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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: February 2007

Thoughts and impressions of whatever is happening in the world of PowerPoint

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PowerPoint and Presenting Notes
PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
PowerPoint Programming

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Microsoft Tool Helps Plan Office 2007 Conversions

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 3:39 PM IST



Microsoft Corp. last week released the final part of a free tool kit designed to help corporate users convert their existing Office files to Office 2007's new Open XML file format. The new technology, called the Office Migration Planning Manager, combs through networked PCs to discover and report back on how many and what kind of Office files exist on the systems. The OMPM's availability was quietly announced Friday on the blog of Brian Jones, an Office program manager at Microsoft.

More on the PC World site...

Categories: microsoft_office, powerpoint_2007

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 11:00 AM IST



Vikas Joshi known for his groundbreaking work in the online learning industry, product innovations, and offshore outsourcing models. Under his guidance and leadership, the Harbinger group has built innovative software products for the global marketplace. In this interview, he discusses Raptivity, their e-learning content creation tool.



Read the interview here...

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, elearning

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posted by Geetesh on 10:52 AM IST



Here's a quick walkthrough of the PowerPoint 2003 interface -- PowerPoint 2002 (XP) looks almost the same.

Learn here...

Categories: tutorials, powerpoint

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Monday, February 26, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 7:12 PM IST



Yury Uskov is Technical Director at CPS Labs, a software development company based out of Yoshkar-Ola, Russia. Yury has a Masters degree in Software Engineering and since 2001, he has been working in rich media industry as the co-founder of CPS Labs Ltd. CPS Labs has launched several Flash technology projects including FlashSpring, a PowerPoint to Flash converter that ships as an add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new FlashSpring 2, and how it is different from other similar products.

Yury: If you like to know more about the originality of FlashSpring 2.0, I can point out several major strong advantages of our product:

  1. Single Flash File: We create one solid Flash file from one PowerPoint PPT presentation. We embed in this file all internal and external presentation content, including Flash movies and videos, additional audio tracks, etc. The presenter can enrich his Flash presentation with an attractive player and we also can embed this player in the final Flash movie. This contained Flash movie can be easily deployed on the web, or sent through email -- and will be displayed directly in your message content.

    Most of the other PowerPoint to Flash convertors actually cannot do this and produce some mixture of HTML and Flash files which represents the original PPT after conversion. It is possible to put this presentation on the web, but if you like to send such presentation via email, it can be delivered only as an archive.

  2. Quality of Flash content: FlashSpring carefully retains the geometry and placing of PowerPoint shapes, keeping them in vector format after conversion to Flash. We have tested a lot of competitors and most of them convert shapes to raster and only the text objects are vector. Also most of them has problems with complex text objects, bullets, etc.

  3. Speed: I can definitely say that according to the number of supported PowerPoint features, FlashSpring 2 is the fastest PowerPoint to Flash converter. It also produces the most compact Flash output (because we keep most of original PowerPoint content in vector).
Geetesh: How does FlashSpring aid in the distribution of PowerPoint content?

Yury: Being converted to Flash, your PowerPoint presentation becomes more portable and distribution friendly, because almost anybody can play Flash content on most of platforms in most of browsers.

Additionally FlashSpring is enhanced with deployment options, and can help you to put your Flash presentation on your web site or send via email as easily as possible.

Categories: powerpoint_flash, powerpoint, add-in, interviews

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posted by Geetesh on 12:57 PM IST



An excerpt rom my new book on PowerPoint -- Special Edition: Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 207 is now available on the InformIT site.

Check it out here...


Categories: powerpoint_2007, books

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posted by Geetesh on 10:23 AM IST



Capturing on screen activity to create a movie is so much easier these days with more powerful computers and software -- and it is also a more helpful way of explaining how a task can be done. Such a concept works great if you want to create tutorial movies, and TechSmith's Camtasia Studio is most certainly among the best products for this type of work.

Read the review here...

Categories: camtasia, powerpoint, add-in, powerpoint_flash, techsmith

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Friday, February 23, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 10:55 PM IST



PPTshare is a line of Powerpoint add-ins including the new Desktop Slide Manager. In this Indezine exclusive, James Ontra who heads PPTshare discusses this new product that alternates between organizing and sharing your PowerPoint content -- he also talks about future plans.

Geetesh: How did PPTshare Desktop evolve.

