Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question that is not answered here then please contact us.
For a quick walk-through of the polling procedure check out our How To page.
Can I use ParticiPoll on more than one computer?
Yes, you can install the add-in on as many machines as you like – the add-in can be used by anyone’s ParticiPoll account. However, you should not attempt to poll on more than one computer using the same login simultaneously otherwise your poll results will get muddle or may not appear.
How many polls can I put in my presentation?
You can put as many polls as you like in each presentation but only one poll per slide.
Is my ParticiPoll add-in up to date?
We release new versions of the ParticiPoll add-in from time to time and always recommend that users get the latest version. Click the Settings button (with the gear icon) on your ParticiPoll tool bar in PowerPoint and look for the version number which is currently 3.0 r647. If the Settings button is missing or the version number is earlier than 3.0 r647 then please click here to find out how to get the latest version.
How does ParticiPoll prevent audience members from voting more than once?
Are there any limits on how many polls I can conduct or how many votes I can collect?
No. ParticiPoll is an ‘all you can eat’ service. You can conduct as many polls as you like and collect votes from as many audience members as you like.
Which devices can be used to record votes?
Any Internet-connected device that can run a browser should be able to display the voting buttons. You don’t need to install any apps on audience members’ devices. If you find a device that it doesn’t work on please tell us.
I’m not allowed to install PowerPoint add-Ins on my computer – what can I do?
Some organisations prevent users from installing applications and add-ins on their machines and you may need to ask your IT support to help with installing ParticiPoll. For PC users, we do provide a fully functioning macro-based version of our add-in which requires less admin rights to install. You can find this by visiting our download page, selecting PC then clicking the “alternative version” link at the bottom of the step-by-step install instructions. This will download a fresh install file and show new installation instructions.
PowerPoint macros are disabled and ParticiPoll won’t work
If you are using the alternative (macro-enabled) version of ParticiPoll on PC or the Apple Mac version and PowerPoint has disabled macros or you have accidentally disabled them here’s how to re-enable them.
PC: In PowerPoint, go to File > Options > Trust Centre > Trust Centre Settings and select “Disable all macros with notification” to be asked each time or select “Enable all macros” to always allow macros to run.
Mac: In PowerPoint, go to Tools > PowerPoint add-ins and make sure that ParticiPoll is checked.
I’ve tested voting it on my own computer but no results come in
ParticiPoll only collects results when PowerPoint is in live presentation mode. If you stop your presentation to open a browser to test voting then it won’t be counted. Either use Alt+Tab to cycle between applications without stopping your PowerPoint presentation or run the voting address on a separate device.
I can’t get it to work in PowerPoint 2007
Having come up against a fundamental animation bug in PowerPoint for Office 2007, which Microsoft have acknowledged but haven’t patched, we’ve regrettably had to take the decision to abandon support for 2007. PowerPoint for Office (desktop) versions 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365 on PC and also 2016 on Mac are supported so we recommend you upgrade Office to use ParticiPoll.
You may still attempt to install on PowerPoint 2007 but we can give no guarantees it will work. Specifically, moving between poll slides and displaying results may need multiple key presses to cause the presentation to advance.
I can see the vote counter going up but the results are not visible
ParticiPoll doesn’t display the poll responses whilst your audience are still voting. This is to avoid your audience members biasing each other’s choices. When the vote counter has reached the number of votes you’d expect for your audience size, advance your presentation (as if you were going to the next slide) and the results histogram will appear. On slower networks it can take a few seconds for the results to appear so please press to advance ONCE ONLY then wait.
When I go back to a previous slide and try to repeat a poll it doesn’t display results.
Due to a quirk with PowerPoint, ParticiPoll poll slides can only work when moving forward through the presentation. If you want to go back and repeat a previous poll slide during a presentation, got back to the slide before it and move forward into the poll slide.
Audience votes take a long time to appear in PowerPoint
Although ParticiPoll’s data usage is tiny, some older WIFI routers & networks struggle with larger numbers of concurrent audience connections. This can also affect your presentation machine’s Internet connection if it is via the same router as your audience. If you experience this then we recommend you ask your audience to connect their devices via mobile data plans rather than local WIFI. Please do contact us if you need troubleshooting help.
