PowerPoint dings every minute or 2

dighelp
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PowerPoint 2007 is open, with any of my .pptx files, just sitting there, not doing any editing or anything else with the file.  

Every minute or so, it goes Ding, with no message that I can see.  The only way I know it's PowerPoint causing this is that it stops when I exit out of PowerPoint.  It also seems to not ding if PowerPoint is not the active applications, but I think I've seen it happen both ways.  

I have no macros running, in fact no macros in the .pptx file at all.

Pretty annoying.  Recently moved to Office 2007, so may be some rookie setting.


Any ideas?

Thanks,,
DigHelp
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Has this been happening ever since you installed Office 2007, or is it a new development?

I'm wondering if it's the Office button flashing to let you know it's there and you need to click on it (to save the file or whatever) -- it's something that happens when you install Office until the first time you click the button. I can't remember if it happens in every application until you click or only until you do it with one.

That doesn't usually make sound, but I am guessing if you have the option to Provide Feedback with Sound ticked, it might. Problem is, you'd have to click the Office button to turn that on! Unless maybe your IT folks have that ticked as part of their install or something. Doesn't sound like that's your environment, though.

Anyway, provide feedback with sound is located in Office Button | PPT Options | Advanced, and it's clear at the bottom of that screen. Is it ticked?

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your response on this.  Yes, I believe it has happened ever since first install, and I upgraded to Win 7 and 2007 at the same time.  I did see that option and I turned it off, but it is still happening.  I don't have it very accurately characterized yet, but even more mysterious now, it only happens sometimes.  Sometimes it seems it will ding with a given ppt file open, and then stop dinging after some time (20-30min?).  Sometimes it doesn't ding at all (different file?).  Not sure.  Sometimes when it dings it seems to steal the focus from my current app, eg I'm typing in Word, and it dings and switches to some other app. I can't be sure yet that it's PowerPoint, just a suspicion currently, because the window focus doesn't seem to change, it's just my typing focus that changes.  Next time it happens, maybe I'll try Alt tab to get back to Word or whatever I'm doing currently, Then Alt Tab again to see what it goes back to.
Thanks again,
dighelp
Do you have any add-ins or macros running in PPT?

Or any other programs running in Windows when this happens?
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Author

Commented:
No add-ins, no macros.  Other programs I typically running (but no pattern that I know of) are Excel, Outlook, Acrobat Pro, Visio, Word, Office Communicator, SnagIt, IE.
Hm. Wonder if it's something in Office Communicator. Or maybe IE -- I know I always jump when someone messages me on Facebook because it's usually buried under 10 other applications and I've completely forgotten it's open!

Author

Commented:
I very rarely have Facebook open, so I'm sure that isn't it.  OC dings when someone pings, but otherwise it doesn't seem to.  OC, IE, and Outlook are usually open all day, all week, but the dings only seem to happen when PowerPoint is open, and they stop when I exit out of PowerPoint. I've had PowerPoint running all day today to try to reproduce it, and naturally, nothing has dinged once, nor stolen my cursor and jumped to something else!
You might check your settings in OC and see if it's set to play a sound when people log on, off, change their status, whatever. I keep thinking it's got to be something like that going on, because if PPT did this I'm sure we would have heard a gazillion complaints about it by now! ;-)

Author

Commented:
Good thought about OC, especially since there's not much OC activity on a Saturday, which might explain not hearing anything today.  But I checked OC's sound and alert settings, and I'm not seeing anything suspicious.  Plus, the other thing I noticed when it was happening the other day was that it was just about every minute (+/- 5 sec or so) in some cases, and sometimes it was about every 2 minutes, which would seem to be too regular for random OC events and alerts.  It also seemed to happen more often with PPTNext time it starts happening, I'll try turning off OC, IE, Outlook, etc, everything but PPT, to see if it goes away.

Author

Commented:
Here's a clue.  I had PPT open all day, viewing 2 files, with no dinging at all, all day.  Tonite, I showed one of the files as a slide show, and when I got back out of slide show mode, the dinging started - once a minute, as long as I had the focus on PPT.  If I went to another app, say Excel, the dinging stopped until I came back to PPT.  I exited PPT and the dinging stopped.  I started it up again with the same 2 files, and the dinging started even without going into slide show mode. I exited out of Word, Excel, OC, Outlook, SnagIt, Visio, but kept PPT running, and the dinging continued.  I got out of all IE windows except for this one that I'm typing in now, and the dinging continued.  I exited out of PPT and the dinging stopped.  So I'm pretty convinced that it's PPT doing something, but what I don't know.  Now I just tried having only the other file open, and left it for a while with focus on, and it did not ding.  So I brought in the original file, the one that was dinging, and sure enough it started dinging again.  So now it seems it's something about this file, which is based on one of our company's templates, but my other file is not.  If it's some issue with the template that could explain why I've seen it happen on other files, but not all.

