Setting up Custom Properties in TeamSlide

Setting up custom properties in TeamSlide allows you to add metadata to your PowerPoint slides, images, and video content. If you already have metadata in your content management system (CMS), such as SharePoint or Box, TeamSlide can import and keep them synced using custom properties. This allows you to leverage the taxonomy you’ve already implemented, and continue to keep your CMS as the single source of truth. Using your slide library’s metadata will help streamline searches and allow for focused filtering.

How to use custom properties in TeamSlide

  1. Log into your TeamSlide portal (

2. In the Main Menu, select ‘Property Settings’

Property settings in TeamSlide

3. Select ‘Add custom property.’ There are many options to choose from to help you create the best custom properties for your content.

overview of custom properties in TeamSlide

Breakdown of custom properties settings:

  • Display name Choose a name for your custom property. For example, if you are creating a property to add industry metadata, you could enter ‘Industry’ as the display name.
  • Data type Determines how the data will be defined
    • Text Displays plain text
    • Number Displays numerical values
    • Date Displays in date format (MM/DD/YYYY). Where dates can be edited, a visual date picker is used.
    • Date+Time Displays as date and time
    • True/false Defined as a Boolean variable
    • List value Displays possible custom values that may fall under the main display name. For example, with the display name ‘Industry,’ you may provide list values such as manufacturing, finance, and transportation. Note: By unchecking ‘Allow editing,’ TeamSlide will automatically populate the possible list values.
    • Hierarchy Use to specify a path or subcategories if applicable
  • Multiple values Check this option if setting more than one value is required. Note: This value cannot be changed after creation.
  • Use for combined search If checked, the main search will also check against values of this property. As an example, let’s define Finance as a value under an Industry property. With this option selected, when a user searches for ‘finance’, slides with Finance as a value for Industry will show in the results even if ‘finance’ is not in the slide content.
  • Show in advanced search If checked, a specific field for this property will be added to the Advanced search page.
  • Display position Adjust this value to set the order you want the properties displayed in the Information view and in the Advanced search page.
  • Relevance in combined search The degree to which a field is weighted in a search.
  • Slop relevance in combined search Slop is the distance between the words you are searching for. Search terms that are closer together on a slide are weighted more. The higher the entered value is, the higher results with terms close together rank.  
  • Allow editing If checked, users with edit permissions will be able to make changes. Do not check for a property pulled from your content system (e.g. SharePoint)
  • Value required If checked, entering a value is mandatory.
  • No from/to filter If checked, only an ‘equals’ search restriction will be used for this property. This is particularly useful when no sequential pattern is used. For example, it would not be useful when assigning a randomized ID property
  • Allow browsing If checked, users will be able to browse by different values for this property. This will allow users to browse through different properties (e.g. tags, industries) to find content. It is helpful when a user isn’t sure what to search for as it will narrow results into a smaller set of content.
  • Allow filtering If checked, users will be able to use this property for filtering after searching. For number and date properties, filtering is only available if ‘Multiple values’ is unchecked.
  • Record with download If checked, the current value of the property will be recorded in the download logs.
  • Displayed values Select the number of values that are initially displayed on the details page. This is useful for companies with many tags and would benefit from simplifying the UI.
  • Display level Select where the property should be displayed and used (Details, More details, Edit page, Nowhere)
  • Search caption If the display name does not match in terms of what people are searching, you may add a custom text caption.

Import Settings

  • Value source Select from which source this property should be filled when replicating (e.g. file name, list of parent folders).
  • Add-in Check if this property is updated by a specific add-in, not the regular replication task. *Do not check unless you desire to import content in a non-standard way. Contact TeamSlide support at if this is something you’d like to configure.
  • Linked document Check if the actual property values come from linked documents. *Do not check unless you are working with TeamSlide for an on-premise installation as a single customer.
  • Value input For a linked document, select how the actual value is read from it (Document name or Document name URL-encoded)
  • Transformation For replication, select if we need to apply transformation for values
  • Skip criteria If you don’t want some content visible, like if a slide isn’t client-ready yet, enter it here.

