Jamie Garroch, CEO of GMARK Ltd., founded the company in 2009 to provide presentation professionals with PowerPoint software, content and training. Jamie conceived the idea for the company’s first product, ActivePrez from a non-linear presenting need and has recently added several other add-in products. His newest add-in is Slide Linker, a product born out of the need to link slides together so that all linked slides are glued to each other when copied to other presentations.
In this conversation, Jamie talks about the free Slide Linker add-in for PowerPoint, and his business of creating custom PowerPoint add-ins.
Geetesh: What exactly does Slide Linker do, and how did this free add-in evolve?
Jamie: Slide Linker is a small add-in that demonstrates the amazing extensibility of Microsoft Office applications that many readers may be unaware of. By installing an add-in, users can gain access to new functionality for PowerPoint (and other Office apps) just as they do when they download apps for their Windows Phone, Android Phone, or iPhone.
The Slide Linker add-in provides PowerPoint users with the ability to link slides in groups and keep them together when copied and pasted to another presentation. It makes a small yet significant change to the Home tab of the Ribbon by replacing the standard Copy button with a Copy+ button. This functions as expected with standard Copy operations but a new drop-down menu provides the ability to link slides, view linked slides, and delete links from slides. Once slides are linked, if anyone of them is selected and the Copy+ button is clicked, all slides in that linked group will be copied to the Windows clipboard. The idea was born from a LinkedIn PowerPoint group where a user asked if this was possible within PowerPoint. The answer is yes!
Geetesh: You also develop custom add-ins for PowerPoint users. Tell us more about some work you have done in this area?
Jamie: GMARK specializes in add-in development both for our own products and custom development for small to large enterprise clients. We’ve worked for the likes of UPS to create an automatic presentation generation tool to assist field sales personnel in building audience targeted decks.
We’re currently developing a new add-in for one of the top three Indian IT vendors to automate the process of keeping presentations on-brand and a European client to add galleries of commonly used on-brand content to the Ribbon. The exciting vision that add-ins bring is that publishers such as ourselves now have a way to extend the functionality of PowerPoint to do almost anything one can imagine. If you can’t find a way to do something with an Office app, then add-ins are a great way to get exactly what you want and need while maintaining your investment in Microsoft Office.