I’ve installed the add-in but I can’t see the ParticiPoll menu in the menu bar.
If you’ve had PowerPoint open recently you may find that its process is still running on your PC even though you’ve closed the application. If you start Task Manager on your PC (right click the toolbar) you can then end the PowerPoint process and then run PowerPoint again at which point the ParticiPoll menu should appear. Alternatively restart your computer.
A new version of ParticiPoll is available – how do I install it?
If you have the COM version of ParticiPoll installed on your PC then new add-in versions should be automatically installed when you run PowerPoint. If this is not happening then contact us.
If you’re not sure, please check here to see if your version is up to date.
Please contact us if you have any problems with upgrading.
How do I uninstall ParticiPoll?
In PowerPoint click on the ParticiPoll menu item then click the Settings button on the ParticiPoll toolbar. In the About section note whether the version number shows “(COM)” or “(Macro)” at the end:-
Now go to File > Options > Add-ins and find the ‘Manage’ select box at the bottom of the form. If you have the “(COM)” add-in then select “COM Add-ins”, if you have the “(Macro)” add-in then select “PowerPoint Add-ins”. Press Go.
Now select the ParticiPoll add-in from the list and press Remove.
If you have the “(COM)” version you will also need to open your Windows Control Panel, select Programs & Features and uninstall (right click) the ParticiPoll executable there too. You can also find this by typing “Add or remove programs” into Windows/Cortana search.
Run PowerPoint and click on Tools > PowerPoint Add-ins in the Apple menu. Select the ParticiPoll add-in and press the minus (-) button at the bottom to remove it.
My anti-virus software says ParticiPoll is a security threat
Some over-zealous anti-virus software can block the ParticiPoll add-in from communicating with our servers. You may need to ‘whitelist’ or make an exception for the domain addin.participoll.com so that it can work.
I have Kaspersky AV and my PowerPoint 2013 keeps crashing out
Unfortunately there is a bug in Kaspersky AV which causes all add-ins in PowerPoint 2013 to crash (even if you turn off or completely uninstall Kaspersky). Feel free to voice your displeasure to them at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Can I install ParticiPoll on my Apple computer?
Yes, we now have a version for Mac, but only on Office 2016. Office 2011 is not supported as we encountered issues with the 2011 code platform that we could not resolve. Please also note that the 2016 Mac version does not display a live count of votes as they come in. Display of actual poll results and all other features function normally as per the PC version.
The options on the voting screen don’t match the PowerPoint slide
To reduce data traffic on local networks, your voting address does not refresh to reflect the number of answer options A-F on your poll slides in PowerPoint. If an audience member selects an option that is not available on screen, they will get an error message on their device telling them to choose a different option.
It takes too long to display poll results
If it takes more than a couple of seconds for poll results to appear in PowerPoint then this usually suggests a WIFI capacity issue at your venue. ParticiPoll’s data usage is tiny for both the audience voting and presenter machines but older WIFI routers can sometimes struggle with larger numbers of concurrent Internet connections. Ask your venue IT support about the capacity of the WIFI provision
I get an error when I try to use ParticiPoll
If you find any bugs or errors please contact us and tell us what you experienced – thanks!
How can I change my voting address URL?
You change your voting address whenever you want by logging in to My Account and visiting the Customise page
What animation order should my poll have?
We recommend you embed your poll as the last item in each slide, i.e. after your questions have been displayed.
Can I move the poll histogram?
Yes, select ALL of the elements in the results histogram and then move it using your mouse or arrow keys just like any other object. We don’t recommend you attempt to resize or reorganise any of the histogram elements as this may lead to unexpected results or crashes.
Can I change the histogram shapes and colours?
We would advise against attempting to resize or change elements as you make get unexpected results or accidentally remove essential elements of the poll system. You may change block colours provided you do not resize, rename or otherwise alter their properties.
Can I have more than one poll per slide?
No, each poll should be on a separate slide otherwise polling results will be muddled together. You can have as many polls as you like in your presentation provided each is on a separate slide.
