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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: April 2007

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

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Google Acquires PowerPoint Competitor

Saturday, April 21, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:47 AM IST

Filling in a hole in its Google Apps suite, Google has acquired Tonic Systems, which provides a set of tools for the online editing, viewing, and sharing of presentations created with Microsoft PowerPoint. Tonic Systems describes itself as "Java PowerPoint Specialists." Google says it will incorporate Tonic's technology into a new presentation service that will be added this summer to Apps.

More on the Rough type blog...

Several months ago, Indezine interviewed Chris Nokleberg of Tonic Systems for this blog -- read the interview here...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 1:03 PM IST

The biggest feature in Microsoft's new Office 2007 suite is most certainly the interface. Gone are the menus and the toolbars -- now all the commands are available in the various tabs of the Ribbon. The Ribbon is much more intuitive -- but for seasoned users who have been working with Microsoft Office applications for more than a decade, it does involve a serious amount of unlearning.

An interesting add-in for Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel now brings back the menus and toolbars -- all inside a new Ribbon tab called "Menus"! The add-in is called Classic Menu Manager.

Read on to learn more...

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posted by Geetesh on 12:38 PM IST

Google to Compete With Microsoft PowerPoint

Google Inc. plans to launch software similar to Microsoft Corp.'s popular PowerPoint program as the two companies vie to dominate the online experience....``This completes what most users of PCs consider the Office suite,'' said John Battelle, who leads Federated Media Publishing and grilled Schmidt about the product at the conference....Microsoft spokeswoman Lisa Koetz said competition is good for customers, and Microsoft is listening to the 450 million people who use Microsoft Office to ensure it is meeting their needs.

More on the KCBS site...

Google to Offer Online PowerPoint Rival

Even though Google continues to claim that its online productivity suite is not intended to compete with Microsoft's Office product, its latest addition is beginning to raise eyebrows. The Mountain View, Calif. company disclosed Tuesday that it is about to release a presentation and slide show tool in the coming months. The product would join its word processing software, released last August, and its spreadsheet application, launched in October.

More on the BetaNews site...

Google CEO announces PowerPoint competitor

Google Inc. plans to take another swipe at Microsoft's Office suite of tools by adding presentation software to its Google Docs Web-based tools for word processing, e-mail and spreadsheets.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, announced the new feature here today during a keynote address at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo. Although Schmidt offered few details, he said that Google would add the ability to generate and share presentations to the Google Docs lineup but stopped short of calling the new feature a competitor to Microsoft's PowerPoint tool.

More on the Computerworld site...

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posted by Geetesh on 11:05 AM IST

Articulate announced Articulate Online, a new user-friendly hosted service that allows you to track how employees, customers and prospects interact with your e-learning courses, assessments and presentations.

This service also integrates seamlessly with Articulate's other offerings: Articulate Presenter and Articulate Engage, thus allowing easy publish and distribution options.

More info on the Articulate site...

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posted by Geetesh on 10:53 AM IST

Electric Rain was selected as the grand prize winner of the Windows Vista Code Master Challenge for its development of the StandOut presentation solution, a new desktop application for creating stunning cinematic-style presentations. Electric Rain StandOut was selected for the $50,000 grand prize out of more than 4,400 registrants.

More info on the Electric Rain site



Monday, April 16, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 7:11 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called The Cross. This is in response to the many requests we have received for a series on religious templates.

None of the templates at 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!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:00 AM IST

Rajeev Arora is Vice President, Marketing & Strategy at Elluminate. Rajeev is responsible for establishing relationships with strategic partners and identifying new markets where Elluminate can excel.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, Elluminate, and vRoom.

Rajeev: As the VP of Marketing and Strategy for Elluminate, I'm responsible for building relationships with our partners and finding new ways for Elluminate's products to break into new and different markets. Personally, I've worked in sales, marketing and product development for the software industry for more than 12 years.

Elluminate is an e-learning and web collaboration company that has a very strong presence in K-12 schools and higher education institutions, as well as corporations throughout the world. Our ultimate goal is rather ambitious. We want to use our enabling technology to transform teaching and learning, providing online access for everyone, especially those who would normally would be deprived, and facilitating communication, collaboration, and education on a global level.

Our flagship product Elluminate Live! is a web conferencing application used primarily to foster collaborative online learning in real time -- whether it's through online classes or corporate training. Elluminate Live! incorporates voice over the Internet with video, application and file sharing, file transfer, and more. What really makes the environment stand out from the crowd is its collaborative features like breakout rooms for small groups, interactive polling, social networking features and our ESP (Elluminate Sensory Perception) functionality for moderators. ESP allows a session leader to see when others may be lagging behind, and automatically adjusts the timing of the audio and visuals to allow them to catch up. Users love that our software can be used on any platform, including Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris, and that it works on really low bandwidths. For example, one of our users logged on to Elluminate Live! during a cycling trip, using his laptop and a low-bandwidth cell phone Internet card.

Elluminate created vRoom as a free, three-seat version of Elluminate Live! with all the same capabilities as the original software, except for the ability to record sessions. We have such faith that once Elluminate products are integrated into schools and companies, people will find that the possibilities are almost endless. I like to say that we are only limited by our imagination!

