PowerPoint is a terrific presentation tool, no doubt about it, but we've all had our fill of those graphics of the man at the podium, the guy pounding his fist, and the dozens of other dopey clip-art images. That '50s/'60s-retro look only goes so far.

The folks at Vicious Fishes Soft-ware, Pasadena, Calif., have come to our rescue with two volumes of much cooler graphics for PowerPoint. A preview Digital ArtWare CD-ROM shows about a dozen different types of images, including backgrounds, windows, panels, mortises, buttons, switches, lights, and other miscellaneous design elements. Each of these types in turn fits within a design theme (the Sand theme with its Santa Fe, N.M., feel is an example). Some themes have hundreds of individual images.

The CD-ROM version comes with a Power User folder for those who are proficient with Adobe Photoshop and want to explore customizing text, layers, and animation sequences for buttons and graphics. Although promoted as an add-on for PowerPoint, the images can be used to brighten up Web pages as well. For more information, and to see examples, visit the Web site at www.vicfish.com, or call (800) 642-4524 ext. 600. Digital ArtWare is available in Windows and Mac-compatible versions.