I can’t type the @ symbol into my Mac when I try to log in
We’ve found that with some non-English language set-ups in PowerPoint the @ symbol cannot be typed into the email box when logging into ParticiPoll. If this effects you then you can use the left part of your voting address as an alternative identifier. So if your polling URL is http://something.participoll.com, you can log in using ‘something’ instead of your email address.
I’m planning on using ParticiPoll for a big event - can it handle large audiences?
Yes! Our voting engine is based on a highly-scalable load-balanced server setup using DynamoDB database platform on Amazon AWS which can handle an extremely high number of simultaneous hits. We’ve successfully load tested this with real and simulated audiences in the thousands. We do however recommend you check with your venue that the local WIFI provision can handle the number of connected audience devices anticipated for your event. Audience members’ mobile data plans can be a good back-up if you’re not sure.
Do you offer a ‘silent install’ option for distributing ParticiPoll across our network?
Yes! We have an InstallShield install option which can be used for distributed installs across multiple machines on a network. You can download the latest version here: https://www.participoll.com/download/InstallShieldParticipollSetup.zip
I’m having problems installing the ParticiPoll add-in on my PC
I‘ve installed ParticiPoll but now PowerPoint won’t load
This is caused by a conflict with another polling add-in. Hold down the Ctrl key whilst launching PowerPoint and select “Yes” to launching in Safe Mode. Once PowerPoint is open, go to File > Options > Add-ins then select Manage “COM Add-ins” and Go at the bottom of the dialogue. Uncheck the conflicting polling add-in. Close PowerPoint then reload the normal way.
The poll count doesn’t go up when people are voting
First check that you have given your audience the correct voting address (see My Account) and that ParticiPoll is logged in with PowerPoint in presentation mode on a poll slide. If you’re using a PC and are still not seeing a count, it may be that your anti-virus software or firewall is blocking our add-in – try whitelisting the domain addin.participoll.com or contact us for further help. Mac users please note: due to a limitation of Microsoft Office for Mac, the poll count doesn’t function- you can still display the poll results by advancing the presentation.
When I try to insert a poll it says "You need to be on an active slide to insert a poll"
It’s a little quirk of PowerPoint that even when a slide is clearly open in edit mode, you sometimes have to actually have to click on it (either in the left hand slide-sorter or anywhere in the main body of the slide) to make it active for inserting objects. If the slide in question has a bright red border around it in the left hand slide sorter then you should be able to insert a poll.
How do I use a ‘Private Mode’ poll to hide results from my live presentation?
The ‘Private Mode’ is a polling option that collects the poll results but doesn’t display them live in PowerPoint. It’s for situations when you want to ask a sensitive question and not see the results immediately. When you’re setting up your poll, choose ‘Private Mode’ from the Insert Poll dialogue to insert this type of poll into your slide. Although you won’t see the results live in PowerPoint, they will be viewable immediately in My Account > Poll History.
The poll results don’t appear when I advance my presentation
The most common cause is local anti-virus software or firewalls blocking the ParticiPoll add-in from communicating with our servers. You may need to ‘whitelist’ the domain addin.participoll.com. Another cause of the problem can be problems with custom PowerPoint themes or problems caused by poll histograms that have been moved or edited. Please contact us, including your presentation file, so we can diagnose the problem quickly for you.
When I advance my presentation, the poll results appear briefly then disappear
This is caused by a conflict with custom page transitions. In PowerPoint, go to the Transitions tab and select None and then Apply To All and save your presentation.
Can I share my ParticiPoll account with someone else?
We advise against sharing accounts as simultaneous use will likely muddle or lose poll data. You can share a presentation computer (e.g. a lectern machine in a presentation venue) but each presenter should log in using their own ParticiPoll account.
I’m getting "Unable to connect" or "Server connection lost" warnings but my Internet connection is fine
This can happen when anti-virus or firewall software on your network blocks the ParticiPoll add-in from communicating with our servers. You may need to whitelist the domain addin.participoll.com to allow polling traffic through unhindered. Please contact us if you would like us to liaise with your IT support to resolve this.