Commtap Symboliser for PowerPoint Data Sheet


PowerPoint Ribbon Controls

The symboliser add-in adds the following controls to the home tab of the ribbon, and also in a new “Commtap Tools” tab:

Commtap Symboliser Group

  • Symbolise:
    • adds an image/picture symbol for the text currently selected in a text box (if one is available);
    • if an image was previously chosen for that text elsewhere in the document it will bring up that image;
    • repeatedly choosing “symbolise” will cycle through images associated with the selected text.
  • Previous:
    • does the same as “symbolise” except cycles through the images in the reverse order.
  • Default Size:
    • select a shape and then choose “Default Size” – images for newly symbolised text will be set to this size.
  • Preferences:
    • get help; change preferences; add/enable/disable symbol lists and more – see below.
On the “Commtap Tools” tab only
  • Tidy Text:
    • Re-aligns the symbols to the selected text box according to the currently set preferences for symbol placement (above/below text box, paragraph or words).
  • Alternate Word:
    • Choose an alternate words for the symboliser to search for when you type a word. For example you could type the name of a pet and have the symbol for the corresponding animal coming up.

Grid Maker Group

  • Make Into Grid:
    • Select any group of shapes (including text boxes) on a page, choose this to convert them into a repeating grid of the same objects (taking up the same space). Designed to make it easy to make a grid of cells to symbolise, but you can use this with any set of shapes you want.
  • Scale:
    • Select a group of shapes and scale them in proportion – designed for re-scaling grids – but you can do this with any set of shapes. Similar to using PowerPoint group and then re-sizing and ungrouping.


  • Enable/disable word lists (symbol/picture lists).
  • Choose whether symbols should appear above or below text.
  • Choose whether symbols appear above/below text boxes, paragraphs or individual words.
  • Set spacings between symbols and between words and symbols.
  • Create a new word list from a folder of images (all subfolders of a selected folder are searched for images).
  • Get help.
  • Check for updates.
  • Show a list of words for any word list.
  • Open the folder for any word list (except “built-in” word lists).
  • Rebuild a word list (used if images have been added, deleted or renamed).
  • Remove a word list.
  • Add or change a license key (for individual users).

Installation features

  • MSI installer – installs for all users of a machine, IT can create a script to allow remote installation, installation without them needing to be there – this includes adding the license key at installation.
  • Methods are available to allow for unattended updating of the add-in too – IT can have a script to allow this to happen without them needing to be there.
  • Installer for personal installation – for one user only on a machine – doesn’t require administrator access to install.

Symbol Sets

  • Works with any sets of symbols or images you have: the images just need to contain the words in their names that you would want to type when creating symbols resources
  • Works with commercial sets – such as Clarity, or free ones.
  • Access to free online sets.