James: PPTshare Desktop Slide Library evolved from our clients' need to better manage and control all of their disparate PowerPoint files, and to simplify video within PowerPoint. There's a wealth of valuable content stored within hundreds of PowerPoint's, and our clients needed a better way to tap that resource. Before, users, typically sales people, wasted lot of time hunting and pecking, copying and pasting, and recreating new presentations for every meeting. The PPTshare Desktop Slide Library consolidates all of a user's PowerPoints and videos into one central location. And it automatically formats a video into a full-screen PowerPoint slide. It is the 'go to' place where users can quickly find single slides and videos for making new presentations.

Our clients asked for some specific functionality, and we built it, using the Slide Library as a foundation.

  • Users asked to drag video files into library, so video slides are part of the library.
  • Users asked to share presentations with video easily.
  • Users asked that when their laptop is disconnected from the network, the presentation with video works.
  • Managers asked to 'push' up to date slides into the users library.
  • Managers asked to do it without IT getting involved.
With the user requests in mind, we created PPTshare.com

Geetesh: What do you plan to do this in the near future?

James: We will provide collaborative workspaces for creating, automating, managing and distributing presentation files. The PPTshare Desktop Slide Library functionality will be extended to seamlessly work with the PPTshare.com online component. And other features, such as search, user groups, and tracking will be added soon.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, add-in

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posted by Geetesh on 10:41 PM IST



Simon Turner is the Technical Director for I-Logik Software, a software development company based in Birmingham, UK. Simon has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Nottingham and now specializes in the development of unique powerful tools to dramatically improve network efficiency and data management.

Geetesh: Tell us more about I-Logik and the PackITSuite.

Simon: I-Logik Software is a software development company committed to building innovative software solutions to a wide variety of industries and enterprises worldwide.

With expertise in both data compression and image optimisation, I-Logik continues to work hand in hand with large segments such as higher education, healthcare and local and central government, addressing the current unmet problems of the management, communication and storage of digital data.

The growth of digital data is only going to escalate over time. Since it is impossible to know what data is needed in the future and what data is important and still relevant, many companies keep all files indefinitely on disk. Consequently the amount of data being stored is spiraling out of control and storage management has become an ever-increasing challenge.

Simply adding more hardware to alleviate the problem is no longer a practical solution. Escalating storage management costs, increased back-up windows and decreasing system performance are creating major corporate problems worldwide.

Here at I-Logik, we believe file optimisation is the answer. The I-Logik PackITSuite is a collection of sophisticated file optimisation libraries that allow common everyday file formats to be reduced to a fraction of their original size. File formats supported are:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations (.ppt)
  • Microsoft Word documents (.doc)
  • Various image file formats including jpeg.
The file format is completely unchanged post compression. Therefore there is no zip/unzip process and no proprietary software is required to view the optimised files. For example a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) is still a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) after compression. It can be opened and edited in exactly the same way without the need for additional software.

Geetesh: How can the PackITSuite help everyday users of Microsoft PowerPoint and Word -- and will they have to do something to make the whole thing perform?

Simon: The PackITSuite is available in two editions, PackITSuite Server Edition and PackITSuite Workstation Edition.

The beauty of the PackITSuite Server Edition is that it is a centrally managed application and staff need no education or training in order to receive its benefits. In actual fact, users of PowerPoint and Word will have to do nothing at all.

The PackITSuite Server Edition works by giving network administrators the ability to optimise files stored centrally on a file server. File formats supported are:
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations (.ppt)
  • Microsoft Word documents (.doc)
  • Various image file formats including jpeg.
As I mentioned previously the file format is completely unchanged post optimisation. Therefore users are completely unaware of the change, the only thing they will notice is that their files are dramatically smaller in size.

This has significant benefits to both the infrastructure of the company and the users themselves. Our website has a detailed breakdown of these benefits and these can be seen by clicking on this link...

A Flash movie of the application in action can be seen by clicking on this link...

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, add-in

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Thursday, February 22, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:47 AM IST



The NewSoft WMS100 Image Wireless Projector Adaptor connects to any VGA-compatible projector. With the included software, called Presto, up to three computers can control a presentation and capture and display their own screens at any time. The device itself ($280 at www.newsoftinc.com) looks like a walkie-talkie with an antenna on one side and a VGA/XVGA connection. It is compatible with three Wi-Fi standards (802.11a, b and g), and the software even enables slides to be exchanged among participants, bypassing the screen entirely.

More on the New York Times site...

Categories: projector, powerpoint

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Thursday, February 15, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 4:01 PM IST



StandOut from Electric Rain does seem one of the most promising presentation programs in the recent past. In the decade that's gone by, one presentation program after the other has gone to no man's land: Astound, Lotus Freelance, Adobe Persuasion, Macromedia Action, and these are only a few of them. Microsoft's PowerPoint has towered over all of them.

