There are numerous reasons why you would need to send a secret message to a colleague in the workplace. You may be having an affair and don’t want the snoopers in the I.T. department to know your intimate business. You might have a disciplinary hearing coming up and will need to get your version of events to tie-in with that of your co-accused. You may alternatively be a manager that is trying to get rid of a member of staff, so you’ll need a ‘witness’ to corroborate any trumped-up charges you are putting forward against the individual in question.
Whatever the reason, your communications will need to be secure from prying eyes that may seek to unravel your dastardly plan.
The way to achieve this is by creating what is known as an ‘office microdot.’ It’s basically a way of concealing a secret message in a Powerpoint presentation and the beauty of it is there’s no alternative reference to the file anywhere else on your computer’s hard drive. You are therefore free to communicate at will because anybody that opens your presentation will only find the information that is intended to be seen in the slides.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Open up Powerpoint
Either create a new file or use an existing one (existing ones are useful because you can explain away the constant sending and resending of files between you and your co-conspirator and put it down to ‘proof reading’).
2. Choose a theme
Click on the specific theme or template you want to use from the selection of choices on offer.
3. Create your secret message
Select one of the text boxes that appear with new slides and type up your message. There’s no limit on the length but for your own sake it’s best to avoid trying to write the office version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
4. Alter the colour of the text
Highlight the text, then change its colour to that of the background of your presentation slide. Your text should as a result become invisible.
5. Decrease the size of your text box
This is done by clicking on one of the corners of the text box and dragging it diagonally inwards to the centre of the text area.
6. Hide the text box
When the text box’s size has been reduced to its absolute minimum, drag it across to a place on the page that is known only to you. It’s best to use the ‘grid’ and ‘ruler’ features in the ‘view’ menu to help you chart the exact position of the dot on the slide.
7. Place an image over the dot
This will provide an additional level of security.
8. Recover the message
To recover the message, the recipient of the presentation will need to do the following:
- Switch the grid and ruler settings on to establish the microdot’s location.
- Move the image that is covering it.
- Place the screen selector onto the microdot and drag one of its corners diagonally outwards.
- Highlight the text area.
- Change the font colour.
- Hey presto – there is your secret message!