Thanks,
dighelp
Nice detective work!

It sure sounds like it's something to do with that particular file, and as you say if it's something in the corporate template it could explain why it happens on some files but not all.

Linked Excel files? Is it trying to update linked files? If you have any linked files you'll see them in Office Button | Prepare. There will be an option there to "edit links to files."

Can you post an affected file? Or even email it to echos at indy dot net with a recap of our conversation (so I remember what I'm looking at!) if it's not something you're comfortable posting.

Author

Commented:
I checked, and I don’t have any linked Excel files.

But oops, sorry, I DO have add-ins - I discovered where to find those in PPT options.  Here's what I see:
Active Application Add-ins
Acrobat PFMaker (COM Add-in)
Custom XML Data (Document Inspector)
Invisible On-Slide Content (Document Inspector)
Off-Slide Content (Document Inspector)
Presentation Notes (Document Inspector)
Send to Bluetooth (COM Add-in)
SnagIt Add-in (COM Add-in)

Also found out it that it's not a particular slide, as I binary-searched the file from 27 slides down to fewer and fewer slides, and it happens with just slide 1 alone, or slide 2 alone, slide 3 alone.  

So I tried creating a brand new file, not with the corporate template, but just the default "Office Theme" (and of course that label shows up at the bottom of the screen).  So, it brings up the first blank slide, I let it set there a minute or less, not typing anything, and the son of a gun dings!

I'm attaching a file (testding123-this-file-dings.pptx)  that is created by the simple sequence:
- Start PowerPoint 2007 SP2
- Office button/ New/ Blank Presentation <Create>

This file dings.  (And remember it only dings when PPT is the active application).

Also, just to eliminate something goofy on my system, I repeated everything on another laptop with the same OS and Office versions, and the same thing happens.

Very strange. Somewhere deep in the menus there must be an unchecked option that says “Do not ding every minute or so, for no apparent reason”.

Thanks again for your interest and help!  
dighelp
testding123-this-file-dings.pptx
Wow, wow, wow. I'm stumped. I've downloaded the file and I have it sitting here opened in Normal (editing) View on my Win 7 / PPT 2007 system. Nothing else is opened other than the typical background stuff that loads automatically (Snag It and Jing and Java and the like).

I strongly suspect it's something with your system(s) setup because you're just using the default Office theme with the default settings. There doesn't seem to be anything in the file that's unusual!

Your add-ins list doesn't have anything particularly unusual in it. I've run all of these at some time or another. The ones for "document inspector" are part of PowerPoint and won't cause problems or dinging. ;-)

You could try disabling Acrobat and SnagIt add-ins and see if that resolves anything.  (In fact, I have the Snag-It add-in installed on my 2007 system now, but nothing's dinging.) The Send to Bluetooth add-in is actually the one I'd suspect as being problematic in general. I know it often causes crashes when starting PPT (and some of the other Office applications), so maybe try disabling it also and see if that resolves it.

Do you have any inactive or other add-ins listed there? (Office Button | PPT Options | Add-ins -- and apologies for not directing you there earlier. I assumed you knew to look there, and you know what they say about assume!)

Author

Commented:
Sorry, my fault on the Add-ins, that was carelessness on my part, should have figured that out.  I was thinking of things I did that would cause Add-ins to be there, and couldn't think of any, but I forgot that installing these products brings add-ins with them.

OK, so I did the following:
turned off Bluetooth Add-in and restarted PPT - still dings
turned off SnagIt Add-in and restarted PPT – still dings
turned off Acrobat Add-in and restarted PPT – still dings

So now, no active Add-ins and still dinging.

Oops, now what did I do?  In the Add-ins screen, I saw the drop-down for Smart Tags.  So went to see if I needed to turn those off.  I clicked on Manage / Smart Tag, didn't see anything on, didn't turn anything on or off, and just Closed the window.  But wait, there's now 4 things showing up in the Active Add-ins, and I can's figure out how to turn them off again.  Hmm that's nice.  So now I have Smart Tags in the Add-ins (on one system only) and it still dings.

What I see now:

Active Application Add-ins are:
Date (XML)
Financial Symbol (XML)
Measurement Converter (Measuremente Converter)
Person Name ()

Inactive Application Add-ins
Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM Addin
Custom XML Data
Invisible On-slide Content
Off-Slide Content
Presentation Notes
Send to Bluetooth
SnagIt Add-in

Document Related Add-ins
none

Disabled Application Add-in
none


Then I tried having no file at all, just PPT, with no open file.  It does not ding.

I went back and opened up an old file, a PowerPoint 2003 .ppt file from 2009.  It dings.