Elluminate Screen

Geetesh: Tell us about typical and non-conventional usage scenarios for vRoom.

Rajeev: Many new customers have already shared how they're using their vRooms, including for virtual office hours, one-on-one tutoring, mentoring, and small group work. It's really easy to add vRoom to your email signature and hold impromptu online meetings at any time -- with students, teachers, customers, co-workers, and partners. You name it. IT folks use the application and desktop sharing to train co-workers on troubleshooting tech problems on their computers. They can even take remote control of a co-worker's desktop, and solve the problems themselves.

Some non-conventional uses have also surfaced since we've launched vRoom. A professional artist uses vRoom to host open-studio hours to demonstrate her digital portraiture painting. A teacher used vRoom to enable his high school students to view a live surgery and ask the surgeon questions, sort of a virtual field trip. Other innovative uses of vRoom include holding theater auditions, adding a remote participant to a conference panel, assessing reading and writing skills for K-12 students, reviewing course content in preparation for testing, and setting up a teaching cooperative for home-schooling moms.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 10:31 AM IST

Scrapblog is a site where you can create scrapbook-like, online content that can be adapted to look like online presentations. As of now, the site is free -- and you can use visual content and videos from sites like Flickr, Webshots, YouTube, etc.


Take a look at Scrapblog here...

On Webware, Rafe Needleman adds that Scrapblog is an excellent online application. It's based on Adobe's Flex and uses a lot of the fancy user interface options available on that platform. Read more here...

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Saturday, April 07, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:42 AM IST

authorSTREAM is a new, content sharing social media networking site open to everyone to upload, share and view PowerPoint presentations. This free offering comes from authorGEN Technologies, who create authorPOINT, a multimedia e-learning presentation creator, which installs in PowerPoint and outputs to Flash.

PowerPoint files, when uploaded to authorSTREAM, get converted to Flash and can be accessed by anyone on the website; a unique code and URL is generated for every presentation to enable users to embed or share their presentation with anyone on their own blog or website.

More info on the authorSTREAM site...

Categories: powerpoint_flash



Friday, April 06, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 10:12 AM IST

I came across this interesting article on creating a good PowerPoint presentation. Written by Jon Newsome, this short article explains how planning can help you create better PowerPoints.

Read the article on the Gwinnett Business Journal site...

Categories: case_studies, powerpoint

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 11:26 AM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Circles. Although circles have to be round, they don't really need to follow any other rules. Imagination can play amazing games here, as you can see in these previews.

None of the templates at 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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Monday, April 02, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 3:43 PM IST

Mike Power is the founder and Managing Director of Neuxpower, a software solutions company based in the UK. Neuxpower custom-build both stand-alone applications and add-ins that enhance existing software such as Microsoft Office. Their commercially-available PowerPoint optimizer, NXPowerLite, radically reduces the size of PowerPoint files.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new NXPowerLite 3.

Mike: NXPowerLite 3 is a compression tool created specifically for Microsoft Office users. It can dramatically reduce the size of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files -- sometimes by as much as 98% -- with no discernible loss of quality. It does this by intelligently compressing the graphics and embedded documents contained within your files, as well as removing the 'junk data' that builds up during the creation and editing of Office files.

We released the first version of NXPowerLite six years ago as a PowerPoint-only product -- and it quickly became the de facto standard tool for PowerPoint compression. NXPowerLite 2, which followed in 2005, contained a number of significant improvements. It worked directly on the PowerPoint file (rather than by automating PowerPoint), enabling lightning-fast compression times. We also added new features such as batch processing and an Outlook add-in that automatically optimized email attachments before sending them.

Our customers loved the software, but kept asking us to develop something similar to reduce the size of Word and Excel files. We eventually decided to create just one program that worked with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, in order to offer ease of use and the best possible value for money. We are very proud of NXPowerLite 3, which was released in February. It is currently the only product of its type that works with all three of the main Microsoft Office file formats -- and customer feedback has been fantastic!

Geetesh: Tell us more about your plans to support Office 2007 file formats.

Mike: NXPowerLite 3 does not currently support Office 2007's new XML file formats, as the structures were finalised too late in our development process. But our developers are currently working hard on the new formats and a fully-compatible version of NXPowerLite 3 will be available later this year. Our Office 2007 Guarantee means that everybody that has purchased NXPowerLite since Office 2007 was released last December was will receive a free upgrade.

Meanwhile, the current version of NXPowerlite integrates perfectly with Office 2007, but you will need to save your files in '97-2003' format ('compatibility mode') before compressing them with NXPowerLite. Of course, this will also ensure that your files can be opened and edited by people with older versions of Office.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint, interviews

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Sunday, April 01, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 12:08 PM IST

Articulate, a provider of rapid e-learning authoring tools, has announced the winners of its 2007 Articulate Guru Awards.

The competition was introduced to honor excellence in content creation using Articulate software.

The top prize Gold medal was awarded to Prometheus Training Corporation for their "Office Ergonomics" course. This entry was notable in its clean design and effective integration of Articulate Presenter, Quizmaker, and Engage.

More info on the Articulate site...

Categories: articulate, powerpoint

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