How do I join the PowerPoint newsgroup?
What's a Newsgroup
If you have questions about nearly anything, there are places on the internet where you can find answers. They're called newsgroups, and there are literally thousands of them, each devoted to a particular subject. The PowerPoint newsgroup is particularly active and well-attended by knowledgeable PowerPoint users and (MVPs).
Newsgroups are a kind of virtual "room" where anyone with a question can ask it and anyone with an answer can reply. Everyone benefits from the knowledge that everyone shares.
Vlad Romanz' Newsreaders Info site has lots of good information and links to zillions of newsreader programs, free and commercial.
How do I find these newsgroups?
Newsreaders.Com is a great way to get acquainted. Click one of these links:
How do I read newsgroups?
You probably already have Outlook Express (OE), which works well. Here's how to set it up to read the PowerPoint newsgroup. Setting up other mail and newsreading software is similar. Netscape and some other web browsers may also be able to read newsgroups:
Note: This is a very abbreviated set of instructions. There's a well-illustrated and much more thorough set of instructions at Excel MVP Tushar Mehta's site.
First, try clicking one of these links:
- This if you're a PC user looking for PowerPoint help
- This if you're a PC user looking for Producer help
- This if you're a Mac user looking for PowerPoint help.
With luck, your newsreader software will start automatically and take you right to the PowerPoint newsgroup.
If that doesn't work, here's how to do it manually in Windows Outlook Express (read on if you use other software) :
Set up Outlook Express to read newsgroups
- Start OE and choose Accounts from the Tools menu.
- Click the News tab of the Internet Accounts dialog box
- Click Add, then click News... on the popup menu. This starts a wizard that collects the information needed to locate the newsgroup. Most of the answers will be obvious (your name, your email address, etc.)
- When the wizard asks for the News (NNTP) server, enter "msnews.microsoft.com" (without the quote marks). Make sure there's no check mark next to My news server requires me to log in.
- When prompted, click Finish, which takes you back to the Internet Accounts dialog box. Click Close.
- Click Yes when OE asks "Would you like to download newsgroups from the news account you added?" OE contacts the news server you've added and gets a list of all the different newsgroups on the server. This can take some time for servers with as many groups as msnews, so be patient.
- Eventually, you'll see the MS newsgroup in the OE folders list. Click it, then click the Newsgroups button on the toolbar or press Ctrl+W to open the Newgroup Subscriptions dialog box. Locate the text box labeled "Display newsgroups which contain" and type "PowerPoint" into it (without the quote marks). Several newsgroups will appear in the list below. Click the one called "microsoft.public.powerpoint" (or microsoft.public.mac.office.powerpoint if you're a Mac user), click Subscribe, then click OK.
- Now click on the plus (+) sign to the left of the msnews.microsoft.com folder in your OE folder list and you'll see that microsoft.public.powerpoint is listed beneath. Click it and you'll see what appears to be many email messages to you. In fact, these are newsgroup messages, which you can read and respond to just like you do regular email.
- If you have a particular question, click New Post, type your question, then click Send.
- Visit the newsgroup periodically to check for answers.
If the newsgroup link above doesn't work, it's probably because you don't have a default newsreader configured.
Learn how to set up and use newsreader software here.
After doing so, you should be able to click here to access the PowerPoint:mac newsgroup.
Find more general help about using Entourage for reading newsgroups here
PC, Mac, anybody ...
With other "newsreader" software, the setup should be similar. The information above should be enough to get you started.
If you don't have a newsreader program or if your network administrator doesn't permit access to newsgroups, you can visit Microsoft Office Community discussion group on the web.
But to get the most out of newsgroups, use newsreader software instead.
One last note: while reading and writing newsgroup messages may "feel" just like email, it's a little different, and there are a few guidelines you should learn and follow.