Not sure how to return my Add-ins to the original state (the Active and the Smart Tags), will need to look that up.

Not sure what to try next, but I'm not giving up yet!
Thanks,
dighelp
:-)

I've had the one-slide file you sent opened in Normal editing view since I downloaded it and no dinging. Late yesterday afternoon I switched it to Presentation view and left it that way all last night and no dinging (I was at my computer working until 11:00 and I'm back at 7:30 -- still no sound.)

The only thing I can think is something's hitting your keyboard. Or something's (another program) erroring or sending a message in the background, but I cannot make PPT ding! LOL!

It looks like it's not related to your add-ins, anyway. Thank you for disabling those -- it's a good troubleshooting step, and it's unfortunate that it didn't yield any results this time! (I wouldn't worry about the SmartTags.)

I'm completely stumped. I'll keep mulling it over. I keep hoping someone else will pop in with ideas, too!

Are you in a corporate setting? Have you asked your IT folks? Wonder if they've run into this with any other users?

Author

Commented:
Yes I think that's a good next step - it may be something they set up in our corporate common environment, so I'll try our IT folks, and talk to some co-workers to see if it happens to them.  

Also it just so happens I'm setting up a 3rd laptop which is the same hardware and Office 2007, but a different version of Win 7, and will not have the corporate environment installed.  So this should be handy for troubleshooting and comparing results.

Meanwhile I guess I have 3 workarounds available - turn off the sound, turn up the music, or whenever running PPT, don't open any files  :-)
LOL! Love your workarounds.

Will be interested to learn your next findings with the non-corporate setup and querying the IT folks...

Author

Commented:
Just a quick update - I've been on jury duty for a week and a half, so haven't been able to work with my corp IT folks.  I did try my non-corp environment and it does not ding.
It does not have the same versions of OS and Office (it's running Win 7 Professional with Office 2010 - my corp laptops are running Win 7 Enterprise with Office 2007),

dighelp
Well, that's good info in and of itself. I'd say that, coupled with your other evidence, it definitely points to something in the environment.

Author

Commented:
Echo_S, thanks so much for slogging thru this mystery with me.  I'm still working with my corp IT folks to get to the bottom of it, but like you, I'm convinced it's something in that realm.  I really appreciate all your helpful hints and encouragement and for sticking with it with me.  Closing this out, thanks again.
dighelp
No problem. Wish we could have figured it out. Keep us posted!

Author

Commented:
OK will do!
Anyone ever find a real solution to this? It's driving me batty! I think it's the snagit add on, but not positive.
Have you uninstalled the SnagIt add-in? That's the only way to troubleshoot this kind of thing. For what it's worth, I use SnagIt all the time, but I installed it without the add-ins, so you don't have to give up SnagIt or anything. :-)
I've inactivated it. I initially thought it was related to auto-save, given that it is rather cyclic, and seems to only happen when changes are in progress or unsaved, however it is not at the 10 min interval that autosave is set to, and the folders that autosave points at are accessible to the user logged on. No detectable macros in the document, and no event log entries to follow for clues. I guess I'll mute my sound and call it done :(
Well, it's the same series of questions I asked the original poster: does it happen with this file only or with all files? What if you reboot and open only PPT?

How id did you inactivate the Snag-it add-on? Have you disabled all other add-ins? Etc.
I've inactivated and ultimately disabled all Add-ins via the PowerPoint Add-in manager. This happens with all files. All other programs and process that can be ended have been. I'm not new to debugging issues, and I've tried many things before asking in the forum.

It's okay to say that it was never solved- I was just looking for a new clue since the thread hadn't been updated since 2012.
Okay. It was never solved. Sorry I can't help you.

Author

Commented:
Hi, I had the original problem, and was never able to solve it, even after working with my corp IT folks to investigate the common company environment.  However, I did find another workaround that I highly recommend.  I retired, so I no longer work at the company.  Echo S - again I appreciate all the help and suggestions you provided.  Blakeontheriver - best of luck solving it - it's a frustrating one for sure!
Thanks for weighing in, dighelp. What was the other workaround you found?

Author

Commented:
I retired!  :)   Thus, I'm no longer using the computer with the suspected corporate environment.
ooooh, I get it. lol
bummer... I have the same problem with similar troubleshooting and corporate configurations, and was REALLY hoping to find an answer.  Please let me know if someone has answered this issue.

Author

Commented:
Sorry Jim, no solution yet as far as I know.  For those of us who've seen this happen, I wonder if it would help to know which company provided the corporate environment we're using.  Eg, if it only happens at one company, vs multiple environments, it might suggest next steps in the troubleshooting, such as approaching that company vs Microsoft.  So, if it helps any, I was working for HP when I experienced the problem.

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