So that brings us back to StandOut -- can it make it where others haven't been able to -- ironically StandOut is a great example of showcasing Microsoft's new technologies: Windows Vista, .NET 3, and Expression graphic programs. And Mike Soucie, CEO of Electric Rain does mention that there's some sort of content exchange possible between PowerPoint and StandOut. Mike also explains the concept and workflow within StandOut, and discusses Flypaper, the dashboard within StandOut.

Read the interview here...

Categories: standout, powerpoint, interviews

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posted by Geetesh on 2:55 PM IST



This time, in a continuing series for PowerPoint beginners, I have put up a tutorial on insering clip art in PowerPoint using the Clip Art task pane, found in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

Check it out here...

Categories: powerpoint, clip_media, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:43 AM IST



StandOut is the name of a soon-to-be-released presentation product from Electric Rain that uses Windows Vista's graphic and multimedia abilities to good use.

Essentially, StandOut will be available in two versions: Designer and Presenter.

The Designer version takes advantage of Microsoft's new Expression design tools so that designers can create a set of Design Kits (templates) that can be used to create presentations using the Presenter version.


Standout Designer

The Presenter version is for non-designers such as typical office staff and presenters themselves who can create and edit presentations based on the Design Kits (templates) created with the Designer version.


Standout Presenter

One of StandOut's stellar features is the FlyPaper, a large digital bulletin board that can be used to store several types of content including graphics, documents, media, and PowerPoint presentations. These resources can then be organized, and also directly dragged into a StandOut presentation. Naturally, something of this sort will benefit from a large monitor (or probably a dual monitor).


Standout FlyPaper

StandOut will allow import of Microsoft PowerPoint content, although this exchange of content will not work the other way around. Watch out for a detailed interview with Mike Soucie, President and CEO of Electric Rain soon on Indezine.com, which I will announce on this blog.

Meanwhile, do check out the Electric Rain site for more info...

Categories: standout, powerpoint

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 12:58 PM IST



If you use MathType with Word or PowerPoint, and then upgrade to Office 2007, you will find that you no longer have the icons or buttons to insert a MathType equation in Word 2007 or PowerPoint 2007.

You'll find instructions on bringing them back in Word 2007 on this link -- it works the same way for Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: microsoft_office, powerpoint_2007, add-in

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Monday, February 12, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 12:40 PM IST



Many of us find it easy to share photos online, but as far as PowerPoint files go, the more common option is to email the PowerPoint as an attachment. However, PowerPoint files can be huge and can quickly fill up inbox and mail accounts. The product that I am reviewing today offers a solution -- PPTshare Desktop Slide Library does more than allowing you to share your presentations, it also allows you to manage your presentations at the slide level, and create new presentations from those slides without opening PowerPoint.

Read the review here...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 12:00 PM IST



This new tutorial on inserting movies in PowerPoint slides complements the earlier tutorial on inseting sounds that we put up last week.

Take a look here...

Categories: powerpoint, movies, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 11:01 AM IST



This blog just keeps evolving, and I never planned which direction it would take -- but the state of affairs today is that I have two types of posts on this blog:

  • The posts on PowerPoint using it as a technology, conversations with noted personalities, or links to sites with content that you must read to stay aware.
  • The posts on free PowerPoint templates on Indezine.com
It's true that readers for both these post types are so different -- that's the reason I'm not going to blog about the free templates any more on this blog -- some of my staff will take care of that on a new blog -- find it here...

Categories: powerpoint

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Thursday, February 08, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:43 PM IST



Blue Pacific Software announced a completely free version of Rich Chart Live, their online charting program that lets you create and share your charts almost anywhere. You can also copy and paste some HTML code from within the online program to insert the charts in blogs and websites. The free version does place a small Rich Chart Live logo on the bottom-right corner of each generated chart.

Manuel Fernandes from Blue Pacific adds that "this new release of Rich Chart Live was specially designed for bloggers: it is very easy to embed a Rich Chart in any blog, not to mention that it is free. Posting a Rich Chart in a blog or website is as easy as copy & pasting HTML".

The paid version of Rich Chart Live is still available -- and there's a significant price reduction on the subscription charge for that service.

Check out more at the Rich Chart Live site...

Related Links:
Rich Chart Live review
Conversation with Manuel Fernandes

Categories: charting, powerpoint_flash

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 6:41 PM IST



Do you like to insert music tracks in your PowerPoint slides? Or do you have serious doubts about the effectiveness of doing so? I know that many of you would love to use a collection of soft and understated royalty free music tracks within your PowerPoint presentations -- at least for some presentations if not all. And yet I know that there are some of you who are not ready to take the plunge and put in some music within a PowerPoint!

