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Digital Tools and Methods: Presentation Tools

List of tools & services to support data visualisation, data cleaning & analysis, and digital publishing

Introduction to Presentation Tools

Slide Presentations Graphics

Create professional-looking and effective presentations using

  • Powerpoint
  • Prezi

Supplement your presentations with graphics, icons, images, infographics, etc that are well-designed and professionally-looking, to help to make them look more interesting and attractive. The following platforms provide design templates and a limited number of free images & icons.

  • Canva
  • Infogram
  • Piktochart
  • Venngage
  • Visme


May I use this image found on the internet?

Just because an image, photo or video has been posted on the internet does not imply that its creator allows it to be re-used by anyone. Copyright owners can license their works for re-use and the Creative Commons (CC) licenses are commonly used. 

There are 6 types of CC licenses and these dictate how the copyrighted work may be shared or re-use.  For example, for an image licensed under CC-BY, we are required to acknowledge and attribute this work to its creator / author.  For more information about CC licenses, click here.  

Image sharing sites such as Flickr, Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash contain photos & images that are licensed under CC. For more information about image collections that are open for re-use, please refer to NTU Library's Open Image Collections


Colour Palettes

Colour is an important element in good design.  They can be used to evoke emotions and serve as visual cues. Graphic designers use colours to enhance visual communication and create powerful messages.  Labrecque & Milne (2012) studied how colour affect consumer perceptions and noted that blue is used in 75% of credit card brand logos and 20% of fast food logos, while red was absent in apparel logos but used by over 60% of retail brands.  

There are useful tools to help non-designers select an appropriate colour scheme for their infographic, presentation, or poster.  Platforms such as Canva, Piktochart, Visme also provide templates with pre-selected colours that are easy on the eyes.  

Adobe Color: Choose a colour and create a palatte using analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound, shades or customised colour schemes.

Colourco: Pick a colour and create a palette using analogous, analogous-complemenary, monochromatic, or triad colour schemes

Design Seeds: A colour palette, based on photographs, which are arranged according to the 4 seasons.  Color-hex codes are provided in every palette.

Material Design Palette: User first selects 1 primary and 1 accent colour, and the palette will suggests colours for primary text and secondary text

A small percentage of your audience may be colour blind and are unable to distinguish certain colours, eg. red, green, blue, or yellow. Red-green colour deficiency being the most common form of colour blindness.  Software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator have in-built features that allow you to simulate how color blind users see your photos or illustrations.

To create figures and presentations that can be discerned by those who are colour blind, consider using palettes recommended by Okabe & Ito (2008) or Krzywinski (2019).

Colorbrewer, a tool developed by Pennsylvania State University, allows users to pick a colour scheme which is deployed on a US map to determine the optimal combinations. There is a 'colorblind safe' option.

Workshops & Seminars

NTU Library runs workshops (W) & seminars (S) on the use of presentation tools under the Digital Scholarship Tuesdays series.  This series of workshops and seminars take place on Tuesday afternoons during the semester.

The venue, unless stated otherwise, is at StarGate, Level 3, Lee Wee Nam Library.  All NTU / NIE staff, students and alumni are welcome. 

Designing infographics with Canva & Piktochart (W): By incorporating graphic design elements, infographics provide opportunities to contextualise information. Learn how to weave illustrations and content to create compelling visual narratives using Canva & Piktochart.  This is an introductory workshop designed for first timers and beginners.  No prior experience is required. 

Jazzing up your presentation with Prezi (W)Wow your audience by creating a non-linear and highly animated presentation with Prezi Next. You can now easily emphasize specific points by zooming into different items (text, images and video) within your canvas. Sharing your Prezi is also fuss-free as you can simply send its view link to anyone. This is an introductory workshop designed for first timers and beginners. No prior experience with Prezi Next is required for this class.

Picture perfect: finding and using images for your projects (S)Searching for images, photos and videos on the internet is a no brainer but have you ever wondered if you are allowed to use them in your work? Most of these resources are actually protected by copyright and you may be required to pay or request for permission to use them. Attend this session to learn more about the complex nature of copyright and where to find free-to-use content.

Opportunities for self-paced learning are available on via NTULearn, eg.

Canva Learning Canva (2015)
Prezi ​Prezi Next Essential Training; Prezi Classic Essential Training; Prezi Classic Tips and Tricks
Powerpoint Animating Text and Objects for Beginners; Animations; Audio and Video; Data-driven Presentations with Excel and Powerpoint; Designing Better Slides; Powerpoint Essential Training; Powerpoint Tips and Tricks; Designing Better Slides
Illustrator Illustrator Quick Start; Illustrator CC 2019 One-on-one Fundamentals; Essential Training; Coloring Artwork
InDesign InDesign Quick Start; Essential Training; Magazine Design; Designing a Newsletter
Photoshop Drawing and Painting in Photoshop; One-on-One Fundamentals; Essential Training - Design, The Basics; Tips, Tricks & Techniques
Premiere Pro Premiere Pro Essential Training
Design Designing a Presentation; Graphic Design for Business Professionals; Graphic Design Foundations - Layout and Composition, Typography;  Layout and Composition: Grids; Learning Graphic Design - Presentations, Layouts, Cropping Photographs, Set Perfect Text; Typography: Choosing and Combining Typefaces



Additional Resources

Krzywinski, M.  (2019). Color palettes for color blindness. Posted in MKWeb.

Labrecque, L. I. & Milne, G. R. (2012). Exciting red and competent blue: the importance of color in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(5), 711-727. doi: 10.1007/s11747-010-0245-y

NTU Library, (2017). Copyright Guide. Nanyang Technological University Library.

Okabe, M. & Ito, K. (2008).  Color universal (CUD) - how to make figures and presentations that are friendly to colorblind people. Posted in J*FLY data repository for Drosophila researchers.

Sri, D. (2019, March 14). 5 ways to elevate your next presentationPosted in NTU Library Blog. 

Sum, H. (2014). Open Image Collections. NTU Library.