Tagged With slideshows

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PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It's time to learn how to customise templates, add animations and slide transitions and make slide notes.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Windows/Mac/Linux (all systems): Impressive doesn't make slideshows, it just makes them look better. The free app's smooth transitions, zoom-out grid views, and screen-dimming highlights can be used with just about any slideshow. The Python-based app (read: goes pretty much anywhere) takes in PDF files exported from most any slideshow maker—PowerPoint, Impress, Keynote, and many more—and loads either from the command line or by simply dragging your PDF onto it. The app launches, your slides load, and it cycles through a series of transitions that aren't too hard on the eyes (or indicative of your My First PowerPoint skills). Hitting Tab gives you a slick grid view you can zoom to any slide from, and you can dim slides and highlight key points with a mouse, or use a roaming spotlight with the Enter key. I had some trouble getting the transitions to record in Windows 7, so I reverted to the ScreenToaster web recorder I'd tried out before and my wife's laptop. The transition effects are still missing, and there's a bit of frame drop, but the other features are visible in this demonstration (using an old PPT I found lying around the net):

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The beta bandages are off, and the full public version of online presentation creation and management software Sliderocket looks pretty good. The PowerPoint competitor (in the cloud) will let you upload and import PPT files, Flash animations, spreadsheet data for charts as well as images, audio and video assets — then share them amongst coworkers. The Flash-based webapp is pretty slick, and you can add Flickr and YouTube content as well as purchase stock art from a Fotolia and PresentationPro. You can deliver your presentation online or download a standalone player. Sliderocket is free for a single user, with 30-day tryouts for potential paying customers. So for you bullet-slingers out there, are you ready to give up your desktop software for this presumptive online replacement?

Sliderocket

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Google Docs adds another way to share presentations online: by embedding them, YouTube video-like, onto your web site. To do so, go to the Publish tab in a presentation and copy and paste what they call the "Mini Presentation Module" code onto your web or intranet page. Google released a few more feature tweaks to Presentations, like the ability to drag and drop images onto slides, to import selected slides from another presentation, and to rearrange slides. Above check out a slideshow Google put together describing the upgrades.

New features for 2008!