4. After configuring the custom property settings, click ‘Save’

5. Within the ‘Custom properties’ tab at the top, you can view all custom properties that have been created and edit or delete each property.

custom properties tab

Using custom properties to organize and sort your data will help you find the content in your slide library faster and will also allow you to view more detailed analytics of slide usage. Whether you use Box or SharePoint to manage your slide library, incorporating metadata like tags or properties will provide a vast amount of value in terms of search efficiency and PowerPoint analytics.

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How Does PowerPoint Automation Work? The Basics

Have you ever wondered how some apps can manipulate PowerPoint files or even create slides automatically? For example, financial services organizations generate slides with updated numbers in an automated manner every month. At TeamSlide, we can automatically update out-of-date slides or even specific objects on a slide. To understand this, we first need to dive into how PowerPoint files work.

Your slide deck is actually a zip file in disguise that contains a collection of XML files. By simply renaming the file from .pptx to .zip, you can find interesting data, mostly in XML format.

What is XML?

“XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a markup language much like HTML, except it was designed to store and transport data” – w3schools

Using .XML with PowerPoint Files

Warning: Prior to making manual edits, create a backup copy of your PowerPoint file. Manual edits may corrupt the files.

Changing .pptz to .zip

After renaming the file from .pptx to .zip, double click it. You’ll see a variety of folder names and XML files.

Powerpoint .zip contents

By clicking into the ‘Media’ folder, you can view all of the image files that are in your presentation.

PowerPoint images

You can even view individual slides from your PowerPoint presentation. Double-click on the ‘Slides’ folder and select a slide file you want to view/edit.

PowerPoint slides

This will show you the XML code, which you can then edit. If you’re an investment banker, you may want to add slides through the XML code. In marketing, you may use this to edit the copy of slides or save quality images from the presentation onto your computer.


Get to know your new .zip file structure

A .pptx file starts with the file_rels/.rels and then expands to:

  • ppt/presentation.xml
    from which the masters, notes masters and slides are linked

And then expands to:

  • docProps/core.xml
    Metadata including presentation title, editor name, last modified date
  • docProps/thumbnail.jpeg
    A small preview of the first slide – this is where most applications get the preview from including Windows Explorer when showing icons. (This is why PowerPoint’s reuse slides feature only displays the first slide of the presentation. Unlike TeamSlide, it doesn’t generate previews or thumbnails for other slides)
  • ppt/slides/slide1.xml
    (text) content of the first slide

  • ppt/media/*
    Access image files

Useful ways to take advantage of PowerPoint automation:

  • Analyze unexpectedly large file sizes
    • You may find that your PowerPoint file is unexpectedly large when it only has, say, two text-only slides. Investigate the file size issue by unzipping your .pptx file, and you’ll find your answer. In some cases, there may be layout pages and some images taking up space.
  • Create slides automatically (creating XML file) based on data in another form (e.g. Excel)
  • Access all images used in a deck
    • If you unzip your PowerPoint file, you’ll notice a folder called media that contains all of the images in your presentation. You can make changes to images as long as the size doesn’t change. E.g. convert all images to grayscale. If changing the size, consider how it affects the layout in PowerPoint.
  • Read the content of each slide object (parse the XML file) to build search indexes.

  • Edit slide text and create objects like charts
    • Viewing the slide .xml file allows you to edit the content of each slide.
  • Read metadata from files docProps/app.xml and core.xml. Such as:
    • Last editor
    • Last modification date (unlike file system date also available for presentations received via email or downloaded)
    • Number of words in the presentation
  • Read comments
    • View text from ppt/comments/commentX.xml

How TeamSlide uses PowerPoint automation

TeamSlide searches your slide repository and matches your search terms with specific slides. On the backend, this is achieved by indexing individual slides and taking a picture of each one. When you run a search in the TeamSlide pane, TeamSlide then uses the index to search all objects (text, images, videos) within your slides, returning thumbnails of the most relevant slides.  Click on a thumbnail, and with PowerPoint automation, TeamSlide inserts the slide into your presentation. The search and insert capability helps teams maximize efficiency and can even assist with version control.