elements, and key takeaways. You will replace these elements with placeholders in your template. Slideform placeholders, or pragmas, should be enclosed in curly braces . Placeholders will be filled in by Slideform each time you generate the presentation.

2. Connect a data source

The next step is to identify where the information to fill in your slide deck template will come from. Possible data sources include spreadsheets, dashboards, Google Drive, CRMs, or databases. You can combine data from several different sources into a presentation.

3. Set up the data mapping

The final step of setup is to specify which data element will fill in each of the placeholders in the slide deck template. The data mapping is really flexible and can be used in a variety of ways. 

If you have a complex slide template with data from multiple sources, a best practice is to keep a running list of the placeholders and data fields as you create the slide deck template. This will make it easier to map the data to placeholders in Slideform.

⇒ One key feature is the ability to use queries and data lookups to fill in the appropriate data to a placeholder. For example with a spreadsheet data source, you can first select the correct column, then look up the exact cell that corresponds to the client name. To use lookups, you need to organize your data with one column serving as a unique key. 

Placeholders do not have to be filled from a data source. You can also type in data or upload images when generating the presentation. This is most useful for fields like key takeaways or other comments that may not be stored anywhere.

4. Generate the presentation

To create your presentation, go to the Projects page and click Generate on the project card. 

If user inputs are required to build the presentation, you will be presented with a series of questions. See How to Generate a Presentation for more details.

A progress meter will show you that the system is working, and then a slide preview will appear. Any errors or warnings will also be displayed. 

If the slides look correct, save the output as either PowerPoint, Google Slides, or pdf. The output will then be available to view or download from the Downloads section of the Projects page.

 

For additional help, contact support@slideform.co 😊