So, should you use music in a PowerPoint presentation or not? Colin Adams of IndigoRose who creates the Liquid Cabaret collection of music tracks did say in an earlier blog post that "What's the line? "Say it with music." We think that a great presentation is enhanced by a great soundtrack. Whether you want to set a mood, match a "theme" or key concept in your presentation, or just add interest and make things more dynamic, music is the way to go".

Check out my review of their Liquid Cabaret collection here...

Categories: powerpoint, sounds

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 3:44 PM IST



One of the inherent advantages of e-learning is interactivity -- but creating interactive content requires oodles of creativity -- it can also be plain challenging and difficult. And choosing an application to give shape to that creativity is a difficult choice to make.

Raptivity, one of the well known e-learning creating applications provides a plethora of options and possibilities -- in this review, we'll explore Raptivity's interface and capabilities.

Read the review here...

Categories: elearning

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posted by Geetesh on 3:32 PM IST



I was doing a review of a collection of music tracks for PowerPoint, and I decided I did not want to explain the entire process of inserting sounds within PowerPoint slides on a review page. So I did the next best thing: a new page in Indezine's Learn section that shows you how you can insert sound within PowerPoint. This covers PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint, sounds, tutorials

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Monday, February 05, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 11:16 AM IST

Signage24 is a new service site from PresentationPoint, creators of several PowerPoint add-ins. In this Indezine exclusive, Kurt Dupont who heads PresentationPoint discusses this new hosting service, and compares it to some not-so-similar offerings.

Geetesh: Tell us more about Signage24, and how did this evolve.

Kurt: Signage24 is a new online service from PresentationPoint. With Signage24, you can distribute your presentations (information, advertising, events etc) worldwide in order to run as an automated billboard. In the Audio Visual world this functionality is known as 'digital signage'.

Just like Hotmail for email messages and hosting companies for websites, Signage24 is a hosted solution to upload your presentations to your company account, and schedule them to play on a given player or group of players. You can now design your advertising pages in Microsoft PowerPoint and distribute them automatically to your shops or POS systems.

The big advantage of digital signage and dynamic signage is that you can promote your products and offers much better. It makes for example no sense to promote a Scotch whisky in the morning. That is something you plan in the evening. In the morning you promote products like cereals and a healthy breakfast or lunch. So with digital signage, you can better target your audience -- that will result in much more sales than before.

Currently our service works with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations only, but soon new players can be expected like Flash, MPG movies, images etc.



Geetesh: How is Signage24 different from other sharing platforms like SlideShare, YouTube, etc.

Kurt: It's difficult to compare Signage24 with services like YouTube. Those services are interactive. Although it is a library of multimedia files, you always decide when and what to watch.

The service of Signage24 is also a system where you upload your files but in addition you set up your playlists and you specify when a playlist of presentations is shown at where and when. For the viewers of your playlist, there is no way to change that. If they look at a Signage24 monitor, they will see your advertising!

Categories: presentationpoint, powerpoint, interviews

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posted by Geetesh on 11:15 AM IST



Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Love. This set contains several designs that you can use on Valentine's Day -- or throughout the year for love based concepts. Here are some previews.


None of the templates at Ppted.com are free -- these are all designer templates. I just wanted to say that because lots of readers write in to say that their Indezine passwords don't let them download all the Ppted templates for free!

Categories: templates, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 11:12 AM IST



As if Microsoft didn't have enough to worry about after the lukewarm response to Vista and Office 2007, Google's free online office suite is set to do PowerPoint as well.

Code-named Google Presently, the presentation feature is set to become a part of Google Docs & Spreadsheets which, as the name suggests, currently offers document and spreadsheet editing. Users will be able to convert a document into a presentation, create slides and view the presentation in full-screen, reports unofficial Google-watching blog Google Operating System.

More on the ITWire site...

Categories: powerpoint, google

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posted by Geetesh on 10:59 AM IST



Today's free template is Textured 28 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint

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Friday, February 02, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 10:42 AM IST



We have reviewed WildPresenter in the past -- and rather than do the whole review again, this time we will explore the new features in this new version of WildPresenter.

For those of you who don't know what WildPresenter does, it is a product that allows you to import PowerPoint presentations -- thereafter you can continue editing your presentation in an editing environment that's so much like PowerPoint right down to the Slide Masters. Finally, WildPresenter allows you to output your project to a Flash SWF movie.

Read the full review...

Categories: wildpresenter, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:16 AM IST



Today's free template is Blue Granite - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint

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