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Add a random phrase from a text file to a text box on each slide

Pre-made solution
Excel MVP Tushar Mehta has two free PowerPoint add-ins (for PowerPoint 2000 and 2002 respectively) that select a random phrase from a text file and add them to a PPT presentation.

You can find Tushar's add-ins here

Or roll your own ...
Save your presentation to a folder of your choice.
Create or copy a text file of phrases into that folder. It must be a plain ascii text file (something Notepad can read, for example) and it must be named PHRASES.TXT. It should have one phrase per line.

Add a new module in the VBA editor and paste in the code below.
Edit PlacePhrases as needed to alter the text formatting.

Run PlacePhrases to put a phrase from your text file on every slide (except title slides) in the presentation
The phrases will be chosen at random, but you can alter GetPhrase to change this.
Run DeletePhrases to remove all the phrases added by PlacePhrases


Public rayPhrases() As String

Sub PlacePhrases()
' Puts a phrase in the same position on every slide in a presentation
' Excludes title slides

Dim oSl As Slide
Dim oText As Shape
ReDim rayPhrases(1 To 1) As String
' Load an array of phrases to use
Call InitPhrases
For Each oSl In ActivePresentation.Slides
' Skip Title slides
If Not oSl.Layout = ppLayoutTitle Then
' Add the textbox
Set oText = oSl.Shapes.AddTextbox(msoTextOrientationHorizontal, 0#, 0#, 100#, 24#)
' Add text and format it
With oText.TextFrame
.WordWrap = msoFalse
With .TextRange
' Comment out one of the following lines ( put a ' in front of it ) and leave the other
' UNcommented out
'.Text = GetRandomPhrase ' pull a random phrase from the file
.Text = GetPhraseNumber(oSl.SlideIndex) ' pull phrases from the file in sequence
With .Font
.Name = "Arial"
.Size = 24
.Bold = msoFalse
' whatever other defaults you like here
.Color.RGB = RGB(255, 0, 0) ' Red
End With
End With
End With
' Tag it so we can find and remove it later
Call oText.Tags.Add("PHRASE", "PHRASE")
End If
Next oSl
End Sub

Function GetRandomPhrase() As String
' Returns a random phrase from the array of phrases

Dim lTodaysPhrase As Long ' index into array of phrases

lTodaysPhrase = Int((UBound(rayPhrases) - LBound(rayPhrases) + 1) * Rnd + LBound(rayPhrases))
GetRandomPhrase = rayPhrases(lTodaysPhrase)

End Function
Function GetPhraseNumber(PhraseNumber As Long) As String
' Returns the Nth phrase from file
' Alternative to GetRandomPhrase
If PhraseNumber > UBound(rayPhrases) Then
'GetPhraseNumber = rayPhrases(PhraseNumber)
' Stop ...
'MsgBox "Too many slides, not enough phrases."
'Exit Sub
' or Wrap around ...
PhraseNumber = PhraseNumber - (PhraseNumber \ UBound(rayPhrases)) * UBound(rayPhrases) + 1
End If
GetPhraseNumber = rayPhrases(PhraseNumber)

End Function
Sub InitPhrases()
' Loads array of phrases - rewrite to suit your needs
' This version uses a file of phrases in the same folder as current presentation
' Filename = PHRASES.TXT
' ASCII file, one phrase per line

Dim PhraseFile As String
Dim FileNum As Integer
Dim Buffer As String
PhraseFile = ActivePresentation.Path & "\" & "PHRASES.TXT"

FileNum = FreeFile()
Open PhraseFile For Input As FreeFile
While Not EOF(FileNum)
Line Input #FileNum, Buffer
' Ignore blank lines
If Trim(Buffer) <> "" Then
Call AddAPhrase(rayPhrases, Buffer)
End If
Close #FileNum

' This leaves the array with one bogus empty record at end so
ReDim Preserve rayPhrases(1 To UBound(rayPhrases) - 1) As String

End Sub

Sub AddAPhrase(Phrases As Variant, Phrase As String)
' adds a new phrase to the array
Phrases(UBound(Phrases)) = Phrase
ReDim Preserve Phrases(1 To UBound(Phrases) + 1) As String
End Sub

Sub DeletePhrases()
' deletes all the phrases we added

Dim oSl As Slide
Dim oSh As Shape
Dim X As Long
For Each oSl In ActivePresentation.Slides
For X = oSl.Shapes.Count To 1 Step -1
If oSl.Shapes(X).Tags("PHRASE") = "PHRASE" Then
End If
Next X
Next oSl

End Sub

See How do I use VBA code in PowerPoint? to learn how to use this example code.

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Add a random phrase from a text file to a text box on each slide
Last update 07 June, 2011